Things are getting rougher for Tennessee football. The Volunteers are outside of the Top 60 of CFN’s five-year FBS program analysis.
Tennessee football is in the top 10 all-time among FBS programs in wins, winning percentage and national championships. They’re tied for sixth all time in bowl wins with 28, fifth all time in bowl appearances with 52, and second all time in 13 SEC Championships with 13.
But these Top 10 rankings are little to brag about after their last five years. According to the recent College Football News FBS five-year analysis of programs, the Vols are barely a Top 70 team dating back to 2013.
The analysis counts total wins over the previous five years only over other FBS schools. The Vols, despite having 34 wins overall, only got credit for 29 because they scored a win over an FCS school each year. Their 29 wins were good enough for No. 68 overall.
Now, to be fair, playing in the SEC makes those 29 wins count for a lot more than it would for other schools. So you could reasonably conclude that they were a Top 50 program with those numbers, even if they had just as many losses against FBS schools over that time (29).
However, even among other SEC teams, they are near the bottom. Their numbers are only better than that of the Arkansas Razorbacks, Vanderbilt Commodores and Kentucky Wildcats. And given the easy nature of the East the past five years, the Vols had a better chance to be higher than any of the six SEC West teams who were better than them.
Simply put, the Tennessee football program has been a disaster over the last five years. It’s pretty much been a disaster this whole decade, and things would look even worse from 2010 to 2014. But these numbers show why the Vols have a new head coach.
Butch Jones presided over all but two games the previous five years. And to complement the Vols’ fall from grace was the worst season in school history last year, a 4-8 record that included going 0-8 and finishing last in the SEC.