Hamilton: Postseason 'important'

Prestige, practice, player reward all factors

Mike Hamilton, former University of Tennessee athletic director.

Mike Hamilton, former University of Tennessee athletic director.

Mike Hamilton is waiting just like everybody else to find out where Tennessee is headed this bowl season.

But anywhere will do for the Vols athletic director.

Whether UT stays close to home for the Music City Bowl in Nashville as is widely expected or somehow slides up to the Gator Bowl in Florida when pairings are officially announced on Sunday, Hamilton won't complain either way. After a difficult 2-6 start that put backs against the wall for the Vols, any destination will do just fine to celebrate a four-game winning streak to close out coach Derek Dooley's first year with the program.

"Postseason is very important," Hamilton said. "It's important for institutional image, it's important that we have the third-most bowl appearances in college football history, it's really important to get that extra practice time, it's important from a recruiting perspective. It's important for our fans to have an opportunity to see the team, it's important for the seniors to play one more game.

"It has a lot of implications, and I think just from having started 2-6 and then winning four in a row, the momentum that creates and the energy that creates around your program to have your program talked about for another month is really important."

It wasn't mandatory for Dooley to deliver all that in his debut campaign with the Vols, particularly with Hamilton well aware of the roster limitations for such an inexperienced team.

But a handful of freshmen UT played early in the year played critical roles in the late push for a bowl bid, especially when coupled with the insertion of Tyler Bray into the lineup at quarterback. And that red-hot finish with a perfect November not only clinched a spot in the postseason lineup, it bolstered UT's reputation enough that it seems to at least be in the conversation for representatives of the Gator Bowl - which looked like an extreme longshot during a winless October.

The odds of an invite still aren't great, but if the folks in Florida pass, the Vols almost certainly will come off the board when the in-state Music City Bowl makes its selection.

"Feedback from the bowl reps has been very positive," Hamilton said. "You know, Tennessee historically is viewed positively anyway because of our fan support, but television ratings are part of that equation as well and we typically draw very well on television.

"But the bowl reps that I've talked to have been very complimentary of Coach Dooley and what we've done down the stretch in the month of November, playing with a combination of some guys that really put it on the line in their last few games and a lot of young guys. We have a thin roster, so we're viewed favorably by the bowls, to say the least."

The two in Tennessee have really had their eyes on the Vols lately, with the Liberty Bowl also excited by the possibility of bringing them back to Memphis and selling a lot of tickets.

Either way, Hamilton will be more than happy to show up for whichever bowl sends an invite.

"Certainly if we played in the state of Tennessee this year, I believe the crowds that would be reflected would be significant because there's a lot of interest just among our own fan base in this team," Hamilton said. "Based upon the calls that we've received in our development office and our ticket office and just in some informal conversations with our staff members, fans seem genuinely interested in watching this team in a bowl.

"A lot of those folks have been excited about the possibility of playing in the state of Tennessee."

And if that's where the Vols do wind up Sunday night, Hamilton can officially be counted in that group as well.

Austin Ward covers Tennessee football. He may be reached 865-342-6274. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Vols_Beat and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/ward.

© 2010 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 80

AppreciativeAlum writes:

You don't like Miami?

volsfannsc writes:

Some advice for Jimbob (the name explains it all). "It is better to remain silent and appear stupid than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt".

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

Just overlook the Jimbobs of the world. Trolls appear after assuming Tennessee was left for dead and
they were hoping against hope that we'd never get to a bowl.
Amazing how so many trolls like this express their envy with frustrated, yet stupid remarks.

HollySpringsVOL writes:

in response to volsfannsc:

Some advice for Jimbob (the name explains it all). "It is better to remain silent and appear stupid than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt".

Well said.

arkyvol writes:

so, hammy is waiting by his phone. a good a.d. would be on the phone, making things happen.

absgovols writes:

in response to AppreciativeAlum:

You don't like Miami?

