The Vols came into the 2015 season ranked No. 25 in the AP Poll, the first time they had been ranked in a preseason poll since 2008. After a double overtime loss to Oklahoma in Week 2 of the season, however, the Vols fell out of favor of the polls and never reappeared there.
That is, until now.
The College Football Playoff Selection Committee came out with their second-to-last rankings on Tuesday night, and when the bottom half of the rankings were revealed, the Vols’ name made an appearance for the first time ever in the College Football Playoff rankings. Tennessee comes in at No. 25, the same spot they started the season in the AP Poll.
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) December 2, 2015
Tennessee has received votes in the AP Poll for the last few weeks and has gained plenty of momentum after winning five straight games to end the regular season. Saturday’s rout of Vanderbilt was one of Tennessee’s most decisive and impressive victories for the way they won it, and it was just the kind of note the Vols wanted to end the season on.
It’s the first time since the College Football Playoff Selection Committee was formed prior to the start of the 2014 season that the Vols have been selected in the top 25 rankings. It’s also the latest the Vols have been ranked in any sort of poll since 2007 when the Vols ended the season ranked No. 16.
This kind of momentum at the end of the season will only make Tennessee more appealing to those responsible for selecting bowl appearances. The Vols are now a ranked team, on a hot streak, and have a fan base that historically travels well. The Vols will be a popular option among those choosing teams to play in their bowl game.