I'm ok with the season

#26

GregAmsler

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#26
I thought an 8 win season was it, with maybe 9 or even 7 being reasonable. So yes, this season is better than I expected.
But the reality is, we were likely going to playoffs and playing (possibly) for the National Championship, that should have been the reality of the season, based on both SC and Vandy remaining on the schedule. While we will hopefully look back on this season with a smile, for the most part, and have hope for the future....ultimately this year will be a disappointment for the vast majority because of the unranked SC team taking us to school in what should have been an easy win. That's the reality of the season.....Lord help us all if Vandy opens up on us......
I understand the thought process, especially while the loss is still raw, but I think we're losing sight of the big picture here. Tennessee wasn't going to win a NC with this defense even if we had made the CFP. But this season is about positive program trajectory. We had a surprise 7-6 season in Year 1 for Heupel. We have a shot at 11-2 in Year 2 (also a surprise), in which we ended streaks against our 2 top rivals, including one of the biggest wins in UT history on the 3rd Saturday in October, restoring that great rivalry.

This season is a huge building block for the future. It helps with recruiting. There are no rivals with negative mojo over our heads any longer. It's a resounding success for the overall trajectory and health of the program. We won't win a championship this year, but this year is a big reason for the future success and championships Tennessee will have/win.

Consider:

Nick Saban went 7-6 in his first season at Alabama.

In his 2nd season, he went undefeated in the regular season against a much weaker than normal West division (9-4 Ole Miss finished 2nd, while LSU finished 8-5, 3-5 in the SEC), then lost to the best team in the SEC (Florida, who went on to win the NC) in the SECCG. After that, they went to the Sugar Bowl and lost handily and unexpectedly to Utah. They finished 12-2. The ending was pretty disappointing, considering the way they started the year and the way they didn't really compete in the 4th quarter against Utah. But the season was still a huge jump from Year 1 and set up future success.

We're looking at a very similar situation here. 11-2 in 2022 would set Tennessee up for a great run of success going forward. Let's hope we finish this thing off against Vandy and win the bowl game.
 
#28

Allvols1996

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#28
We beat LSU, Bama, and the gators. If we are being honest, most of us would have been OK with 8 and 4, or 9/3. And a decent bowl. If we wake the fu@# up and destroy Vandy, we get a good bowl and top recruits, hopefully in the cornerback department. And happy Thanksgiving to you all!
Looking from we’re we started, yes. But, the what could have been factor will haunt Tennessee fans for years to come. I’m still haunted by memories of 2001, which was the first and only championship game I attended. The 1990 season has several what could have been moments. Expectations change and we have to realize that it was Heupel who made those possible. I

Still, if this team goes on to lose its next two games, it will be a black mark on this season that will be hard to ignore. I could see things going very bad. He had a hard time motivating and preparing the team to play in the bowl game last year. That defense, which was awful, didn’t look as bad against Purdue as this one did against SC. That’s a concerning trend. A team that essentially quits on the defensive side. That’s twice we’ve seen it. His ability as a HEAD coach will be tested to see how he can address issues on the that side of the ball.

If you look at his tenure at UCF it has a lot of similar facets.
He went undefeated in his first regular season. He had an offense that put up insane numbers. The defense continually let them down and his record got progressively worse by year three. Big criticism by fans there is that he was hands off and disconnected from his defensive staff. He did his thing on offense and didn’t get involved. True, I don’t know, but that was a topic among fans.
 
#29

knox73

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#29
Look guys it has been a fabulous season given the talent on the squad. This was simply a terrible road team and completely non-competitive in 2 SEC East away games. They would likely have been blown out in the playoffs which obviously would not have been in neyland stadium. Now if they can play their final SEC East away game and compete and possibly win with their backup quarterback- that is an achievement. I would rather beat Bama, UF and LSU and lose to SC personally. Anyway it has been a great season and Heupel has proved his worth. If they lose to Vandy just blame it on Hooker’s injury. Right now I will be surprised if they can win a road game even if the crowd is primarily for UT.
 
#30

savannahfan

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#30
We beat LSU, Bama, and the gators. If we are being honest, most of us would have been OK with 8 and 4, or 9/3. And a decent bowl. If we wake the fu@# up and destroy Vandy, we get a good bowl and top recruits, hopefully in the cornerback department. And happy Thanksgiving to you all!
Not likely - - with our current situation just beating them seems to me to be fairly big if. They are playing pretty good football over the last couple of weeks or so.
 
#31

Sea Ray

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#31
We've obviously got serious problems on defense. Why would any of us want that on display on a national stage as in the playoffs? Did you really want to see Ohio State go up 40-7 on us at halftime? I'm really bummed that we lost big to a crap team like South Car but I am also glad that we got exposed in Columbia, SC rather than in the Fiesta Bowl. Let's go get a nice Bowl, win it and then spend the off season addressing the defense
 
#33

kcvols1

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#33
you're ok with wins over uf,lsu,bama and losing to a TERRIBLE uscjr team with playoffs on the line?....you probably think butch or cornbread should still be the coach hahaha
Your spacing, punctuation, and capitalization skills speak for themselves; and volumes about your capacity for communicating abstract thought effectively.

Lie down before you hurt yourself, sweetheart.
 
#34
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#34
I'm ok with 10-2 and not making the playoffs really dosen't bother me too much. What bothers me is the way we lost and pissed away the opportunity to make it.
As hindsight is coming into focus, I am actually okay with the loss to SC for this reason only:

We should have seen Saturday coming. Much of what we saw from the D, we have seen all year. It just ran into a perfect storm, and we all saw what happened. If we would have taken this team into the CFP, I believe any of those teams would have done the same thing that SC did to us, except on a far brighter stage. If we got completely blown out in the CFP, I would think that would linger on the minds of the committee should we find ourselves on the short list again in a year or two.
 
