Editor's Note: The complete USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Poll is on Page 11.
Let the barking resume.
If I'm reading the latest Top 25 polls correctly, Georgia's national championship quest might have just become easier.
Let me explain how I see it.
Warning: This is theoretical. So, if your head resembles that of super-duper Daily Beacon columnist Glenn LaFollette - all ego, no brain, one broken nose - you should probably quit reading now to prevent any headaches.
After beating No. 3 Georgia in Athens the week after the Bulldogs devoured defending national champ LSU, Tennessee only moved from No. 17 to No. 14 in the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Poll. The Volunteers jumped a whopping four spots in the AP Poll up to No. 13.
Meanwhile, Georgia only dropped to No. 8 in the coaches' poll and to No. 12 in the writers' poll.
So, the 4-1 'Dawgs are ranked ahead of the 4-1 Vols in both polls.
The polls count as two-thirds of a team's BCS standing, which determines the teams playing for the national title.
And looking at the remaining schedule for both teams, I have reached a scary conclusion. If UT and UGA win out and enough teams ranked ahead of Georgia lose, the 'Dawgs will represent the SEC in the national championship game without even having to play an extra game in the SEC Championship.
But wouldn't the Vols jump ahead of Georgia if they revenged their lone loss to an undefeated Auburn team in Atlanta?
Not if those ever-barking 'Dawgs beat the Tigers first.
While UT doesn't have another ranked team on its remaining schedule, Georgia still gets to play Florida and Auburn.
As long as the Bulldogs win, the Vols will not have the chance to capture a big enough win to propel them over Georgia or any other team that is ranked ahead of them and wins the rest of its games.
My roommate told me last night that if UT keeps on winning, everything will work itself out.
That is true when it comes to the SEC title (which would be sweet and an incredible turnaround after two sour-Peach seasons).
Because of the ineptitude of the so-called genius writers and coaches, though, the Vols, while leading the SEC East, are not even frontrunners for the national title in their own division.
UT coach Phillip Fulmer told the News Sentinel, "We're not concerned about polls right now."
I hope that doesn't mean he's not concerned about having a fair chance to compete for the national title.
I hope one day the powers in charge come to their senses and let sports editors of college newspapers vote in the writers' poll. After all, the poll does rank college football teams.
And I really hope the Bulldogs get their face bashed in again like super-duper Daily Beacon columnist Gle ... oh, nevermind, I'm too tired to write "That name that is entirely too long."
- Matt Giles is the sports editor of The Daily Beacon and a senior in journalism. He can be reached at mgiles@utk.edu.