By Jim Butler
Just as the orange faithful have renewed hopes of rejoining the SEC elite, they need to look at their sunshine just as I look at my clouds. I think that it is a little much to get very pumped up at the fact that Tennessee has beaten two very sub-par teams to somehow get ranked in the top 25. By the same token, I will not let the fact my Vanderbilt Commodores have lost to two quality Division I teams deter me from my high hopes for this season under Coach James Franklin.
I will have to admit I was disappointed this past weekend with the loss to Northwestern, but my dismay, as usual, was short-lived. This weekend Vandy will be hosting Presbyterian and that should be the first win of the season. I suppose that if we beat them soundly, we will become highly ranked. Our season becomes much tougher as we will be facing Georgia and Missouri on the road.
Should Tennessee beat Florida (and they do play in Knoxville) I don't want to hear any loud guffawing. I remember when Vandy, with Cutler and Bennett leading the way, beat the Orange in 2005 all you UT folks just said well that's OK once every few years. Please remember that thought. I don't want Hoss Wyatt regaining the nerve to climb a utility pole to announce renewed greatness for the Vols.
I noticed that Mr. Gale referred to the UT fans as the 'Big Orange Nation.' Frank, it is now down to the 'Big Orange County.' It will take a few wins against quality teams for you orange-clad folks to again be a nation. That is one thing that I like about you though; you do dream big, and probably in an ugly color.
I also noticed that you dissed Da'Rick Rogers. Why not before he was dismissed from the team? He is playing well for TTU and I will root for him there, as long as he walks the straight and narrow. We must all learn forgiveness, and not just if the erring party is wearing orange.
Watson Brown is, and always has been, a class act and I am confident that he will handle this young man in the proper way.
If there's any team in Tennessee that fans need to be worrying about now it is the Titans. They looked totally inept in their outing against the Patriots. Has Chris Johnson laid down since signing the big new contract? A total of four positive yards on 11 carries is worse than pitiful. Did I not read that he alleged that he could outrun Usain Bolt? Not on his best day.
Well, I'm getting ready and you need to do the same for the upcoming weekend. Vol fans remember that even if you lose to Florida you always have that big win against Georgia State to fall back on.
Have a great week!
Go Panthers! Go Jets! Go USA!
(Jim Butler is a Chronicle correspondent and his column appears regularly.)