To say that the Vols accomplishments thus far have been of little consequence would not only be wrong, it would be an outright disgrace to any true UT fan who sat and watched Kevin O’Neill grind the joy out of the game, who watched as Jerry Green trolled through a veritable future jailhouse lineup, and who watched an in-over-his-head nice guy, Buzz Peterson, lose to freakin’ UT-Chattanooga… at home!
No, the 2007-08 team’s accomplishments surely are something to be lauded, but let’s keep it in perspective, Vol Nation.
I know it’s new for us, but in hoops–unlike the more-familiar and traditionally more successful seasons on the gridiron–what you’ve done so far, as of March 10, 2008 doesn’t mean jack. Yes the banner is nice (and already installed) and the 32-game home win streak is certainly nothing to scoff at (2 complete seasons undefeated in White), but what is going to cement JuJuan and Chris in Cumberland Avenue lore hasn’t taken place yet. Not by a long shot.
That’s an SEC Tourney Title and a trip past the Sweet 16. The former hasn’t happened since Bruce Almighty was a 19-year old college kid at BC, the latter… never.
And as they’ll not let us forget, the Blue-Clad Wildcats from up North have easily won over half of all the SEC Tournaments ever played (Kentucky’s 25, no one else with more than 6). The Vols have notched a meager 4–which yes, is still one more than three-time defending champion Florida.
So is it time to start picking out big chunks of bronze for the riverfront? Not quite yet.
As I’ve noted on many occasions, I sure love watching these guys play. The hustle, sharing of the ball, general happy-go-lucky attitude of the players (and coaches) make them easy to cheer for. But how will it all stack up in a win-or-go-home format?
We’ve got 3 weeks of learning ahead.
And what of those streaking, albeit undermanned Wildcats? Well, I’m picking them to win it all in Catlanta. Not because I want them to… just because I’ve heard this song before. And it’s a sad tune for the rest of the league.
But don’t get me wrong, I’ll gladly trade that trophy for a shot at a seat in San Antonio.
So while we ought not start sculpting their statues just yet, I’ll keep an eye out and make sure they don’t build anything else in that spot on Chris Lofton Ct. At least not for another 3 weeks.