Tennessee ends regular season No. 21 in playoff rankings

Published 11:17 am Thursday, November 30, 2023

For the second straight week, Tennessee football is ranked No. 21 in the College Football Playoff rankings as the selection committee unveiled the penultimate poll on Tuesday night.

The Volunteers concluded the regular season with an 8-4 record, a 4-4 mark in SEC play and a third-place finish in an SEC East division that features two of the top eight teams in the country.

Tennessee is one of six SEC teams in the Nov. 28 rankings, joining No. 1 Georgia, No. 8 Alabama, No. 9 Missouri, No. 11 Ole Miss and No. 13 LSU.

The Vols have appeared in 11 consecutive CFP rankings dating back to last season and now await their bowl destination, which will be announced Sunday afternoon.

Head coach Josh Heupel will join Phillip Fulmer and Bill Battle as the only coaches to lead Tennessee to bowl berths in each of his first three seasons.

Heupel and the Vols finished the regular season ranked in the top 25 nationally in eight different team categories: total offense (18th – 453.5), rushing offense (12th – 202.6), rushing defense (22nd – 113.8), net punting (19th – 41.4), punt return average (13th – 14.67), punt return defense (6th – 0.71), total sacks (10th – 36) and total tackles for loss (6th – 93).

College Football Playoff Rankings (Nov. 28) 
1. Georgia (12-0)
2. Michigan (12-0)
3. Washington (12-0)
4. Florida State (12-0)
5. Oregon (11-1)
6. Ohio State (11-1)
7. Texas (11-1)
8. Alabama (11-1)
9. Missouri (10-2)
10. Penn State (10-2)
11. Ole Miss (10-2)
12. Oklahoma (10-2)
13. LSU (9-3)
14. Louisville (10-2)
15. Arizona (9-3)
16. Iowa (9-3)
17. Notre Dame (9-3)
18. Oklahoma State (9-3)
19. NC State (9-3)
20. Oregon State (8-4)
21. Tennessee (8-4)
22. Tulane (11-1)
23. Clemson (8-4)
24. Liberty (12-0)
25. Kansas State (8-4)