By Jim Butler
My euphoria over the big Vanderbilt upset of Georgia was shortlived, but believe me, I truly enjoyed it. A sound thumping by Texas A&M can not take it away. I'm sure that Frank Gale feels the same way regarding Tennessee, who was fairly, soundly beaten by that "red team" after the Vols' upset of the Gamecocks. Then again, some UT fans just can't take a defeat even when it is to the number one team in the land.
I watched much of both of these games and any flicker of hope for either was extinguished quickly by a pick six. After falling behind by 28-0 Vandy scored 17 points in a row and took the second-half kickoff. The first offensive play resulted in a defensive touchdown and it was easy to see the bubble deflate. The scenario for the Vols was much the same as a drive deep into Tide territory was thwarted by a miscue by Justin Worley.
The course remains tough for both teams now. and it is made even tougher by what could be the loss of starting quarterbacks. Vanderbilt has the week off so Austin Carta-Samuels may have time to recuperate before taking on the Gators. Of course, the 'Dores will be underdogs, but Florida hasn't lived up to the pre-season hype and I give Vandy a good chance in the Swamp. The Gators have quarterback issues of their own.
I heard from one Alabama fan, Ronnie Pugh, and even he was surprised by the margin of victory over Tennessee. I haven't heard from Bob Wilson, yet. I guess he still doesn't like to use email or he may be continuing his quest to find out just what a Vol is.
It doesn't get much easier for UT as they must now take on a Missouri Tiger team that has to be stinging from the overtime loss to the Gamecocks. Even without their number one quarterback, James Franklin, the Tigers are formidable. Maybe Mr. Gale's team number 117 can step up strong and strengthen the mortar for the next row of bricks. Has Mr. Gale covered the other 116 teams?
Did y'all see the rant by Dez Bryant of the Dallas Cowboys as he laid into Tony Romo, Derek Dooley and Jason Garrett? They can tell me all they want that all his comments were positive but I'll have to hear the tape to believe that. Just another overpaid prima donna in Jerry Jones' circus. Oh well, I don't care much for pro sports, anyway.
Now we must not let recent losses dampen our enthusiasm for our teams. Let's keep rooting loudly and longly as we seek additional victories to become bowl eligible. Hopefully those wearing the orange and the black and gold will be in the post-season.
Have a great week.
Go Jets! Go Panthers! Go USA!
(Jim Butler is a Chronicle correspondent and his column appears regularly.)