Tennessee lost to Georgia in the quarterfinals of the NCAA's; Georgia then lost to eventual 2011 National Champ, USC in the Semis. Tennessee's Rhyne Williams made it all the way to the singles finals before losing to USC's Steve Johnson.

SEC Tennis Update:

In Men's Tennis it seems that Kentucky has taken a lot of momentum over the past week and weekend beating two highly ranked teams. While much of the conference, other than No. 3 ranked Georgia who Kentucky beat, is down, Kentucky seems to be stepping up and getting ready for a push to do some amazing things. Kentucky has some good players and they have taken this season very seriously, they have gotten on a roll at the right time.

Georgia came back and really showed some things this weekend that are going to push them forward as a team. They are the number 5 ranked team in the country for a reason and showed it. They have a complete team. They are 18-3. The season is winding down and this women's team is peaking at the right time. They have good doubles teams and have an 8-2 record in the SEC.


The tennis programs in the SEC rank as some of the best programs in the country. Georgia clearly has the best overall men’s program, while the Florida women have a strong case as the best women’s program. Unfortunately, this does not translate directly into the SEC being the best conference overall.

The SEC really is the second best conference, behind only the Pac-10. Tennis is a sport that has so many variables and so many different ways to play it, that the SEC just does not have the ability to dominate all facets of the games the way it does other sports.

Kentucky Womens Tennis Player Hits Forehand

Kentucky Womens Tennis Player Hits Forehand. Thanks to ukathletics for the photo.

The brightest spots for the SEC are the men’s program of Georgia and the women’s program at Florida. The SEC in consistently in competition with these two programs leading the way, it just needs more depth from other schools. Arkansas, for instance, is not a power in any level of tennis, and Alabama is not much better. If the SEC is going to take that next step in the race to be the best overall conference, it needs programs such as these to become contenders year in and year out.

Kentucky Men's Tennis
Kentucky Women's Tennis
SEC Tennis
Tennessee Volunteers Tennis
College Tennis

Thanks to for photos 1 and 2 above. Thanks to for photos 3, 4 and 5 above. All rights are reserved for these photos.

The rankings of the conferences fall in a pretty obvious way:

  1. Pac-10 - The Pac-10 is the dominant force in the world of college tennis, and it looks to stay that way unless other programs can be built up. USC is the defending national champions for the men, while Stanford is the defending champions for the women.
  2. SEC - The SEC comes in second here thanks to Georgia and Florida. Tennessee’s recent surge also helps the conference’s overall strength, and that is why the SEC is number two. However, even this position is not safe if the SEC can not continue to grow.
Kentucky Mens Tennis Forehand

Kentucky mens tennis forehand. Thanks to ukathletics for the photo.

  1. ACC - The ACC is on the same level as the SEC when it comes to tennis. It has a few programs that are extremely competitive, such as Miami and Duke, but it does not have the overall strength to push the Pac-10 consistently.
  2. Big Ten - The Big Ten is in fourth due to only having two programs that get any national attention. Ohio State and Illinois are the conference’s only powerful programs, and even they can struggle with consistency.
  3. Big 12 - Texas and Baylor are the bright spots for the Big 12. They are the most recently good programs, but they are not up to contending with the best programs like Florida and Georgia yet. They should be watched carefully, however, for future growth.

Want some controversy? Read these articles about the best tennis players and best tennis rivalries of all-time: Best All-Time Tennis Player and Biggest All-Time Tennis Rivalry.

Tennis Backhand Volley

Tennis Backhand Volley. Thanks to ukathletics for the photo.

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The SEC's programs are difficult to rank because of how mediocre the middle and bottom of the conference are:

1. Georgia Bulldogs - The Bulldogs are here because of their phenomenal men's program. They are also very competitive in women's and doubles play, showing that they are the most well rounded group in the SEC.

2. Florida Gators - The pride of Florida lies with its women's division. They are a top program in the women's league, and they are known for consistently competing at a high level.

3. Tennessee Volunteers - This is a program that has really improved over the past few years. They have a chance to be special this next season, after falling short against USC in the men's division for the national title last season.

4. Ole Miss Rebel Black Bears - Ole Miss is the best program in the western division of the SEC, and they do not look to give up their crown any time soon. They are ranking in the Top 15 nationally and have every reason to believe that they can compete with the upper echelon of the tennis world.

5. LSU Tigers - The Tigers find themselves in about the middle of the pack, but they are one of the better programs in the SEC. They have had a few good years recently, and they look to be the most potent challengers to Ole Miss in the West.

6. Kentucky Wildcats - This is a program that only has one great part- the women are great. They are ranked in the Top 25, and are always in the mix when people are trying to decide how the SEC will break down. Now they just need to strengthen other aspects of the program.

Kentucky Tennis Backhand Slice

Kentucky tennis backhand slice. Thanks to ukathletics for the photo.

7. Vanderbilt Commodores - Vanderbilt is another powerhouse in the women’s tennis world. They are a consistent Top 15 team, and they have the makings to become even better. Vanderbilt is weak in the other aspects of the sport, however.

8. Arkansas Razorbacks - The Razorbacks are almost a carbon copy of Vanderbilt: great women’s program, but a weak men’s program. They need to step it up if they wish to be seen as true challengers for the SEC crown.

9. South Carolina Gamecocks - This is a program that has never won much historically. They are usually around the bottom of the SEC, but they have had moments where they have been tough for programs to win against.

10. Alabama Crimson Tide - Alabama is just the opposite of most of the SEC; they have a brilliant men’s team, but their women are their weakness. They are a competitive group that should be in the race for the men’s national title this coming season.

Auburn Tigers doubles tennis. Thanks to for the photo.

11. Auburn Tigers - Auburn has had a rough few years in the tennis world. They finish in the lower tier of the SEC often, but they are not quitters and have found ways to defeat teams that they should have lost to over the course of history.

12. Mississippi State Bulldogs - There is a big difference between these Bulldogs and the Bulldogs at the top of this list. None of their tennis programs are strong, and they tend to dwell in the SEC’s cellar in the sport. They are still tough competition for other programs outside of the conference, however.

College Tennis Backhand

College tennis backhand. Thanks to ukathletics for the photo.


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SEC Tennis depth far superior to Pac 10 Not rated yet
The depth of the conference should give the SEC the #1 nod. The Pac10 has the top few teams annually in Stanford, USC, UCLA, however the overall quality …

2008 - 2009 Womens College Tennis Conference Rankings Not rated yet
For womens NCAA Div. I Tennis, the best conference would be ACC, no doubt. Not only individually, Duke and Miami as a team are most formidable.

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By Mo Johnson, Copyright © 2006-2017

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