#37

Stephen Gray

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#37
A TCU or Michigan loss last weekend would have been a kick in the nuts with a hob nail boot.
Yeah. I was watching those games hoping one would pull it off and getting frustrated. Now I think I’m gonna pull TCU. They don’t have much of a shot, really, but now that we are out I’d love to see them pull some upsets.
 
#38

Undercs

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#38
10 wins means nothing but a bowl game that lots of players opt of and in the cases of a couple schools gets coaches fired. A golden opportunity was lost and no amount of saying it is a good season and what was expected will take away the sting of not making the playoffs.
 
#39

Stephen Gray

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#39
There are plenty of things to be happy about. It’s also okay to be disappointed with the South Carolina game. I know for a lot of folks it’s because of what the opportunity the team lost was, and that’s fair. For me it’s less about that and more that they played so poorly against a team I believe they were very capable of beating and should have beaten. It’s disappointing but also something to learn from. This team achieved a ton of things this year, and this is not the first time I have seen our guys have a disappointing showing, and it probably won’t be the last. This one hurt, but there have been some games in past years that stung a ton. At times they were happening a lot more frequently. If they don’t take care of Vanderbilt it’ll be concerning. Not saying it can’t be fixed if that happens, but better to not go in that direction. At this point I am very optimistic.
 
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#40

Stephen Gray

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#40
10 wins means nothing but a bowl game that lots of players opt of and in the cases of a couple schools gets coaches fired. A golden opportunity was lost and no amount of saying it is a good season and what was expected will take away the sting of not making the playoffs.
No. It means we have 10 wins for the first time in 15 years. It means a lot more than nothing but a bowl. Getting to where we want to be as program means we have to keep getting better and improving. Getting into the playoffs would have been awesome and definitely a bigger improvement that can be pointed to, but going from 7-5 to 10-2 regular season and 7-6 to either 11-2 or 10-3 is major improvement in year two under a new coach after all of the setbacks we have had the last 15 years. Of course getting that opportunity again is not guranteed. We are still heading in the right direction though, and not by some small amount.
 
#41

Undercs

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#41
No. It means we have 10 wins for the first time in 15 years. It means a lot more than nothing but a bowl. Getting to where we want to be as program means we have to keep getting better and improving. Getting into the playoffs would have been awesome and definitely a bigger improvement that can be pointed to, but going from 7-5 to 10-2 regular season and 7-6 to either 11-2 or 10-3 is major improvement in year two under a new coach after all of the setbacks we have had the last 15 years. Of course getting that opportunity again is not guranteed. We are still heading in the right direction though, and not by some small amount.
perhaps, next year will be the test, no qb experience, wr losses, opposing coaches game planning differently, not sure if this team is lightning in a bottle or if the program has really changed. jury still out for me
 
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#42
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#42
perhaps, next year will be the test, no qb experience, wr losses, opposing coaches game planning differently, not sure if this team is lightning in a bottle or if the program has really changed. jury still out for me
Yeah. It definitely doesn’t mean the job or done for sure. Could absolutely back track. But it will be as far along in the right direction as we have been in a long long time.
 
#46
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#46
I said 8-4 before season with this defense would be very good. So, anything above that is great.
Yeah there about where I was too. People are right that we got to where we expected more and definitely to my mind the SC thing was big disappointment and lost opportunity. I just don’t think because they did blow a an opportunity it negates everything else they achieved. Tons of good things done this year.
 
#47

Behr

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#47
I'm ok with 10-2 and not making the playoffs really dosen't bother me too much. What bothers me is the way we lost and pissed away the opportunity to make it.
Yeah I've battled with my feelers over this very thing. I seem to be fine as frog hair until I see an article with something in the title about "blowing it" or "Tennessee Out". Thats when the reality of how close we were settles in. And it's not like we lost a hard fought battle right at the end. It's, well yall know. I'm done.
 
#48
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#48
Yeah I've battled with my feelers over this very thing. I seem to be fine as frog hair until I see an article with something in the title about "blowing it" or "Tennessee Out". Thats when the reality of how close we were settles in. And it's not like we lost a hard fought battle right at the end. It's, well yall know. I'm done.
It does hurt for sure. I think it’s also so fresh that I understand having a hard time with considering much besides blowing that game so badly right now. I keep saying these things about positives done at least somewhat to remind myself.
 
#49
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#49
The seasons not over so I'm reserving judgement until late Saturday night. If we go to Nashville and offer up another pathetic effort and get boat raced by Vandy then yeah despite earlier wins the season is a failure. If they lose big again Saturday I don't want to even accept a bowl bid because this team has quit. Don't know the reasons and probably never will but if you have any pride in yourself as a player and a man, how do you just lay down like the defense did last Saturday night?
 
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#50
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#50
The seasons not over so I'm reserving judgement until late Saturday night. If we go to Nashville and offer up another pathetic effort and get boat raced by Vandy then yeah despite earlier wins the season is a failure. If they lose big again Saturday I don't want to even accept a bowl bid because this team has quit. Don't know the reasons and probably never will but if you have any pride in yourself as a player and a man, how do you just lay down like the defense did last Saturday night?
I don’t know that they lay down on purpose, doubt it really, but it was definitely a failure to show up and play at the level they capable of when they are prepared. Like you say we will probably not know the full details why and I don’t even want to. Just come in ready and play at the competitiveness we have seen for the last two years and the sky is not falling. Plenty to be optimistic about in that case. Let Vanderbilt look like world beaters though and that’s a reason for concern.
 

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