We've been playing this game among ourselves as Vols fans for awhile now, competing to see how many different ways we can make ourselves say, "Oh, wow. This is one deep crater." Winner of the day is the insight from GVX that not one single player on this team has EVER played in a bowl game:
There are six fifth-year seniors who were on the roster on the 2010 team that lost to North Carolina in the Music City Bowl, but all of them redshirted. No one on this Tennessee team has played in a bowl game, a stunning turn for a program that has played in 49 of them and made 16 straight from 1989 through 2004.
Sheesh. This is one deep crater we're in. Fortunately, we're going to a bowl game this year. What? Butch Jones said it (same link), not me. He did say that he's not going to be choosy about which bowl his team plays in, so if they want to come to Kingsport, I'm sure Gameday Depot's in the market to sponsor a bowl game, assuming it doesn't cost more than like $15.
Fall Camp is in the books, and we now have some actual facts and data to manipulate to come to our own wild conclusions. Headlining this endeavor, of course, is Will's awesome annual Idiot Optimist's Guide to the 2014 Season. There's also the fact that Jalen Hurd says he, the other running backs, and the offensive line are all viewing themselves as a single unit rather than two units, which obviously means that any concerns about an all-new offensive line can be safely put to bed with the windows open. And because the Vols are "clearly better, deeper at tight end," we can now guarantee NFL Pro Bowl performances from college freshmen and start expanding our mastery of the sevens times tables.
But what do we do with Zach Azzani's warning that any optimism about the wide receivers drawn from the spring game is "absolutely 100 percent overblown?" Hey, he's the coach, and we're not players, we're fans. He's not the boss of us. Believe in a return to glory all you want. Coaches and truth-tellers can be such party poopers.
In other Talking Points news: Justin Hunter shines, and Peyton Manning dominates. And Athlon has its Tennessee preview up, but we'll take this opportunity to humbly remind you that the best annual guide to Tennessee Football is found right here. Can Athlon say, "All Vols. No Ads." I think not.
And don't let Paul Finebaum completely turn you off of the SEC Network. Here's the schedule of just Vols stuff today. It's like a map of a landmine.
12 p.m. - 2007 Football: Tennessee at Kentucky
2 p.m. - 2014 Tennessee Football Preview
Hey, look. It's the Fiddler on the Roof game!