John Adams: Vols should savor first Saturday of October

John Adams

College football players are cautioned incessantly about the folly of farsightedness. They also are taught to respect every opponent, even if its ineptitude provokes uncontrollable laughter.

Imagine how tempted Florida players must have been to look beyond their game with Kentucky to this week's game against unbeaten Alabama. Yet the Gators took their opponent seriously enough to beat it 48-10.

Tennessee might have a similar temptation this week as it prepares for Saturday afternoon's game against a 1-3 Buffalo team whose only victory has come against something called Stony Brook.

The Vols have something to prove after their lackluster performance against Florida on Sept. 17. And they can't prove it against Buffalo. They will have to prove it against the teams that follow.

But there's still no future in looking ahead.

Not only might that produce a less than dazzling performance against a team it will be expected to beat in spectacular fashion. The view won't be encouraging.

It's not just a matter of how good some of those opponents are. It's also about how well their strengths will match up against UT's weaknesses.

In Tennessee's last two games, opposing running backs — first, Isaiah Pead of Cincinnati; then, Chris Rainey of Florida — produced a highlight video against its defense.

The Vols might wish they were playing against Pead and Rainey again midway through October.

After Buffalo will come four consecutive games against opponents with at least one big-time running back.

Georgia freshman Isaiah Crowell has rushed for more than 100 yards in two of his first four college games, including 147 yards against Ole Miss on Saturday.

LSU's offense is built around a physical line and the aggressive running of Spencer Ware, who is strong and fast.

Only the names will change against Alabama, which delights in pounding defenses with a veteran offensive line and the running of Heisman Trophy candidate Trent Richardson, who is strong and fast.

Then comes South Carolina, whose offense has been agonizingly inconsistent — except when it places the ball in the hands of Marcus Lattimore, another Heisman-caliber running back. Did I mention he's strong and fast?

That's just one side of UT's October challenge.

The Vols were manhandled by Florida's defensive front in their last game. Unless their offensive line improves drastically over the next few weeks, it will be overwhelmed by Alabama, LSU and South Carolina.

The Tide and Tigers might have the two best defenses in the country. The Gamecocks have three pass rushers, including freshman Jadevon Clowney, who look as though they belong in the NFL right now.

Alabama, LSU and South Carolina could all be in the top 10 when they cross paths with the Vols. UT hasn't played three consecutive games against top-10 teams since 1964.

That's what you get when you look too far ahead.

John Adams is a senior columnist. He may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/johnadamskns.

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Comments » 42

VolinCalif writes:

Yep!

orangeblood8456 writes:

tennessee doesn't need an opponent, other than john adams!

orangeblood8456 writes:

john adams hasn't had a friend in knoxville since lane kiffin left.

Packer_Park_Orange (Inactive) writes:

Truth is Adams laid it on a little light in deference to the Dooleyphiles here...4 straight SEC losses before MTSU...0-5 in the SEC...3-5 overall...By that time the Kool Aid might taste a bit more bitter.

Tgordon writes:

Adams tells it like it is. Some here want a cheerleader not a sports writer. GBO!

tovolny writes:

Did anybody think this JA piece was funny?

Did anybody enjoy the irony?

Does anybody know the real story why KNS keeps him around?

One poster said the other day that he/she thought JA was cool. Do you think JA is cool?

I am glad that we live in a country where we can still express our opinions. If you like the JA stuff, that is okay...knock yourself out.

I think he uses bad judgments in his attempt to be a journalistic professional.

DannyVol writes:

Disgraceful. The fact that the editor allows this tells you all you need to know.

flatrock writes:

in response to Packer_Park_Orange:

Truth is Adams laid it on a little light in deference to the Dooleyphiles here...4 straight SEC losses before MTSU...0-5 in the SEC...3-5 overall...By that time the Kool Aid might taste a bit more bitter.

Sad, very sad life.

kdog82164#547107 writes:

If the Vols go 4-0 or 0-4 I love the BIG ORANGE. I think they will go 2-2.

