Vols Sneak In to Sporting News Preseason Top 25

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    Photo Credit: Mason Burgin/RTI

    Preseason top 25 polls are starting to come out with higher frequency now that fall is rapidly approaching. Sporting News just released their preseason top 25 poll, and the Vols just barely made the cut.

    According to Sporting News, the Vols are the No. 25 ranked team in the country heading into the 2017 season.

    “This is a pivotal season for Butch Jones, who has danced from hot seat and high expectations through his time on Rocky Top,” reads the description for Tennessee. “The Vols have a lot of talent to replace, and that starts at quarterback. Quinten Dormady and Jarrett Guarantano will continue to sort that out at fall camp.”

    Sporting News is a little more pessimistic on the Vols than some of the other preseason polls that have already been released. Tennessee landed inside the top 20 in Athlon’s early preseason poll back in May, coming in at No. 19. ESPN’s Football Power Index also had the Vols listed as a top 20 team, placing them right at No. 20 in the country.

    Tennessee is one of six SEC schools in the Sporting News top 25. Florida (15), LSU (14), Auburn (11), Georgia (10), and Alabama (1) all come in ahead of the Vols.

    The Vols have now been ranked in the top 25 in the first two major preseason polls to come out this offseason. Time will tell if Tennessee will be ranked in the initial preseason AP Poll, but if these early results are any indication, the Vols will find themselves ranked to start the 2017 season.

    If the Vols do begin the season ranked inside the top 25 of the AP Poll, they will have begun the season ranked for the third straight year dating back to 2015. Tennessee hasn’t had three consecutive years of starting the season inside the top 25 since 2008. The Vols were ranked to start the season every year from 1990 till 2008.