Tennessee Volunteers Football Champs 1998

1998 - NCAA Football Champs 1998

The 1998 Tennessee Volunteers football team represented the University of Tennessee in the 1998 NCAA Division I-A football season. Tennessee entered the 1998 season coming off an 11–2 record (7–1 SEC) in 1997. The Volunteers were given a preseason ranking of No. 10 in the AP Poll.

The Vols won their second undisputed national title, and sixth overall, after defeating Florida State in the Fiesta Bowl, the first BCS National Championship Game. The ’98 Vols beat eight bowl teams, including six January bowl teams, four top ten teams, and three BCS bowl-bound teams. The 1998 Tennessee Volunteers were ranked as the No. 3 college football team of all time by the Billingsley Report computer ratings.

Tennessee was expected to have a slight fall-off after their conference championship the previous season. They had lost quarterback Peyton Manning, wide receiver Marcus Nash and linebacker Leonard Little to the NFL. Manning was the first pick overall in the 1998 NFL Draft, selected before Ryan Leaf. Tennessee was also coming off a difficult 42–17 loss to Nebraska in the Orange Bowl and was in the midst of a five-game losing streak to the rival Florida Gators. Nonetheless, the Volunteers ended their season in Tempe, undefeated, becoming only the fourth school in modern college football history to complete a 13–0 season.