It was a circus-like atmosphere before the SEC Championship Game.
First it was announced that LSU defensive coordinator Bo Pelini would be taking the Nebraska job. Then came word that LSU head coach Les Miles was leaving for Michigan—which was followed by assurances that he would in fact be staying in Baton Rouge.
To top it off, LSU fifth-year senior quarterback Matt Flynn was a late scratch due to injury.
Talk about distractions.
But the the Tigers stayed the course, held Tennessee to one first-half score, and took control late in the game.
The question now: Did Miles and Co. just play themselves into the BCS Championship Game?
Given that the only blemishes on their resume have come courtesy of two triple-overtime games, you'd have to think the Tigers will get a shot at the title.
As for Rocky Top—the country tried to tell you...but you didn’t want to listen.
You just aren’t good enough.
1998—that’s the last time you won the SEC Championship. Both Georgia and Florida have won two titles since then—and the Bulldogs and Gators look likely to vie for the top spot again next year.
We’ve heard the excuses, Vol fans: injuries, youth, schedule, coaching changes.
Welcome to college football. Every team in the nation deals with those problems.
If any game were ever UT's for the taking, it was this one. The coaching distractions; the second-string quarterback with a busted finger; the missed 30-yard field goal by Colt David; the early injury to LSU RB Keiland Williams; the momentum-changing Trindon Holliday fumble caused by his own teammate; the awful interception by Ryan Perriloux—it was all there for you, Tennessee.
And you still couldn’t get it done.
As it stands, the 11 AM Outback Bowl likely awaits the Volunteers. That’s where the fourth-best SEC team goes come bowl season.
It's been 10 years, Rocky Top.
When will it end?