The Gator Bowl is in Jacksonville, which is only slightly better than Miami...let's end our 2010 resurgence in the state of Tennessee!

txvolsfan writes:

in response to jimbob:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Almost the same record as Gators and the Bammers had 3 loses this year and those teams have the the so called, "Greatest 2 coaches in the world" allegedly!!!

zqvol writes:

If Hamilton had UT's interest at heart he would be on the phone with the SEC office and the Gator Bowl and get the Vols out of Nashville. He is too busy waiting on the shoe to fall from the NCAA to do what he needs to. Mr. Waiting.

jimr07 writes:

in response to jimbob:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

how long did it take you to think up that stupid comment?

Huttdawg100 writes:

Although I could fly into Nashville a lot easier than Jacksonville (and less exspensive), I think the Gator Bowl would help our program so much more. There are a few recruits in the Florida area that could really help expedite our return to dominance: specifically, RB Mike Bellamy. Maybe he gets a chance to come see us play in Florida before NSD. So, I'm not going to be selfish, I'm going to put aside my own feelings and say that we should go to the Gator Bowl.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to jimbob:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Witch Doctor would be a pizzy little whiner if I was making waffles at 4:30am in the morning too.
Bones never lie.

txsvol#372416 writes:

in response to Huttdawg100:

Although I could fly into Nashville a lot easier than Jacksonville (and less exspensive), I think the Gator Bowl would help our program so much more. There are a few recruits in the Florida area that could really help expedite our return to dominance: specifically, RB Mike Bellamy. Maybe he gets a chance to come see us play in Florida before NSD. So, I'm not going to be selfish, I'm going to put aside my own feelings and say that we should go to the Gator Bowl.

First well-thought-out post on this article yet! If it would help our recruiting, then maybe a trip to Jacksonville would be better than to Nashville. But, we need to win the game, and that will depend on our opponent in the bowl game. Let's face it: in 2010, we lost to every team on our schedule better than we were at the time of the game. (The four game winning streak in November was a result of judicious scheduling, in addition to the development of our younger players.) Which teams are likely opponents in the Gator and the Music City bowls? Go Vols! SAVol

PHAT_VOL writes:

in response to absgovols:

The Gator Bowl is in Jacksonville, which is only slightly better than Miami...let's end our 2010 resurgence in the state of Tennessee!

Jacksonville is not better than Miami ! LOL
Jacksonville dosen't have much to offer. Nashville or Memphis would be an up grade over Jacksonville.
Example the ACC stopped having their championship game there for a good reason. Attendance was low and there just wasn't a lot to do other than the game it self and the weather can be cold and rainy in northeast Florida that time of year.
Memphis or Nashville, GO VOLS !!

PHAT_VOL writes:

in response to Huttdawg100:

Although I could fly into Nashville a lot easier than Jacksonville (and less exspensive), I think the Gator Bowl would help our program so much more. There are a few recruits in the Florida area that could really help expedite our return to dominance: specifically, RB Mike Bellamy. Maybe he gets a chance to come see us play in Florida before NSD. So, I'm not going to be selfish, I'm going to put aside my own feelings and say that we should go to the Gator Bowl.

Nice post ! I dont think recruits really care about Jacksonville and if they want to go out of state then Nashville or Memphis would be a good choice.
GO VOLS !!

volsfaithful writes:

in response to txvolsfan:

Almost the same record as Gators and the Bammers had 3 loses this year and those teams have the the so called, "Greatest 2 coaches in the world" allegedly!!!

Jury will be out on Meyer for a while expecially after his breakdown (or predicting the future w/o Tebow). Definite under achiever this year. Tebow and Newton. Same story different team. I'm happy to be in a bowl game after all the cr@p we've been through the last three years. I think that says something of our character. GBO!

Orangeblood13 writes:

Didn't know hammy was so football savvy .....

rockytopatl writes:

Let's not get too full of Kool Aid once again. Getting to the Gator might lead to disaster like last year's Chicken Bowl. Getting your butts handed to you on national TV isn't likely to help recruiting. We are better, yes, but we aren't good enough to take on an excellent team. I prefer Music City and a 7-5 or so ACC team like UNC.

volsbandit writes:

in response to Huttdawg100:

Although I could fly into Nashville a lot easier than Jacksonville (and less exspensive), I think the Gator Bowl would help our program so much more. There are a few recruits in the Florida area that could really help expedite our return to dominance: specifically, RB Mike Bellamy. Maybe he gets a chance to come see us play in Florida before NSD. So, I'm not going to be selfish, I'm going to put aside my own feelings and say that we should go to the Gator Bowl.

