Tennessee Vols fans know all too well the great pleasure that their SEC counterparts have taken in their recent misfortune. They heard the snickers at the disappointing end of the otherwise legendary Phillip Fulmer era. They heard Bulldogs, Gators and Crimson Tide fans laugh out loud as the Lane Kiffin debacle reached an embarrassing conclusion. They heard the guffaws as the Vols quickly hired Derek Dooley, a young coach with a big last name but unproven resume and losing career record.
The ridicule reached a roar this season as the Vols lost their first five SEC games. But suddenly over the last two weeks, Tennessee fans have reason for optimism. The Vols have put up 102 points in their last two games and new QB Tyler Bray has throw 10 touchdown passes in just nine quarters. By comparison the great Peyton Manning threw just 11 touchdown passes his entire freshman season. Now I'm not saying Bray is better than Manning or that they should even be mentioned in the same breath. But that's an impressive statistic.
BTW...this week's opponent, Vandy has 9 TD passes this season. All of a sudden the Vols receiving corps is making highlight reel catches all over the field. Gerald Jones, Denarius Moore, Da'Rick Rogers and Justin Hunter have combined for 24 catches and 7 touchdowns the last two Saturdays. Never mind that those last two wins have come against the Tigers and the Rebels. Never mind that the bowl eligibility the Vols are striving to achieve with two more wins, would be to a bowl game that ten years ago, Tennessee fans would have shuddered at the thought. That was then and this is now and today the word is progress.
It's been a while since Vols football fans have had something to feel good about. I think they're getting better and I'm looking forward to calling their rivalry game at Vandy Saturday at 7:30pm ET on CSS. Hope to see you there, or better yet, watching on your TV! What do you think happens Saturday?