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to Packer_Park_Orange:

Truth is Adams laid it on a little light in deference to the Dooleyphiles here...4 straight SEC losses before MTSU...0-5 in the SEC...3-5 overall...By that time the Kool Aid might taste a bit more bitter.

I'm sure you are hoping you are right, don't you "UT alum" ?

SummittsCourt writes:

I think the main complaint with this article and many more like them is adams is quick to point out the faults of the Vols and slow to point out the good things. He writes this article and it's like the Vols are going to give up 300 yards to each runner and they have no chance at stopping them. It's almost as if he hopes that happens and he gets a kick out of it.

His articles do have a negative bend to them towards anything Vols. Maybe he is right about the upcoming schedule, but we don't live in a cave and we all are aware of what's ahead. Some of us believe we can win one, maybe even 2 of those games. who knows - it's why they cal them upsets.

There is no doubt in my mind that he writes these articles with some issues with the Vols.

underthehill writes:

I do not see how an article by John Adams can possibly have anything to do with what happens on the field.. that is where games are won and lost ..If you support the VOLS no article by JA is going to change this...

snakeplissken writes:

in response to underthehill:

I do not see how an article by John Adams can possibly have anything to do with what happens on the field.. that is where games are won and lost ..If you support the VOLS no article by JA is going to change this...

I've noticed that too. I guess Adams, Fulmer, and former president Bush will be blamed for every loss.

theoldbear writes:

I was on campus for that 1964 stretch against top ten opponents. That was the begining of the Doug Dickey era. We're in the same kind of rebuilding era right now.

SIMSVOL writes:

The October schedule is a tough gauntlet for any team and especially a team that is rebuilding and restocking the cupboard. You posters who think Adams should simply write for the Tennessee PR department don't get it. His pieces are usually thought provoking and insightful. I hope the VOLS can win two of its toughest October contests, but we could easily go 0 and 4. We're young, still thin and need a couple more seasons to be where some of you think we are today. Go VOLS!!!

underthehill writes:

in response to theoldbear:

I was on campus for that 1964 stretch against top ten opponents. That was the begining of the Doug Dickey era. We're in the same kind of rebuilding era right now.

Appears u r right...getting the basics improved can at least make us competitive right now...and it was not quite as bad against FLA as the response indicates..we could catch a team flat and have a good game and get the upset we need...I too remember the games when tickets were $1.00 right before kick off..

Voloyalty writes:

in response to Packer_Park_Orange:

Truth is Adams laid it on a little light in deference to the Dooleyphiles here...4 straight SEC losses before MTSU...0-5 in the SEC...3-5 overall...By that time the Kool Aid might taste a bit more bitter.

Fulmer lost to Wyoming.

murrayvol writes:

in response to theoldbear:

I was on campus for that 1964 stretch against top ten opponents. That was the begining of the Doug Dickey era. We're in the same kind of rebuilding era right now.

I was there for the end of the Dickey era. Wish he'd stuck around.

wagee12 writes:

Haw, haw, I have defended Adams in the past but no more. Hey Johnny, what would the outcome of the Florida game been had Chris Rainey blew out a knee on the Gators first possession and Hunter had not been injured? Just sayin. And also Johnny, your bashing does nothing to expedite the rebuilding job underway at UT. And this piece of pablum, it is nothing more than what most Vol fans already know, October is a brutal schedule. Wow, thanks for that profound and insightful rendering. And a final word to the resident posting clown, PackerParkDork, take your whiney, cry baby act away from around here, stop beating your wife and kids and please don't continue to kick your dog around.

orangecountyvols writes:

NavalOrange,

Very well said my friend. You know, this Packer clown/troll is paying the price here for all the negative posts he conjures up.

However, the price he pays..........he accepts.
He just wants the attention he isn't getting elsewhere, obviously.

