Adams: Vols shouldn't overlook new Ole Miss

DESTIN, Fla. - You can look at Tennessee's 2009 football schedule and readily see the degree of difficulty in trips to Gainesville, Fla., and Tuscaloosa, Ala. By comparison, a trip to Oxford, Miss., is hardly as ominous.

Why would it be? Ole Miss is Kentucky West to UT.

The Vols haven't lost to the Rebels since 1983 and have won 12 consecutive games in the series. Remember how bad the Vols were in 2005? They were still good enough to beat Ole Miss.

Why, that goofy looking Commodore mascot is scarier to UT fans than Colonel Reb. Mississippi State has been a greater threat. So has Memphis.

That's not just based on history. That's based on recent history.

And that history is hard to shake. It tells us that UT beats Ole Miss anywhere - in Knoxville or Memphis or Oxford.

The preseason football publications that are beginning to hit the newsstands tell us something else. They tell us that Ole Miss is a top-10 program and UT isn't. They tell us that Ole Miss has a big-time quarterback and UT has a big-time dilemma at quarterback. They tell us that Ole Miss is better in every offensive area - quarterback, running back, receivers and offensive line.

They also tell us that a trip to Oxford might not be any more pleasant for UT fans than a trip to Gainesville or Tuscaloosa.

You probably don't buy it, and I don't blame you. There's just too much history, right?

On the other hand, I wouldn't advise any elaborate victory-celebration plans on Beale Street for the second Saturday in November.

Never mind all the excitement engendered by new UT coach Lane Kiffin and his heralded staff. Or the 11th-hour recruiting surge that gave the Vols a top-10 class. UT's talent isn't what it used to be. Neither is Ole Miss'.

And Rebels fans have responded accordingly.

"There's a lot of hype right now," Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt said this week at the SEC spring meetings. "Every Rebel club we go to, there's a lot of enthusiasm, big anticipation and a lot of expectations.

"All that's good. But bottom line: It all comes back to players, coaches and everybody doing their part."

Nutt has long been regarded as a better coach in an underdog role. You saw that at Arkansas when his 1998 team almost upset UT's national champions, and his 1999 team did upset UT's defending national champions.

Conversely, some of his higher-rated Arkansas teams foundered. So it's fair to question how Nutt and the Rebels, who have never played in the SEC championship game, will fare amidst all the expectations.

"It goes back to work ethic and how we handle (the expectations)," Nutt said. "We're in uncharted waters."

If you are tackling the unknown, better to do it with a sure thing at quarterback. Jevan Snead is the best quarterback Nutt has ever had.

UT fans can thank one of their own for that.

Snead, who signed with Texas out of high school, transferred to Ole Miss when Ed Orgeron was the coach. Orgeron, who is now the recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach at UT, also recruited the Rebels' talented front four.

Even if Orgeron's recruiting efforts at Ole Miss turn the UT-Ole Miss series topsy-turvy in November, there would be consolation for Vols fans: If he could help build that kind of team at Ole Miss, imagine what he could do at UT.

UT fans can think about that on their drive back from Oxford.

Sports editor John Adams may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2009, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2009 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 24

panties4tebow writes:

GO VOLS!!!!!!!!!!!

panties4tebow writes:

What teams did Ole Miss beat Last Year?

I remember very well one team they beat!!!!!

LOL

the10sevol writes:

"don't plan to celebrate on beale street"; "think about that on the drive back from oxford."
adams, do you even know where the game is being played?
does kns throw these non-stories out there just to generate our comments?
weak.

the10sevol writes:

ok, doc, i'll go with ya on this one...

cardinalvol writes:

Typical Adams!

Go Vols!

LiveToRide writes:

Some are predicting Ole Miss will take the west and after last season, do you really think any sane UT fan is going to go into Oxford overlooking the Rebels? Seriously Adams...even you can do better than that.

dvols writes:

they lost to vandy!!!!

they also lost lineman in the first round on both sides of ball!

im just sayin

thing about nutt is he always beats somebody he is not supposed to but he always loses to someone stupid as well.

im just sayin

VolunteerMan writes:

in response to the10sevol:

"don't plan to celebrate on beale street"; "think about that on the drive back from oxford."
adams, do you even know where the game is being played?
does kns throw these non-stories out there just to generate our comments?
weak.

If you've ever gone to an Ole Miss game and not stayed in Memphis or Tunica, you are the only one.

Quit searching for something, anything so that you can react negatively towards a JA article.

dvhill100 writes:

I can't see us overlooking them. Last year's record and preseason picks should keep the focus where it needs to be. Agreed, good article. All the other stories were beyond stale. Nice to see something different.

WD's bones got it in one.

the10sevol writes:

in response to VolunteerMan:

If you've ever gone to an Ole Miss game and not stayed in Memphis or Tunica, you are the only one.

