Saturday night in Neyland Stadium is going to be an absolute mad house. 102,455 rabid fans dressed in orange and white screaming for the blood of the Sooners. It will be a throwback to the Neyland Stadium atmosphere that current UT students have only heard about. It's a chance for the Vols to insert themselves back on the national map. It's a chance for Vol fans to exorcise the big game demons that have plagued Tennessee for the better part of a decade now.
It will be gargantuan.
But is it even the biggest game on Tennessee's schedule?
Some say yes, because a win over the Sooners will catapult UT into SEC play, give them confidence going into the Florida game, and prove that Tennessee football is finally back. Others say no, because UT's matchup with Georgia may decide the SEC East champion or because Florida is the monkey that Tennessee has had on its back for 10 years and this is the year UT must beat the Gators.
The fact is, they're all big. This is a big season for Tennessee football.
2015 could be a turning point for the entire program and no matter what, it will be very telling for the longevity of Butch Jones and his coaching staff. The talent is there for Team 119 to be a great team. If they can break through and finally win games like Oklahoma, Florida, and Georgia, it will be clear that Butch Jones is here to stay. At least for a few more years.
A great 2015 season will do wonders for the psyche of players and fans alike. The players need to know they can win on the biggest stage and the fans need to see the team that they love be excellent again. The Vols have to do away with the mindset that things don't go well "because it's Tennessee." Tennessee was and still can be a perennial powerhouse.
And the only way to get back to the glory days of Tennessee football is to win. A win over Oklahoma makes Tennessee relevant again. A win over Florida ends the curse of the Gators. An SEC East title means a raise and extension for Butch Jones and the world to Vol fans.
The stage is set and Tennessee has everything to prove.
It's tough to say what game is the biggest in 2015, they all seem incredibly important and urgent. Oklahoma will be enormous but nothing will be bigger than Tennessee putting together a season's worth of gratifying victories, and the opportunity for the Vols to get back to their tradition of winning kicks off Saturday night in Neyland Stadium.