Legendary Clashes: Ranking the Top 10 Tennessee Football Matches

Tennessee Football is one of the most storied and historically significant programs in college football. Tennessee Volunteers football has a rich history filled with exciting matches that have truly redefined the football landscape.

 We are here to discuss the top 10 football matches played by the Tennessee Volunteers football team. Each game has contributed to the legacy of the Volunteers and has left an ever-lasting imprint on college football enthusiasts. 

They are part of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and play their home games at Neyland Stadium in Tennessee. So, without further adieu let’s start our list of the top 10 matches played by the team.

Top 10 Matches Played by Tennessee Football Volunteers:

10) 2006 Tennessee vs. Air Force

This matchup between the Tennesse Volunteers and Air Force Falcons had everything that a college football match has to offer, it took place on September 9, 2006. Weirdly enough, this game is remembered for its unique and challenging weather conditions. 

The snow made it challenging for players to maintain their footing, throw accurate passes, and execute their usual game strategies. Despite the severe weather conditions, Tennessee managed to secure a 31-24 victory over Air Force. The Tennessee football team relied on their strong running game to grind out a win. 

Tennessee’s football schedule was a tough one during the season despite that, they played very well in tough conditions and secured a win.

9) 2016 Tennesse vs Georgia

The 2016 matchup was one for the ages when the Tennesse Volunteers met with the Georgia Bulldogs. It’s remembered by all college football fans because of its dramatic finish and the way it captured the spirit of college football.

Tennesse football roster consisted of great players but they had lost to Georgia in their previous five meetings. So, the stakes were really high in this game as they were looking forward to breaking their losing streak.

Tennessee football recruiting team has always been on the lookout for great players and their efforts bore fruit. As, the defining moment of the game was when Tennessee football team was trailing 31-28 and Quarterback Johsua Doobs launched a desperation pass to receiver Jauan Jennings, securing a miraculous game-winning touchdown. 

The 2016 Tennesse vs. Georgia game is etched in college football history as one of the most thrilling and exciting contests in recent memory. 

8) 1990 Sugar Bowl: Tennessee vs. Virginia

The 1990 Sugar Bowl matchup between the Tennessee Volunteers and the Virginia Cavaliers was a very crucial game in the history of college football. Tennessee football coach was the legendary Johnny Majors.

The game was a battle of two strong defenses, both teams struggled to score, and due to this struggle, the score was low but the Tennessee football team emerged victorious with a final score of 23-22. 

The defining moment of the game was when in the fourth quarter the Tennessee football team managed to set up the game-winning field goal. Tennessee’s football roster consisted of Greg Burke who shot a 50-yard field goal with just 16 seconds left in the game.

The match between Tennessee and Virginia was a hard-fought and closely contested matchup but it remains a proud moment in the history of the Tennessee Volunteers football program.

7) 1985 Tennessee vs. Auburn

The 1985 matchup between the Tennessee Volunteers and the Auburn Tigers is a game that is remembered dearly by college football fanatics for its thrilling end.

The Tennessee football recruiting team is always on the lookout for players who can perform under pressure. Both teams were displaying their prowess on both sides of the ball. Tennessee football coach was Johnny Majors, who is famously known for his tenacious defense approach.

This game was one for the books as the heroics of the Tennessee Volunteers led them to win against the No.1 ranked team in the nation. And it was one of the biggest upsets in program history. 

The defining moment of the game was in the final minutes when Quarterback Jeff Francis orchestrated a remarkable 85-yard drive. Tennessee football team managed to win the game with a score of 31-29. 

6) 1982 Tennessee vs. Alabama

Alabama vs Tennessee is always a crucial match for both teams and this one in particular holds a special place in college football history. Heading into the game both teams were ranked and were perpetual contenders in the SEC. 

The Alabama vs Tennessee game lived up to its potential as a hard-fought, physical battle. Both teams showcased their strong defenses. Tennessee’s football schedule was very hectic but the team managed to perform greatly under pressure. 

