Wiedmer: Is football Vols' talent good enough to match their dreams?

AP photo by Michael Clubb / Tennessee linebacker Solon Page III dances in celebration after the team's win at Kentucky in November 2021.

Sept. 1. Three weeks from this Thursday. That's all the time that's left before it's once again Big Orange football time in Tennessee.

That's the night the Volunteers, nearly certain to be ranked in The Associated Press Top 25 when the preseason poll is released next week, will run through the "T" at Neyland Stadium as more than 100,000 of their fans rise to their feet on their way to filling the East Tennessee air with the constant crooning of "Rocky Top" for more than three hours in what is sure to be an easy win over Ball State.

At least it better be an easy win if second-year University of Tennessee coach Josh Heupel's program is to deliver the nine, and possibly 10 regular-season victories that at least a few people (blush, blush) predict for it.