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Vols earn respect, but not title

Posted by Richard on December 2, 2007

Last week, after Tennessee beat Kentucky to get to the SEC Championship game, I expressed doubts about their chances against LSU:

I'm really sorry LSU lost. Having seen both teams play several times, I'm pessimistic about how Tennessee matches up against LSU, and I figured if they're going to lose the [SEC] championship, I'd just as soon have them lose against the team that went on to the national championship. Oh, well.

Well, the Vols came up short, 21-17, but made it a better game than I'd feared. The defense played well, keeping the Tigers' powerful offense under control and forcing a couple of turnovers. Tennessee led at the half, and retook the lead late in the 3rd quarter. But in the 4th quarter, Ainge threw two INTs, one of which LSU returned for the winning TD.

I was prescient regarding a couple of this week's other games, though: 

… But are you kidding me? Missouri and West Virginia vying for the national championship? Well, too soon to say. The way this season has been going, they'll probably lose to Oklahoma and Pittsburgh, respectively, next week. Then it will be a real mess.

Well, waddaya know … they did. And it is. So who's next in line for the national championship? Ohio State, I suppose — which is a shame just because of how obnoxious Hugh Hewitt's crowing about it will be. Then who? Georgia is next in line, but will the BCS really take a team that couldn't even get to its conference championship game and give it a shot at the national title?

It is indeed a mess. But I think LSU has as good a case as anybody, and they may get the nod over Georgia.

If so, I may still get my consolation wish — that the team beating Tennessee for the SEC title goes on to the national championship. Go, Tigers! 

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