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)

Deja Vu: An Iron Bowl for the Ages

Saturday night, felt like deja vu. I felt like I had seen it before. In fact, I had seen it before, six years to the date earlier when Auburn returned a last second field goal 109 yards to pay dirt.

Although this one was under different circumstances, it will still stand the test of time.

When Zakoby McClain took the football off of an Alabama receivers hands, and returned it 100 yards to the end zone, everything slowed down and I was taken back to 2013.

All I could think about was: “Wow, I wonder what Rod Bramblett is saying now. What would he say if he was still behind the microphone?”

It was absolutely insane. When I got home, I was discussing the game with my brother’s girlfriend, and we were talking about the pick-six. She said “I wonder how he caught that.” I replied, “He didn’t, Rod had a hand in this one.” Her voice got shaky and she replied “He was watching over us.”

Say what you want about the Iron Bowl but when it comes to historic moments, there is nothing like the Iron Bowl.

Picture: NBC Sports.

I Feel An Upset Coming to The Plains

We all know what happened exactly six years ago Saturday, “The Prayer in Jordan-Hare.” It has been asked all week ‘Does Auburn have what it takes to knock off Georgia?’

They say history repeats itself, in fact, every six years, the calendar repeats itself and in a way the Tigers are in the same situation they were in six years ago, just in a different fashion and they are in the situation to upset Georgia and shut Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs out of the playoffs.

We all know that Auburn is always up when it comes to playing Georgia and Alabama, it’s two biggest, most bitter rivals in the country.

The question is, does Auburn have enough depth and strength to knock off both Georgia and Alabama?

If that does happen, where will the playoff committee turn? Would they put Auburn in the playoffs?

I think the Tigers control their own destiny at this point, despite having losses to Florida and #1 LSU, Auburn has a chance to pull off yet another miracle.

As of right now, Georgia is a 2.5-point favorite on The Plains, but I’m taking the Tigers in this one. I think they have what it takes to add another chapter to the book of big wins in big games that it owns.

Could we see yet another miracle exactly six years apart?

What is it Like to Live in A House Full of Alabama Fans As a Tennessee Fan?

Growing up, I was thought of as the rebel between my brother and I, I loved to take risks that he didn’t want to or wouldn’t take. I’ve always been that way.

In fact, I’m considered the rebel of the family, as I am a Tennessee fan that grew up in a house full of Alabama fans, minus my brother, who really couldn’t care less about college football.

Some people claim that the Tennessee-Alabama rivalry is a ‘bigger’ rivalry than the Iron Bowl.

I just don’t see it, I seriously don’t see it. The Third Saturday in October has always raised tensions in my house. In fact, I remember running back to my room as a little boy, crying because Tennessee lost to Alabama.

I was eight years old, the last time Tennessee beat Alabama, the iPhone wasn’t invented, neither was Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter or Netflix.

Mike Shula was Alabama’s head coach the last time that happened and current Tennessee Athletic Director, Phillip Fulmer, was roaming the sidelines as the Vols’ head coach.

It’s been awhile since that happened and sadly, I don’t expect that to change anytime soon.

Moral of the story, if you want to be a rebel, be one. Just don’t make the decision that I made 21 years ago, you’ll regret it if you do.

With that being said, win or lose, at the end of the day I’ll still love my Volunteers, no matter how bad we are.

Tigers Take Down Longhorns in Austin, 45-38

Saturday night’s game between LSU and Texas was set up to a be a show. And it definitely lived up to its billing. LSU’s Joe Burrow went 31-for-39 through the air for 471 yards, an average pass of 12.1 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. Clyde Edwards-Helaire touched the ball 15 times for 87 yards, an average carry of 5.8 yards, one touchdown and a long run of 24 yards. Defensively the Tigers were led by Michael Divinity Jr., who had 20 tackles before the game ended. Texas was led quarterback, Sam Elingher in Saturday’s primetime showdown with LSU but was unable to pull it out.

Family Tradition: Bo Nix, Former Two-Time Defending State Champ, Son of Former Auburn QB named Tigers Starter

All I can say is, wow. This battle continued all offseason with no breaks in between and finally, he is reaping the fruits of his labor months later. Tuesday afternoon, Auburn Football head coach, Gus Malzahn, named true freshman, Bo Nix as his go-to-guy around 2:30pm. Nix, who’s dad is Patrick Nix, a former Auburn quarterback, has high expectations in 2019 and I have no doubt at all that he has what it takes to play to the best of his ability, week-in and week-out. His arm is certainly something to behold, and his legs aren’t too shabby either. Personally, I feel like Malzahn has made the best possible choice that will definitely help the program and the university as a whole. Ladies and gentlemen, the wait is over, Auburn has named the former Mr. Football as their quarterback.

When Will Gus Malzahn Find a Starting Quarterback?

We’re now just 15 short days away from Auburn’s first football game of 2019 vs. Oregon in Jerry’s World and yet Auburn head football coach, Gus Malzahn, still hasn’t found the ‘perfect’ starting quarterback. Throughout the offseason, this battle has been one of, if not the most intriguing in the country. This quarterback battle features two high-profile quarterbacks in redshirt-freshman, Joey Gatewood, and true-freshman, Bo Nix, who was a 5-star dual-threat quarterback recruit upon signing with the Tigers and departing from the two-time defending state champion, Pinson Valley High School in December of 2018. Nix has won the last two state titles under his dad, former Auburn Tiger quarterback, Patrick Nix, while leading the Pinson Valley Indians, the first in 2017 vs. Wetumpka at Bryant-Denny Stadium and the second in 2018 vs. Saraland at Nix’s then-future home, Jordan-Hare Stadium. This race has gone back and forth constantly over the offseason, if I was Malzahn, I personally, would use both of them in a platoon, like Nick Saban used Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa in 2018. Who wins it? Will we have an answer soon? The world may never know.