Paul Finebaum is a Tennessee alum, so deep down, the SEC Network host must be enjoying watching his Vols jump out to a 5-0 start to the season.

After the Vols’ 40-13 drubbing of No. 25 LSU on the road on Saturday, Finebaum appeared on SportsCenter on Sunday morning to discuss the big win.

Finebaum credited QB Hendon Hooker, coach Josh Heupel and the Tennessee defense for firing on all cylinders on Saturday, but he also noted that this team now looks ahead to an even bigger challenge:

“You mentioned Hendon Hooker — he’s the key to everything, and so is Josh Heupel, who I think has established himself as the premier play caller in America,” Finebaum said. “They have such a fast-break offense that it stifles teams, especially when they’re on the road and they take the crowd out of it.

“Tennessee’s defense showed up yesterday, too, and that’s always been a concern, especially when they gave up a lead against Pittsburgh earlier in the year. And they started to crumble two weeks ago against Florida. But that did not happen against a Brian Kelly-coached team. It was an amazing statement win for Tennessee, but they have bigger fish to fry (against Alabama).”

Can Tennessee shock the world next weekend? The atmosphere on Rocky Top when Alabama comes to town should be one for the ages.

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Tennessee online sports betting officially launched on November 1, 2020, and many of the largest sportsbooks are live and operating in the volunteer state. Tennessee is only one of a handful of SEC football states with legalized sports betting.