Mark Wiedmer: Could these Vols shock the world?

Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (84) makes a catch for a touchdown in the third quarter closing Mississippi State's lead to 27-23 during the third quarter at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (84) makes a catch for a touchdown in the third quarter closing Mississippi State's lead to 27-23 during the third quarter at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

KNOXVILLE — Win or lose Saturday, Tennessee's football season figures to be inexorably changed by its result against top-ranked Alabama.

Win against the Crimson Tide for the first time in six years and the Vols should finish no worse than 8-4, and that's assuming they lose next week at South Carolina, which could have its own self-esteem issues by then.

Lose, however, and 2012 officially becomes a Big Orange Bust. It would likely post an 0-3 record in October — which would mean an 0-5 start in Southeastern Conference play for a third straight season under head coach Derek Dooley — and fortify a very realistic concern that this team could mail it in the rest of the way.

Lose badly to Bama and it's certainly easy to see the November game at Vanderbilt becoming the difference between the Vols going 7-5 or 6-6.

Continue reading at the Times Free Press.

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Comments » 87

StoneJackBaller writes:

It would be a miracle...but they do happen. Go Vols!

KENVOL writes:

I always have hope and prayers. I just don't think it can happen. The mind says No but the heart says YES.

underthehill writes:

In order for this miracle UT would have to at least slow down the bama run game..is that possible..only with turnovers....

6972 writes:

The question is: "Could theae Vols shock the world?" They have already shocked me...Fla, Ga, MSt. Praying for better days ahead but I don't look for a "W" Saturday. Win or lose I'll die a Vol fan anticipating every Saturday every fall. Go Orange.

CrankE writes:

I'm pulling for them, but I have little hope that a coach who has not once overcome a halftime deficit or beaten a ranked opponent at UT will suddenly do so against #1 Alabama.

If UT wins, does it really change anything for Dooley?

6972 writes:

in response to CrankE:

I'm pulling for them, but I have little hope that a coach who has not once overcome a halftime deficit or beaten a ranked opponent at UT will suddenly do so against #1 Alabama.

If UT wins, does it really change anything for Dooley?

If UT wins, he gets off the hot seat (or as I had said, "the electric chair") at least for now.

Cousin_Eddie writes:

It happens every year. Why not us?

marVOLous writes:

I've been following the Vols for 3 decades now and I have never felt more certain that we were going to lose than this game.

Coach Dooley may be a fine lawyer but he just does not know the game of football. I bet he could coach the heck out of a jousting team though.

pcorange writes:

If a frog had wings, it wouldn't bump it's tail when it jumped. No chance this team beats Alabama. I'm a Vol, but I'm also a realist.

Orangepuddinskin writes:

This game will be a laugher. Being a 20.5 underdog at Neyland shows just how far this program has fallen.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

This game was lost in the last 4 years of recruiting wars where Saban killed just about everybody..It's a lot like playing one of Calipari's ringer teams

laraccoon writes:

if we start trying to arm tackle these dudes from Bama like last week its gonna get ugly . if we play sound fundamental D and dont get away from trying to pound it on O anything is possible . GBO

gatorhator4eva writes:

people have no faith, tennessee defense is the problem. there offense is twice as explosive as bamas when they play solid football. if dooley somehow fixes the d, i would not count an upset out. the vols have plenty of firepower to overwhelm bama.

jakethevolguy writes:

Ain't gonna happen. Dooley just doesn't know how to be a winner. That said, I'll be there on the 50 yard line cheering them on. GBO! Tame the Tide!!

jobrando#216494 writes:

It would be the biggest upset ever. What an opportunity for the team to grow up.

Vol86 writes:

I was there in 1982 when we beat bama. I was in my second year. I knew it was gonna happen. This time?

615VOL writes:

in response to pcorange:

If a frog had wings, it wouldn't bump it's tail when it jumped. No chance this team beats Alabama. I'm a Vol, but I'm also a realist.

Frogs don't have tails

VolinCalif writes:

in response to 615VOL:

Frogs don't have tails

Tadpoles do. As for frogs buts. It is possible to win. I think.

