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LINKS: What Has You Most Worried About The Battle at Bristol?

Second verse, same as the first. That and breaking down Virginia Tech’s offense, previewing Bristol, and more: it’s your Thursday links!

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NASCAR: Food City 500-Qualifying Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Just Getting This Outta the Way
Morning folks. Right, so, the App (OKAY NOT APPY OKAY FINE) State game: not the best! "Pyrrhic" might be underselling a game which resulted in Pro Football Focus asking what went wrong, The Ringer’s ‘Winners and Losers" recap just declaring everyone a loser, and the Vols being variously called "soft," "sloppy pretenders," and 2015 Jeremy Johnson. Butch Jones is on someone’s hot seat list. Children-who-are-totally-not-adults-pretending-to-be-children are weeping:

There’s also this from CBS, buried halfway through Dennis Dodd’s comically-long weekly column:

Two-loss team in the CFP? With four teams in the top 11 losing in Week 1, perhaps this is a possibility. Essentially, LSU, Oklahoma, Tennessee Volunteers and Ole Miss have to win out to have a chance. While few were giving the Vols and Rebels a chance, when the Tigers and Sooners lost it marked the first time two top five teams were defeated in Week 1 since 1972.

...which is either some excellent low-key trolling, or what happens when you fire all your actual writers, we guess.

So not great! But luckily, there’s a game in two days. In the words of warrior-poet JRM:

Moving on.

Some Links About Virginia Tech
Justin Fuente gave a predictably anodyne press conference yesterday, calling the Vols "loaded across the board," while The Key Play has a lengthy discussion of Bud Foster’s comments about the Vols.

The Hokies ran 89 plays last week, a blistering pace compared to the Beamer era, and are looking to run even faster this week. If you’re interested in what specifically to expect out of Fuente’s (deservedly) vaunted offense, SBN’s own Gobbler Country has a fantastic breakdown of their game against Liberty, building on their similarly great cutups/analysis series over the offseason, covering Fuente 101, route concepts, quarterback play, and red zone packages.

They also break down our Thursday game (spoiler alert: the line was dismal) and briefly ponder whether Dobbs will play Saturday (spoiler alert: he will). (Actually, doubling back for a second: Dave Hooker is dumb.) MOVING ON.

Yo Dawg I Heard You Like Previews
As usual, Brad at B/R has a fine writeup previewing the Saturday’s game (with slides, though BOO HISS). Sporting News does one of those things with a bunch of numbers for section headers that are gasp actually vaguely relevant stats. Fox has a super-boring preview that predicts nothing, Chip Patterson at CBS picks VT to cover the 11.5 point spread, and Sportblog is calling an on-the-moneyline 27-17 Tennessee victory. Fun fact: both schools look to make more than four million dollars off the game, which interestingly is exactly $4m more than the players actually playing the game are expected to earn.

Practice carries on, and Tuesday afternoon freshman wide receivers Marquez Callaway and Brandon Johnson both lost their helmet stripes.

Mike DeBord apparently agrees Kamara needs more touches. OCs, they’re just like us!

Tennessee President Joe DiPietro announced Tuesday the members of the new special commission to address sexual assault throughout the University of Tennessee system. The creation of the commission, which will begin by assessing the Title IX practices and procedures of all UT campuses, was announced in July following the $2.48 million settlement of the Title IX lawsuit.

In case you missed it, the Big 12 is having a sort of bizarre reality competition to decide who will next join the conference, and Memphis is evidently out as a candidate. Air Force, BYU, UCF, Cincinnati, Colorado State, UConn, Houston, Rice, South Florida, SMU and Tulane are the remaining schools being considered. I’m going to go ahead and say UCF is Chad.

The NFL, a boringly elaborate mechanism for producing fantasy football statistics, is wrapping up final roster cuts, and SI’s MMQG has a fascinating (and frankly really poignant) look at life on the roster bubble (really, read it, it’s good). Incidentally, GVX points out that Miami now leads the NFL in Vawlness, with five former Vols on roster (Arian Foster, Justin Hunter, Matt Darr, Dallas Thomas and Ja'Wuan James).

Actually, scrap that, we’re a battered fan base, we’re owning it. "How worried should we be?" Nah: what specifically are you most worried about in the Virginia Tech game? See? Progress!