Got lots and lots of text messages during and after the game, and looking at them again today there are some actual salient points in there (a little surprising, since they were coming from people at various levels of inebriation and frustration). And now that I've had time to think, I can respond with more than the standard "WTF" I was using Saturday.
--We had better get used to this. We have switched spots with south carolina!* Eh, not exactly. Ten years ago, we were neck-and-neck with Florida. Now they're head and shoulders. The rest of us in the East are scraping for second place. It's like the Triforce has been split and scattered throughout the Eastern division, and whoever claims all three pieces will be the next to challenge the Gators. And that's the dorkiest analogy I've ever made. Basically we haven't switched places with Carolina, but we have slipped down while they've climbed up, and Georgia's right there, too (and don't look, but here comes Kentucky. Yikes).
--Im over fulmer. Out coached. The game has changed weved stayed same* Oy, now we're to the heart of the matter. I've been a staunch Fulmer supporter for years, but with this loss everything has changed. I'm not quite jumping ship yet, but until Saturday the rebuttal to "fire Fulmer" was "you're being irrational, look at the man's record and everything he's accomplished." But now it's obvious that we're not on a level with strong national programs anymore, not even close. Bad luck over the course of a season is bad luck. Bad luck over the course of six or seven seasons is a trend. "Fire Fulmer" is no longer an irrational, knee-jerk thought. It's a legitimate conversation that needs to be had rationally and carefully among Vol fans. Or we should just scream a lot, which would probably be more cathartic.
The reasonable response to "fire Fulmer" is no longer "you're being irrational." It's "if not Fulmer, then who?" Start looking for answers, folks.
--They are running it up on purpose, something Phil would never do.* Maybe that's part of the problem, ya heard? Oh, and a bonus message I got, just because I'm feeling spiteful: That kiss is weird. I wonder which one is the buck. Me too, not that there's anything wrong with that...
We've got Georgia in three weeks. I don't care about the Ark St. game, win or lose, it has no bearing on our season. All that's left to play for is to win SEC games and hope a meteor hits Gainesville. Go Vols? I suppose.
*(all messages [sic], obvs)