Vols highest in coaches poll in nearly a decade

Expectations continue to soar for Tennessee football. A preseason top 25 poll shows that Big Orange Country isn't all who's thinking the Volunteers will win often this fall.

Polls mean less and less in the world of college football but what they do accomplish is excitement for fan bases.

Tennessee fans...be excited.

The Volunteers opened up the Preseason Amway Coaches Poll ranked No. 10 in the United States of America, which makes them the third-highest Southeastern Conference program behind No. 1 Alabama and No. 6 Louisiana State. That coincides with the media vote that has Tennessee claiming the SEC Eastern Division title.

Tennessee finished 2015 at No. 23 after starting the year at No. 25. It went 9-4, including an Outback Bowl win over then-No. 13 Northwestern.

The No. 10 spot represents the highest for the Vols since they reached the top 10 in October 2006. The '06 team started 7-1 before winding up 9-4 with a 20-10 loss in the Outback Bowl to Penn State.

Five SEC teams cranked the coaches' top 25, including arguably the Vols' most important games on their schedule both looking like major tests with Georgia (Oct. 1) at No. 16 and Florida (Sept. 24) at No. 25.

The Orange & White kick off versus Appalachian State at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville on Sept. 1 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern.

1. Alabama, 14-1, 1585 (55) 

2. Clemson, 14-1, 1524 (7) 

3. Oklahoma, 11-2, 1398 

4. Florida State, 10-3, 1351 (1) 

5. Ohio State, 12-1, 1321 

6. LSU, 9-3, 1241 

7. Stanford, 12-2, 1149 

8. Michigan, 10-3, 1062 

9. Notre Dame, 10-3, 1034 

10. TENNESSEE, 9-4, 960 (1) 

11. Michigan State, 12-2, 901 

12. Ole Miss, 10-3, 792 

13. Houston, 13-1, 668 

14. TCU, 11-2, 649 

15. Iowa, 12-2, 579 

16. Georgia, 10-3, 525 

17. USC, 8-6, 468 

18. Washington, 7-6, 454 

19. Oklahoma State, 10-3, 426 

20. North Carolina, 11-3, 422 

21. Baylor, 10-3, 383 

22. Oregon, 9-4, 361 

23. Louisville, 8-5, 331 

24. UCLA, 8-5, 296 

25. Florida, 10-4, 245

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