It was a span of moments that won't be forgotten any time soon.

Michael Palardy sprinting down the field and being mobbed by his Tennessee teammates after hitting the game-winning field goal to upset No. 11 South Carolina.

Butch Jones and his team celebrating with the fans, and the first-year head coach leading the band in the most noteworthy rendition of "Rocky Top" in years.

The victory was the cause of a weekend-long celebration in Knoxville, and after all the pent-up frustration that has amassed over the last half decade, it's hard to imagine that the people of this city have been this happy since the turn of the century.

After all, whether you agree or not, Tennessee football runs this town.

But even with a huge win like Saturday's, a big piece of all that former frustration continued to rear it's face.

The fact that the Vols just never seem to catch a break.

They certainly aren't the first team to pull off a big upset, but they may be one of the few – if not the first – to have to immediately bounce back and go play the No. 1 team in the country on the road.

The Nick Saban-led Alabama Crimson Tide may not be the undisputed No. 1 they were a year ago, but they are still a stout team. One that has beaten every opponent it has played – with the exception of Texas A&M – by 25 points or more.

With that said, it's not shocking that Tennessee will roll into Tuscaloosa, Ala., as a 26.5 point underdog.

Sure, that may be a little much for a team coming off of a big win against one of the preseason favorites to win the SEC East, but the Vols have been outscored 90-36 on the road against Alabama since their last win at Tuscolusa in 2003. They also haven't scored more than 17 points in any of those contests.

Long story short, the Vols are in for a challenge.

Then again, Jones isn't expecting anything less out of this rivalry game.

It won't be the first time UT has been challenged this season, and it won't be the last, but it's shocking to look back and remember how time can change everything.

Prior to week three, the general consensus was that if the Vols kept their game against Oregon within three possessions it would be a moral victory.

The phrase "moral victory" hasn't been uttered this week, and it seems as if UT's matchup with the Tide could be more of a measuring stick to see how much the Vols have improved over the past few weeks, and if they are ready to hang with the likes of Alabama in a conference of football giants.

They may not get the win, but this could be the game where Tennessee announces it has arrived.

At the very least, this could be a game that restores some life into this one-sided rivalry.

And who knows, the Vols have been underestimated in their last two games and got a victory and came inches short of another, so maybe Saturday, the upset alert siren will go off and the Vols can provide some more of those unforgettable moments.

Troy Provost-Heron is a sophomore in journalism & electronic media. He can be reached at, and followed on Twitter at @TPro_UTDB.