Vols fall in AP Poll and Coaches Poll ahead of season opener

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    Photo By Caleb Jones/Tennessee Athletics

    Though Tennessee has yet to play a football game this fall, the Vols fell in the latest Amway Coaches Poll and Associated Press Poll on Sunday following results around college football over the weekend.

    Big 10 schools were also included in each set of rankings following the conference’s decision last week to play a fall season, which will begin Oct. 24.

    The Vols fell one spot in the AP Poll to No. 16. Tennessee was one of seven SEC teams in the AP Poll. Jeremy Pruitt’s squad was joined by Alabama (2), Georgia (4), Florida (5), LSU (6), Auburn (8), Texas A&M (10) and Kentucky (23).

    Tennessee has now been ranked in the AP Top 25 on 585 different occasions, 14th-most in all of college football.

    The Associated Press began its college football poll on Oct. 19, 1936, and it is now the longest-running poll of those that award national titles at the end of the season. The preseason poll was started in 1950. A panel of 62 sports writers and broadcasters from around the country votes on the poll weekly.

    In the Coaches’ Poll, Tennessee fell four spots to No. 21. The Vols were one of six SEC teams ranked. They were joined by Alabama (2), Georgia (3), LSU (5), Florida (6), Auburn (8) and Texas A&M (11). Kentucky fell out of the rankings, but was the school that received the most votes outside of the Top 25.

    The Amway Coaches Poll powered by USA TODAY Sports is conducted weekly throughout the regular season using a panel of head coaches at FBS schools. The panel is chosen by random draw, conference by conference plus independents, from a pool of coaches who have indicated to the American Football Coaches Association their willingness to participate. Each coach submits a Top 25 with a first-place vote worth 25 points, second place 24, and so on down to one point for 25th.

    Tennessee is scheduled to begin its season this Saturday, Sept. 26, against South Carolina on the road at 7:30 p.m. ET. The Vols will return home a week later for their first game in Neyland Stadium, against Missouri at 4 p.m. ET.

    Ben McKee is a graduate from the University of Tennessee and has a degree in Journalism and Electronic Media. He covers Tennessee football, basketball, baseball, and the Lady Vols for RTI, and he's also the host of the RTI Podcast. You can also hear Ben on the morning sports radio show "The Swain Event." He's the producer and co-host along with former Vol wide receiver Jayson Swain.