While some Tennessee fans are simply hoping for their Vols to make a return to the postseason for the first time since the 2016 season, ESPN’s updated Football Power Index is jumping on the UT bandwagon early and predicting big things for the program heading into the 2019 season.

Tennessee may have come up just short of reaching a bowl game last season but if ESPN’s FPI is accurate, the Volunteers will have clinched a postseason spot by the first week of November this fall. In the updated ESPN FPI projections, Tennessee is favored in nine of the team’s 12 upcoming games in 2019.

The only three games the Vols aren’t currently favored in, according to ESPN’s FPI, are road games at Florida on Sept. 21 and at Alabama on Oct. 19, and the Oct. 5 home game against Georgia. A big part of Tennessee’s projected success has to do with the team’s schedule. In five home games, against Georgia State, BYU, Chattanooga, UAB and Vanderbilt, the Vols have an 81.4 percent chance or higher of winning.

If you are unfamiliar with how the FPI works, here is how ESPN explains their methodology when it comes to its projections:

The Football Power Index (FPI) is a measure of team strength that is meant to be the best predictor of a team’s performance going forward for the rest of the season. FPI represents how many points above or below average a team is. Projected results are based on 10,000 simulations of the rest of the season using FPI, results to date, and the remaining schedule. Ratings and projections update daily.

Here is an overview of Tennessee’s complete schedule for the upcoming season and how ESPN’s FPI projects the season to play out as of July, 8: