(Reference. It's a bit dated and refers to a different coach-like substance, but the sentiment stands.)
North Carolina beat Tennessee. In double overtime. By a field goal. Let's recap:
- North Carolina, while having had suspensions and injuries of their own, have had coaching stability over the last few years and a depth chart that, even accounting for the missing players, was notably deeper than Tennessee's.
- Tennessee has had three different head coaches, three different offensive coordinators, and three different defensive coordinators in the last four years. (BONUS: considering that 2009's offense was primarily Kiffin's, we know that Tennessee had four different offensive systems in the last four years under three different coordinators.)
- Tennessee had an offensive depth chart that listed freshmen first-stringers and no second string, particularly on the offensive line. (FUN FACT: name the number of successful teams that have had such an inexperienced line playing a brand new system.)
- Our quarterback, while blessed with a 'laser rocket arm', has the mobility of Neyland's statue and the body mass of a stork. And he's protected by that aforementioned freshman offensive line.
- ZOINKS LEFT HANDED CENTER OH NOES
- Our best player is a 5'-10" middle linebacker that couldn't get a scholarship to any Div. 1A school.
- Our defense can't play a dime package because there aren't six defensive backs on the roster.
- Everybody knew that our offense had one mode of operation: 40-yard bombs.
Yet it took a minor miracle for UNC to get the game to overtime, and even then, it took two overtimes for them to capitalize on Tennessee's utter deflation at having been declared the winner by the head referee prior to the subsequent restart of the game
The Vols may have lost two games on the year's two most unbelievable endings, but both losses came against two teams that had no business trailing on the scoreboard when the referee declared the game to be over. If that's what it takes for Tennessee to miss out on 8 wins in their most roster-depleted year since Johnny Majors took the reins, fine
That's the best the rest of the NCAA can throw at the Vols. Wait until the spring is over, when Tennessee has the time to teach run blocking to the line.