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KNOXVILLE -- Maybe Tennessee football coach Butch Jones meant it as a warning and maybe he didn't.

ATHENS, Ga. — A bemused smile forming on his bearded face Saturday night following Georgia's 45-21 rout of Clemson, Bulldogs center David Andrews scanned running back Todd Gurley's stats: 298 all-purpose yards, a 100-yard kickoff return, four touchdowns.

If not exactly an avalanche's worth of concern, the emails have steadily trickled in since late spring, one or two a month, all worrying about the same shortcoming regarding the recent history of University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football.

The Southeastern Conference football season kicks off tonight with Texas A&M visiting South Carolina, and the second head-to-head league matchup is right around the corner.

KNOXVILLE — Tennessee football coach Butch Jones has said it before this summer. Said it quite often, actually. But the words carried a bit more weight a mere five days from the Volunteers' season opener against Utah State on Sunday evening.

OK, here we are, after a weekend in which Michael Sam's sack made some guy on Twitter famous because he declared bankruptcy for pledging to buy the world a drink if Sam sacked Johnny Manziel and did the money finger salute.

Welcome back, even if you're not named Kotter.

We can say this for sure: The Tennessee Volunteers' new depth chart will mean record-setting success for the folks who sell pregame programs.

I hope we can all agree that the only fair site for any football game between the Atlanta Falcons and Tennessee Titans — at least those of the exhibition variety — is to play it right here in our own Finley Stadium, given that it's basically equal distance from both NFL franchises' home venues.

When the University of Tennessee's 118th football season kicks off one week from today against Utah State, an old argument may well resurface about which opponent Volunteers fans hate most — Alabama, which owns seven straight wins over UT, or Florida, which has won nine in a row over the Big Orange.

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