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Did You Know…? Tennessee Edition

Did You Know…? Tennessee Edition

OXFORD, Miss. — A lot has been written this week about this week’s Ole Miss opponent, Tennessee.

Analysts have dissected the Vols’ offense, defense, special teams, coaches, opponents and probably the biorhythms of its starters. But what do we really know about Tennessee? Not just trivia about the players, but the cool stuff? We probably don’t know enough, so let us educate ourselves.

Rocky Top

Did you know, “Rocky Top ” is NOT the Tennessee fight song? The official Vols’ fight song is “Down the Field.” It is a cute little tune with the opening lyric, “Here’s to old Tennessee, Never we’ll sever, We pledge or loyalty, Forever and ever.”

It is not as catchy as the obnoxious Rocky Top which was written in 1967 by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant and originally recorded a year later by the Osborne Brothers.

It has been covered by Lynn Anderson, Dolly Parton and Phish.


Did you know, Knoxville is the largest city in the SEC that is not a state capital? Well, Lexington has more people, and it is not the capital of Kentucky, but it is right next to Frankfort.

Only Nashville (692,587) and Baton Rouge (224,149) has more residents than the 186,173 that live in Knoxville. The population does rise on gameday as Neyland Stadium holds 102,455 and it must be assumed not all of the patrons are from Knoxville.

Checkerboard end zones

Did you know, Tennessee was not the first SEC school to have checkerboard end zones? Kentucky painted its end zones in a similar fashion about 30 years prior to Tennessee. It did not catch on in Lexington, but the Wildcats do feature a checkerboard design on the sleeves of its jerseys.

UT started painting the end zones at Neyland Stadium using the pattern in 1964 at the direction of head coach Doug Dickey.

Neyland Stadium 

Did you know, Neyland Stadium is not located on Peyton Manning Pass? The stadium is located at 1300 Phillip Fulmer Way. Peyton Manning Pass is the connecting road between Phillip Fulmer Way and Volunteer Boulevard.

Manning’s namesake throughway is the location of the Vol Walk each home Saturday.

Having a road named after you is cool, but it is cooler to have the speed limit inspired by your jersey number.

Vol with a Business Plan

WR Grant Frerking has his own landscaping company.

Did you know, Tennessee has a player who did not need an NIL deal to make money? Senior wide receiver Grant Frerking is the founder and owner of his own landscaping company.

The Marietta, Ga., native has branches in Atlanta, Nashville and Charlotte. Frerking has already earned his degree in supply chain management, and he has obviously put his education to good use.

How many Nattys?

Did you know, Tennessee claims six national championships? The Vols boast national titles in 1938, 1940, 1950 and 1951 under coach Robert Neyland, a title in 1967 under Dickey and in 1998 under Fulmer.

Only the ‘51 and ‘98 championships were crowned by the Associated Press and the latter was also the BCS title after the Volunteers beat FSU 23-16 in the Fiesta Bowl.

In 1951, the AP named Tennessee national champions after the regular season. The Vols promptly went out and lost to Maryland 28-13.

Live Mascot

Did you know, Tennessee is one of 25 colleges with a live mascot? Smokey is a pure-bred bluetick coonhound that patrols the sidelines during games.

Vols’mascot Smokey is a blue-tick coonhound.

He joins six other SEC schools with live mascots. They are UGA (Georgia), Mike the Tiger (LSU), Sir Big Spur (South Carolina), Tusk (Arkansas), Reveille (Texas A&M) and the War Eagle (Auburn).

From 1957-70, Florida had a live alligator on the sidelines.

By the way, the coolest live mascots represent the University of North Alabama Lions. The Florence, Ala., schools have a pair of African lions on campus – Leo III and Una (UNA, get it?)


Did you know, a flower inspired Tennessee’s uniforms? A member of UT’s first team in 1891, Charles Moore selected orange as the colors the Volunteers would wear.

He chose it because it was the color of the common American daisy that grew on the part of campus known as The Hill, which is the location of Ayers Hall, which is Tennessee’s version of the Lyceum.

The color is gaudy, but it was approved by a vote from the student body.

Now you know….

About The Author

Steve Barnes

Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for, and as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers. He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio. A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series. Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time. He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk. Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.

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