The Rev. Dan Yeary surveyed his congregation, swollen by about a hundred large young men and out-of-towners dressed in orange, and made an apology.
"Our choir could not learn Rocky Top in time for this," Yeary said, referring to the song that accompanies every Tennessee score.
On the eve of their national championship game, Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer and Florida State coach Bobby Bowden joined in prayer Sunday at North Phoenix Baptist Church. Each gave personal testimony about his faith.
The entire UT team attended, surrounded by fans whose rental cars were festooned with orange flags and pompoms. Balloons _ orange and white for Tennessee, garnet and gold for FSU _ were attached to some pews.
Bowden and Fulmer sat across from each other in neighboring pews. Fans sat side by side. Though the coaches were non-partisan in their testimony, Fulmer couldn't resist wearing a gaudy orange tie.