Commence the fifteen minutes of immediate post-game stream of conscious malaise.
First off, congratulations to Les Miles and the LSU Tigers for overcoming all of the disappointment of last week, all of the distractions of this week, and all of the injuries to key players today. Fine, fine job.
But you know what, Vol fans? We knew before the game that LSU was the better team, and it should be no great surprise that they won. I have not checked the stats yet, but at halftime, they were completely in LSU's favor despite the fact that we were ahead 7-6. The second half was much better for the Vols except that it resulted in exactly the same amount of points. Key turnovers at the wrong time ultimately decided this game.
Ah, the interceptions. The first, a result of the defender breaking on the throw because he had no reason to be concerned about a deep pass, broke the
14-14 tie 14-13 lead and was the difference in the game. The second was just a horrendous throw right to the defender and blew up what could have been the game-tying drive. It was terribly disappointing especially in light of the fact it immediately followed an oustanding pass play to and run by Arian Foster for a huge chunk of yardage. It looked like we would not be denied a touchdown and that we were headed for overtime.
It wasn't to be.
So, we finish the season either 10-4 or 9-5, depending on the bowl game. Success or no? I can't remember anyone picking Tennessee to win, or even play for, the SEC Championship. If I remember correctly, it was a preseason forgone conclusion that LSU would run away with it. And yet, the Volunteers -- not the Gators, not the Bulldogs, not the Gamecocks -- gave LSU a fight to the end, playing to within one touchdown of the championship. It doesn't feel terribly satisfying right now, but perhaps it will look differently tomorrow.