RockyTop1_old writes:

I will be there too. Last Bama game I attended was in Tuscaloosa in 2010 and we lost because our kicker did not tell the coach he was hurt!

Living in Alabama all I hear is about Mt. Cody, I am sick hearing about him. It is hard living here and being a VOL fan. But, as I always told my family, "that's why they suit up and PLAY the game!"

I am yet to see Tennessee PLAY a TENNESSEE game this year, maybe Saturday!! I will be in the North endzone wearing ORANGE!! I just ask the defense to "HIT SOMEBODY!!!!! Go VOLS!! BEAT BAMA!!

go_VOLS_13 writes:

in response to RockyTop1_old:

I will be there too. Last Bama game I attended was in Tuscaloosa in 2010 and we lost because our kicker did not tell the coach he was hurt!

Living in Alabama all I hear is about Mt. Cody, I am sick hearing about him. It is hard living here and being a VOL fan. But, as I always told my family, "that's why they suit up and PLAY the game!"

I am yet to see Tennessee PLAY a TENNESSEE game this year, maybe Saturday!! I will be in the North endzone wearing ORANGE!! I just ask the defense to "HIT SOMEBODY!!!!! Go VOLS!! BEAT BAMA!!

I live in AL too and I know what you mean. Up until this game most have been pretty decent about things, but this week all it's been is "Are you ready for your beat down Saturday?" I'm so sick of hearing that. An article like this makes it so hard not to feel like, maybe, just maybe, if the team comes together, puts it all on the line, and truly gives their all for Tennessee, than they can do it. People may call me a fool for saying that, but I do believe it with all my orange bleeding heart. Regardless, of the outcome, I love the Vols I love our team and I will support them no matter what!

StoneJackBaller writes:

The defensive problems do not get fixed in one week. They had 2 weeks to fix it before MS State and we see what happened. I look for Bama to play ball control and keep our offense off the field. I doubt we will be able to stop their powerful run. That combined with play action pass will be a nightmare. I hope the best, but just being realistic. Also, don't expect our offense to put up the same type of numbers agains the #1 rated pass D and #1 overall D in the country. If we keep it close, it will be another moral victory for Dooley though. He has a helluva moral victory record!

usafvol writes:

in response to go_VOLS_13:

I live in AL too and I know what you mean. Up until this game most have been pretty decent about things, but this week all it's been is "Are you ready for your beat down Saturday?" I'm so sick of hearing that. An article like this makes it so hard not to feel like, maybe, just maybe, if the team comes together, puts it all on the line, and truly gives their all for Tennessee, than they can do it. People may call me a fool for saying that, but I do believe it with all my orange bleeding heart. Regardless, of the outcome, I love the Vols I love our team and I will support them no matter what!

Here's the thing; if bama wins most folks will be ok since thats what all the experts predict. On the other hand, if the Vols win there's gonne be lots of bammers on suicide watch..

PUL4VOLS writes:

Only a complete game by the whole team and coaches has the Vols in this game past mid-second quarter. Can that happen? It sure can. Will it happen? Crickets.....We don't know because as one former poster put it, we have not seen them play a TENNESSEE game this year. Alabama would be a great place to begin. As for CrankE's question does a win really make a difference for Dooley? Oh yeah, it would be a big difference. All the "never has beaten a ranked opponent" screamers would have to find another line. Whatever the case, there are more games to be played and this is only one. I'd love to see a win but that seems highly unlikely.

My Prediction: PRETTY=Not the UT vss Ala Game!
GO VOLS and Give your BEST! You do have many supporters despite all the struggles.

Lizardgrad89 writes:

A UT win won't shock the world, there are at least 6 billion Asians, Africans, Australians, South Americans and Europeans who have never heard of college football. They could care less in Canada and Mexico. I could live with shock the nation, I guess.

gglardon50#417841 writes:

Wanted by Alabama fan. 500 tickets for Sat game. Will pay up to $5 per ticket.

Olddogsrule writes:

in response to pcorange:

If a frog had wings, it wouldn't bump it's tail when it jumped. No chance this team beats Alabama. I'm a Vol, but I'm also a realist.

