Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Sports Columns

September 20, 2012

All in the Game: Someone was better and someone was worse

CROSSVILLE — The headline refers to the big contest on the hill where the University of Tennessee was favored over a familiar visitor from the "Swamp." True, Florida had not looked like much in their initial two outings and the Volunteers had put a big whooping on Georgia State in addition to a convincing win over NC State.

I, for one, thought that the powers that be had put the Vols on a throne too quickly and therefore wrongly raised the hopes of the orange faithful.

Tyler Bray still had what I guess one would call a decent game though the fourth quarter wasn't too impressive. SEC defenses still bring a little more to the table than most conferences and judgements of greatness need to be reserved until the proof has been seen.

Sugar Creek's Jane Way called me before venturing to Knoxville for the weekend and she was anxiously awaiting the kickoff to see what she truly believed was going to be the beginning of the resurrection of Tennessee football. Sorry, Jane. I surely hope that you weren't counting on a huge performance from Peyton Manning to cheer you up. We must be true fans though, win or lose. Right?

I won't comment much on the victory by Vanderbilt because like many games over the weekend it was a scheduled mismatch, but still we all need a confidence builder here and there.

Zac Stacey was the most impressive Commodore with 174 yards on only eight carries. Still, he, just like Tyler Bray, must prove himself against the SEC.

Vanderbilt will be traveling to Athens to take on the highly ranked Georgia Bulldogs this weekend and this will truly be a test. I feel good about this one.

Tennessee is hosting the mighty Zips of Akron before things become a little more rigorous for them. Vols need confidence too and this game should help. to rebuild that. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the great catch and spike by Coach Derek Dooley. Put yourself in coach, you're ready to play.

Chris Johnson had another horrible outing for the Titans and his total rushing yardage is so meager that it is totally unexplainable. It has been mentioned to me that the offensive line may just be a little ticked off at him and not really blocking as they should. Surely, true professionals wouldn't act like that. They need to show something against Detroit this weekend or there is a real problem brewing. Those ticket prices are way too high for the quality of football that the Titans are presenting.

Golf is getting down to the nitty gritty with the FedEx Championship and the Ryder Cup upon us. I've got my favorites and you've got yours. Let's root for them.

Everybody have a great week and enjoy this beautiful weather. It really is nice for football. Keep that smile going. I will celebrate my win over Georgia by keeping my Vandy flag waving. You UT followers need to bring yours back out of mothballs and fill that I-40.

Go Jets! Go Panthers! Go USA!

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

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