It’s funny how a single victory can turn around the entire vibe of a college program. But that is exactly what has happened with the Tennessee win Friday evening over NC State.
It is easier for that to happen with a season opener after a bad season rather than a late-season win after a few losses in the same season. A record of 1-0 with an impressive performance means that all things are possible. An upset victory getting your team to 3-5 means that you just might go bowling at the most.
The air is fresher, the grass a brighter green, the flowers more fragrant. It feels like a brand new world. That’s the first scenario.
Everything still stinks. That’s the second scenario.
Derek Dooley did his best to dampen runaway expectations on Friday night by saying that this win is just that – only a single win. A record of 1-0 doesn’t mean anything other than you are 1-0.
Nice try, coach.
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross identified five stages that a dying patient experiences when informed of their terminal prognosis. The stages are: denial (this isn’t happening), anger (why is this happening), bargaining (I promise I’ll be a better person if…), depression (I don’t care anymore), and acceptance (I’m ready for whatever comes).
Tennessee 50 Memphis 14
06 Nov 2010 | Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium | 39,742Recap | Boxscore | Play-by-play | Drive Chart
One of the most fascinating art exhibits I’ve seen included several unfinished sculptures of Michelangelo in Florence. It’s one thing to see the finished product, but it’s quite another experience to see a piece of marble that has been only partially cut – one from which the human form is partially poking through the rawness of the native rock, showing the immense but still unrealized potential of the raw cut. It leaves one contemplating the possibilities.
Call me a dreamer, but that was the image that came to mind as the first half was coming to an end Saturday night in Memphis.
The 2010 Tennessee Vols are an exercise in going back to square one. The seeds of this were planted some time ago, and the sprouts appeared Saturday night in the most lopsided defeat of a Vol team at Neyland Stadium. The Oregon Ducks are a magnificent squad, but we’ve played a lot of magnificent teams over the past 90-odd years in the old house, and none of those whipped us by this many points on Shields-Watkins Field.