I don't think the Gator Bowl committee will pick the Vols. The Gators are in the same situation as the Vols with an inexperienced team, so I think both teams will stay close to home and help both programs this year with ticket sales. I'm just happy we're playing one more game. (Even if it was the sewer bowl. I just love watching the Vols wherever it's at.)

Lostvolinhighweeds writes:

in response to jimbob:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hear the baby.
Hear the baby cry.
Cry, baby, cry!

tnsportsman writes:

in response to volsbandit:

I don't think the Gator Bowl committee will pick the Vols. The Gators are in the same situation as the Vols with an inexperienced team, so I think both teams will stay close to home and help both programs this year with ticket sales. I'm just happy we're playing one more game. (Even if it was the sewer bowl. I just love watching the Vols wherever it's at.)

Totally agree volsbandit.

I'm on the sports council here in Music City and all the non-bcs bowls want teams within 400 miles due to the bad economy.

OUR VOLS need to play at the Music City for the first time in the middle of Tennessee! Most rooms here are already sold out, only upper deck tickets on the MCB site, tickets on Stubhub and CL are now 240 for club seats instead of the original 80. Parties are planned everywhere by the VolNation!

The Music City picks before Liberty and Birmingham and WILL select OUR VOLS if on the board. The Gator Bowl would be crazy not to take the Swamp Lizzards if they want a sell out.

Everyone come on over to Music City, its party time '2nd Avenue Style' on the 29th and 30th! Then a Victory NYE Party!

GO VOLS, WE ARE UT!

Ironcity writes:

in response to tnsportsman:

Totally agree volsbandit.

I'm on the sports council here in Music City and all the non-bcs bowls want teams within 400 miles due to the bad economy.

OUR VOLS need to play at the Music City for the first time in the middle of Tennessee! Most rooms here are already sold out, only upper deck tickets on the MCB site, tickets on Stubhub and CL are now 240 for club seats instead of the original 80. Parties are planned everywhere by the VolNation!

The Music City picks before Liberty and Birmingham and WILL select OUR VOLS if on the board. The Gator Bowl would be crazy not to take the Swamp Lizzards if they want a sell out.

Everyone come on over to Music City, its party time '2nd Avenue Style' on the 29th and 30th! Then a Victory NYE Party!

GO VOLS, WE ARE UT!

I think the Gator bowl would be a pleasant surprise. I like Jacksonville and would go if it were there.

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to arkyvol:

so, hammy is waiting by his phone. a good a.d. would be on the phone, making things happen.

Not arguing Hamilton's "goodness" at all but no matter what he says, by now he already knows where we're going. He can't say, of course, but the bowls have long since worked out all their scenarios (depending on what happens in Atlanta later today) and they have already told the AD's their options of bowl destinations. That won't involve us however as we are too far down the ladder for the SEC CG to change anything for us. All the Music City vs. Liberty Bowl (and especially Gator Bowl!) talk is just hype, trying to keep our attention. Now I don't pretend to know which bowl it is but Hammy knows already. I'm guessing Music City 75%, Liberty 25%, and Gator pretty much out of the question. I'll be there in any case -Go Vols!!!

Tru138 writes:

in response to jimbob:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

jimbob...his best friends are NeilandBob.

volnbig11land writes:

in response to tnsportsman:

Totally agree volsbandit.

I'm on the sports council here in Music City and all the non-bcs bowls want teams within 400 miles due to the bad economy.

OUR VOLS need to play at the Music City for the first time in the middle of Tennessee! Most rooms here are already sold out, only upper deck tickets on the MCB site, tickets on Stubhub and CL are now 240 for club seats instead of the original 80. Parties are planned everywhere by the VolNation!

The Music City picks before Liberty and Birmingham and WILL select OUR VOLS if on the board. The Gator Bowl would be crazy not to take the Swamp Lizzards if they want a sell out.

