Has Tennessee shifted the balance of power in the SEC to the East division?

ESPN college football analyst Jesse Palmer believes so after seeing the Volunteers get off to a fast start in 2020.

Although, if Palmer had been paying close attention to the SEC in recent seasons, he may have noticed the SEC East went a combined 16-12 against the SEC West in cross-divisional showdowns during the 2018 and 2019 regular seasons.

Either way, during a recent appearance on “ESPN College Football Countdown,” Palmer was asked to share his thoughts on how legitimate Jeremy Pruitt’s Tennessee program is following the Vols’ 2-0 start to the season.

“They are a very good team, I’m not going to say they’re the best team in the SEC East,” Palmer said of the Vols. “I think Georgia and Florida are still better programs right now, but I think Tennessee’s close. I think they’re gonna win seven games this year, they beat Auburn, they beat Texas A&M and I’ll say this, Jeremy Pruitt in his third year, you can see how well he’s recruited.

“When you watch the film, you see this offensive line, you see this front seven on defense. They are physical and they’re dominant in the trenches. This program is becoming the physical embodiment of a football team that I think Jeremy Pruitt is looking for. I think it’s close.”

After noting the differences he’s seen in the Tennessee program this season, Palmer then shared his belief that Tennessee’s emergence has put the SEC East over the SEC West, in his opinion.

“I think Tennessee now being as good as they are shifts the balance of power in the SEC back to the SEC East. I think that’s the best division now in the SEC,” Palmer added. “I think their three top teams are better than the (three best in the) SEC West.”