Are you excited? I know I'm excited. College football -- yes, real live college football in living color -- starts up in three days. Tennessee Volunteers football kicks off two days after that. Rub your hands together. Get giddy. It's (nearly) football time in Tennessee.
Check out this countdown to kickoff article from the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Wes Rucker does a nice job of surveying the landscape of national sportswriters and getting their take on how the Tennessee Volunteers will fare this season.
Bruce Feldman sums up expectations nicely:
“You don’t want to see the ticker showing ‘Ole Miss 48, Tennessee 13,’ and you really don’t want the ticker showing, ‘Kentucky 41, Tennessee 20,’” Feldman said. “That would look bad. I think [Dooley] needs to win those Kentucky and Vandy types of games. I think they’ve got to win two of these three games — South Carolina, Kentucky and Ole Miss. To me, those are toss-up games. If they go 6-6 and don’t get blown out in most of those losses, I think people would say, ‘That’s pretty good.’ I don’t think they necessarily need to be competitive with the top half of the league, but I think they need to somehow get six wins.
I could put my own spin on what it means for things to 'get thick', but I might just end up saying something dirty. To Dooley, it's something like this.
"I think from a day-to-day work standpoint, (the coaching chemistry) has been phenomenal," Dooley said after Wednesday's mock game. "What is not there yet are all the things that come up (during a game). 'Holy smokes, we didn't talk about that. How are we going to handle that?' It's just the newness, and it takes a full year of going through it to really iron out the little things out there. "Where you're really going to see it is when it gets a little thick out there, fans are screaming, we're struggling, coordinators are screaming on the headset, head coach is screaming on the headset, that's where it's important. I've said that a million times and we talk about, boy, we've got great leaders or we've got a great team. We don't know until it gets thick. When it gets thick, how everybody handles it and works together to solve the problem is when you know you've got something."
A look back to the hiring of Dooley.
Luke Stocker is still exceedingly tall.
Are you excited yet? College Football. Three Days. Volunteers. Five days. Short sentences. Get excited. Yes!