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July is for managing expectations and saying goodbye to the past

There is no question that the arrival of the Kiffin Chimera has infused some much-needed enthusiasm into the Tennessee Volunteer football program. Among the many reasons for this are the chest-thumping, the landing of the nation's #1 recruit, and a fan base that was united in the celebration of only two (2001 and 2004) of the last ten seasons.

It's funny, though, how we're not going overboard and predicting an immediate turnaround. Lesson learned from 2008? Probably.

But as football season approaches, I can feel the excitement really beginning to build. So, lest we forget the hard lessons 2008, the fact that Kiffin's first team at USC started the season 2-5, that even Nick Saban went 7-6 his first season at Alabama, we here at RTT are going to do our part to manage expectations for 2009.

Although the new era draws near, we're not quite finished with the old. Over the rest of July, we'll be putting the Phillip Fulmer Era to bed. Part of that will consist of a fairly quick look back at 2008 to temper some of the expectations for 2009, but that will be weighed against Will completing his fantastic series of the Top 50 Games of the Phillip Fulmer Era.

Our "dwelling on the past" will be over soon enough, though, so don't fret. Next week is SEC Media Days, after that is fall practice, and after that . . . the new era of Tennessee football begins.