If a bullfrog had wings,it wouldn't bumpeth it's butt on the ground. Corollary to: If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. I give you frogs and beggars: Texas Tech, Stanford, Louisana Monroe, and last but not least Appy State in the Big House. I'm with all the bleeding orange fans behind the Vols and their coaches. Each to their own, said the milk maid as she kissed the cow.

smokysbark writes:

in response to StoneJackBaller:

It would be a miracle...but they do happen. Go Vols!

You think it would be wrong to ask God for a win Saturday? I live in AL and it would be awesome to be able to crow the rest of the season when I'm around all these bammer fans! Ugh

hikerdude writes:

May have two Willie Gaults? I don't think so. Hunter and Patterson maybe equal one Willie Gault. Hunter has packed it in I think.

gatorhator4eva writes:

ive been living in florida for last three years, biggest vol fan there is and something is just telling me to take the trip and get the tickets. i already attended my once a year game. i think the vols come to play and have nothing to lose and everything to prove.

ClearVol writes:

in response to StoneJackBaller:

It would be a miracle...but they do happen. Go Vols!

Back in the 80's or 90's this could happen.. it DID happen.. Remember Bo Jackson taking himself out of the game?.. Those teams knew that there was always a chance... I used to love it when we were the underdog..Where did that go?

GBOEngineer writes:

If the bus carrying Alabama to the stadium is involved in a serious crash, we have a real chance of keeping it close.

arkyvol writes:

dooley is going to finish this year with one conference win at best. if he stays, i expect more of the same. some day soon, he's going to be gone and it will be hard to find anyone who will admit that they called those of us who doubted him every name in the book.

FWBVol writes:

in response to marVOLous:

I've been following the Vols for 3 decades now and I have never felt more certain that we were going to lose than this game.

Coach Dooley may be a fine lawyer but he just does not know the game of football. I bet he could coach the heck out of a jousting team though.

I respectfully disagree with you about Derek Dooley's knowledge of the game of football. I think he knows the game better than most people and has one of the top football minds in the SEC. Yes, I wrote that. The thing is sometimes the people that know something the best are unable to communicate it in a way that connects the dots for those they are trying to teach.

I'm 54 and I have a boss that is 29 who is brilliant and he knows all about computer, website design and interfacing between computers. But when he tries to explain those things to me it seems like he's talking a space alien language.

I believe CDD has a PHd in football, but maybe he's unable to communicate at a level the undergrads can comprehend.

northfan writes:

We should try something unexpected. Let's bring back the one thing Kiffin did right-night game on national TV.It is time for the BLACK jersey and give our fans some excitement.

volfan2002 writes:

With this Vol defense Bama will march it up and down the field on us and score about 49 points. I think our offense will score a few poiints no where close to what we give up. Bama 49 UT 24

SummittsCourt writes:

Why not? Bama is ripe for the picking!

Go Vols!

navarrebeachvol writes:

in response to gglardon50#417841:

Wanted by Alabama fan. 500 tickets for Sat game. Will pay up to $5 per ticket.

Stay up all night thinking of that one? No way there are 500 Alabama fans who could scratch together $5.00 for a ticket and the gas to Knoxville. Nice try. I'm actually scared about a Tennessee upset. One of you mullet-heads may try to poison Smokey....or at least try to t-bag him. Bama fans-the class of the SEC.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to Vol86:

I was there in 1982 when we beat bama. I was in my second year. I knew it was gonna happen. This time?

As was I, top row on the east side. Sat next to an elder couple wearing maroon. Still have my pics of Gault at midfield on a kickoff return somewhere. Had I graduated on time I could have claimed to have never lost to Bama. Not really.

ModelMaker writes:

I think for us to have a chance to win the mind set is going to have to change. When the game gets close we are going to have to play to win the game and not worring about doing something wrong to lose the game. Also I think Bray is going to have to run the ball some when he gets pressure instead of throwing it away all the time. Sometimes you have to throw the ball away but a lot of the time you can run it and make good yardage on a play that is well covered. I would not worry about getting hurt. We have everything to gain and really nothing to lose. I think we have enough good athletes to pull off the upset.

pj_ladyvolnMI writes:

I was at the Miracle at South Bend in '91. I'm ready for another one. Vol fans...get in the game and stay in the game with our guys! GBO!

