15. Tulane Green Wave
Year: 1924 (Away)
Final score: Tulane wins 26-7
While one of the two newest members of the SEC is one of the two teams to only beat Tennessee football once, one of the three former members is another one. The Tulane Green Wave and Vols have only faced five times, and they only did it twice when Tulane was in the SEC before they left in the 1960s.
But UT’s only loss to the Green Wave came when the two schools were in the Southern Conference. One year before Robert Neyland would arrive as an assistant and two years before he would take over as head coach, M.B. Banks was in his fourth year with the program.
After going 5-4-1 in 1923, he got the Vols off to a 3-0 start in 1925. But then they lost their final five games. Included in that losing streak was a 26-7 loss on the road to Tulane in the next to last game of the season. This loss did make sense, as it was a year in which the Green Wave were much better.
Tulane had gone 8-1 on the year and 4-1 in the Southern Conference. It was also revenge for the Vols’ 13-2 victory over Tulane back in 1923. The schools wouldn’t meet again until three times in the 1960s, and UT won all three games. So there’s really nothing to this loss. It just happens to be UT’s only blemish against Tulane, which is why it makes this list as their worst loss.