Last year wasn't easy. Sure, we knew the move to the SEC was going to be hard. But 2012 was a bad year.
And you could've lost the faith. Coming into 2013, all the experts sure did.
But then Henry Josey, you came back into our lives. If all you'd done was come back for that one TD against Murray State, that would've been enough.
Of course, there was more. There was a defensive line that couldn't be stopped.
A quarterback in James Franklin — tested and questioned in 2012 — who started out the year with 15 TDs in 5 games, and proved every critic wrong.
And a coach in Gary Pinkel who quietly led the Tigers back into the rankings by mid-October, just doing what he always does.
When things went wrong, you pressed on. When Franklin went down, up stepped Maty Mauk and Bud Sasser and L'Damian Washington.
When E.J. Gaines went down, up stepped a young secondary.
Then came homecoming night, and a field goal that should have been made — but wasn't. Most of us didn't think that night that we'd be here, on the verge of an SEC Championship.
Even the truest of True Sons couldn't have expected a four-game winning streak to finish the year. Hoped for it, maybe — but not expected.