Everyone come on over to Music City, its party time '2nd Avenue Style' on the 29th and 30th! Then a Victory NYE Party!

GO VOLS, WE ARE UT!

Enjoy your posts and hope you're right on the Music City Bowl.

We have made reservations, are planning on driving down to the motherland and spending the night with friends, then driving over to Nashville for two days of fun!

Go Vols!

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to txsvol#372416:

First well-thought-out post on this article yet! If it would help our recruiting, then maybe a trip to Jacksonville would be better than to Nashville. But, we need to win the game, and that will depend on our opponent in the bowl game. Let's face it: in 2010, we lost to every team on our schedule better than we were at the time of the game. (The four game winning streak in November was a result of judicious scheduling, in addition to the development of our younger players.) Which teams are likely opponents in the Gator and the Music City bowls? Go Vols! SAVol

I would go even further: at the risk of being jumped on by my fellow posters, I don't know if even right now we could beat anyone on our schedule to whom we already lost. Sure, Bray is going to be great and the O-line has matured. But realistically, even with the patsies we played at the end, our defense still ranks at or near the bottom of the conference, our running game is non-existent, Bray is getting hammered with sacks and knockdowns, and we truly struggled to beat Vandy and Kentucky. Hamilton and Dooley would love to win a bowl game but I'm not sure we can beat a bowl team from the ACC in either of those bowls. The Liberty Bowl might be better if a win is what we want. I further submit that a win is nice, but the practice is better, especially for our young team. Music City is likely UNC or Maryland, Gator likely NC State or Miami. Not sure we could beat any of those teams on a neutral field. UCF is likely Liberty opponent - feeling better about that one. I'll be there no matter what but for us and the rest of the lower-tier bowl teams, the practice time and potential recruiting are the real cake, a win is just icing. Go Vols!!!

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to tnsportsman:

Totally agree volsbandit.

I'm on the sports council here in Music City and all the non-bcs bowls want teams within 400 miles due to the bad economy.

OUR VOLS need to play at the Music City for the first time in the middle of Tennessee! Most rooms here are already sold out, only upper deck tickets on the MCB site, tickets on Stubhub and CL are now 240 for club seats instead of the original 80. Parties are planned everywhere by the VolNation!

The Music City picks before Liberty and Birmingham and WILL select OUR VOLS if on the board. The Gator Bowl would be crazy not to take the Swamp Lizzards if they want a sell out.

Everyone come on over to Music City, its party time '2nd Avenue Style' on the 29th and 30th! Then a Victory NYE Party!

GO VOLS, WE ARE UT!

Question sportsman: I have a friend who has a skybox (twelve seats, I think) at Titan's stadium so what are his options for an event like a bowl game? Do they even sell those tickets? I am going no matter what but it wouldn't stink to sit up there. Go Vols!!!

steelersman42 writes:

GO VOLS!!!

steelersman42 writes:

in response to tnsportsman:

Totally agree volsbandit.

I'm on the sports council here in Music City and all the non-bcs bowls want teams within 400 miles due to the bad economy.

OUR VOLS need to play at the Music City for the first time in the middle of Tennessee! Most rooms here are already sold out, only upper deck tickets on the MCB site, tickets on Stubhub and CL are now 240 for club seats instead of the original 80. Parties are planned everywhere by the VolNation!

The Music City picks before Liberty and Birmingham and WILL select OUR VOLS if on the board. The Gator Bowl would be crazy not to take the Swamp Lizzards if they want a sell out.

Everyone come on over to Music City, its party time '2nd Avenue Style' on the 29th and 30th! Then a Victory NYE Party!

GO VOLS, WE ARE UT!

nice post. sounds good to me :) GO VOLS!!!

bigkluvsorange writes:

what's black and blue and sit's in front of his computer?(jimbob)after all these blogs.
go back to waltons mountain.you don't belong on rocky top!!! GBO

mocsandvolsfan writes:

It'd be nice to see a re-match with one of our losses. Oh well. Bring whoever on!

tnsportsman writes:

in response to volnbig11land:

Enjoy your posts and hope you're right on the Music City Bowl.

