Tennessee to Top Miraculous Turnaround Season with Trip to Gator Bowl to face Indiana

It’s no secret that Tennessee got off to a rough start to the season in 2019, but in their last seven games, the tables turned. The last seven games saw the Vols go an unforeseen 6-1.

On Sunday, it was announced that Tennessee (7-5) would be heading to Jacksonville, Florida’s TaxSlayer Gator Bowl.

Head coach Jeremy Pruitt’s Volunteers will face the Big Ten’s Indiana Hoosiers, who will come into the January 2, 2020 bowl game at (8-4).

The 2019 TaxSlayer Gator Bowl will be the 75th anniversary of one of college football’s most-storied, prized bowls.

The meeting between Indiana and Tennessee in Jacksonville, Florida, will be just the second all-time meeting between the two programs, with the only previous meeting coming in the 1987 Peach Bowl on January 2, 1988, with Tennessee coming away victorious 27-22.

This bowl appearance will be Tennessee’s 53rd postseason appearance all-time, which is sixth in college football history.

The Volunteers have been to six previous Gator Bowls, with this being their seventh appearance.

Tennessee’s in the Gator Bowl is 4-2, with their most recent trip to Jacksonville coming in 2015, when the Volunteers toppled the Iowa Hawkeyes by a final score of 45-28.

Prior to that, Tennessee beat Virginia Tech in the Gator Bowl in 1994, lost to Texas Tech in the Gator Bowl in 1973, lost to Florida in the Gator Bowl in 1969, beat Syracuse in the Gator Bowl in 1966, and beat Texas A&M in the Gator Bowl of 1957.

Can the Vols make it 5-2 all-time in the storied Gator Bowl?

Find out January 2, 2020 at 6pm CT on ESPN.

Picture: (UTSports.com)

Pat Sullivan: The Definition of A Warrior

Most all of us know former Auburn quarterback and college football head coach Pat Sullivan as the 1971 Heisman Trophy winner.

But very few of us know that he’d had neck cancer since 2003, due to his addiction to smokeless tobacco.

There is no doubt that smokeless tobacco took its tole on the Auburn great. Very few of us know that he coached football at Samford University on a feeding tube. In April 2018, Sullivan said one “feeding” would get him to halftime and then it was time to repeat the feeding tube process.

Pat was on a feeding tube for seven months and then was allowed to get off of it and live a ‘normal’ life again. In an interview, Pat says “If you were told to jump off a bridge, you wouldn’t do it. That’s no different than using tobacco, don’t do it, never, ever, stop fighting.

Auburn and Alabama fans alike, will tell you, there was nobody quite like Pat Sullivan. Such a kind, courageous man.

Pat, even though you’re no longer here with us on earth, we’ll never forget you and the impact you left, not only on college football, but in the world we live in. You never gave up until your last breath.

You fought cancer for 16 long, painful years, now you can rest without pain.

Thank you for showing us what it’s like to be a warrior.

The Iron Bowl: A Rivalry Like None Other

We all know what the Iron Bowl is so there’s no need to explain it, but in case you’ve been living under a rock for the past 83 years, I’ll explain what the Iron Bowl is.

It needs no introduction, it’s the one time a year where families can’t get along, friends become enemies and enemies become friends.

And it’s all because of one thing around the State of Alabama, bragging rights. People talk about this game 24/7, 365 and everybody across the state is tuned into the same game at the same time, every year.

It’s all the bad blood between these two bitter rivals that makes this game what it is. Not to mention the amount of memorable moments from this game that have stood the test of time.

Plays like, “The Kick Six”, “The Camback”, “Bo Over the Top” and Van Tiffin’s kick 34 years ago in 1985 among many, many others.

Teams often claim to have a better rivalry than Alabama, Auburn and the Iron Bowl, but the Iron Bowl is quite clearly the most-bitter, most-historic rivalry in the nation, and anybody from the South will tell you that same thing if you ask them.

Sure, there are rivalry games that have been played more than the Iron Bowl, but when it comes to historic moments, nothing comes close to touching the Iron Bowl.

These two teams simply hate each other, absolutely no love is lost, it’s the one game a year where you can throw everything including the kitchen sink out of the window as you travel down the road, so you can watch it shatter.

Over the past 83 years the Iron Bowl has emanated from several different places and cities around the state. Those places include, Birmingham’s Legion Field, Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl, Tuscaloosa’s Bryant-Denny Stadium, and Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium.

But something will be a little different this year, for the first time since 2002, the iconic golden voice of Rod Bramblett won’t be heard over the radio waves.

Instead, Rod’s best friend Andy Burcham will have the call alongside Stan White on the Auburn Sports Network.

This game is bound to have its own historic moments I’m sure, so prepare yourselves, we’ll have our hands full Saturday at 2:30pm CT in the 84th Iron Bowl. Picture: AL.com.

