Tennessee football has needed help in the past in Southeastern Conference races. Here are 10 games Volunteers fans celebrated despite UT not playing.
Since the SEC was founded in 1933, Tennessee football has won 13 conference championships. The Vols have played for the SEC title five times since the league expanded into two divisions, winning the championship game twice.
So there are numerous seasons in which the Vols captured the SEC title or the SEC East. And in many of them, they required a decent bit of help to get there. In fact, there are many years in which a number of games had to unfold exactly right for UT to win the conference or division.
There are five seasons in which Tennessee football won the SEC with a loss, and in all five they needed help elsewhere to win it. Since the divisions split in 1992, the Vols have played for the title five times, and they had conferences losses in four of them, needing help in two of them.
Simply put, Vols fans have a history of celebrating the outcome of SEC games in which they didn’t play. In this post, we’re going to take a look at those games that fans enjoyed and rank them by how memorable they were. These are games in which the Vols were already not in control of their own destiny in the SEC race and needed help.
There are 10 games that, had they turned out differently, would have resulted in the Vols either winning a share of the conference when they won it outright, not winning the conference at all, or not winning their division. Also, since UT was not in control of its own destiny when these games were played, none of them can be before their first loss on the year.
Also, to make this list, UT could not be in control of its own destiny at the time to stay ahead of that team. For instance, numerous games were necessary to the Vols winning the SEC title in 1969, but they all came before their loss to the Ole Miss Rebels, which is the only reason they became necessary. So we left them off the list.
Finally, Each game had to have had an impact to the point that, had any of them turned out differently, the Vols would not have accomplished what they did. So let’s break those results down here. These are the 20 games that helped Tennessee football either win the SEC title outright, a share of the SEC title or their division, without them playing.