There have been plenty of what-if scenarios throughout college football history. Considering so much of a program’s success depends on which recruits come to the school, it’s easy to picture how things could go differently, considering these players could have committed to many other teams.

Here’s one: what if Joe Burrow had picked Tennessee instead of LSU?

Apparently, that’s something that was close to happening when Burrow was looking for a new school after deciding to transfer from Ohio State following the 2017 season.

On the “Stanford Steve & The Bear” podcast this week, Chris “The Bear” Fallica stated that he’s heard Burrow had plans to join the Vols when it looked like Tennessee was going to hire former Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano to succeed the fired Butch Jones as head coach.

“Someone told me a couple of weeks ago that had Greg Schiano been the Tennessee head coach and not gotten run out of Tennessee … Joe Burrow was going to go with Schiano to Tennessee,” Fallica said on the podcast. “Imagine that. Imagine if 2018, 2019 at LSU never happened because Joe Burrow was never there because he was in Knoxville. What would the perception of that LSU program be now? I doubt [head coach Ed Orgeron] would still be there.”

And maybe the Vols would have had fared better in 2018 and 2019 than they did under Jeremy Pruitt. Tennessee went 8-5 and won the Gator Bowl in 2019, but it wasn’t nearly as successful as LSU, which went 15-0 and won the national championship with the Heisman Trophy-winning Burrow leading the way.

History can’t be changed, though. So while things likely would have gone better for the Vols if they had had Burrow, that’s not what happened. But it is something that’s interesting to think about.