Get over it, Tennessee.
This self pity starts at the top. Athletic Director Mike Hamilton sent a letter to Volunteer fans saying "A number of you have expressed concern with the bowl selection process over the past week. I, along with our staff and the staff of the Southeastern Conference, share some of those same concerns. I will tell you that the events of the past two weeks will be addressed by our league as we look at bowl relationships over the next several months," Hamilton told Volunteer boosters.
Get over it Mike.
The pity party moved down from there to Head Coach Phillip Fulmer. Fulmer addressed the media in Atlanta and he set out to make us feel sorry for him and his team. "I make no apologies and I don't think the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl owes anybody an apology," Fulmer said last week. Of course the Peach Bowl does not owe you an apology Phillip, but thanks for pointing out the obvious.
Fulmer continued by saying "I think the system didn't work. The conference didn't do all it could. If you're going to have (bowl) alliances with conferences and you're going to have a pecking order, then it should be in place."
|The Vols have had a solid season, but playing Clemson in the Peach Bowl will be no easy task.|
Get over it Phillip.
Several UT players also got in on the action. Volunteer strong safety Gabril Wilson said "You can put this out there for all the media. We're going to go out playing like champions. We're not disrespecting Clemson, because they're a very good team, but we've all talked and we're going out playing like champions.'' Champions of what?
Get over it Gabril.
Tennessee fans are also furious over their snub. Writing into a guest column on knoxnews.com, Tennessee fan Harry Vann stated "I'd say a few bad apples have put the Vols in a Peach Bowl, and for many of the players that were looking forward to sunshine and spirit in Florida, that's the pits." Ahhh, the infamous conspiracy theory kept us out of the Outback Bowl. Got ya.
Get over it Harry.
Tennessee, you have a good football team that had a good year. The Volunteers beat a top 10 team on the road in the Miami Hurricanes. You also stunned Florida in The Swamp; no easy task even if Spurrier is not roaming the sidelines in Florida anymore. The way our poll system works, you are very worthy of the #6 ranking that you have.
But, Tennessee, you also got walloped by Georgia 41-14 on your own hallowed grounds and you fell to an average Auburn team on their turf.
And in between those 4 important and decisive games that defined your season, you beat up on 8 average-to-bad football teams. You beat up on the likes of Fresno State, Marshall, South Carolina, Alabama, Duke, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, and Kentucky. None of those teams are very good this year, and some of them were terrible. You closed out the last 3 games of the season against teams that had a combined 8 wins. Your six SEC wins came against teams that combined for a miserable 25-48 record overall and even paltrier 13-35 SEC record. And those numbers include Florida, which is the only SEC team that you beat this year that ended up with a winning record in the SEC or overall.
Somehow, the SEC scheduling Gods allowed you to avoid playing either LSU or Ole Miss. The Tigers and the Rebels were by far the class of the SEC West, and some would argue that both were better than anybody in the SEC East this year.
Is it possible that the SEC gave you guys a raw deal by picking 8-4 Florida to go to the Outback Bowl? Yes. But it is also a reality that this year's team in Knoxville skated through a relatively easy SEC schedule to the tune of 10 wins. Had LSU or Ole Miss replaced Alabama or Mississippi State on the schedule, the Volunteers may not being staring at 10 wins at all. As much as Tennessee fans want to gripe about getting passed over by the Outback Bowl with the SEC's blessing, they might want to send a Christmas card to whoever at the SEC offices dreamed up the 2003 Volunteer SEC schedule.
You get what you get in college football. You get some breaks sometimes and you don't others. Whining about it does you no good.
Tennessee may run Clemson out of the Georgia Dome on January 2nd. The Volunteers may be so talented on both sides of the ball that they are in a class that Clemson can only dream of. That is possible, and I've watched enough Clemson football this year to know for sure that you really never know about the Tigers.
Or maybe Tennessee is sitting in the bowl that equals their talent. Maybe, just maybe, they are playing a team in Clemson that is of equal value? Tennessee may be in the bowl that it truly deserves if you slice open their season and take a look inside.
We'll find out on January 2nd.
Until then, our fine Tennessee brethren….shut up and get over it! You sound like a bunch of cackling Gamecocks fans.