KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Tennessee Volunteers will enter one of the biggest games in recent history with their highest rank in the Associated Press poll in over 15 years.
After recording their first win over LSU since 2005, Tennessee jumped from No. 8 to No. 6 in the latest AP Top 25 poll. It’s the Vols’ highest position in the AP Poll since Sept. 11, 2005, when they were ranked fifth in the nation.
The new rank comes as Tennessee prepares to renew the third Saturday in October rivalry with the Alabama Crimson Tide, who came in at No. 3 in the latest AP poll. The meeting will mark the first time that both teams enter the contest undefeated since 1989 and the first time both teams enter the game ranked in the top 10 since 2016.
Tennessee has spent three consecutive weeks in the top 10 for the first time since Oct. 15 to Nov. 5, 2006, a period which included Vols’ last win over the Crimson Tide. Alabama has won the last 15 matchups in the rivalry.
ESPN College GameDay will return to Knoxville for the second time in four weeks after the popular pre-game show first visited for Tennessee’s first win over Florida since 2016. SEC Nation, the SEC Network’s pre-game show, will also come to campus for the game.
The Vols will be hoping that star wide receiver Cedric Tillman will return to the active roster ahead of the Alabama game after he underwent surgery to repair his injured ankle. “Part of the reason he had the surgery was to be back for this one,” head coach Josh Heupel said Monday.
Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on CBS and tickets for the contest are sold out.