MEMPHIS, Tennessee — There is no love lost between fans of the Memphis Tigers and Tennessee Volunteers, but the two schools on opposite ends of the state shared something in common. They were not included in the top 25 in the preseason Amway Coaches Poll which was released Thursday. The programs were, however, listed as “others receiving votes.”
Not everybody agreed with the rankings.
In an article in USAToday entitled, “Five teams snubbed by this year's preseason Amway Coaches Poll,” the Vols and Tigers were thought highly of by author Eddie Timanus. Here’s what Timanus wrote about the two football programs.
Tied with Boise State atop the "others receiving votes" just outside the Top 25 we find the Volunteers, who are actually well positioned there. Jeremy Pruitt’s rebuilding efforts have the program trending in the right direction. Six consecutive wins to end last season provide momentum and optimism, but life in the SEC is unforgiving. The voters will soon learn if UT is ready to contend in the crowded league.
As mentioned, Group of Five programs have a hard time cracking the poll. Two AAC teams made it, but the omission of the Tigers is still somewhat puzzling coming off their league title, 11 victories and Cotton Bowl appearance. Yes, their coach was hired away by Florida State, and yes, Memphis did give up its share of points. But the high-flying offense returns QB Brady White, many of its top playmakers as well as its coordinator. The Tigers will again be in the thick of the race, and it shouldn't be a surprise if they again reach the New Year's Six.
The poll's top 5 teams are:
2) Ohio State
The LSU Tigers are the defending national champions. They beat Clemson 42-25 on their way to an undefeated season which saw their quarterback, Joe Burrow, win the Heisman Trophy with a record 90.7% of all the first-place votes available.