The clips being repeated on ESPN and other networks of Kiffin's December 2008 comments are quickly followed by lofty picks and comments on how ugly the game could get.With disappointment undoubtedly filling the Vol locker room after the UCLA loss, that certainly was followed by uncertainty of whether they could actually compete with the mighty Gators.As this week has progressed, we've heard some of the players and coaches talk about this week's game and the intensity surrounding this rivalry. We've heard the players be asked about what seem to be insurmountable odds, only to be reminded that 18- to 22-year-old young men don't seem to scare as easy as some might think.Junior defensive end Chris Walker: "We are going to defend our coach by the way we play We don't have to do all this talking and stuff. We are just going to go out there and play a sound football game."It's Florida, which is one of our biggest rivals, and that is enough motivation. We're going to fight until that last second is off the clock."In the South, most fanbases are rabid and obsessive.
No matter the odds, fans are like players: They want to find a way to believe there's a reason to be excited that there's no such thing as "no hope."The Vols have serious quarterback problems The offensive line is hurt and thin. The team and fanbase are reeling from a home loss to UCLA that almost no one saw coming, taking almost all momentum created in the offseason away from the program.So what can a fan fall back onOn Oct. 6, 2007, first-year head coach Jim Harbaugh took his Stanford Cardinal football team on the road to play the mighty USC Trojans. 2-ranked team in the nation, favored in the game by 41 points, and Stanford was coming off a 41-3 home loss to Arizona State. New coach Harbaugh had some very flattering comments for the Trojans."There is no question in my mind that USC is the best team in the country and may be the best team in the history of college football," Harbaugh said the week before the game. "As a sort of college football historian, there's no question that this SC team ranks right up there."On a day where Stanford was outgained by a total of 459 to 235 and their quarterback didn't overwhelm, going 11-of-30 for 149 yards, one TD, and one INT, the Cardinal upset USC 24-23.
I look at their defense, look at their 11 starters, and I think you have 11 NFL players. I would think they're maybe the most talented defense to ever play and maybe the best quarterback to ever play college football. We're going to have our hands full."Meaningless Maybe.There's no doubt that Tennessee and Kiffin are backed into a corner. Everyone outside the Vol Nation, and some inside, are counting them out, telling them they have no shot.Do you think Stanford fans felt they had any shotTheir players did The Vols players do.