After the nauseating euphoria has passed, after the total guessing game of having Jonathon Crompton as quarterback has ended for the Vols last year, his equally underwhelming backup, Nick Stephens, is living the uncertain life as Crompton's heir apparent.
After Kiffingate and its many indiscretions, Vols fans enter the 2010 season looking to purge the past more than ever. Meanwhile Stephens, who gasped his way through an underwhelming season in Phil Fulmer's final year, is practically the past's poster child.
The Volunteers are almost certainly pinning their hopes on having one of the many young QBs in this most recent class overtake Stephens in camp.
If he does manage to survive, Stephens will be on an extremely short leash. The first 13/27, no touchdown, one interception game, and he's gonezo.
Odds-on favorites for his replacement are Tyler Bray, an underrated true freshman who enrolled early after wavering slightly during Kiffingate; and JUCO transfer Matt Simms, who is the son of Phil and the brother of former Texas QB Chris.
Bray is razor-thin but has huge upside, while Simms brings a good release and a host of intangibles (and has hopefully tempered his legendary love of the Herb).
Both players have already enrolled and will participate in spring practice. Their development will be the most watched thing in Knoxville since the most recent episode of the Grand Ole Opry.