Nothing upsets the good feeling of being ranked for the first time in two years like five of your next six games coming against Florida, Georgia, Mississippi St, Alabama, and South Carolina.
That's the life of a rebuilding SEC program.
Just to be clear, 'rebuilding' is a term that we have all (for some reason) decided means shuffle a few coaches, take a few humiliating defeats, and have fans willing call into local sports radio shows and ask if our team is in line to sign some 9th grade running back.
All that said, Tennessee has been sitting on an offensive line that really looks to have matured and Jr quarterback Tyler Bray is playing up to the lofty expectations that the Rocky Top faithful have been promised.
The Gators are coming off of a 20-17 win on a big stage in College Station, TX, where they put together a nice second half.
BOLD PREDICTION ONE:
Tyler Bray will build on the promise he showed the country in the 2010 Music City Bowl vs North Carolina where he threw for over 300 yards and four touchdowns. Bray has tossed for 643 yards with six TDs and no interceptions in Tennessee's first two games.
Florida will be no pushover here. Tennessee has shown no running attack and Florida's D will show no hesitation to stack the box full of orange helmets.
BOLD PREDICTION TWO:
Those pants. You know the pants. Tennessee coach Derek Dooley's sunglasses inducing orange pants will be front and center under the clear Appalachian sky for the world to see. This isn't so much a bold prediction as it is a plea for the crew at ESPN to run a disclaimer on the bottom of the screen so those of us watching on high def will have a chance to shield our eyes.
BOLD PREDICTION THREE:
An (albeit small) changing of the guard after just three weeks in, Will Muschamp has a tough job. He's following a winner. Ask Ray Goff at Georgia what's that's like in this league. Don't ask Les Miles. He doesn't really help the narrative here. The natives are restless in Gainesville and a loss to Tennessee won't help much. Dooley? He needs the win. They're rebuilding, right?
Win goes to the orange pants. 21-17, Tennessee.