Tennessee football has had numerous great players come through the program. Here are the top 10 Volunteers who never won a conference or national title.
It’s been 20 years since Tennessee football won a championship of any kind. In a place like Knoxville, winning an SEC or national title puts you in a very special spot above numerous other elite who came through the program. It’s the goal of everybody that sets foot on Rocky Top.
However, there are plenty of players who made a name for themselves and are beloved figures in the program but didn’t reach that goal. Many times, it wasn’t their fault as they were great players on bad or mediocre teams.
Sometimes, they played one poor game, which was enough for them to not win a title. However, they are still revered in Tennessee football history. Whether it be for their efforts in college, in the NFL or both, not winning a title doesn’t hold some players back from becoming legends.
In this post, we’re going to break down the top Vols in school history who never won a conference or national championship. As part of this exercise, and to narrow it down, we’re leaving out junior college players who only played two years and those who left early for the NFL.
The reason is two years is not enough time to say they failed to win a title, and leaving early for the NFL meant that they intentionally didn’t fulfill that goal. That’s no judgment on them, it’s just saying that there are other players who did whatever they could do get a ring and still didn’t get it but remained revered in school history.
This means legendary guys like Derek Barnett, Alvin Kamara, Eric Berry, Jerod Mayo, Robert Meachem, Jason Witten, Heath Shuler and Charlie Garner are not going to be on the list. We’re also going to leave off kickers and punters because the Vols have too many legends at that position, and they can only do so much to win a title.
But there are plenty of other legends who never got a ring. So let’s give them a bit of extra glory that they weren’t able to get in college. These are the 10 best Tennessee football players to never win an SEC or national championship.