Tennessee football starts 2019 unranked. Here are seasons the Volunteers weren’t in the preseason AP and Coaches Top 25 poll but were in the final rankings.
With the release of the AP Poll on Monday, it was official. Tennessee football was once again out of both polls, as they were also outside of the preseason USA TODAY Amway Coaches Poll, which came out earlier this month.
Being outside of the preseason Top 25 has been a regular for the Vols since Phillip Fulmer retired. After all, they have only been in three preseason rankings dating back to 2009, and they were 2015, 2016 and 2017.
However, since the AP Poll’s preseason rankings began in 1950 and the Coaches’ Poll one began in 1978, there have been times in which Tennessee football started the year without any preseason ranking and finished inside both. Of course, when the rankings were just a top 10 list, it was a bit different, but it still counts.
If the Vols are going to do that this year, they will want to look back at those seasons. They can serve as somewhat of an inspiration for Jeremy Pruitt’s second team. In this post, we’re going to take a look at the years this happened.
UT was not in either preseason poll in these seasons, which in the case before 1978 would only apply to the preseason AP Poll. However, they finished ranked in both polls. Some of these are among the most legendary seasons ever on Rocky Top.
You would think a program as legendary as the Vols would have more seasons on this list than the ones we are about to name. However, it’s worth noting that their prestige usually leads them to be overrated rather than underrated, so if they have a top 25 caliber team, voters usually aren’t going to miss it.
Still, these seasons that do exist are worthy of looking back on. So let’s take a look at which ones they are and the impact they can have going forward. These are the four seasons Tennessee football finished inside both the AP and Coaches’ Polls despite being unranked in all preseason polls.