Did anyone see that coming? Just two wins away from a likely playoff bid, Tennessee tripped off the bus and didn’t stop falling until the clock struck zero in Columbia. South Carolina absolutely demolished the No. 5 Volunteers, essentially ending the season for Tennessee.
Making matters worse? Hendon Hooker went down with a knee injury late and very well could be lost for the year. Tennessee’s playoff bid went up in smoke, as did any shot at the Heisman Trophy for Hooker. You simply can’t draw it up much worse.
Following the loss, Tennessee dropped down to No. 9 in Sunday’s AP Poll. USC, LSU, Clemson and Alabama leaped over the Volunteers, who are now 9-2 on the year. Tennessee will finish with Vanderbilt in Nashville next weekend before learning their bowl fate.
The next batch of College Football Playoff rankings will be revealed on Tuesday night.