D60 writes:

Saban's Bama players and Callipari's Kentucky players are the best paid in the country

HooRay_Vol writes:

Shock the world? Maybe if we had DaRick back and the defense wasn't so SLOW!

TrouserCough writes:

uh...no

BigOrangeFever76 (Inactive) writes:

Atlanta sports radio is reporting via "unconfirmed sources" that McCarron has a torn meniscus in his knee. They said the report came from 3 sources. While I would hate for him to be done for the season...it would not hurt me for him to miss the game Saturday.

b24vol writes:

Miracles happen...but defense could give up 100 pts total in next 2 games.Just saying..

cobragolfer writes:

in response to Vol86:

I was there in 1982 when we beat bama. I was in my second year. I knew it was gonna happen. This time?

I was at the World's Fair that day ... just beside Neyland Stadium when the Vols won. The ground was shaking from the celebration in the stadium. However, the World's Fair is not there this year...neither is the Vol's football team. Bama by "a bunch".

murrayvol writes:

in response to FWBVol:

I respectfully disagree with you about Derek Dooley's knowledge of the game of football. I think he knows the game better than most people and has one of the top football minds in the SEC. Yes, I wrote that. The thing is sometimes the people that know something the best are unable to communicate it in a way that connects the dots for those they are trying to teach.

I'm 54 and I have a boss that is 29 who is brilliant and he knows all about computer, website design and interfacing between computers. But when he tries to explain those things to me it seems like he's talking a space alien language.

I believe CDD has a PHd in football, but maybe he's unable to communicate at a level the undergrads can comprehend.

Good take. The smartest teachers (bosses in your case) often struggle to explain subject matter in a way that makes sense to students/employees.

Great coaches have a way of inspiring individuals and teams to do extraordinary things. Average coaches can't inspire them to do even ordinary things (i.e. tackling) well.

Fall_Creek_Vols writes:

in response to GBOEngineer:

If the bus carrying Alabama to the stadium is involved in a serious crash, we have a real chance of keeping it close.

What a no-class comment.

volsrfiguy writes:

in response to StoneJackBaller:

The defensive problems do not get fixed in one week. They had 2 weeks to fix it before MS State and we see what happened. I look for Bama to play ball control and keep our offense off the field. I doubt we will be able to stop their powerful run. That combined with play action pass will be a nightmare. I hope the best, but just being realistic. Also, don't expect our offense to put up the same type of numbers agains the #1 rated pass D and #1 overall D in the country. If we keep it close, it will be another moral victory for Dooley though. He has a helluva moral victory record!

all of those Moral victories will fill the seats and add dollars to the university's pocketbook, and keep the Coach Dookey supporters happy...I say we fire Dookey and hire one of the Stadium janitors, pay him 100K a year and all the above will be happy! GOVOLS KICK DOOKEY

RollTideJoe writes:

in response to go_VOLS_13:

I live in AL too and I know what you mean. Up until this game most have been pretty decent about things, but this week all it's been is "Are you ready for your beat down Saturday?" I'm so sick of hearing that. An article like this makes it so hard not to feel like, maybe, just maybe, if the team comes together, puts it all on the line, and truly gives their all for Tennessee, than they can do it. People may call me a fool for saying that, but I do believe it with all my orange bleeding heart. Regardless, of the outcome, I love the Vols I love our team and I will support them no matter what!

I understand. I'm a Crimson Tider living in Tennessee. It can get hard. I appreciate that you referred to us as Bama, not some insulting name. I could throw those insults back at Vol fans, but I really try not to do that because it is low class and I appreciate that each team's fans love their school and should. It can be done without insult to others. I, of course, want my team to win Saturday, but I wish you the best and good health for your team. An honest, respectful rivalry is fun; it isn't when low life's turn it into insults. Good article by you!

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