So I spent my bye week rather well and was able to catch the Tennessee/South Alabama game in Knoxville today. I live about an hour away from Knoxville and people were practically giving away tickets to the game, so I thought it would be a decent way to catch some live college football action. The tickets I ended up getting were in the second row on the goal line which ended up being pretty cool. The reason I'm posting this, though, is not only to share my experience, but it is also to share about Tennessee's fan and student support.
The game started off looking like it could be a shootout with South Alabama scoring within the first three minutes, but by halftime, Tennessee had mounted a 24-7 lead. Now Tennessee dating back to last season has had trouble filling the stadium (capacity of 102,000) and only got 87,000 today. I guess it's understandable for a game against South Alabama, but this is one program that is really losing support. Anyways at halftime, attendance didn't look bad considering the game. After Tennessee scored again in the second half, South Alabama began a comeback.
My biggest pet peeve during the entire game was the fact that fans began to leave when South Alabama began to make a game out of it. It was almost as if fan morale and support just went down the toilet after South Alabama put together a couple of good drives. My next biggest was the student section. It made our student attendance look amazing. Never once were the students noticeably louder than the rest of the stadium, and they just seemed dead most of the game today. Gaps in the section were plentiful and it was just atrocious. If you didn't know where it was located, you would never find it.
The fact that pretty much every Tennessee fan wore an orange Tennessee polo and wore khaki also kind of pissed me off.
While Tennessee did end up winning (On a goal line stand for the most part), it was a huge indicator of just how out of hand a program can get when they lose year in and out. This was a program that consistently filled up when Fulmer was around, but for four or five years it just got out of hand with consistent losing seasons. This ultimately led to a huge drop in fan support.
So I just wanted to commend you all for not giving up on Michigan during the Dark Ages from 2007-2010. Michigan has one heck of a program and group of fans.
7 Minutes left in the 4th Quarter
Edit: Forgot to talk more about the experience. Please disregard the stupid mistake. I'm not going to waste too much time with it as it was a decent but not amazing experience. I got tickets from a friend literally this morning for free, so we didn't do too much tailgating. The fans themselves were relatively nice, but like you would think, there was definitely a southern atmosphere that they created. They are also extremely delsusional in the fact that they still think Tennessee is relevant considering the fact that they are in the SEC. Nothing too special about the experience out of the game, but I was very impressed with Tennessee's band. They did utilize a sound system, but overall they were very loud and produced a very crisp sound throughout the game. The game itself was very entertaining. Like I said earlier, Tennessee pulled out to an early lead and looked like they were going to run with it, but South Alabama made quite the game out of it scoring seventeen unanswered to cut it to a one touchdown lead. The game ended up coming down to the wire with Tennessee eventually winning on a goal line stand. So overall, I would say that in Tennessee, this probably could have been the best way to spend the bye week.