Matt Barrie of ESPN heaped praise upon Josh Heupel after Heupel’s Volunteers took down Alabama in Week 7.

“This roster was depleted because of the violations under Jeremy Pruitt. I couldn’t be happier for a coach like Heupel”, said Barrie. Since taking over in 2021, Heupel is 13-6 with Tennessee, with wins over Florida and Alabama included in that stretch.

“Look out for Tennessee now, because every program, every program, has a tipping point in their ascent,” said Barrie. “Is this the time, is this the performance is this the game that puts Tennessee back where I believe it should be in the college football landscape.”

Barrie pointed out that Heupel did something no Tennessee coach has done in 15 years by defeating Alabama. Heupel also has Tennessee in a position to have back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 2015-2016.

“If you can get Tennessee back into the national conversation”, said Barrie, “it would be so good for the sport.”

Tennessee will play host to UT-Martin in Week 8 before huge matchups against Kentucky and Georgia.