UT ranks No. 9 in preseason AP Top 25 poll

Nashville, TN, United States / The Game Nashville

Coach Butch Jones and the Tennessee Volunteers will enter the 2016 season as the 9th ranked team in FBS college football.

The preseason Associated Press Top 25, released Sunday, gave the Vols their highest designation before a season since 2005 when they clocked in at No. 3. With lofty expectations in that 2005 campaign, UT tumbled out of the Top 25 in mid-October and sputtered to a record of 5-6 and no bowl appearance.

A heavy favorite to claim the title of SEC East champion this year, Tennessee fans’ hopes are just as high following 2015’s 9-4 finish that culminated in a 45-6 shellacking of Northwestern in the Outback Bowl . The team returns 19 total starters between the offense (nine) and the defense (eight), according to the school’s website.

The Vols’ 2016 schedule features three Top 25 opponents (No. 1 Alabama, No. 18 Georgia and No. 25 Florida). Quarterback Joshua Dobbs and company open the 2016 season at home on Thursday, Sept. 1st against Appalachian State with kickoff slated for 6:30 p.m. CT on the SEC Network.

Below is the full preseason AP Top 25:

RANK SCHOOL POINTS
1 Alabama (33) 1469
2 Clemson (16) 1443
3 Oklahoma (4) 1352
4 Florida State (4) 1325
5 LSU (1) 1269
6 Ohio State (1) 1224
7 Michigan (1) 1147
8 Stanford 1029
9 Tennessee 1021
10 Notre Dame 1006
11 Ole Miss 718
12 Michigan State 710
13 TCU 707
14 Washington 651
15 Houston 644
16 UCLA 496
17 Iowa 484
18 Georgia 448
19 Louisville 447
20 USC 344
21 Oklahoma State 316
22 North Carolina 283
23 Baylor 280
24 Oregon 218
25 Florida 180
(Points are determined by the number of first-place votes)
Information from ESPN.com, UTSports.com and The Tennessean contributed to this report.
Last Updated – August 21, 2016

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