Traditionally speaking (or as close to traditionally as Orson ever gets), the Fulmer Cup chase ends at midnight on the night before the first game of the college season. That midnight is tonight and, barring any eleventh-hour incident, the Tennessee Volunteers will have successfully carried the Clawfense through the offseason and failed to earn a single point - not even for the college favorites of Mary Jane or Corn From a Jar.
This offseason, Tennessee has been a lightning rod of controversy and contention, but all of that has been the workings of a single head coach with proximity to a microphone. What has often been underplayed in the process is that, while the media world focused on quotes, the team focused on academics and rebuilding the reputation of the program. Quietly, the football team posted a record GPA in the spring. Even more quietly, they have stayed off the Knoxville police blotter (and every other police blotter in the nation).
Last year, the offseason was a source of fury. This year, even this guy made more noise than the Vols. Sure, this is just preseason and steering clear of the Fulmer Cup doesn't count on the win/loss record, but there are a lot of us who still believe that giving your best efforts both on and off the field are not mutually exclusive endeavors. You've had your shot at the offseason challenge and you've won.