Well, another opportunity to beat Florida has come and gone.
Since we can’t muster the motivation for an Akron poll (the Vols are a 35-point favorite), we’re looking down the road at all the rivals still to play and wondering: Who do you most want UT to beat/not lose to? And yes, we’re deliberately leaving Alabama out of the mix because, duh, we already know almost everybody wants to beat the Tide above all others (especially now that the Florida game is behind us).
So looking at the rest of the SEC East ...
How about Georgia? The border-state rival (closer to UT than Florida or Alabama) is ranked No. 5 and in the hunt for a national championship. Wouldn’t a Sept. 29 victory in Athens do wonders for Big Orange morale?
No. 7-ranked South Carolina, coached by Tennessee nemesis Steve Spurrier, is likewise in the mix for a BCS trophy, and wouldn’t it be nice to see the Vols shut down Spurrier’s hopes on Oct. 27?
Of course winning also means not losing. Vanderbilt and Kentucky have traditionally been comfort food for the Vols to feast on at the end of the season, and some fans would say losing to Kentucky last year and/or losing to Vanderbilt in 2005 was worse than the combined losses to Florida, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina those two years. So isn’t it important not to drop either of those games this year?
Then let’s not forget newbie Missouri. What better way to welcome them to the SEC than by whipping them on Nov. 10? (And what worse way to start a new rivalry with them than by losing?)
Pick your No. 1 target.