For the third consecutive year, the Vols will begin the season ranked inside the top 25 of the preseason Amway Coaches Poll.
USA Today released the preseason Coaches Poll today, and the Vols snuck into the top 25, coming in at No. 24 in the rankings. Last season, the Vols were ranked No. 10 in the preseason poll after coming in right at No. 25 to start the season in 2015.
The Vols are just ahead of Utah (25th) and right behind Texas (23rd) despite Texas finishing 2016 with a 5-7 record. There are five other SEC schools inside the top 25 of the preseason Coaches Poll. Alabama (1), LSU (12), Auburn (13), Georgia (15), and Florida (16) are all ranked ahead of Tennessee.
Only three other SEC schools received votes in the poll. Texas A&M had the sixth-most votes (46) of the teams outside the top 25, and Arkansas (22) and Mississippi State (19) also received votes.
This time last year, the Vols were inside the top 10 in the preseason Coaches Poll and received a lone first place vote. Now the Vols are on the back end of the top 25, but they’re still in it.
Here are the complete preseason Top 25 Coaches Poll rankings (first place votes are in parenthesis):
- Alabama (49)
- Ohio State (5)
- Florida State (4)
- Clemson (7)
- Penn State
- Oklahoma State
- Kansas State
- West Virginia
- South Florida
- Virginia Tech