- I'm thinking it's too early to really make this pronouncement, but The Tennessean is saying that the defensive line is proving critics wrong. They did play well against UCLA, and that's good, but I for one am tiring of the whole back-against-the-wall-circle-the-wagons-prove-the-critics-wrong personality of this football team, partly because it forces fans and media into that critic role but mostly because it means we have self-imposed a ceiling on ourselves. When you Prove Critics Wrong, you will get praise, and when you do it long enough, you will become the favorite. When we become the favorite, we too often lose. When are we going to start Proving Praisers Right? Whew. Where did that come from? You can probably expect more on that later as that obviously hit a nerve I didn't know was there.
Brent Vinson's back and will play this weekend, which is great news. He'll not start, as DeAngelo Willingham and Dennis Rogan will do that. Gerald Jones will relieve Rogan of some of his punt and kickoff return duties, though, mostly out of concerns for Rogan's health.
- The Vols are searching for consistency. Huh. See above.
- A little late on this, but Tim Tebow is defending Urban Meyer on criticism of running up the score against Miami. In doing so, he actually got a bit snippy: "You can talk about running the score up, I don't care. They are paid to stop us and coach Mullen is paid to score. They don't do that, oh well." Man, oh man oh man oh manohman, I hope Meyer's tendency to Twist The Knife comes back to haunt him soon. Next Saturday would be nice, no?
- Also from The Tennessean, Five Lessons from the UCLA Loss: (1) Limit Crompton (don't put the game on his throwing shoulder. Not yet); (2) Get Hardesty more carries; (3) Be more aggressive on short passes; (4) Get the ball to Gerald Jones more often; and (5) Finish. Yeah. Apparently not part of the problem? The Incredible Flipping O-Line. Okay. Can't tell. Hooper says it's not a problem, and he's looked closer than any of us, so let's operate on that assumption for now.
- Dave Hooker had an excellent piece on Arian Foster and his reputation for game-killing fumbles earlier this week. Feel bad for the guy. He hasn't really fumbled that much. Of course, the United States really hasn't dropped that many nuclear boms, either.
Some perspective: Jonathan Crompton's first game in 2008: 19 of 42 for 189 yards. Tee Martin's first game in 1998: 9 of 26 for 143 yards. Biggest difference there? Not the 9 and the 19, but the 26 and the 42. See Lesson No. 1 above.
- John Pennington: It is what it is, and what it is is 8-4. Hmm. Ceiling. See above.
- Check out 3rd Saturday in Blogtober's tribute to Al Wilson.