This one is just too easy.
I'll admit Vanderbilt has picked up its recruiting recently. In fact, the 2012 signing class was the best in history, according to Rivals, at No. 29 nationally. The only thing is Tennessee's was a slightly below-average year in terms of national ranking at No. 17.
(More on expectation differences later.)
Not only is Tennessee's offense better than Vanderbilt's, it's going to be one of the best in the SEC. Sports Illustrated is already projecting two top-18 picks in the 2013 NFL draft from the Volunteer offense, and summer has barely begun.
However, Vandy will field a solid offense led by seniors Jordan Rodgers and Zac Stacy. The entire attack is opened up by the running ability of Rodgers, much like big brother Aaron. So the question is, will Tennessee have the players to limit his mobility?
The answer isn't, "Yes," but, "Hell yes."
The switch to the 3-4 defense, if nothing else, puts more speed onto the field for the Vols. If Rodgers can outflank Curt Maggitt or Jacques Smith on the outside before A.J. Johnson has a chance to get in and level a huge blow, then all bets are off. Then again, Rodgers doesn't have the lateral quickness of Barry Sanders.
In last year's overtime thriller, Prentiss Waggner was playing safety because Brent Brewer was out with a torn ACL. Herman Lathers missed the game (and the season) from a summer injury. Justin Hunter was also out with a torn ACL.
This year, things will be different from a players standpoint for Tennessee.