Next up in the Best Plays of 2007 Brackety-ish Thingy is No. 3 seed The Kentucky Denouement versus No. 2 seed See Arian Run, See Ref Fall.
The Kentucky Denouement
At stake: Despite Tennessee's own catastrophes, we found ourselves playing for the opportunity to represent the East in the SEC Championship due in part to our own efforts (great wins over Georgia and Arkansas) and in part to the disasters suffered by others in the hunt. Win this one, and we were off to Atlanta.
In-game context: The Tennessee-Kentucky games boils down easy in a way, yet words can't really convey the right mood. Suffice it to say for these purposes that the first half belonged to the Vols, the second half belonged to the Wildcats, and the first, second, third, and fourth overtimes belonged to both, right up until the time one of two deserving teams finally put an end to the madness:
Impact: Tennessee went to the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta the next week and, with apologies to Ohio State, gave eventual national champion LSU its last true test of the season.
See Arian Run. See Ref Fall.
At stake: Arkansas running backs Darren McFadden and Felix Jones were coming off a 487 yard performance against Steve Spurrier the prior week, and the only real highlight of the Vols' season so far -- a win against Georgia -- appeared to be an anomaly. The question of the week seemed to center on just how badly McFadden and Jones were going to outshine Tennessee's running backs.
In-game context: But Tennessee's defense and its three-headed running back monster, Lenarianario Crardester, stole the show. The score was 20-3 at the half, and with its first drive of the second half, Arian Foster put the thing away. It was wildly entertaining, and the ref who created a face-shaped divot on the sideline while trying to keep up with Foster was just icing.
Impact: The Hogs would never get close, and this victory for the Vols probably gave them the confidence they needed to win out on their way to the SEC Championship Game.
Which of these two will advance? That's up to you. Vote below.