Something really struck me while I was writing this post.
WARNING! PREPARE YOURSELF FOR SHOCKING NEWS:
The Tennessee Volunteers are not dead yet. Okay, so maybe they’re mostly dead, but as Miracle Max said in The Princess Bride, “There’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive.”
But before I get to that, here are the top ten horses after Week Six:
Okay, so here’s what happened this past weekend. Ohio State, who lost to Penn State, and Tennessee dropped out of the top ten, and Miami consequently moved up two spots to No. 6. California dropped out after losing to UCLA, and Alabama consequently moved up behind Miami. LSU found itself back in the hunt at No. 8, and newcomers Notre Dame and Penn State entered the race at Nos. 9 and 10 respectively.
Tennessee tumbled all the way to No. 18 after losing to the Georgia Bulldogs.
Not to say the drop is unjustified at all, but really, look at their schedule:
- Lost at Florida when the Gators were ranked No. 7.
- Won at LSU when the Tigers were ranked No. 4.
- Lost against Georgia when the Bulldogs were ranked No. 4.
- Scheduled to play Alabama (currently No. 7) next and Notre Dame (currently No. 9) later.
If (and yes, it’s a big if) the Volunteers can win against Alabama and Notre Dame, they will have won three of five games against top ten opponents. Is that really the end of the world as we know it? What if Notre Dame can upset USC this weekend at South Bend? (Okay, okay, I know. If they beat USC, we haven’t got a chance against them, but dream with me, won’t you?)
Yes, Tennessee’s two losses will have been against SEC East opponents Florida and Georgia and will have cost them any shot at an SEC or even an SEC East title. And because of that, they have no chance at the Rose Bowl. But they should still be able to get back into the top ten with quality wins against the Crimson Tide and the Irish.
Of course, with the way the Vols have been playing, predicting any win is a risky proposition, but the point remains:
The Volunteers are only mostly dead.
See the Race to the Rose Bowl from the beginning: