At least one or two coaches put Tennessee in their top 25, but that wasn’t enough to give the Vols a ranking heading into the season.
The Vols received seven voter points, but were one of just four SEC teams not included in the preseason USA Today coaches poll, which was released by the newspaper Thursday.
Tennessee has not been ranked in a preseason poll since 2008.
The Vols will face six of the eight SEC teams that placed in the top 25: Alabama (2), LSU (4), South Carolina (12), Arkansas (14), Georgia (22) and Florida (23).
Coach Derek Dooley is not one of the 59 FBS coaches who will vote in the poll this season. Auburn’s Gene Chizik, Vanderbilt’s James Franklin, LSU’s Les Miles, Georgia’s Mark Richt, Alabama’s Nick Saban and South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier will represent the SEC among the voters.
Because the coaches’ votes aren’t made public until the final ballot of the season, it’s unclear who voted for the Vols. A vote for 25th receives one point and increases incrementally depending on where the team is ranked.
Oklahoma is the preseason No. 1. The Sooners received 42 of 59 first-place votes to easily outpoint No. 2 Alabama, which received 13 first-place votes. Oregon, which lost last season’s BCS championship game, is third and LSU is fourth.
The Ducks and Tigers will open the season against each other at Cowboys Stadium on Sept. 3 in Arlington, Texas. They each received two first-place votes in the coaches’ poll.