ESPN recently updated their FPI (Football Power Index) rankings and the Tennessee Vols are in the top 25….barely.

According to the latest FPI rankings, the Vols are the No. 25 team in the nation.

As a reminder, here’s how the FPI is calculated:

The Football Power Index (FPI) is a measure of team strength that is meant to be the best predictor of a team’s performance going forward for the rest of the season. FPI represents how many points above or below average a team is. Projected results are based on 20,000 simulations of the rest of the season using FPI, results to date, and the remaining schedule. Ratings and projections update daily. FPI data from seasons prior to 2019 may not be complete.

Here are the other SEC teams in the top 25.

  • 1. Alabama
  • 3. Georgia
  • 10. LSU
  • 11. Auburn
  • 12. Texas A&M
  • 17. Ole Miss
  • 18. Kentucky
  • 24. Mississippi State
Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker (5) hands the ball off to Tennessee running back Jabari Small (2) during an SEC conference game between Tennessee and Vanderbilt at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021.
Kns Tennessee Vanderbilt Football

I think this is a fair ranking for the Vols. I felt like they were a top 25 team at the end of last season — at least based on their play on the field. And I think they should get the respect of being a top 25 team to start the 2022 season.

But I don’t think Tennessee needs to be hyped up like they have been in past years. This team has a lot of potential, but they also have a lot to prove.

As for the other SEC teams in the top 25? A few of them are appropriately ranked — Alabama, Georgia, Texas A&M, and even Ole Miss.

Some of the others, however, are being way over ranked. There’s absolutely no way LSU and Auburn should be No. 10 and No. 11. And Kentucky at No. 18? That doesn’t add up, especially considering the Vols have their number.

Ultimately, these rankings don’t matter at all. But it’s always interesting to see how teams are viewed before the season even starts.

Featured image via Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports