Some questions total strangers wandered up and asked me in the Atlanta airport on the way home from Tennessee's 75-70 win at Florida on Saturday night:
Q: Where does this upset rank in the Didn't Expect to Win in Gainesville category?
A: Pretty high in my book, considering Florida hadn't lost at home this year and UT hadn't won on the road.
The 2006 win at Florida still carries a little more shock value. The Vols were ranked No. 10 at the time but that was a much better Florida team, one that was about to begin a run to the national championship.
In 2000, the Vols upset a ninth-ranked Florida team in double overtime — remember Isiah Victor's basket at: 00.3 to force overtime? — which was a big deal since UT hadn't won in Gainesville since 1991.
And even the '91 win, which came on the night the Desert Storm war started in Iraq, was surprising in that snapped a five-game losing streak.
Q: What's up with Arkansas, UT's next opponent?
A: The Razorbacks are born again under new coach Mike Anderson. They're 17-0 in Fayetteville but 0-7 on the road, which reflects what an utterly young team this is.
The rotation includes four freshmen, including leading scorer BJ Young, and two sophomores.
Nice coaching job by Anderson, who lost star forward Marshawn Powell after two games.
Q: How much have the Vols upgraded their postseason prognosis with a three-game winning streak?
A: Considerably, but there is still a ceiling.
The Vols are 13-12, but remember Chaminade
doesn't count for NCAA tournament consideration. I'm not sure how the NIT views Division II wins.
There are six regular-season games remaining, all of which are winnable — and losable. The interesting angle is UT still gets to play the three teams with which it is currently tied for fifth place in the SEC: Arkansas, Alabama and Ole Miss.
Arkansas and Ole Miss are in Thompson-Boling and if Alabama doesn't reinstate its four leading players from suspension, Saturday's game in Tuscaloosa looks more favorable for a second road win.
An NIT bid has become doable, but a ticket to the Big Dance remains a shot from beyond half-court. Tennessee's RPI is still only 110.
The loss at Georgia and the Austin Peay debacle are ghosts that haunt the Vols.
Q: What seed can the Vols earn for the SEC tournament?
A: Four through seven are desirable if you want to stick around and enjoy New Orleans.
Six or seven puts you in the bracket opposite Kentucky, which looks unbeatable. Anybody else can be had on a neutral floor.
The four or five seeds wouldn't face the Wildcats until Saturday.
Q: What are UT's marquee wins?
A: Connecticut (RPI 21) still counts for something, even though the Huskies are reeling (15-9, 5-7 Big East).
The Florida sweep is strong. But that's about it.
Pulling out a win over Memphis in Maui (a 99-97 double-overtime loss) would have been big. The Tigers have an RPI of 19.
Q: Which of UT's mid-major opponents have had good seasons:
A: That's easy — UNC Asheville. The Bulldogs are 19-7 and 14-1 in the Big South.
Neither Oakland nor College of Charleston, both of whom beat the Vols, have amounted to anything. The Austin Peay loss still stinks to high heaven. The Governors are 6-7 in the OVC.
Citadel (4-21) and Louisiana Monroe (2-23) are two of the worst teams in the country and Chattanooga's not much better.
The surprise has been UNC-Greensboro, whom UT routed on opening night. After a 2-14 start that got coach Mike Dement fired, Greensboro is on a 9-1 run and leads its division of the Southern Conference.