Pregame: Alabama at Tennessee
"Ah, you're doing it! Youuuuu're doing it!"
I was on a phone call with a friend earlier this week and he was right. I definitely was "doing it."
I got caught believing in Tennessee football.
Our conversation was centered around a completely unrelated college football topic. As the conversation wrapped up my friend mentioned this weekend's game. The Third Saturday in October. I tried to play it cool, like this was just another game and hopefully Tennessee could keep it competitive this season. That would be a major sign of progress in an already great year. I didn't last very long.
The next thing I know I'm talking about how incredible it would would be to see a swarm of people covering the Neyland Stadium turf and smoking victory cigars. Yup, I had done it alright. I went from "hopefully we can keep it close" to "this is the year" in the length of about three sentences.
It's been fifteen long years since Tennessee has won this game. Only two of those fifteen losses have even been close. That sort of prolonged dominance has the tendency to beat the hope out of you as a fan. But, for the first time since I can remember, I have hope about this game again. I have belief. I think the fans, the coaches, and the team all have it, too.
Here's why I think Tennessee has a legitimate shot to pull the upset on the Crimson Tide.