Quit searching for something, anything so that you can react negatively towards a JA article.

no offense intended, apology extended. just tired of the "fluff" articles. why are there literally hundreds of independent blogs out there with relevant info, and the Vols' hometown press offers this? not a knock on mr. adams, i don't know him from adam (no pun intended), so i wasn't "searching" for a reason to be negative.
having said that, ole miss really is not, has never been, and will not likely in the future be on my radar screen as a threat, see the record book. other than the archie-kiner thing, the series is about as exciting as kentucky. sorry, don't intend ill will towards rebs or cats, but my focus is on gators, dogs, and tide.
again, no offense intended...

dvols writes:

ole miss is in november....we will know more by then..
'

how bout worry bout western and UCLA

im just sayin

govols22231 writes:

Ole Miss has come along way. They finally got lights in Oxford about 15 years ago. They used to play all their night games in Jackson. I think they were the last SEC team to get lights at their home field. They might get 60,000 at a big SEC game in Oxford. But those fans love their Rebels. Hoddy Toddy. When in Oxford, make sure you get by Abners and get some chicken tenders. Oxford is a nice little college town...

tennezz writes:

Keep up the good work WITCH DOCTOR, You the man!!!

volpreacher writes:

This could be one of our losses this year. But here's my prophetic statement:

UT 21
UF 10

Write it down!!!!!

txsvol#372416 writes:

I just remember that Peyton's Daddy and their Mules beat us in Jackson 38-0. Jevan Snead is arguably the best pro quarterback prospect in the nation this year. Houston Nutt is a very good coach. And, I, too, am a fan of the Witch Doctor! "Bones Never Lie!" Go Vols! SAVol

johnlg00 writes:

in response to VFear:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It's expecting a lot that he should be consistent when even he knows he is just posting phooey. He won't accept, or even acknowledge, an honest bet on such a score--or any other, for that matter--he just wants to talk trash. Facts or consistency are completely beside the point.

richvol writes:

Ole Miss is a much better football team than UT right now and is hungry for respect. If UT wins it will be an upset. Since beating UT,Ole Miss has beaten LSU,Alabama and Florida...we better be ready for a fight.

SFOrange writes:

lol. we're not in a position to overlook ANY team.
good god.

OrangePride writes:

Yes John, the Vols shouldn't overlook Ole Miss. We get it. But the fact is, the VOLS shouldn't overlook ANY team in the SEC given its record and talent situation. BUT, I certainly don't put this game in the W column for Ole Miss at this point. Nutt was winning with Orgeron talent. Some of that talent left; we have Orgeron; and I don't agree they have the check mark in the running back game. And as far as running backs go, its all up to the O line, anyway!!! They perform well against someone, our backs will eat that team alive. And you think the Ole Miss offense is going to feast on a Monte Kiffin defense? Please. As for QB, let's see what happens without that stupid Clawson offensive scheme, the cupboard is not totally bare at this position. Here's my final word on your article..........DON'T COUNT OUT OUR VOLS!!!!

CoachFulmer writes:

Hey guys, Ole Miss beat Florida last year. What a bunch of homos.

Colliervol writes:

in response to MagicMan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yep he owned everybody all the way to that 5 and 7 record last year.

Colliervol writes:

in response to OrangePride:

Yes John, the Vols shouldn't overlook Ole Miss. We get it. But the fact is, the VOLS shouldn't overlook ANY team in the SEC given its record and talent situation. BUT, I certainly don't put this game in the W column for Ole Miss at this point. Nutt was winning with Orgeron talent. Some of that talent left; we have Orgeron; and I don't agree they have the check mark in the running back game. And as far as running backs go, its all up to the O line, anyway!!! They perform well against someone, our backs will eat that team alive. And you think the Ole Miss offense is going to feast on a Monte Kiffin defense? Please. As for QB, let's see what happens without that stupid Clawson offensive scheme, the cupboard is not totally bare at this position. Here's my final word on your article..........DON'T COUNT OUT OUR VOLS!!!!

Heck, we shouldn't have overlooked Wyoming either. Somehow I don't believe this staff will let them overlook anybody.

As for Ole Miss, yes, Snead is an outstanding QB but they did lose some key players too. I think it will be a pretty good game in Oxford. You don't think Orgeron won't have the defense foaming at the mouth when they go down there?

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Why in the hay-ell would we overlook anyone?

People have learned how to defend the bounce-pass.

hueypilot writes:

in response to the10sevol:

no offense intended, apology extended. just tired of the "fluff" articles. why are there literally hundreds of independent blogs out there with relevant info, and the Vols' hometown press offers this? not a knock on mr. adams, i don't know him from adam (no pun intended), so i wasn't "searching" for a reason to be negative.
having said that, ole miss really is not, has never been, and will not likely in the future be on my radar screen as a threat, see the record book. other than the archie-kiner thing, the series is about as exciting as kentucky. sorry, don't intend ill will towards rebs or cats, but my focus is on gators, dogs, and tide.
again, no offense intended...

I dunno 10se. Anybody that beat Florida last year had some ballplayers and had some game. I figure we'll be at least a TD dog down there, and I guess you've been beaten up enough about Volfans staying in Memphis. I swear I think every Vol fan that went to the game a few years ago when it was in Oxford, tried to eat ribs at the Rendezvous on Friday night.

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features