Tennessee was supposed to beat Utah State, but not like they did.

The Aggies were regarded, by many, as a quality opponent that would give the Vols a surprise. Quarterback Chuckie Keeton rolled into Knoxville as a preseason Heisman hopeful and left with two interceptions, under 200 passing yards and on the short end of a 38-7 loss.

So the question needs to be asked: Was Tennessee’s win more or less impressive based on Utah State as a team? Was Utah State overmatched by a shockingly good Tennessee team or just overrated heading into Sunday night?

Mind you, I’m not trying to take anything away from Tennessee or the job coach Butch Jones has done up to this point. In fact, I can absolutely guarantee a Derek Dooley coached and recruited team would’ve been upset by Utah State.

It’s just an interesting point to raise in how little we know of the Vols moving forward. Tennessee is definitely an improved team from last year. They might already be the most talented team the program’s seen in years. To me, a good SEC team should be able to beat any team from the Mountain West Conference handedly. Utah State had a great record last season, but that wasn’t against an SEC schedule. Had Tennessee spent Jones’ first season in the MWC, they would have definitely matched and surpassed the Aggies’ total.

The reason to celebrate with caution is that we’ve seen this all before. N.C. State was supposed to be a quality opponent in 2012. That victory and Georgia State was enough for Tennessee to break the Top-25 before suffering one of the worst seasons in school history. However, Tennessee fans should remain optimistic.

Butch Jones is doing some great things in Knoxville to bring his team together. The Vols look like a cohesive unit that finally has the personnel and scheme to succeed in the SEC down the road. For this season, the jury is still out and Tennessee will need to continue its success from opening night.