Aerial photograph of Neyland Stadium at the University of Tennessee and the Tennessee River. The fans in different sections are wearing orange and white colored shirts to emulate the endzone checkerboard pattern in the stands.
I had my shovel ready. Gary Danielson, the color commentator for the game on CBS, thought it was over. The Florida Gators lead at halftime 21- 3 and Danielson said, “The radio stations are going to be hot after this one.” At the time he was right. Most observers and fans however were completely wrong about the Tennessee Volunteers by the end of the game.
The Vols struggled in their first game against FCS school Appalachian State. Knoxville residents were not pleased with the 20-13 victory. A trip to Bristol Motor Speedway seemed to bring some calm to Rocky Top with high expectations. Tennessee routed Virginia Tech 45-24, but then had another disappointing win against Ohio University. Knowing all of this, I was ready to bury the rest of their season in Neyland Stadium.
That’s when all hell broke loose.
I don’t know what Butch Jones said to those kids, but they came out in the second -half poised. They believed in the adjustments made at halftime and executed. Producing a monumental momentum swing.
The momentum swing started when Vols QB Josh Dobbs threw a touchdown pass to a wide open Jalen Hurd. Hurd was open on a wheel route that started out of the backfield. Hurd’s touchdown is a notable adjustment made by Tennessee, because the next Vols touchdown by Ethan Wolf, started with Wolf lined up in the backfield.
The Vols outscored the Gators 34- 7 in the second half.Tennessee finished the game with 21 fourth quarter points, for a 38-28 win.
SEC up in the air?
So Tennessee is 4-0, but what did they prove? I’m not sure if the Vols have a chance of beating Alabama in the SEC championship game. I’m not sure what I believe about the SEC. Ole Miss after playing Alabama tough, beat down Georgia 45-14. Texas A&M is 4-0 after beating Arkansas. Arkansas is a really good football team, so you can’t count them out. What I’m sure of is there is a lot more drama to this SEC season, then I originally thought.
Not for Les Miles though. He and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron were fired Sunday. I’m not sure who they are going to replace Miles with but he had to go. Ed Orgeron is the interim coach for now, but it’s a shame it had to happen this way. Cameron was a disaster and Miles stood by him, for no reason other than friendship. Miles has to learn this lesson at his next stop. LSU fans should be worried though, their next head coach could be Lane Kiffin.
Don’t get in this Lane
Speaking of Kiffin, he better not get that LSU job. If he does, I’M CALLING FOUL! That’s right, institutional racism in college coaching. Kiffin has already been the head coach of the Oakland Raiders, Tennessee Vols, and USC. What minority coach has gotten that many opportunities? Randy Shannon is the associate head coach at Florida, and the former Miami Hurricanes head coach. He has yet to receive a second opportunity, this would be Kiffin’s fourth. I won’t say anything about Tom Herman, who is likely to get the job (if Houston does not win a national championship). Kiffin? Not him, not this job. Shannon at Miami graduated more players than any coach previous to him, during his tenure. He got fired because he did not win and recruit enough criminals, but he deserves a second shot. LSU should not be let off the hook if they hire Kiffin.
BIG 10 BIG SURPRISE
Wisconsin Badgers celebrating their win over Minnesota Golden Gophers by carrying around Paul Bunyan’s Axe after the game Oct 3, 2009
Count on Wisconsin to be this years October surprise. The Badgers have come out of nowhere to 4-0. This team has already surpassed expectations. Corey Clement is a good running back, he is not a dominant player Melvin Gordon or Montee Ball, but he is very good. Clement and the Badger defense has transformed Wisconsin into title contenders and the Big 10 to competitive conference.
Michigan, Ohio State, and now Wisconsin along with Nebraska, make the Big 10 the showcase conference for 2016. Get ready for some exciting Saturday’s. In particular this Saturday when Wisconsin travels to Ann Arbor to take on the Wolverines.