The official Preseason AP Poll was released on Monday, and the rankings seem to bode well for the Vols. Well, after second thought, that might be the case.
As I scrolled down the page checking out the Preseason AP Poll, I noticed that the Tennessee football team was nowhere to be found. They didn’t even receive a single vote for a top 25 ranking. I would say that’s not surprising after last season. However, Kentucky received one vote, and Troy got two votes, which is baffling. Surely, Tennessee is better than Kentucky and Troy, right?
Another surprise with the rankings is Alabama can be found at the top spot. Okay, certainly there is no surprise there, it feels like Alabama is always number one. In fact, the 2018 season marks the third season in a row the Tide have the number one ranking entering the season.
So, how do the rankings bode well for Tennessee and the 2018 football season? Taking a look at the entire top 25 in the AP Poll, at the current moment, the Vols only play four ranked teams. As we all very well know preseason rankings aren’t the end all be all, but it was odd to see only four ranked teams.
Here is a look at the top ten rankings plus notable teams.
1- Alabama (SEC)
2- Clemson (ACC)
3- Georgia (SEC)
4- Wisconsin (BIG10)
5- Ohio State (BIG10)
6- Washington (Pac-12)
7- Oklahoma (Big12)
8- Miami FL (ACC)
9- Auburn (SEC)
10- Penn State (BIG10)
17- West Virginia (Big 12)
18- Mississippi State (SEC)
25- LSU (SEC)
Other teams on the Vols 2018 schedule receiving votes include South Carolina, Florida, and Kentucky. As much as we talk about how hard the schedule will be, it is weird to see only four ranked teams. Maybe the schedule is more manageable than most fans think. Perhaps, the Vols are in for a decent season.
On the other hand, one could view the schedule as ridiculously hard. There are three games against preseason top ten teams and another one against a team in the top 20. Then you add a South Carolina team that should be significantly improved and looking to contend for an SEC East division title; the schedule could be extremely tough.
It will be interesting to see how the season plays out. There is a good chance the Vols could win seven or eight games. But, there is also a good chance the season win total is four. One thing is for sure though; we are about to find out as the season starts in less than two weeks.