Ain’t No Smoggy Smoke on Rocky Top: Jeremy Pruitt guides Vols to remarkable turnaround, Vols Bowl Eligible for First Time Since 2016

It wasn’t probable or pretty but Tennessee (6-5) is headed to a bowl for the first time in three seasons.

Early on in the season, if you would’ve told me Tennessee would be bowl eligible on November 23rd, I would’ve had my doubts but hoped for the best.

After starting their season with a 1-4 mark, following losses to Georgia State, BYU, Florida and Georgia with their lone win being against a sub-par Chattanooga team, the future was looking bleak for the Volunteers.

Since then, Tennessee has gone 5-1 in their last six games, with their only loss coming at the hands of top-ranked Alabama and their wins coming over Mississippi State, South Carolina, the week after the Gamecocks shocked the nation by defeating #3 Georgia, UAB, Kentucky, and Missouri.

The Volunteers are on a four-game winning streak and they have a chance to finish the regular-season at (7-5) with a win vs. Vanderbilt next week.

Rocky Top you’ll always be home sweet home to me.

Picture: Tennessee Football Twitter.

What Impact Does LSU’s Jump to No. 1 Have on Upcoming Matchup at No. 2 Alabama

We just thought the stakes were high for this game, which is scheduled for 2:30 p.m., on Saturday, November 9th, 2019.

The brand-new Associated Press poll just raised the stakes and expectations of this game even higher.

Not these two teams needed any more of a reason to go to war in Tuscaloosa on Saturday inside Bryant-Denny.

So many people are questioning the AP’s decision to have the Bengal Tigers from Bayou jump the Crimson Tide of Alabama in the latest poll.

But personally, I understand it. Yes, I know Alabama completely obliterated a sub-par Arkansas team, who is now (2-6) on the season. Yes, I know LSU’s struggled to squeak past an Auburn that was ranked No. 9 at the time, and is now ranked No. 11.

I think when you look at those matchups both on paper and on-field, LSU definitely had the better opponent.

In no way, am I taking anything away from Alabama, but, LSU had the more physical opponent. Sure, Alabama’s performance was dominant, but look their opponent and then come to me.

Y’all get ready for a knock-down, drag-out dogfight November 9th in Tuscaloosa. The stakes were just lifted.

The NFL is Backwards

These days, the NFL has completely lost their minds, and when I say lost their minds, I mean lost their minds. Several years ago, people were shaming Tim Tebow for praying on the field. In the last few years, people have praised Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the National Anthem. And over the last week or so, they attempted to fine New Orleans Saints linebacker Demario Davis over a headband that simply says “Man of God.” Davis won the court appeal and will not have to pay the fine. My point being, if you’re going to shame Tim Tebow for praying, fine Davis for his “Man of God” headband, why in the world did you praise Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the national anthem, and claim that he is “expressing his constitutional right” yes, I know he had the right to kneel for the National Anthem, but do I agree with it, no. Tim Tebow had the right to pray on the field and Demario Davis has the right to wear a “Man of God” headband. Do I agree with Tebow and David? Yes. Why? Because they’re simply doing the right thing, unlike Kaepernick, who knelt on national television just for attention. There are and were people risking their lives daily just so that he could play football. People have died for that. Yet, he wants to kneel? I’m sorry but the NFL has it all backwards.

Wetumpka Hosts Rival Stanhope Elmore in Blackout Clash

For decades the question has been asked “Who is Wetumpka’s biggest rival, Prattville or Stanhope?” While opinions have varied over the decades, from a personal standpoint, Stanhope Elmore is the bigger rival of the two in my eyes. Why, you might ask. Well, simply put there is absolutely no love lost when it comes down to these two, tensions always seem to rise, along with the stakes. No, this game hasn’t had the implications that the Prattville rivalry has had in past years, often it doesn’t even matter what the two teams’ records are when it comes down to this game. You may like to think of it as the Iron Bowl of high school football, especially here in Elmore County. This game always seems to be a knock-down, drag-out war, no matter what sport it’s in. Now on to the preview.

Glancing at the Opponent

The Mustangs, led by third-year head coach Brian Bradford, come into tonight’s game with a (5-1) record. Their only loss being to cross-county rival Prattville 42-0, on August 30. Stanhope Elmore came away victorious against Chilton County (24-8), Benjamin Russell (12-7), Calera (42-15), Shades Valley (26-6), and Smiths Station (20-17).

Inside the Rivalry

This meeting between the Stanhope Elmore Mustangs and Wetumpka Indians, will be the 51st all-time meeting in this series. Stanhope Elmore owns a 30-20 edge in the series.

The series dates back to October 16, 1970, a game that Wetumpka won 19-14, and was most recently played on October 5, 2018, a game that Stanhope Elmore came away with the late 34-28 victory. But as I mentioned before, throw everything, the kitchen sink included, out of the window in this one. None of that matters.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7pm at Hohenberg Field in Wetumpka.

Pictures: David Gray.