Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

October 24, 2013

ALL IN THE GAME: It was a good day for most of us

By Jim Butler
Chronicle correspondent

CROSSVILLE — Just when Frank Gale thought he would really be able to give it to me as Tennessee defeated their long-time nemesis Steve Spurrier, his bubble lost a little air. Not long after the last second win by the Vols, Vanderbilt, sans their starting quarterback, scored 17 unanswered points in a stirring comeback win over Georgia.

That's not something the large throng of Commodore fans is used to seeing, but it is a nice feeling.

The Tansi bunch had to be yelling and screaming, as Michael Palardy drilled the winning field goal for the Vols, and they should be very proud of this big win. That's a large brick in the foundation that Butch Jones is laying in Knoxville.

He will get a chance to put in place a much larger adobe this Saturday as he takes on the Crimson Tide. It's not often that Tennessee is a four touchdown underdog as they are in this one, and I would be awfully surprised to see them get beat by that many points.

As tough a coach as Nick Saban is, he is not one to pile on should he have the opportunity. There has always been a large number of 'Bama fans in the Crossville area, nearly as many as Volunteers, and a big win for the Tide may put them ahead in numbers.

My bunch is not in for an easy weekend either, as we must travel to take on Johnny Manziel and the Aggies. Hopefully Patton Robinette, the new Vandy signal caller will be able to continue to perform as he did against the Bulldogs, if the job falls to him.

The escapability of Manziel poses a problem for anyone that A&M faces. He's definitely a magician with his feet, even if I don't like his attitude. His loss to Auburn was another shocker to probably everyone, except Brock Hill who was a student there I think during the Pat Sullivan era.

I was surprised to see that Rick Dockham's alma mater managed to take second place in the BCS standings, but a massacre of previously third-ranked Clemson can have that type effect. I still believe that super-quick Oregon just might be the best team in the nation. The Seminoles still have a couple of tough tests to go as they have to play Miami and the Gators. This would be a great year for the four-team playoff to begin.

Well, we've got chances for upsets again this week and it seems that nothing in the SEC is a sure thing, so I'll keep my hopes high. You Vol fans do the same thing. Ronnie Pugh's favorite team can't continue to beat you every year.

Have a great week and enjoy this fall weather.

Go Panthers! Go Jets! Go USA!

(Jim Butler is a Chronicle correspondent and his column appears regularly.)