Tennessee’s most recent national championship happened during the 1998 season, when the Volunteers went 13-0 under Phillip Fulmer.
One outlet made a grim prediction about Tennessee’s future, writing that the Vols won’t earn another national title.
Recently, The Spun’s Matt Hladik included Tennessee on a list of nine programs that have won national titles but will never do so again. For what it’s worth, Minnesota, Colorado, Pittsburgh, BYU, Georgia Tech, Syracuse, Michigan State and Maryland also were included within this unfortunate group.
Check out part of Hladik’s description of Tennessee’s situation:
This is probably the most controversial entry on our list. The Vols have a great fan base and home field, play in a premier league and can recruit at a high level. However, they are in the same division as Georgia and Florida, and play Alabama every year in a crossover matchup. We wouldn’t hold our breath waiting for them to climb to the top of college football again.
In addition to the 1998 title, Tennessee claims five other national championships, from the 1938, 1940, 1950, 1951 and 1967 seasons. The Vols are entering a new era under coach Jeremy Pruitt, who was hired to replace Butch Jones after Jones was fired in November. Few expect Tennessee to threaten for an SEC East crown this year after the Vols finished 4-8 last season.
But the expectations aren’t small for Pruitt, a former Alabama defensive coordinator. As SEC Country’s Mike Griffith wrote shortly after Pruitt’s hire, Tennessee expects the coach to deliver championships. Still, the Vols must deal with Georgia, a rising SEC East power. Plus, Florida might return to prominence under coach Dan Mullen soon. For everyone in the SEC, Alabama remains a monster.
The offseason is a time for bold opinions. But Vols fans should hope Hladik’s prediction doesn’t come true.