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Tennessee Volunteers Football: 7 Most Hotly Contested Position Battles for 2013

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Tennessee Volunteers Football: 7 Most Hotly Contested Position Battles for 2013
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

All of the Tennessee Volunteers are starting with a clean slate and must prove their worth to a new coaching staff. This is a chance for underdogs to make a run at playing time and starters to solidify their roles. In other words, there are going to be some intense battles at certain positions.

Coach Butch Jones will have open competition for all positions, as is customary with new coaches. But we all know, for instance, that A.J. Johnson will be the starting middle linebacker and that the offensive line is already set.

I'm most interested in the positions that are seriously undecided.

To add some timely flavor, I've added another passion of mine, The Academy Awards (whose 2013 nominations just came out) into the mix. You'll see the "nominees" for each position, the "favorite" to win, the essential "dark-horse" candidate and the "storyline" for that spot.

And The Peyton goes to...

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