Good news for UT fans

Even in a season when very little has been predictable in the Southeastern Conference, there has been one recurring pattern: When a team suffers a tough loss one Saturday it tends to collapse the next.

Consider:

Auburn suffers a 26-23 overtime loss to South Florida on Sept. 8, then falls flat in a 19-14 home-field loss to Mississippi State one week later.

Arkansas loses 41-38 to Alabama via a controversial finish on Sept. 15, then implodes in a 42-29 home-field setback to Kentucky one week later.

Ole Miss outplays defending national champ Florida only to lose 30-24 on Sept. 22, then unravels in a 45-17 loss to Georgia one week later.

Alabama suffers a gut-wrenching 26-23 overtime loss to Georgia on Sept. 22, then sleepwalks through a 21-14 setback to Florida State a week later.

Ole Miss gives Bama fits before falling 27-24 on Oct. 13, then suffers a 44-8 home-field blowout at the hands of Arkansas a week later.

Kentucky loses 45-37 to Florida on Oct. 20, then gives its worst performance of the year in a 31-14 home-field shocker to Mississippi State the following weekend.

South Carolina squanders a three-point lead in the final minute of regulation and sustains a 27-24 overtime loss to Tennessee on Oct. 27, then surrenders 651 yards of total offense in a 48-36 thrashing at the hands of Arkansas the following weekend.

Alabama pushes second-ranked LSU to the limit before losing 41-34 on Nov. 3, then loses 17-12 to Mississippi State the following weekend.

Tennessee fans will be hoping the tough loss/letdown pattern continues this weekend. If there is a prime candidate for a letdown this Saturday, it is the Vanderbilt Commodores, who visit Neyland Stadium for a 2 p.m. kickoff.

Tied 20-20, Vandy surrendered a tie-breaking touchdown to Kentucky with 5:35 to go last Saturday, then drove to the Big Blue 20-yard line only to have a potential game-tying pass fall incomplete in the end zone in the final seconds of a 27-20 setback.

Will the dejected 'Dores fall flat this weekend? If they don't they'll be bucking a season-long trend.


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