Tennessee claims six national championships. The following is a list of the six national championships listed by the Vols. Only four (1938, 1950, 1951, and 1998) were recognized by major polls. The Associated Press has only acknowledged Tennessee as National Champions twice, but the #1 Vols lost in the Sugar Bowl in 1951 after being named AP and UPI National Champions due to the polls being conducted before the bowl season prior to 1968 and 1974 respectively. The 1938 and 1950 championships, while not AP titles, were recognized by a majority of overall selectors/polls, and, as such, are generally recognized.
|1938||Robert Neyland||CFRA, Dunkel, Billingsley, CFI, Litkenhous, Boand, Houlgate, Poling, NSFR, Frye, Massy, Koger, McCarty, Libby, Maxwell, Sagarin, Howell||11-0||Won Orange|
|1940||Robert Neyland||Dunkel, Williamson||10-1||Lost Sugar|
|1950||Robert Neyland||National Championship Foundation, Billingley, CFRA, Massy, Dunkel, DeVold, CFI, Frye, Fleming System, Howell, Maxwell, Sorensen||11-1||Won Cotton|
|1951||Robert Neyland||AP, UPI||10-1||Lost Sugar|
|1967||Doug Dickey||Litkenhous||9-2||Lost Orange|
|1998||Phillip Fulmer||AP, USAToday/ESPN, BCS||13-0||Won Fiesta|
|Total national championships claimed||6|
Tennessee has also been awarded unrecognized national championships by various organizations in eight additional years: 1914, 1927, 1928, 1931, 1939, 1956, 1985, and 1989.
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“I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be the Union as it was.”
—Abraham Lincoln (18091865)