Bruce Pearl, Tony Jones, Steve Forbes and the rest of the staff put together a phenomenal scout and game plan to enable the Tennessee Volunteers to destroy the Pittsburgh Panthers in Pittsburgh on Saturday.
Unless they start saying "y'all" in downtown Pittsburgh (a few miles from Pitt's campus), it was effectively a home game for Pitt. There certainly wasn't anything neutral about it.
Most of the media reside in the cities around the Big East. Therefore, they pay too much attention to the BEast and wrongly view it as the basketball capitol of the civilized world. We upset their little (Big) Apple cart when we beat Nova at the MSG. Most rationalized it as a regional fluke, a tournament thing or a bad game by the Nova boys (happens to the best of us, right?). So, sure, the Nova win bumped us a few notches in the polls but let's not go crazy over one game.
But the Pitt stomping? Whew! That apparently has everyone's attention. After thoroughly whipping Pitt and beating Villinova soundly at MSG, the Vols own the Top 2 teams in the Big East. We now are officially worthy of a little buzz as the hottest thing in College Hoops.
And, in case anyone thinks I am just making fun of the Yankee media, let's go ahead and mention again that the Vols are destined to make the SEC Basketball Writers look thoroughly silly for picking them fourth in the SEC EAST.
Sorta begs the question though - Where should our beloved Vols be ranked? Still early days in a long season. Things are encouraging but the Pearl suspension looms for 8 SEC games. The Contrarian View still has a place in the discussion (welcome ASOB).
A few reference points linked for games thru last night and a poll after the jump. In your comments, please justify your ranking (who's better, currently vs. year end, etc).
For the more pessimistic (realistic)?
UPDATE: AP Poll Release has Vols at # 7. Ahead of Pitt and behind K State, Syracuse, UConn, Kansas, Ohio State and Duke.
For the dark and gloomy,
* For reference, the old AP had the Vols at #11 and the old ESPN poll had us at #13. These two esteemed polls of the coaches and writers don't come out until (say it slowly) tomorrow - at which point this FanPost will be sadly outdated in the little world I like to call the Internet.