Saturday, October 20, 2012
Fulmer and 1997 SEC champs honored
By Edward Aschoff
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer and members of the 1997 SEC championship team were honored before Saturday night's game with Alabama.
Fulmer was honored for his induction into the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, an honor that will formally be presented to him in December. Fulmer was fired from Tennessee halfway through the 2008 season, but finished his Tennessee career with a 152-52 record during his 16 years as the Vols' head coach. He ranks eighth all time among SEC coaches in overall wins and is tied for fifth all time with 98 SEC regular-season wins.
Fulmer's 1997-98 teams remain the last teams to repeat as SEC champions. His 1998 team went 13-0 and beat Florida State in the Fiesta Bowl to win the first BCS national championship.
The 1997 team was ranked in the top 10 the entire season and finished 11-2, winning the school's 12th SEC title with a 30-29 win over Auburn in the Georgia Dome. Tennessee won nine consecutive games that season and only lost to Florida and eventual national champion Nebraska (shared with Michigan) in the Orange Bowl.