There may not be anything in football more exciting than college overtime, which is vastly more compelling than the NFL's sudden-death format, in which more often than not the team that wins the coin toss prevails, Tennessee's 51-43 victory over Alabama in five overtimes last Saturday is a perfect example of why the college format is superior.
In a game that lasted nearly five hours, the Vols tried everything, including concocting new plays on the sideline. Tennessee has a 700-page playbook, but during the third overtime offensive coordinator Randy Sanders came up with a quarterback keeper that led to the field goal that forced the fourth overtime. Sanders drew up a few other plays, but his best move may have been in the fifth OT, when he inserted seldom-used running back Corey Larkins, who ripped off runs of 15 and six yards to set up Casey Clausen's game-winning one-yard TD. "We needed a spark," said Sanders. "It's a little scary when you put in a guy who hadn't carried the ball. The last thing I told Corey was, 'Don't fumble.' "