Tennessee finished 33rd in the final Learfield Sports Directors' Cup and eighth among all SEC schools in the Division I all-sports rankings.
Still, the Vols' 606 points and final placement amounted to comeback, considering how their athletic year started.
Of the 20 teams that counted toward UT's final total, the Vols didn't get a point in eight of them. Six of the eight were men's teams.
In football, Tennessee finished 5-7 and didn't qualify for a bowl. With both the men's and women's cross country teams also getting shut out, UT was in 80th place after the fall season with just 75 points.
Tennessee rallied during the winter on the strength of women's basketball (73 points) and women's swimming (71.25). Although men's hoops won 19 games and finished tied for second in the overall conference standings at 10-6, the Vols made the NIT tournament, not the NCAA.
The spring season was UT's strongest with 311.25 points. Softball, which reached the Women's College World Series, led with 73.25. But women's track and field also contributed 68.25 points. The Lady Vols' ninth-place finish in the NCAA Outdoor Championships was their best since 2005. Men's and women's
tennis (50 points apiece) and men's track and field (15) also chipped in points.
In baseball, the Vols lost 16 of their last 18 SEC games and failed to make the conference tournament under first-year coach Dave Serrano. The Vols failed to make the conference tournament all four years under the previous coach, Todd Raleigh.
Florida was the top SEC school in the final standings, finishing second behind Stanford with 1,314 points. The other conference schools finishing ahead of Tennessee were LSU (13th, 967.75 points), Georgia (18th, 833.25), Arkansas (20th, 811), Alabama (23rd, 750.50), Auburn (28th, 648) and Kentucky (29th, 643).