Tennessee football: Ranking all 17 Vols conference championship teams

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Photo by Jed Jacobsohn /Allsport

Tennessee football has won 13 SEC titles, two Southern Conference titles and two SIAA titles. Here is a ranking of each Volunteers title team.

It’s been over 20 years since Tennessee football last won an SEC Championship. As hard as it is to process, that’s the longest conference title drought the Vols have ever had since joining the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association way back in 1896.

UT only needed 18 years after joining the SIAA to win a conference title. They then had droughts of 11 years twice and 16 years another time. But having a drought last 20 years since playing a conference game is a new thing and shows how far the program has fallen.

Dating back to that first conference game, conference championships have always been the first goal for Tennessee football. National championships are icing on the cake, but the focus has always been about winning the conference.

Well, the Vols have done that 17 times in their history. They have won two SIAA titles, two Southern Conference titles and 13 Southeastern Conference titles. Seven coaches have won those titles, with two winning the SIAA, one winning the Southern and five winning the SEC (one won the Southern and SEC). But which championship teams are the best and most memorable?

In this post, we’re going to break that down. This isn’t a ranking of the most talented conference title teams. We’re looking at who the best were relative to their time. And we are only breaking down what the Vols did within their conference each of these seasons. Their national games don’t matter.

Our criteria for this ranking includes the Vols’ overall record in the conference, how badly they dominated their opponents, their strength of schedule within the conference and the difficulty of the conference on the national stage. So it takes everything into account related to the conference.

With all of that information, let’s go ahead and compare UT teams that reached their goals. This is our ranking of all 17 Tennessee football teams to win conference championships, from the SIAA to the Southern Conference to the SEC.

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