We have made reservations, are planning on driving down to the motherland and spending the night with friends, then driving over to Nashville for two days of fun!

Go Vols!

Thanks volinbig11land!

E-mail me here if you want to attend a huge Big Orange Tailgate from 2 until 5 on Gameday, the 30th. We have a Vendor setting up all food and drinks in tents at LP Field, its 30 buck per head all inclusive!

GO VOLS, WE ARE UT!

tnsportsman writes:

in response to asleep#212036:

Question sportsman: I have a friend who has a skybox (twelve seats, I think) at Titan's stadium so what are his options for an event like a bowl game? Do they even sell those tickets? I am going no matter what but it wouldn't stink to sit up there. Go Vols!!!

asleep,

The skybox owner gets to buy his 14 tickets to any and all events at LP Field. He can elect to sell those tickets to others. But the skybox owner has all the options.

Hope that helps, come on over LETS PARTY BIG ORANGE!

GO VOLS, WE ARE UT!

OrangeinCarolina2 writes:

in response to jimbob:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What?! And play against tu-rds like you?! GO VOLS!

tnsportsman writes:

in response to Ironcity:

I think the Gator bowl would be a pleasant surprise. I like Jacksonville and would go if it were there.

Our group would go to any UT Bowl Game, I haven't missed a bowl game in 38 years and only 5 home games in that same time.

IMO, the Music Bowl is MUCH better than the Gator because of the great PR, Recruiting and Marketing UT & Nashville will do. I also live in Nashville and they are PUMPED to have Tennessee for the first time! Be great for the Middle Tennessee economy to the tune of 30 million!

GO VOLS, WE ARE UT!

steelersman42 writes:

in response to tnsportsman:

Our group would go to any UT Bowl Game, I haven't missed a bowl game in 38 years and only 5 home games in that same time.

IMO, the Music Bowl is MUCH better than the Gator because of the great PR, Recruiting and Marketing UT & Nashville will do. I also live in Nashville and they are PUMPED to have Tennessee for the first time! Be great for the Middle Tennessee economy to the tune of 30 million!

GO VOLS, WE ARE UT!

I am lovin your posts, man. that's awesome that you've been to all those games!

tnsportsman writes:

in response to steelersman42:

I am lovin your posts, man. that's awesome that you've been to all those games!

Thanks steelersman42!

I love TENNESSEE and OUR VOLS!

LOL, you know the Marines Code: Unit, Corp, God, Country?

Mine is: UT, Vols, God, Country!

GO VOLS, WE ARE UT!

steelersman42 writes:

in response to tnsportsman:

Thanks steelersman42!

I love TENNESSEE and OUR VOLS!

LOL, you know the Marines Code: Unit, Corp, God, Country?

Mine is: UT, Vols, God, Country!

GO VOLS, WE ARE UT!

haha I like that, man. so what are some of your favorite moments from all those games you've been to?

davidray31#232814 writes:

in response to jimbob:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

So how are things at ESPN today?

tnsportsman writes:

in response to steelersman42:

haha I like that, man. so what are some of your favorite moments from all those games you've been to?

My best Bowls and Games:
1999 Fiesta Bowl - UT 23 FL State 16 NATIONAL CHAMPS
1985 Sugar Bowl - UT 35 Miami 7
1982 Home Game - UT 35 Alabubba 28
1991 South Bend - UT 35 ND 34 Best Come Back Ever!

steelersman42 writes:

in response to tnsportsman:

My best Bowls and Games:
1999 Fiesta Bowl - UT 23 FL State 16 NATIONAL CHAMPS
1985 Sugar Bowl - UT 35 Miami 7
1982 Home Game - UT 35 Alabubba 28
1991 South Bend - UT 35 ND 34 Best Come Back Ever!

wow, I would've LOVED to be at all those games. what about Florida 98? did you go to that one?

steelersman42 writes:

in response to davidray31#232814:

So how are things at ESPN today?

hahaha :)

EMBuckles writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor would be a pizzy little whiner if I was making waffles at 4:30am in the morning too.
Bones never lie.