The defining moment of the game was when Tennessee football roster Alan Cockrell launched a great pass to wide receiver Willie Gault and he scored a dramatic goal, securing a 35-28 victory for the Tennessee Volunteers football team.

5) 1998 Tennessee vs. Arkansas

The 1998 matchup between the Tennesse Volunteers and the Arkansas Razorbacks is one of the most memorable games in college football history. 

Tennessee football coach was Phillip Fulmer and featured a talented Tennessee football roster, including star quarterback Tee Martin. The Vols had tunnel vision and they were looking to secure a national championship.

The match lived up to its hype and in just the final minutes of the game Tennessee was up by 24-22 when Jeff Hall went on to secure a game-winning field goal and the Tennessee Volunteers won the game with a score of 28-24.

4) 1995 Tennessee vs. Alabama

The 1995 matchup of Alabama vs Tennessee football match is a game etched in the memories of college football enthusiasts. Tennessee football coach was Phillip Fulmer.

This game was a classic example of college football drama. In the Alabama vs Tennessee match Alabama jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first half, and many thought that they were going to win the game.

But Tennessee turned the tables in the second half when Quarterback Peyton Manning, led the team and scored 41 unanswered points to secure a 41-14 victory and the match was dubbed “Miracle at Alabama”

The victory over Alabama in 1995 was a turning point for Tennessee football. It’s a game that transcends the rivalry itself, a remarkable comeback, a symbol of determination, and a reason as to why you should never miss college football matches!

3) 2001 Florida vs. Tennessee

It’s one of the most unforgettable contests between two SEC powerhouses. The rivalry between the two teams had always been fiercely competitive for years.

The match was highly anticipated and was a thrilling, hard-fought contest from the beginning. Florida jumped out to a 17-0 lead and it felt as if they were going to control the rest of the game.

But with Tennessee’s football roster consisting of players like Casey Clausen and Kelly Washington, there were sure to be consistent efforts from Tennessee. In the fourth quarter, quarterback Casey connected with wide receiver Kelly Washington to score a 25-yard touchdown, giving the team a lead of 24-20.

The victory over Florida was a turning point for Tennessee that season and it gave them much-needed momentum and confidence. This match remains a cherished memory for Tennessee fans and a historic moment in college football history.

2) 1999 Fiesta Bowl: Tennessee vs. Nebraska

The 1999 Fiesta Bowl, featuring Tennessee and Nebraska was an important matchup that was the culmination of college football season and determined the national champion.

Both the teams were performing really well in the past seasons and the lead-up to this matchup was highly anticipated by college football fans. Tennessee football coach was Phillip Fulmer and they were led by quarterback Tee Martin, boasting a formidable defense. 

Unfortunately, Tennessee’s efforts didn’t work as Nebraska dominated the match from start to finish, winning with a final score of 42-17. This match was hugely disappointing on Tennessee’s part but nonetheless, it was very shocking to see Nebraska dominating so well.

While the game itself was one-sided, it’s still remembered for the significance of determining the national champion and the dominance displayed by Nebraska.

1) 1998 Fiesta Bowl: Tennessee vs. Florida State

The 1998 Fiesta Bowl, featured an amazing matchup between Tennessee and Florida State. Both teams had exceptional seasons leading up to the match.

This matchup lived up to its hype as both teams displayed their strengths throughout the game. The defining moment of the game was when quarterback Tee Martin orchestrated a 79-yard-game-winning touchdown drive. The drive was a 79-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Peerless Price, giving Tennessee a lead of 20-16.

The victory over Florida State in the 1998 Fiesta Bowl secured the national championship for Tennessee, who finished the season with a perfect 13-0 record. 


In the rich tapestry of college football history, the Tennessee Volunteers football team has always been at the center of numerous thrilling and memorable matchups. From historic rivalries to national championships, these top 10 matches have left an inedible mark on the sport’s legacy. Each game is a reminder of the passion, drama, and unpredictability that make college football a beloved American tradition. 

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