Robert Neyland’s first stint on Rocky Top saw Tennessee football enjoy some Southern Conference success, and the 1932 team was among those. This team was even more special because it is the last one that would play before joining the SEC.
The Vols were one of three teams in the conference without a loss, so they shared this one. On top of that, one of those teams, the LSU Tigers, didn’t even have a tie, but UT was still able to share the title because they played more games so were able to finish more games above .500.
Beattie Feathers was the most notable name on this team, but they actually did not have anybody achieve All-American honors this year. That’s another knock against these guys, as the big names didn’t show up anywhere.
It’s also worth noting that the majority of the games they played in the conference this year finished near the bottom of the 23-team league standings. And one of the only three teams they played with a winning record, the Vanderbilt Commodores, they played to a scoreless tie.
One impressive part of this season, though, was it was part of a 28-game stretch in which the Vols didn’t lose. They had two ties during that stretch. So the run overall was amazing. But this year in a vacuum didn’t stand out.
Neyland’s team had the same record the year before and was probably better. They just didn’t technically win the conference in 1931 because the Tulane Green Wave went undefeated, played more games and did not have any ties.