Opinari - Latin term for Opinion. Opinari.net is just what it seems: a cornucopia of rants, raves and poignant soliloquy.
Saturday, November 19, 2005
"There's always next season."
Vanderbilt 28, Tennessee 24.
I was 12 years old last time the Vols lost to Vandy. The 'Dores picked a good time to finally come through. This just isn't one of the worst Vol offensive units I have ever seen, I think it is THE worst. I think even the Alatorre/Olszewski offense was better than this one. in years past we would have put away teams like this one, but not in 2005. We're stopped on 4th and less than a yard inside the 5. We drop a sure TD pass on the sideline. We have two guys going for an interception, and they let the receiver outbattle them for the ball. We take bad penalties, and we make the least of every opportunity the other team gives us. To go from a preseason #3 ranking to this is just painful to watch as a fan. Fortunately, we only have one more game to watch before we can utter that mantra usually reserved for mediocre football programs: "There's always next season."
Well, we find ourselves mired in mediocrity now, and that mantra has more appeal to it than General Neyland's axioms at this point. So, in the spirit of the fast approaching holiday season, I am going to start my Christmas wish list early.
I wish for a quarterback that can throw an accurate deep ball, and who can stand in the pocket without being shellshocked.
I wish for a group of running backs who can finish the job in the red zone without fumbling and without being stopped short of the end zone.
I wish for offensive lineman who can avoid costly penalties.
I wish for more linebackers like Kevin Simon.
I wish for a healthy Jason Allen for the 2006 NFL Draft. The kid is a player.
I wish for another group of defensive lineman like the ones we had this year.
I wish for a special teams group like the ones who showed up for Vandy, and not the ones who showed up for Georgia and Notre Dame.
I wish for our punter to never throw another pass.
I wish for our wide receivers to learn to catch the ball with some consistency.
I wish for John Chavis to remain a Vol as long as is humanly possible.
I wish for whatever offensive schemes the Vols have been running since 1999 to be cast aside for something more like the Auburn Tigers, who run between the tackles and throw vertically.
I wish for the fans to take a deep breath, and realize that as fortunate as the Vols were in 1998, this one was just the opposite. This team is just a handful of plays from being 8-2. The 1998 team was a handful of plays from having 5 losses themselves. That's what makes this game special, and that's why fans will be back in droves in 2006.
I wish for the coaches to realize how close they were to a successful season, and for that realization to motivate them to turn up the heat that much more.
I wish for the same result that came about following the Vols' last losing season - an 11-1 record, a top 5 ranking, and an SEC Championship.
Like I said, "there's always next season." Sigh.
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