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Tennessee football was one win away from reaching the College Football Playoff, but South Carolina had other plans. The Gamecocks were sure to remind the Volunteers of their defeat in hilarious, vicious fashion prior to the Orange Bowl on Friday.
On November 19, 2022, 9-1 Tennessee rolled into Columbia, South Carolina as the fifth-ranked team in the country and heavy betting favorites. It left at 9-2.
The scenes were incredible.
Tennessee won out the rest of the way and reached the Orange Bowl. Most teams would be thrilled to win 10 games and play in a New Year’s Six game, and that is certainly the case for the Volunteers.
However, they never should have lost to the Gamecocks. Destiny was in their hands and they fumbled away their shot at the national championship.
So while the Orange Bowl is a resounding success for Josh Heupel’s team, it is bittersweet.
To make things a little bit more bitter than sweet, South Carolina poured salt in the wound. As Tennessee and Clemson took the field for warmups at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida, a plane pulled a banner across the sky.
“ENJOY YOUR BOWL GAME — GAMECOCKS”
It told Vols fans to enjoy their bowl game and was signed by the Gamecocks. The bowl game, of course, was not the College Football Playoff— so it was a jab over the win back in November.
It is unclear as to who exactly commissioned the banner, but it couldn’t have been better executed. It was friendly and fun, but equally as vicious. Well played, Gamecocks. Very well played.