KNOXVILLE — The numbers suggested it was the best.

The Kentucky Wildcats need one more victory to attain bowl-eligibility under second-year coach Mark Stoops.

KNOXVILLE — Tennessee's defense cut down on the number of big plays allowed during the first half of the season.

KNOXVILLE — After Josh Malone caught the first touchdown pass of his promising young Tennessee football career, he received some friendly criticism from fellow wide receiver Marquez North.

1. Mississippi State (7-0, 4-0; vs. Arkansas, 7:15 p.m.): Are the Bulldogs ready for the November gauntlet?

KNOXVILLE — The silly season of college football coaching rumors and the ensuing carousel of coaches coming and going is a few weeks away from hitting full stride, but Tennessee coach Butch Jones already has seen his name thrown into it.

Mississippi St. 6-0 Florida St. 7-0 Auburn 5-1 Mississippi 7-1 Oregon 6-1 Alabama 6-1 TCU 5-1 Michigan St. 6-1 Kansas St. 5-1 Notre Dame 6-1 Georgia 6-1 Arizona 5-1 Baylor 6-1 Arizona St. 5-1 Nebraska 6-1 Ohio St. 5-1 Utah 5-1 Oklahoma 5-2 LSU 6-2 West Virginia 5-2 Clemson 5-2 UCLA 5-2 East Carolina 5-1 Duke 6-1 Louisville 6-2

KNOXVILLE -- Tennessee football coach Butch Jones may have displayed some gamesmanship Monday when he declared the Volunteers would be in no hurry this week to name a starting quarterback for the trip to South Carolina.

KNOXVILLE -- Even 36 hours later, what happened still stung a couple of Tennessee's top defensive players.

KNOXVILLE — Tennessee again may be turning to Josh Dobbs for what the Volunteers hope is a late-season run to the accomplishment of its primary objective.

Throwing for 210 first-quarter yards and two touchdowns and rushing 28 yards for a score early in the second quarter to put your team up 27-0 is usually enough to assure an easy win.

KNOXVILLE — Spotting any team a 27-point lead is never a good idea.

KNOXVILLE — Alabama can take its act on the road.

KNOXVILLE — Tennessee's maligned offensive line turned to its fourth different starting lineup in the season's eighth game with two starters sitting out Saturday night's visit from fourth-ranked Alabama with injuries.

KNOXVILLE — Lane Kiffin's first play call as Alabama's offensive coordinator inside Neyland Stadium resulted in an 80-yard touchdown pass from Blake Sims to Amari Cooper in the Crimson Tide's eventual 34-20 win.

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