Tennessee is 2-0.
The Vols were 2-0 in 2011.
They were 2-0 in 2012.
And in each season, a loss to Florida in the third game began downward spirals to 5-7 finishes (1-7 in the SEC). That’s why Derek Dooley now is an assistant with the Dallas Cowboys.
Well, Tennessee is sitting at 2-0 again this year.
And, guess what? The Vols will be 2-1 sometime Saturday night after a visit to the Oregon Trail of Tears.
Perhaps only a few folks will notice since Alabama will be busy with Texas A&M at the same time Oregon QB Marcus Mariota is dissecting the Volunteers.
Tennessee is getting better in a hurry under new coach Butch Jones, but the Vols allowed 393 yards to Western Kentucky, despite the fact that the Hilltoppers had seven turnovers, including FIVE in the span of six snaps in the first quarter.
Those included 222 yards rushing, which, if you haven’t noticed, is what Oregon likes to do.
The Ducks had 350 yards on the ground in their blowout of Virginia, with Mariota and De’Anthony Thomas each going over 100.
So Saturday starts a long road for Tennessee.
It’s one of those mountain paths that’s about a foot wide and drops off to an abyss and has boulders falling on your head, like something you’d see in an Indiana Jones flick.
If you haven’t looked ahead, here is Tennessee’s future:
Here’s what Jones said Monday:
“You look at the overall nature of our schedule this year, like I told you, some people said it is the most difficult schedule in the history of college football, and that’s why I keep talking about competing for ourselves, championship habits, focusing on the process, and being able to stand and persevere and show great resiliency because our schedule dictates that. Schedules are set up and laid out far in advance, years in advance, but a lot of times that’s just the way it occurs, and there is nothing we can do about it.”
Tennessee can win a couple of those games. Both Georgia and South Carolina have to go to Knoxville, but everything will have to work out perfectly for the Vols.
They will be a better team under Jones. The final record might not show it this year.