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Smokey crowd-surfs on a gator over a checkerboarded student section at Neyland Stadium during the football game between the Florida Gators and the Tennessee Volunteers. Photo by Steven Bridges/University of Tennessee.

The Rocky Top Rowdies have been crowned as the best student section in college football.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s student section was recognized by ESPN as the Live Más Student Section of the Year at the 32nd annual College Football Awards Show on Thursday night.

The Live Más Student Section of the Year award is an annual competition to celebrate the most dedicated student fan base in college football. UT’s Rocky Top Rowdies beat out the University of Central Florida’s Knightmare, Ohio State’s Block O and the University of Washington’s Dawg Pack for the award.

Fans cast their votes on the Taco Bell Rewards app to push the Rocky Top Rowdies to victory. UT will be rewarded with a celebration hosted by Taco Bell in early 2023.

The student section helped cheer Volunteer football to its first top 10 ranking since 2016 and its highest ranking since 2006.

This is the fourth year the award has been granted and the first time the Volunteer student section has been recognized.


Maggie Palmer (865-974-3993,​