KNOXVILLE - Tennessee's most anticipated football season in nearly a decade turned into a circus before the calendar flipped to November.
The Volunteers' 5-0 start, highlighted by the streak-snapping win against Florida, a victory at a NASCAR track and the Hail Mary at Georgia, has fizzled into a three-game losing streak accompanied by the midseason departures of two former five-star recruits: wide receiver Preston Williams and running back Jalen Hurd.
In the wake of the inexcusable loss at South Carolina the swirl of negativity around Tennessee is at an all-time high in the program's fourth year under Butch Jones.
"This football team's fine," Jones said. "This football program's fine. I love our fan base. Everything is fine. We're going to be just fine."