Kirk Herbstreit is well aware of some of the best coaching jobs in the country this season, and he pegs Tennessee’s Josh Heupel in that group.

The ESPN college football analyst noted that the preseason expectations for the Vols were much lower than what they’ve produced in Heupel’s first season.

“Raise your hand. How many people had Josh Heupel getting to 6, more likely 7 wins, and going to a bowl game in his first year?” Herbstreit said on the ESPN College Football Podcast this week, per On3. “After everything, the transfer portal, it was a one-way street out of Knoxville, and this dude goes in there with a new AD in Danny White out of UCF and these boys, they’re creating a little bit of buzz, man. With that offense, Hendon Hooker, scoring on a lot of people, including Alabama, they’ve become a fun team to watch and they’re going to recruit very well.”

Heupel and South Carolina’s Shane Beamer are among those first-year coaches who have exceeded expectations in the SEC and beyond, and will likely receive Coach of the Year votes along with Kentucky’s Mark Stoops and Arkansas’ Sam Pittman.

“Tennessee is a stock that’s … going up,” Herbstreit said. “You’re going to want to buy that stock. Good for ‘Heup’ getting his team to a bowl game, as well.”

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Tennessee sports betting officially launched on November 1, 2020. Tennessee was the first SEC state to legalize sports betting.