KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Tennessee is entering its third year under head coach Josh Heupel with greater expectations than ever, as evidenced by their ranking in the newly-released preseason USA TODAY Sports AFCA college football coaches poll.

The preseason poll was released on Monday with Tennessee coming in at No. 10. The top nine consists of Clemson (No. 9), Florida State (No. 8), Penn State (No. 7), Southern California (No. 6), LSU (No. 5), Ohio State (No. 4), Alabama (No. 3), Michigan (No. 2) and Georgia (No. 1).

Tennessee is coming off of its best season in 20 years after recording 11 wins and finishing No. 6 in the final Associated Press poll. Heupel’s explosive offense led the Vols to historic wins over Alabama and an Orange Bowl victory over Clemson.

Heupel has come into fall camp with excitement and optimism for the new year. He spoke ahead about how the Tennessee program has “created a foundation for the players.”

He was awarded the 2022 AP SEC Coach of the Year after the historic season and has twice been a finalist for the National Coach of the Year award.

The coaches poll is conducted weekly throughout the regular season using a panel of 63 head coaches at Football Bowl Subdivision schools.