By Kellen Hiser
Tennessee football will open the 2015 season as the unanimous 25th-ranked team in the country as the preseason Associated Press college football poll ranks the Volunteers at No. 25. The ranking matches UT’s standing in the Amway Coaches Poll, which was announced in July.
The Volunteers last appeared in the AP Poll on Sept. 12, 2012 when it was listed at No. 23. The announcement marks UT’s first appearance in the preseason edition of the AP poll since the 2008 season. That year, Tennessee began the year in the No. 18 spot.
The season-opener against Bowling Green on Sept. 5 now stands as the first time since 2008 that the Volunteers will take the field while ranked simultaneously in both major college football polls. UT learned that it was ranked 25th in the Coaches Poll on July 30.
Five opponents on Tennessee’s 2015 schedule currently occupy places on the preseason AP Top 25, including No. 3 Alabama, No. 9 Georgia, No. 18 Arkansas and No. 24 Missouri within conference play. Oklahoma, which UT hosts at Neyland Stadium on Sept. 19, is listed at No. 19. SEC rival Florida also received votes for the Top 25.