OK…I ask…Have the Vols gone and done it? Have they now raised expectations too soon or too abruptly only to have those hopes and dreams of immediate success dashed by us eager, hopeful and zealous fans?
If Tennessee football had ever been in this situation before, then we would at least have some track record/historical facts to gauge what may occur next.
The fact is…UT football has never had such a "low point" in its illustrious career, at least not from a win loss perspective. Seems the teams in the SEC are passing us like we are standing still.
Uniform change: Smokey Gray (grey)…however one spells that word. Was it special or not?
The last time the Vols beat a ranked opponent was in hurriedly purchased black jerseys on Halloween Night under the infamous Coach Lane Kiffin in 2009. After all….Kiffin did defeat the "Old Ball Coach" and South Carolina that evening in Neyland Stadium. I love the orange over white…always will and still do, but I am a little superstitious and put my baseball stockings on right then left in years past. Just sayin.
So…where are we?
I have no clue, but I am excited for the first time in several years, I actually feel the Vols are coming back. This is what I see and hope I see (and this cannot possibly include everything and everyone, so my apologies)
· Worley: I had a chance to introduce myself to Justin this past summer while in Knoxville. I am a Father of three (3) boys. (None can play football well and it doesn't make me an expert on "sons or boys"). However, I was impressed at his composure of a stranger (me) walking up to him in a semi awkward situation. My take? This young man wants to succeed…I can see it. He may (or will not) be our greatest UT QB, but not everyone who plays that position can or will be Peyton Manning.
· Rajion Neal: If I ever thought he was an average RB, well....Maybe he still is…BUT….I know now he will place that team on his shoulders and do everything he can possibly do to win. (Apparently)
· OL: Much has been said…not to repeat. But the season is still on their shoulders….both from a leadership perspective and more importantly from a talent perspective….
· Palardy: I can only explain his performance to coaching confidence/senior leadership and maturity.
· Other guys (too many to name)
o P Howard: His desire to win the Georgia game speaks everything we need to know. He simply needs to keep it going.
o C Vereen: I call him out along with all other freshmen to include Red Shirts…..Control the emotion but play with fire in your heart. It will come.
o WR’s: North, Smith, CB C Sutton and TE Branisel…developing…and throw in DB, Swafford who walks on and just wants to play for Tennessee…His home town school. Pretty special.
Much is said about next year and the recruiting class for 2014. First….much will change both good and bad before early February and signing day…regardless….I think UT has a successful class.
Next on the agenda: Butch is preaching it:
1. Learn how to win
2. Understand that you (we) CAN win
3. We will win.
4. Brick by brick…corny…but it makes sense.
Let’s not substitute the verb "hope" when we talk about winning when we should be saying "will".