College football is all about expectations, and if we ever need a reminder of how cyclical things are in college football, we need look no further than this week's match-up between the Arkansas Razorbacks and the Tennessee Volunteers in Fayetteville.
This week, I was thinking back to when I was in Knoxville for the Hogs' 41-38 six-overtime loss in 2002. I was riding away from the stadium with some friends who were Tennessee fans who taught me a lot about expectations that evening.
As a Hog fan, our expectations were low enough that I felt pretty good about a close loss to a national power like Tennessee in their house. On the other hand, my friends were livid that Tennessee would let themselves be pushed to six overtimes by such a lowly team as Arkansas.
I was shocked. They had won one of the best games I'd ever seen, but they expected more.
Nine years later, the script has been flipped. It is now Arkansas who is ranked and competing for championships, while Tennessee has yet to win a conference game.
I imagine those same friends are just hoping to stay close, while Arkansas fans would like to see this one salted away by the second quarter.
Here are some keys to watch for when the two play this weekend.