Vol fans have been on a bit of a journey this week, from Monday's "gloom, despair, and agony on me and Jonathan Crompton" to dreaming the impossible dream this morning. Here's how Tennessee-Florida week has played out so far on Rocky Top Talk:
Wednesday morning: Vol fans were reminded that Tennessee's defense is still very good and that guru Monte Kiffin -- the Google of Defense -- is using Heisman Trophy contender Eric Berry in all of the right places. Meanwhile, traditional media and bloggers alike were throwing more coal on the fire, somehow turning a game featuring a four-touchdown underdog on the road into one of the most highly-anticipated games of the season. National media were reminding casual football fans of Lane Kiffin's Offseason Tour of Insults and Tennessee bloggers were compiling Florida's Record of Wrongs -- a comprehensive list of hardships that Tennessee fans have endured at the hands of Florida over the years.
Wednesday afternoon: Lane Kiffin's repeated public defense of Jonathan Crompton's performance against UCLA finally found footing in the rarest of rational fans (hooper to the rescue!), spurring him to actually put the rest of the offense under the microscope. First, hooper used pictures and astute analysis to show that many of the offensive problems were due to a banged-up offensive line getting out-schemed and out-played by a solid Bruin defensive line. Second, without absolving Crompton of his own faults, hooper closely examined a couple of the interceptions and found that the receivers were partially to blame.
Today: Vol fans this morning are finally daring to dream the impossible dream. If Tennessee's stout defense plays the game of its life and gets pressure on Tim Tebow . . . and if the Vols win the turnover battle . . . and if Jonathan Crompton merely manages the game and doesn't lose it by trying to be a hero . . . Tennessee can make this a game.
Yeah, that's a lot of ifs. But we've come a long way since Monday.