The law of syllogism states that if p implies q and q implies r, then p also implies r.
In other words, the Volunteers beat South Carolina and the Gamecocks beat Missouri, so UT will beat the Tigers on Saturday.
Then again, Missouri beat Florida and the Gators beat the Vols, so the Tigers will best the Vols.
Mathematically, these may be true statements, but football isn't mathematical or formulaic: it's unpredictable.
Take Missouri's loss to South Carolina this past week as an example.
The Tigers went into the fourth quarter with a 17-point lead and looked poised to maintain their undefeated record and a get a firm hold on the SEC East.
That is until the Gamecocks quarterback Connor Shaw resurrected himself from the sideline and led the South Carolina offense to scores on their final five possessions to pull off a comeback win in double overtime.
If anybody predicted the ending of that game, they are a god among men.
From Missouri's point of view, the Tigers must be stunned. But as the Volunteer faithful know, sometimes a team can grow from their hardships.
On Oct. 5, the Vols had a similar gut-wrenching contest against then-No. 6 Georgia, coming up inches short as the ball fleeted from Alton "Pig" Howard's hands as he dove for the pylon, allowing Georgia to hit the game-winning field goal.
That team was visibly distraught after the game, but after a couple of days, the pain left, and belief and a certain hunger for a signature win filled the empty space.
As everybody knows, the Vols went on to defeat then-No. 11 South Carolina the following week, snapping a 19-game losing streak against ranked opponents.
It's hard to believe that Missouri - the No. 9 team in the country - isn't capable of bouncing back in a similar fashion.
The Vols, however, have some rebounding of their own to do.
Let's not forget that UT is coming off a game where they were destroyed 45-10 against the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Yes, the Tide are the No. 1 team in the country, but the Vols came in with so much confidence and to have it shot down like that is going to take some healing.
The Vols, however, have the benefit of experience in the recovery process. They are currently 2-1 following a loss and could potentially be 3-0 if they hadn't gotten off to such a horrid start against the Gators.
Missouri, on the other hand, hadn't lost before Saturday, so we have yet to see if they have the 'snap-and-clear' mentality that Coach Jones is so fond of.
Other than the probable dual between the freshman quarterbacks Maty Mauk and Josh Dobbs, the story of the game will be aboutwhich team can bounce back the best, and that is something that we won't be able to tell until a little bit after kickoff around 7 p.m.
One thing is for sure, syllogism rarely works in football – really sports in general – but it will work one way or another this Saturday in Columbia, Mo.
Upset of the Week
Two weeks ago: West Virginia over Texas Tech
This week: Tennessee over No. 9 Missouri, 27-21
True freshman quarterback Josh Dobbs is the real deal. It only took one half against Alabama to figure that out.
Watching the game, flashes of Russell Wilson – albeit four inches taller – shined through as Dobbs showcased his versatile arm and leg combination.
The Alpharetta, Ga. native has been announced as the starter going into Missouri and the Vols should be in pretty good shape with him having a week of practice to prepare.
Add him to a team that may have something to prove after getting manhandled by the Crimson Tide, and you may have a team that can overwhelm a Missouri squad that may not be ready to face an opponent that seems to have a knack for pulling itself back together.