Yeah, W.D., after getting off work at the waffle restaurant, jimbob will probably drive right up to Flushing, NY, be sitting on the front row, waiting for the Sewer Bowl to start and wondering where everybody is. You know, come to think of it, maybe somebody SHOULD start a "Sewer Bowl" or "Toilet Bowl", hold it in Flushing, NY and invite the two worst teams in NCAA FBS ranking. Winner avoids being the worst team in major college football, loser gets a trophy with a big "L" on it! Ha, ha! Anyway, I am rooting for Tennessee to go to the Music City Bowl against North Carolina and solidly BEAT UNC! That would send a message to Hamilton after his lack of faith in the Vols by dropping UNC and picking up Buffalo for next season! And as good ol' Witch Doctor says, "Bones never lie!" ;>

EMBuckles writes:

in response to tnsportsman:

My best Bowls and Games:
1999 Fiesta Bowl - UT 23 FL State 16 NATIONAL CHAMPS
1985 Sugar Bowl - UT 35 Miami 7
1982 Home Game - UT 35 Alabubba 28
1991 South Bend - UT 35 ND 34 Best Come Back Ever!

Back in 1992, after UT had beaten ND in South Bend the previous fall, my brother, who had attended UT and, like me, cheers for the Vols, had gone with his parish priest to Notre Dame for a liturgical conference. When they attended Mass, my brother, wearing a Tennessee shirt, bold as brass there in South Bend, came forward to the altar when everyone was coming forward to receive communion. The priest looked at my brother's Tennessee shirt, paused, frowned for a moment, then finally gave my brother the bread. As he walked back to his pew, my brother noticed many people staring at him and frowning. Hmmm, guess they needed to go to confession, ha, ha! ;>

tnsportsman writes:

in response to steelersman42:

wow, I would've LOVED to be at all those games. what about Florida 98? did you go to that one?

OH yeah I was there for the 98 Swamp Lizzard game!

RollTideJoe writes:

in response to txvolsfan:

Almost the same record as Gators and the Bammers had 3 loses this year and those teams have the the so called, "Greatest 2 coaches in the world" allegedly!!!

I hate to even respond to this absurdity, however lest one forgets the Vols didn't beat anybody with a winning record.

tnsportsman writes:

in response to EMBuckles:

Back in 1992, after UT had beaten ND in South Bend the previous fall, my brother, who had attended UT and, like me, cheers for the Vols, had gone with his parish priest to Notre Dame for a liturgical conference. When they attended Mass, my brother, wearing a Tennessee shirt, bold as brass there in South Bend, came forward to the altar when everyone was coming forward to receive communion. The priest looked at my brother's Tennessee shirt, paused, frowned for a moment, then finally gave my brother the bread. As he walked back to his pew, my brother noticed many people staring at him and frowning. Hmmm, guess they needed to go to confession, ha, ha! ;>

LOL great story EMbuckles, that was a funny trip to South Bend 'after the game'! The first half was very bad, what a come back!

GO VOLS, WE ARE UT!

tnsportsman writes:

in response to NachoDaddy_76:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Nachodaddy, Merry Christmas to you too!

The Marines Code is in correct order: Unit, Corp, God, Country! So is mine with a little light humor! I do love God and Country, just don't mess with my University and the VOLS!

GO VOLS, WE ARE UT!

Einstein writes:

in response to Driving_Ms_Dooley:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Very Well Said!!!

IndianapolisVol writes:

I would have said that after this year, six wins would be great with all the chaos. For the most part, I am pleased for a new coach, new QB, tons of freshmen playing, and a lapse of judgement against LSU. The Vol community should be pleased and rally for the bowl game. We win (and we will), the recruits will take notice. It will be a nice holiday when we capture another post-season trophy!

tnsportsman writes:

in response to TennVolAlum:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

TennVolAlum,

Come to our Music City Tailgate on gameday! E-mail me here for details. Actually any VOLS FANS ONLY that want to attend e-mail me here! The tailgate is Vendor supplied Tents, TV, Longhorn Food and Open Bar, 30 bucks per person, not to me but to the Vendor. I had to garantee 150 people, still have some openings.

GO VOLS, WE ARE UT!

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