The Tennessee Volunteers have something in common with their opponent this week. As they travel to South Carolina to face Head Coach Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks, both teams are coming off a lopsided loss to one of the top two teams in America.
The Vols were just thumped at home by BCS No. 1 Alabama 44-13. While the Gamecocks were taken to the woodshed in Gainesville by No. 2 Florida, 44-11.
Since both teams gave up 44 points while losing, make that two things they have in common.
That's about as far as I can go with comparisons right now. I thought about both teams losing their last two games but that isn't fair. Actually, UT has lost it's last three.
Volunteer fans are hoping speculation by some college analysts that the Gamecocks should be mentally down this week is correct. South Carolina has been through two very difficult games and had their national—as well as SEC—championship hopes dashed.
After South Carolina bashed the No. five ranked Georgia Bulldogs on October 7, they rose to No. 3 in the BCS rankings. Since then, they have lost two straight and fallen to No. 13.
Still, that is the no. 13 team in the nation. UT is currently tied for No. 11 (in the SEC). Unfortunately, it appears the Volunteers are coming into Columbia at the worst possible time.
Tennessee Head Coach Derek Dooley is under fire from fans for not winning at least one of the more difficult games on the schedule this year. While he clearly did not get much credit from them for the win over N.C. State the first game of the season.
Tyler Bray, UT's star quarterback, is living up to the immature kid rumors by acting, well, immature. While Justin Hunter, supposedly the Vols best receiver, appears to openly pout during games if he isn't targeted often.
And these analysts think Steve Spurrier's team is fragile?
Coach Spurrier and his Gamecocks share one other thing with the Vols. Both of their last two losses were to current top 10 nationally ranked teams. Any one—possibly two—of these four teams could wind up in the national championship game.
Instead of what they have in common, we should look at what is different. Right now, there is one glaring difference between these two.
That is, the Gamecocks seem to be on the verge of getting just what they need to get all fixed up—a visit from the Tennessee Volunteers.