It's an interesting, though somewhat far-fetched concept – use the last game of this season as a tuneup for the first game of next season. Basically, here's what would happen:
It's no secret that Fulmer is loyal – some say to a fault – to his senior players. That's why the scenario above never had a chance of becoming reality. As expected, the Outback Bowl depth chart shows all seven first-team seniors scheduled to answer the opening bell against Wisconsin.
Naturally, those seniors are pleased about this. The Outback Bowl will be the final college game for each of them, and they don't care to spend it on the bench.
"It means a lot," Xavier Mitchell said. "We're still a part of this program, and Coach Fulmer understands that. He's been in these shoes. He played here. He definitely understands how we feel and how we want to cap this season off."
After investing four years in the program, the outgoing seniors probably have even more motivation to win than their underclass understudies. That's another reason for them to be in their starting positions when Jan. 1 arrives.
As Mitchell put it: "We definitely want to finish this season the right way – not only for this university but for our seniors who are leaving. "