The Tennessee Vols are one of the most tradition rich programs in all of college football.
If you go to Knoxville on a game day in the fall, you’ll see incomparable pageantry and passion.
But where does Tennessee’s football program rank among the 25 greatest programs of all-time?
There will probably be plenty of debate about this, but 247Sports recently revealed their ranking of the top 25 greatest programs of all-time. Their rankings were comprised by using the results of every final AP poll since 1935. The top team in the AP rankings received 25 points, with the No. 2 team receiving 24 points, etc.
Using that formula, the Vols were ranked as the No. 10 greatest college football program of all time.
Here’s what 247Sports had to say about Tennessee.
Much like Nebraska, this college football blueblood has been largely disappointing since winning a national championship in 1998. That year marked Tennessee’s last SEC Championship and since Phillip Fulmer’s departure in 2008, three different coaches have come and gone without making an impact. The Vols are hoping second-year coach Jeremy Pruitt summons some of the Neyland Stadium magic in 2019 and takes the first step in getting back to the SEC title picture with a winning season. It starts with recruiting and Tennessee’s brand remains one of the most recognizable in the South.
This actually isn’t a bad ranking for the Vols — especially considering the descent of the program over the last decade.
The only SEC team listed above Tennessee is Alabama (which came in at No. 2, Oklahoma was No. 1).
This means over the last nearly 100 years that UT has been one of the most consistent programs in the nation. Just because they’ve been “down” for the last 10 years, doesn’t mean they’re going to stay down. Plenty of great programs have had bad stretches and they came out of it. Just like the Vols eventually will (perhaps sooner than later with Jeremy Pruitt at the helm).
Overall, I think Tennessee fans should be happy with this objective, scientific ranking. This is the kind of thing that can help the Vols win some recruiting battles.
And that’s ultimately what UT needs the most right now.
Featured image via John Reed-USA TODAY Sports