While a team's win/loss record is very important for obvious reasons, it often isn't the best barometer for determining the strength of that team. There are myriad reasons that this is the case. For example:
Sometimes flukish turnovers will allow a team that was thoroughly dominated throughout a game to nonetheless prevail. Sometimes teams will find themselves on the winning end of several very close games against mediocre opponents. Their record will show that they're a good team, but they're really not. Sometimes teams will have a several-game stretch of good luck where they will beat teams they have no business beating. Sometimes teams will have a several-game stretch of bad luck which causes them to lose to teams they have no business losing to. These and other such reasons are not mutually exclusive and often overlap. Which brings us to the Big Orange.
The Tennessee Volunteers were outplayed by the UAB Blazers on Saturday. This statement is irrefutable. And yet despite the lackluster performance by the Volunteers, they prevailed and came away with a win. There are two ways of looking at this.
First, you can look to the performance of our team as the status quo. In other words, the way the Volunteers played against UAB is who they are, and that spells trouble for at least the next four games. But a second way of looking at it is that the men in orange played a bad game and got away with it. In other words, the performance that you saw on Saturday was well below Tennessee's performance status quo. And the law of averages tells us that we should expect either average or above average performances from the Vols in the coming weeks. I prefer the second perspective if for no other reason than the first perspective is hopeless and depressing.
And, finally, a bunch of links:
- Keeping with the positive attitude theme, I like this headline from Vols in the Fall.
- The Vols didn't play that well, but they never gave up.
- Nick Reveiz made 14 tackles with his heart alone.
- I thought it was very cool that Denarius Moore -- who I've been touting as our best player all year -- was carried on the shoulders of teammates following his game-winning grab.
- Derek Dooley -- a man hired by fundraising wunderkind Mike Hamilton and who, unlike Fulmer, is not afraid to leave the word "hell" un-euphemized ($) -- has canceled today's practice to give the players an extra days rest after a game in which receivers were dropping balls and third-down struggles continued. How was that for sentence full of links?
One last thing, I looked around for an injury report. Dooley apparently indicated that information will be available tomorrow.
Alright Vol fans, keep your heads up, smiles on, and optimism intact for next Saturday. After all, we're playing against Les Miles...so we got that going for us, which is nice.