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Paul Finebaum Claims Tennessee the Music City Bowl Winner

ESPN television host and University of Tennessee alumni Paul Finebaum didn’t waste any words when speaking about the Music City Bowl on Monday afternoon. While Finebaum has gone with and against particular Tennessee trends in the past, the ESPN host was fully on the side of the Volunteers in the Music City Bowl aftermath.

During his show on the SEC Network on Monday, Finebaum went off during a segment, claiming that Tennessee was the rightful Music City Bowl winner.

“I refuse to accept that Tennessee lost the game,” Finebaum shouted on his show. “In my opinion, Tennessee won the game. And I’ve never said this before, because I do not like to criticize the officials, but I am going to. The officials stole that game from Tennessee. It’s a total farce. An absolute total farce!”

Finebaum then went on to share some advice to the Tennessee head coach on how he would handle the situation.

“And my recommendation to Josh Heupel is this,” Finebaum went on to say. “I don’t care what the NCAA rulebook says – that should be counted as a win and Tennessee should officially be 8-5… That’s how this show will recognize it.”

Music City Bowl

After Finebaum’s segment and the subsequent commercial break, the ESPN host returned to the television with a graphic of Tennessee’s 2021 schedule. Next to each opponent is the corresponding win/loss marker, however, the Music City Bowl does have a “W” next to it.

“As you go through the schedule, the only game I’m flipping officially is the Purdue game,” Finebaum said in relation to the graphic on-screen. “That is officially a win in my book.”

In overtime of the Music City Bowl, Tennessee was on the receiving end of a controversial “no touchdown” call from the referees during a crucial 4th and 1 play from the goal line. The officials did not rule in the favor of Tennessee, allowing Purdue to set up and kick the game-winning field goal on the very next possession.

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3 Responses

  1. Wow, so were not going to recognize the fact that if the official had not determined forward progress had been halted before the runner reached the ball across the goal line, he would have had to throw a penalty flag on the other Tennessee player who was lifting and pulling the runner toward the end zone which is a clear rule violation

    The ball carrier shall not grasp a teammate; and no other teammate shall grasp, pull, or lift the ball carrier to assist in forward progress (A.R. 9-3-2-I)​

    PENALTY—Five yards [S44]

    Also, even if they did give them the touchdown, Purdue would have got the ball on the 25 yard line and a chance to tie the game. After Tennessee failed to score because their coach took the risk to go for it on 4th and goal and didnt get it, all Purdue had to do was play conservatively, which they did, and line the ball up for a winning field goal, which they did.


  2. Not true. No one “pulling a ball carrier”. We see many games where the scrum is being pushed and pulled until the ball carrier stops.
    End of regulation no call on the Purdue defender tugging on the jersey of Tillman. Announcers communicated this.
    That would have made the FG attempt to be a 38, 39 yard FG. Which would have won the game. Nsyead of the 50+ Yard attempt.
    3 bad spots of the ball. Over TN back a yard each time. Just crazy.
    It’s not Purdue’s fault. The ACC refs really failed to call a fair game.
    All my points are visible and easy to see on the game tape. The announcers made mention of most of all of these.
    Kudos to Purdue they played hard and hung tough.
    Game considered one of the best of the bowl season.

  3. It is always good to get an unbiased opinion on these things from a dude like Finebaum. I’m sure that he held his graduating from TN did not influence his declaration that TN was the winner even though they are not.

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