NASHVILLE — Sitting in Sanford Stadium on Oct. 1, I couldn’t believe what I’d just seen. Tennessee, which one week before had beaten Florida for the first time in forever, had just thrown a Hail Mary Between the Hedges to stun Georgia.
The Vols were 5-0, and they were 2-0 in the SEC Eastern Division, and they’d just polished off a seven-day stretch where they’d beaten the division’s other two beasts.
Even with a nightmare stretch coming up the next two weeks — a trip to eighth-ranked Texas A&M, and then a home game against top-ranked Alabama — there seemed to be no way Tennessee could lose the East title. Florida didn’t look very good, and it still had a couple of tough games on its schedule, and all Tennessee needed to do was navigate a kinder, softer, gentler five-game stretch in order to reach the Georgia Dome.
Sitting here in Vanderbilt Stadium on the early-morning hours of Nov. 27, I can’t believe what I just saw.