Where will the Tennessee Vols land in the initial pre-season AP Top 25 poll that is set to be released later this month?

That’s a question that 247Sports tried to answer this week.

The national sports media outlet predicted what they think the pre-season AP Top 25 poll will look like and they have Tennessee just barely sneaking inside the top 25 at No. 24.

25. Houston Cougars

24. Tennessee Vols

23. Michigan State Spartans

22. Kentucky Wildcats

21. Miami Hurricanes

20. Wake Forest Demon Deacons

19. Penn State Nittany Lions

18. Arkansas Razorbacks

17. Ole Miss Rebels

16. BYU Cougars

15. Texas Longhorns

14. Oregon Ducks

13. Oklahoma State Cowboys

12. NC State Wolfpack

11. Baylor Bears

10. USC Trojans

9. Oklahoma Sooners

8. Utah Utes

7. Michigan Wolverines

6. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

5. Texas A&M Aggies

4. Clemson Tigers

3. Georgia Bulldogs

2. Ohio State Buckeyes

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

Tennessee Vols
Tennessee Vols running back Jabari Small (2) scores a touchdown during a game against South Alabama at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021.
Kns Tennessee South Alabama Football Vols

That feels like a fair ranking for the Vols. I thought Tennessee played like a top 25 team at the end of last season, so I think they deserve to be ranked inside the top 25 in the preseason poll. The Vols have the potential to be a top 15 team, but they have to show that potential on the field.

The ranking that’s puzzling is Texas at No. 15. This feels like a lot of hype because of the name of the program.

After all, the Longhorns are coming off a 5-7 season and they are No. 61 in the nation in returning production. How in the world can they be viewed as a top 15 program?

They certainly shouldn’t be ranked ahead of the Vols, let alone in the top 15.

Fortunately for the Vols, the preseason top 25 poll will have zero bearing on Tennessee’s final record. It’s still interesting, however, to see how programs are viewed before the season and then how the season actually plays out.

Featured image via Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports