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Wiedmer: Vols need to improve quickly to prevent another brawl



We will not get over what feels like the longest first weekend in college football history until the last horn sounded Monday night when you visit Notre Dame in Louisville at a structure known as Papa John's Stadium.

But apart from the Cardinals – who were 2-10 last year – upset No. 9 against the Irish, we already know who is on the line to finish first for the whole season when it comes to the most embarrassing, if not humiliating, loss.

That distinction is likely to go to Tennessee volunteers, whose 38-30 loss at home to Georgia State at Neyland Stadium on Saturday, but does not dispute the faith.

Yes, Ole Miss fans are probably less excited about losing to Memphis, but at least it was a road game against a program that has been pretty decent in recent seasons.

Yes, Florida fans aren't exactly the prevailing social media supporter of Seminoles sophomore Willie Tagart after losing at home to Boise State in a game originally slated to play in Jacksonville before the threat of demonic Dorian, who reached the Bahamas on Sunday as a Category 5 hurricane.

But the Broncos were 10-3 a season ago. The zeros were 5-7. Suffice it to say.

What happened at Nyland Stadium doesn't really have any plausible explanation other than what the Big Orange Nation wants to hear, which is a sobering reality that Will or two may still be in two or three. three years from both Southeastern Conference and national importance.

Yes, it's just one game, and Georgia clearly had an emotional edge in this one because it was at least a 25-minute toy on a humid afternoon, when the rhythm was 89 degrees and the liberal 85 853 crowd seemed to – more concerned with avoiding heat exhaustion than applause for their wills.

Then again, when you drop the ball two clicks in the game and fall behind 7-0, then you hit 14-7 and 23-21 against an opponent than they did 2-10 last season and would never have been an opponent before Power Five conference, what do you expect from your long-suffering fans?

"Flabbergasted" was the word of safety senior Nigel Warrior for wh

"I'm disgusted to be honest," added quarterback Jarrett Garantano, who had two of three Vols turnovers.

According to ESPN, the entire Big Orange nation has the right to be disgusted, the cable giant's statistics department claims that SEC schools won 82 football games when they were favored by 25 points or more before losing to Tennessee. Beyond that, no SEC team has lost by as many eight points as it has been favored by 25 or more over the last 40 years.

But at least these Vols are the first thing in the SEC these days, right?

what else did we learn this opening weekend?

No. 1, at least with respect to Ole Miss and Tennessee, the bottom of this conference seems a little shaky at the moment. Missouri's 37-31 loss to Wyoming also doesn't exactly build confidence. Throw in a little narrow wins from Mississippi State over Louisiana and Arkansas over Portland, and the bottom third of the league may not be as strong as usual against out-of-competition.

Then again, No. 2 Alabama (42-3 over Duke)), No. 3 Georgia over Vanderbilt (30-6), No. 16 Ore over No. 11 Oregon (27-21), No. 6 on 55-3 routes Georgia Southern LSU and No. 12 Texas A&M 41-7 knockout from Texas make the top of the conference look tougher than ever.

Beyond that, Kentucky's late jump to a 38-24 victory over Toledo could mean the Wildcats' fall from last year's 10-3 season to be as dramatic as some fear after losing so many NFL defenses.

Nick Saban is also punished for enjoying Bama's victory over the Duke. If you listed the great evaluations of current college football coaches, Saban would probably top the list. He is only the late tyrant of Ohio State coach Woody Hayes after a loss and only a few fewer ornaments to win.

The eternal candidate for anger management therapy was the best (or worst) when his team received a warning to celebrate too much on the sideline after taking the duke's passage. Only this time, Saban was not angry with his team, but rather the officials who finally hit the coach with a loss of 15 yards because of unsportsmanlike behavior after his extreme clothing.

"The man grabs the ball and everyone jumps up and down the sideline and we get a (warning)," Saban said afterwards. "My reaction to this was that the kids were having fun."

Of course, this warmer, fuzzy Saban soon disappeared in favor of his suicide suicide.

"One of the things we want to establish here is discipline," he added, "and the coach did a poor job of setting a good example of how you should be disciplined. "

Perhaps, but it was Vols who clearly did the poorest job of looking like the SEC Football Team on the opening weekend of the season.

Not that second-year head coach Jeremy Prut wasn't honest in his assessment of it before, which the Vols face in their last 11 regular games, starting with a visit next weekend of

"We have to go back and work and improve," he said, "because there will be a team next Saturday night that will probably will be better than them (Georgia State). keep it going this way. "

Without much improvement in a short period of time, losses like the one for the Panthe rs will continue to happen as well.

Contact Mark Wiedmer at mwiedmer@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @TFPWeeds .


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