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Tennessee Volunteers safe in the shelter of a bye week

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Suddenly, 2-2 doesn't look so bad, does it?

Forget for just a second that Tennessee has serious problems running the ball and stopping the run. No, seriously, put it out of your mind for a minute.

Okay. Now.

We, unlike Michigan, have not lost to a D-II school. We, unlike Notre Dame, are not 0-5, looking at a very real possibility of 0-8. We didn't lose to unranked Colorado or to unranked Kansas State, like No. 3 Oklahoma and No. 7 Texas did this afternoon. We didn't lose at home to unranked Auburn like Florida did tonight or even to a No. 15 South Florida team like West Virginia did Friday night. No, we lost two away games against Cal and Florida, respectively ranked No. 6 and No. 4 going into today's games.

It's all about the SEC, and that race just got interesting again. Everybody in the East (except Kentucky) has at least one loss already. Yes, Florida currently has the head-to-head tie-breaker against Tennessee, but not only did they lose an SEC game this evening, they looked vulnerable against Ole Miss last week. Next week, they travel to Baton Rouge to play LSU. Tennessee is zero-zero with everybody else but Kentucky, and the Wildcats have yet to meet South Carolina, LSU, Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee.

Okay, now remember all of that other stuff. Tennessee picked a good week to sit in the shade, enjoying the shelter of a bye week while its rivals suffered shock after shock, but we shouldn't get too carried away. The same Florida team that lost today and looked mediocre last week made us look awful. So far this season, Tennessee hasn't shown that it can either run the ball or stop the run, and if we can't help ourselves, what happens to everybody else won't matter.

But this weekend should give the players and coaches a little extra motivation and the fans a little more enthusiasm for the season. The race is now wide open, and don't look now, but we're running with the pack.

Georgia, up next.