As the clocked ticked ever closer to kickoff Friday night, businesses along the Cumberland Avenue strip were buzzing.
"Pretty much anything can happen," said Travis Robertson, general manager of Tin Roof. "It's going to be busy no matter what you do, and there's ways to kind of subtly prepare, get everybody ready, but, I mean, you just have to come to work and kinda be ready for whatever."
Robertson said, on gamedays, around 350 customers flood his restaurant, all hoping to fill up on food and alcohol.
"On away games, we're usually, we're busy, every table's full, the bar's full, people are hanging out in big groups, kinda scattered around watching the game," he said. "It gets pretty crazy."
Just up the street, staffers at The Half Barrel were busy, too, prepping food and gearing up for the crowd.
"You never know what to expect, and anything you do expect, you'll get something different," said owner Joseph Smith.
The cooler was stocked with about 50 percent more kegs, and orange-colored flags, banners and signs were ready to greet fans. Last season, the bar added a new piece of memorabilia -- the goal post camera from Tennessee's win over Florida in September 1998.
Smith admits, it's been a little rough for fans since then.
"Yes, we had a lot of people crying in their beer, and opposing teams celebrating, it's not the same, but we are looking forward to having a really great season, and I hope that's the way it goes," Smith said. "I think we're treading lightly, one win at a time, and see where the season takes us, but I think everybody hopes that we do well, especially Coach Dooley."