Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

October 18, 2012

ALL IN THE GAME: Every weekend is a big one now

By Jim Butler
Chronicle correspondent

CROSSVILLE — With the SEC now in full swing and the cupcake games over for the most part, every weekend is filled with games that are worth watching and this Saturday is certainly no differerent. A glitch in technology kept my column from making last week's edition and I apologize for that snafu. Anyway, I only spent a small amount of time on the very large Vanderbilt SEC road win over Missouri and less time talking about the spoiled brat Tony Stewart taking out most of the field at Talladega. Hopefully, all will be well in the email world this week.

Tennessee really has a chance to turn the football world on its ear on Saturday, as they host No. 1 and defending national champion Alabama. Is there a chance for a very major upset here? Sure there is, and it has been done before.

I was on hand back in the 1980s when the Vols hosted and defeated No.1 Auburn with Bo Jackson. It can happen, but I certainly don't expect it. I hope Mr. Gale and his small throng don't have their hopes up too high.

I wasn't too very upset on Saturday when the Commodores fell to Florida. After all, the Gators are now number two in the land. I don't think they are deserving of that lofty ranking, and I'm sure that most Vol fans agree with me; though, they are playing well and seem to be able to turn it on when they need to.

The Tennessee loss at Starkville really did surprise me and it seems to have brought out the worst in some of the fans in Knoxville, as they are clamoring for Coach Dooley's job and writing bad things with spray paint. Maybe he will have his team well prepared this week and be able to turn some of those highly emotional fans around.

We are to that time of year when baseball gets into the spotlight and I'm on the bandwagon for Detroit. Hopefully they can win it all for Jim Leyland, one of the class acts of the game. I'm still shaking my head over Yankees' manager Joe Girardi pinch hitting for and sitting out the highest paid player in the game. That took some guts and it worked out well for him the first time.

There will be several elephant flags flying this weekend around the Knoxville area and they might even outnumber the orange. This just might be a very good ball game, but truly, it's not important enough to get all bent out of shape over. Let's just enjoy and do our best.

I'm going to go out on a limb and predict a full house for this one.

This will be the first time, probably ever, that Vandy has sold out two weeks in a row. They need to get a good win over Auburn to keep things going in the right direction and I believe that they will.

Everybody have a great week and enjoy these beautiful autumn colors. The only thing bad about the foliage is that there is just a little too much orange. I'll get over it.

Go Jets! Go Panthers! Go USA!

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