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Who to root for if you're a Tennessee fan

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Last season, this was a regular piece that was designed to help Vol fans decide who to root for in other games. Basically, the goal was to have everyone above UT in the BCS or other polls lose so UT could advance to the national championship. Uh, huh. As you know, the horse came up lame before the first turn and eventually had to be shot. That didn't stop me, however, from advising UT fans on who to root for in the grand scheme of things. This season is kicking off very differently, as Tennessee's either ranked very low or not at all, depending on which poll you're looking at, so the basic strategy is just to hope every ranked team loses. But what about the situation where both teams are ranked above UT? We can't realistically hope that they'll both lose. Even I am not that delusioned, so in that case, we'll take a brief look ahead and determine which team should lose now based on which is more likely to lose later. Or something like that. Anyway, here's the list of who to root for this weekend: SEC GAMES:

  • South Carolina v. Mississippi State. This one just kicked off, so I'm going to post it now and just update with the rest after I get the kids to bed. This is the only SEC v. SEC game this week, and so it's the only one that really presents any issue. Mississippi State does not play the Vols this season and probably will have no impact on either the national championship or the SEC title. UT does play South Carolina, and in the event the SEC East is up for grabs, UT will want to be as far ahead of the Gamecocks as possible. Oh, and need I remind anyone that UT fans simply must root against Spurrier under almost any circumstance? I think it's a law. So in this game, root for Mississippi State.
Updates coming soon.

Update [2006-8-31 21:21:9 by Joel]:

On the rest of the SEC games, you'll want to pull for the conference itself, especially where Kentucky, Vanderbilt, and Arkansas are concerned, because if they could pull off the upsets, they could do some serious damage to a few national championship contenders. Arkansas probably has the only somewhat realistic shot to actually get it done, so keep an eye on that one.

  • Arkansas v. Southern Cal
  • Vanderbilt at Michigan
  • Kentucky at Louisville
  • Florida v. Southern Miss
  • Georgia v. Western Kentucky
  • Alabama v. Hawaii
  • Auburn v. Washington State
  • LSU v. Louisiana Lafayette
  • Ole Miss v. Memphis
OTHER NATIONAL GAMES OF INTEREST
  • Georgia Tech v. Notre Dame. I think you want to go with Georgia Tech on this one, to give a national contender an early loss. Of course, winning might make Tech a national contender, but they'll have several opportunities to lose later.
  • Miami v. Florida State. This one's tough. FSU has to play Clemon and Florida later, but Miami has to play Louisville, Virginia Tech, and Georgia Tech, so although it's close, I think you have to root for FSU in this one.
  • West Virginia v. Marshall. You'll want Marshall here, as they could knock off a national contender with an upset, and a UT victory over them later would look even better.
Apart from that, the general rule is to root for the underdog. Go Vols!