For the fans, the college Football season is tracking about normal in Knoxville and Gainesville. the same way it has the past 11 years. Both teams are undefeated--with the Vols having playeda bitmore difficult schedule to date--but neither has played any world-beaters so far.

There have been some oh-so-close Florida wins--21-20 in Florida's 2006 national championship season--in this series. There have also been outright blowouts--59-20 the very next year--while the Gators have held a strangling grip on the series wins since 2004.

Last year, Tennessee proved just how bad their collective case of nerves has become while trying to stop the bleeding.

The coaching staff, apparently still in disbelief of how Oklahoma came back to beat the Vols when they went ultra-conservative with a lead, tried it again with the Gators. What's the old saying about the definition of insane.

Volunteer coaching staff has learned

Tennessee fans need not worry about a call to go for one if they just scored in the fourth to take a 12 point lead. Rest assured, Butch Jones will be waving two fingers. Nor will they need to worry that the Vols will be 3 dive plays and out if they need to hang onto the ball. In short, Butch Jones' willingness to show Jon Jancek the door in an attempt to upgrade defensive coordinators with the hiring of Bob Shoop in the off season should tell fans all they need to know about whether he is progressive or not.

Jones is no Les Miles when it comes to learning from the past, that won't be the issue this year.

For those of you who complain about Mike DeBord's ability as an offensive coordinator, please don't allow your opinions to be clouded by other's eyes. He is a proven winner as an offensive coordinator during his two stints at Michigan.

Read the numbers and decided for yourself:

  • 1997 - 12-0 won the national championship - average scoring 27
  • 1998 - 10-3 - average scoring 28
  • 1999 - 10-2 - average scoring 30
  • 2006 - 11-2 - average scoring 29
  • 2007 - 9-4 - average scoring 27

Offensive Line, receivers the issue so far

If you study the games played by Tennessee to this point, the issue they have will jump off the film.

It's not coaching. Sure, the offensive staff has called a lot of vanilla rushing plays so far--exactly as they should be doing--but they have called other plays as well.

You can't just throw five guys out there and say "play offensive line." These early games are the time to get the lines playing in sync and as a unit. Unfortunately, that has come slower for the Vols than hoped. Still, there is evidence that the line-play is improving.

Just as disturbing thus far are the dropped passes--Dobbs lone interception vs. Ohio was due to a miss-handled pass. In their first drive, Ethan Wolfe let a sure touchdown pass slip through his fingers. There are several like thoseexamples in every game. It's trueJosh Dobbs isn't going to make UT fans forget that Peyton Manning played here.

It is also true he can surely remind fans that Tee Martin did.

Follow the page NFL
Don't miss our page on Facebook!