Preview of a big weekend of football in Tennessee
Tennessee is on the brink of an epic football weekend featuring the Volunteers and Titans matched up against fellow title contenders.
Why it matters: This will be a great weekend to spend on your couch.
- Ask the grandparents to take the kids to their soccer game. Put off the yard work until next week. It's football time in Tennessee.
Catch up quick: Saturday's main event is No. 1 Tennessee taking on bitter SEC rival Georgia, which is No. 3 in the first college football playoff rankings of the season.
By the numbers: This is the most expensive regular-season college football game ever, per TickPick, with the current get-in price at $626 and some seats going for over $5,000.
Between the lines: Axios sports reporter Jeff Tracy points out that the rivalry game features an extreme case of "sports coincidences."
- Georgia's defense has gone 37 consecutive home games without allowing 30 points. Meanwhile, Tennessee's offense has scored at least 30 points in 11 straight games overall.
- Here's where it gets whacky. The last time Georgia allowed 30+ at home? 2016 against Tennessee, in the Vols' last win over the Dawgs.
- The last time Tennessee failed to score 30+ points? Last season's 41-17 loss to Georgia.
Zoom in: One reason for Vols fans to keep the faith is star quarterback Hendon Hooker's potentially historic season.
- Hooker has thrown 21 touchdowns compared to just one interception while leading UT to the top ranking.
- He's the current favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, per BetMGM.
Meanwhile, in the NFL: Playoff seeding will be on the line when the Titans travel to Kansas City to play the Chiefs on Sunday Night Football.
- The Titans are currently tied with the Chiefs for the second-best record in the AFC.
The latest: The Titans are ranked No. 8 and the Chiefs are No. 3 in the most recent Axios NFL power rankings.
State of play: The game may well be decided on third down. The Titans boast the NFL's top third-down defense and the Chiefs are the top third-down offense.
- "Ultimately, whoever makes those plays on third down, it's going to play a big role in the game," Titans defensive coordinator Shane Bowen told the media this week.
Of note: Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill did not practice Thursday because of his ankle injury.
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