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AP Top 25: Tennessee checks in at No. 12 in the preseason poll

The media poll is out.

Alabama v Tennessee Photo by Donald Page/Getty Images

Tennessee will begin the football season as the AP’s 12th ranked team. Josh Heupel, now entering year three in Knoxville, is hoping to build off of what was a special 2022 season — one that culminated in an Orange Bowl victory.

Now with Hendon Hooker, Jalin Hyatt and Cedric Tillman gone, Heupel has reloaded and will be looking to pick up right where he left off. Joe Milton is set to lead the Volunteers this season, and he’s not short on weapons. The Volunteers are certainly deeper than they were a year ago, but will the Hooker to Milton transition go smoothly? That’s likely the main question that pollsters have currently.

Georgia came in at No. 1 with 60 first-place votes. Michigan received two first-place votes, checking in at No. 2. Ohio State, Alabama and LSU rounded out the top five.

Clemson, who Tennessee beat by 17 points in the Orange Bowl — essentially with their current rosters — was ranked 9th.

Tennessee’s week four opponent, UTSA, received 64 votes in the poll which put them 29th overall.

Ole Miss and Texas A&M came in at No. 22 and No. 23, respectively, rounding out the SEC’s presence in the top 25.

2023 Preseason AP Top 25 Poll

1) Georgia Bulldogs

2) Michigan Wolverines

3) Ohio State Buckeyes

4) Alabama Crimson Tide

5) LSU Tigers

6) USC Trojans

7) Penn State Nittany Lions

8) Florida State Seminoles

9) Clemson Tigers

10) Washington Huskies

11) Texas Longhorns

12) Tennessee Volunteers

13) Notre Dame Fighting Irish

14) Utah Utes

15) Oregon Ducks

16) Kansas State Wildcats

17) TCU Horned Frogs

18) Oregon State Beavers

19) Wisconsin Badgers

20) Oklahoma Sooners

21) North Carolina Tar Heels

22) Ole Miss Rebels

23) Texas A&M Aggies

24) Tulane Green Wave

25) Iowa Hawkeyes