All aboard the Tennessee hype train.

Last season, the Volunteers showed vast improvement in Year 3 under coach Butch Jones’ tenure, posting a 9-4 (5-3) record and winning the final six games of the year by an average margin of 22.2 points — including a 45-6 drubbing over No. 13 Northwestern in the Outback Bowl.

So you can imagine the kind of attention Tennessee is beginning to receive heading into a 2016 season that has quite possibility cleared a path to the program’s first SEC East Division title since 2007.

It doesn’t look like the proverbial microscope is going away anytime soon, either. ESPN television analyst Kirk Herbstreit was asked what Florida’s chances are to repeat as division champs this season on Twitter, and instead of focusing on the Gators, he went ahead and provided his prediction for the East’s winner.

Tennessee returns 17 starters to the field in 2016, which is tied for the 5th-most in the country.

The Vols have longed for a chance to once again compete for championships, and this could finally be the year they return to the SEC title game for a shot to play in the third annual College Football Playoff.