In a new special series, I’ll be ranking each major professional sports franchise (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, MLS, etc.) in each of the states with at least two teams.
The teams will be ranked by the amount of success they’ve had in their current market, not accounting for previous locations of the franchise. However, if the team played in a different league but still played in its current home state, those records will contribute to the rankings.
Any playoff or tournament appearances, wild card berths, division titles, conference/league titles, major championships, and the franchise’s single-season wins/points records are accounted for, as well as the overall success of the team and certain eras of its history.
Next up is the state of Tennessee, home of the NHL’s Predators, NFL’s Titans, NBA’s Grizzlies, and MLS side Nashville SC.
No. 1 — Predators (est. 1998)
- 15 playoff appearances
- 2 Central Division titles
- 2017-18 President’s Trophy
- 2016-17 Western Conference title
- Franchise single-season points record – 117 in 2017-18
One of the NHL’s younger franchises before the recent expansion to Las Vegas and Seattle, the Predators have become a consistent playoff team since their first postseason trip in 2004.
After missing the playoffs in their first five seasons, the Preds have made the postseason in 15 of the next 18 seasons (the 2004-05 NHL season was canceled).
Nashville was finally able to break through to the Stanley Cup final in 2017 and followed it up with the President’s Trophy in 2017-18 and back-to-back Central Division titles.
Heading into the 2022-23 season, the Predators will look to reach the playoffs for the ninth year in a row, a streak dating back to the 2014-15 campaign.
No. 2 — Titans (est. 1960 (NFL in 1970), relocated 1997)
- 10 playoff appearances
- 5 division titles (4 AFC South, 2000 AFC Central)
- 1999 AFC title
- Franchise-best record – 13-3 (three times)
Originally the Hoston Oilers, the franchise moved to Nashville in 1997 before changing the name to the Titans in 1999.
In its first season with a new name, the team made the playoffs for the first time since relocating and reaching the only Super Bowl in Titans’ history.
After the Super Bowl run, the Titans made the playoffs three times in four years from 2000-03, winning the AFC South in 2002. They then made the postseason in the 2007-08 seasons, winning the division in 2008.
More recently, the Titans have become one of the league’s better teams. They have reached the playoffs four times in the last five seasons (2017, ’19-21), winning a pair of AFC South titles while reaching the AFC title game in 2019.
No. 3 — Grizzlies (est. 1995, relocated 2001)
- 12 playoff appearances
- 2021-22 Southwest Division title
- Franchise-best record – 56-26 (twice)
Playing their first five seasons in Vancouver, the Grizzlies packed up and relocated to the South in 2001.
Thanks to franchise legend Pau Gasol, Memphis reached the playoffs for the first time in 2004, followed up with appearances the next two seasons.
After a few down seasons, the Grizzlies rebuilt around the likes of Zach Randolph, Mike Conley Jr., Tony Allen, and Pau’s younger brother, Marc. From 2011-17, the “Grit-n-Grind” Grizzlies reached the playoffs seven straight times, highlighted by the franchise’s only conference finals appearance in 2013.
Now led by former No. 2 pick Ja Morant, Memphis has made back-to-back postseason trips and won its first Southwest Division title during the 2021-22 season.
No. 4 — Nashville SC (est. 2020)
- 2 playoff appearances
The newest major sports franchise to call Tennessee home, Nashville SC began play in 2020.
Having only been around for two seasons, Nashville has reached the playoffs in both of them. Currently, Nashville is currently fourth in the Western Conference table, needing just one more victory to clinch a third-straight postseason appearance.
Not a bad start for a club that’s only three years old.