KNOXVILLE, TN – SEPTEMBER 15: A view of the inside of Neyland Stadium during a game between the Florida Gators and Tennessee Volunteers on September 15, 2012 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images)Never is a long time, an amount of time that the human mind likely can’t even fully comprehend, but that’s the word one college football analyst chose to use when assessing Tennessee’s chances of becoming elite again.Bleacher Report’s Matt Hayes has written a piece titled, “Why Tennessee Will Never Be Elite Again.”The Volunteers are one of college football’s most-prestigious programs of all-time, winning six national championships, but it’s been a while since they were elite. Tennessee’s last SEC Divisional title came in 2007. The Vols haven’t won the SEC since 1998.Hayes believes they will “never” reach elite territory again. Look, this isn’t going to get better because Nick Saban and Alabama aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Because Ed Orgeron is recruiting as well as anyone in the league at LSU, and Kirby Smart is locking down Georgia and Florida has Mullen.The days of Tennessee competing with the country’s best are over, he believes.Those same areas (Phillip) Fulmer cultivated two decades ago—when Alabama, LSU and Georgia were underachieving with ill-fitted coaching staffs—are long out of reach now and have been so for more than a decade. The days of Tennessee rolling through the SEC are long gone.Tennessee hasn’t been elite in a while and, probably, won’t be elite anytime soon.“Never” might be a stretch, though. One truly special head coach can change everything – as we’ve seen with Dabo Swinney and Clemson – and while it’s incredibly difficult to land such a head coach, it’s possible Tennessee could do it at some point.Tennessee, meanwhile, is set to open its 2019 season on Aug. 31 against Georgia State.