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Holiday Cheer
Posted: Wednesday, December 10th, 2014, 11:36 AM
by Alison

Thank You, Santa! I always knew that jolly ole guy wanted to wear orange during the holidays!

For Vol nation, Christmas came early with the announcement that the University of Tennessee would be playing in the Taxslayer Bowl (the Gator Bowl) against Iowa in Jacksonville, Florida on January 2nd.

Both the Volunteers and the Hawkeyes have a strong traveling fan base so it was no surprise that the Taxslayer Bowl’s ticket website crashed minutes after the announcement of the SEC/Big Ten matchup.

While the Tennessee program has the pedigree for being historically strong it’s no surprise this will be the 50th bowl appearance for the Volunteers. However, this is their first bowl game since 2010. No one on Tennessee’s current roster has ever played in a bowl game. They are a young team loaded with raw talent. Many of the so-called ‘experts’ didn’t have the Vols going bowling. (High-five to Brad Shepard from Bleacher Report for believing in the Big Orange.)

It wasn’t an easy season and it definitely wasn’t a pretty season. But this team fought to win the last three of their four games to complete a 6-6 season. (Nine of those teams they faced this year all saw bowl action last year.) They didn’t have an easy schedule.

An article on 24-7Sports by Wes Rucker credits part of the programs turnaround to five-star, true freshman running back, Jalen Hurd. Hurd has been my football crush on team #118 from day one. Rucker nails the description of Hurd, by calling him a “beast of burden”- which happens to be my hands down, all-time favorite song- ever! The talent that is about to explode from the 6-foot 3, 230 pounder from Hendersonville, Tennessee will keep the Vols in bowl games for his entire football career at the University of Tennessee. Remember his name, this kid is special.

There is no one who can deny the magic and charisma that Coach Butch Jones has brought to Knoxville. His ability to recruit and his commitment to the fan base to rebuild the once storied franchise back, brick-by-brick has been everything he promised and this is only the beginning.

Coach Jones is a Michigan native and has played football and coached in the state. The University of Michigan wanted him to come back ‘home’ to coach, but you can’t spell Butch without “U-T” and he proudly said that he now calls Tennessee home! The University of Tennessee gave Coach Jones a two-year extension and $3.6 million dollar raise.

If you believe in Santa and Christmas, spread some holiday cheer by wearing Orange and cheering for the VOLS!

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