Rising — Ramen purchases
As money runs tight towards the middle of the semester, students begin to wonder where their allowances and refund checks went. Hypotheses include: booze, threads and women. With homecoming festivities on the horizon, students have turned to the conventional strategies for conserving cash. Namely, Ramen. This cheap food-like product sustains the masses until the weekends, where excess funds pad the bottom lines of Tin Roof, Rumorz and Barley's (for the classy set). Students go to great lengths to facilitate their entrées into the glamorous Knoxville nightlife.
Falling — Pumpkin Joy
To the chagrin of students, faculty, and let's be honest, the community at large, Starbucks is experiencing a shortage of its pumpkin-filled goodies. The fall season brings extremely high demand for pumpkin muffins, scones, and most importantly, lattes. Nothing is more disappointing than rolling out of bed on a cold morning only to find that the baristas have already sold all of your favorite treats. But if you still feel the need for a pumpkin fix, hit up Trader Joe's. They have cheap pumpkin bread and muffin mix.
Rising — Election Fatigue
Two presidential debates, a vice presidential debacle and God knows how many advertisements has left many Vols just a little tuckered out. Ears are growing deaf to talk of Romney's tax returns or Obama's track record, and only middle-aged women still drool of Ryan's physique. Meanwhile, few students can name senatorial or representative candidates running from their districts. Luckily, all the hoopla will end on Nov. 6, and we can all settle back into the relative comfort of critiquing every little thing Mr. President does, whoever he turns out to be.
Falling — Football attendance
Who wants to go stand in Neyland Stadium and bear the brunt of wind, heat or hail when you can sit on your own couch? Whether you prefer to wallow in your misery in private or with 100,000 equally disappointed fans, Tennessee football is in a dip. The month of October hasn't been kind to the Volnation. In turn, fans are tuning their television sets instead of cheering in the stands.
Falling — Tyler Bray's NFL draft stock
Before the season, people were throwing around the name "Peyton Manning" when talking about Bray. He had the height, the arm and the receivers to make a run at not only Peyton's records, but also a chance to break into the top-half of the first round in April. Unfortunately, Bray has lived up only to his negatives, causing a couple people to compare him to the dreaded Ryan Leaf. His erratic accuracy, bad decisions and poor-pocket management have been the main thing jumping off many evaluator's screens. He has all the talent to be a high draft pick (not to mention two NFL-caliber receivers), but he hasn't performed like it, which will show when Tennessee fans don't hear his name called until the mid-second to early third round.