Hey, N O. Who do you think the SEC will pick up after Texas A & M joins the league? Geographically speaking.........all this is a farce. We saw on CBS that Dooley is not in favor of bouncing these schools around as we're seeing.
Who knows what the landscape will look like in a few years?

bigtangerine writes:

Good thing Hamilton bought out North Carolina. The Tar Heels are not good, not even as good as last year. But I'd rather be playing Buffalo. Thank you, Mike.
I saw a Liberty Bowl projection for the Vols. A big win over somebody better that us is the only way to improve over that.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to theoldbear:

I was on campus for that 1964 stretch against top ten opponents. That was the begining of the Doug Dickey era. We're in the same kind of rebuilding era right now.

UT has talent. They might be young at some positions, but we have talent. I'm not sure other than Ky,Vandy,MTSU, and Buffalo who UT is supposed to beat. Maybe Georgia, but I do know most UT fans expect to beat good teams. If we have to suffer through another 5/6 loss season regardless of "rebuilding" UT fans will be very restless next year. I know that in the 3rd year as head coach that there is no reason for fans not to expect to start beating the big boys in the SEC again. Except for RB, the entire offense will be JRs and SRs, and the defens will be sophomores, JRs, and SRs. I know I will personally be expecting all this talent thats coming back next year to beat everyone. Like we did when Fulmer was coach.

keithgibson writes:

John Adams is a genius in his writing abilities. Those of you who rip on him just can not stand the facts! With a coach like we have, it is going to be a long October.

MusicCityVol writes:

October will be tough in the SEC. Tell us something we don't know.

The Battle for Football's Soul
http://www.checkerboardchatter.com/20...

UTKin1992 writes:

Very true. We're looking down the barrel of a 3-5 record by the end of October and I don't expect Dooley to have this team any more prepared than they were for the Florida game. Dooley's as predictable as they come: wins and loses when Vegas odds say so.

UTKin1992 writes:

in response to orangeman1:

UT has talent. They might be young at some positions, but we have talent. I'm not sure other than Ky,Vandy,MTSU, and Buffalo who UT is supposed to beat. Maybe Georgia, but I do know most UT fans expect to beat good teams. If we have to suffer through another 5/6 loss season regardless of "rebuilding" UT fans will be very restless next year. I know that in the 3rd year as head coach that there is no reason for fans not to expect to start beating the big boys in the SEC again. Except for RB, the entire offense will be JRs and SRs, and the defens will be sophomores, JRs, and SRs. I know I will personally be expecting all this talent thats coming back next year to beat everyone. Like we did when Fulmer was coach.

Well said.

I certainly hope we begin to get a return on our investment with Dooley after this year. If not, it could get ugly quick.

That being said, I do believe the administration will back Dooley for several years to come - regardless of his record - because the last thing we need is more change at the head coaching position. Stability may be viewed as more important than wins and loses...

Voloyalty writes:

in response to Packer_Park_Orange:

Truth is Adams laid it on a little light in deference to the Dooleyphiles here...4 straight SEC losses before MTSU...0-5 in the SEC...3-5 overall...By that time the Kool Aid might taste a bit more bitter.

Just curious Packer Trailer Park. Are you going to be man enough to stand by this post on Nov. 6th? I highly doubt it. Your type hide behind a computer screen and live in cyberspace. Your only friends are those who respond back to your negative comments. You might consider me a friend. The reason you are so negative is because you starve for attention due to your lack of friends. Hang in there buddy. You should really think about getting a dog.

Volunatic writes:

in response to Packer_Park_Orange:

Truth is Adams laid it on a little light in deference to the Dooleyphiles here...4 straight SEC losses before MTSU...0-5 in the SEC...3-5 overall...By that time the Kool Aid might taste a bit more bitter.

Vicki,
Give it a rest.

keviningeorgia writes:

Good article John A.

1964 was Doug Dickie's first UT team. But don't leave us hangin' bud. What was their record against those 3 in a row?

Answer, they were 1-1-1 (Lost to Bama, tied LSU and beat Ga. Tech) in those games.

For those of us who like to know the whole story, they finished the year at 4-5-1...

Futurecoach16 writes:

in response to Volunatic:

Vicki,
Give it a rest.

For those that want to move on from the Fulmer regime, some have the burning desire to keep bringing up that time. Instead of acting like a child and calling names, especially ones that are of that "dark time" as some say, try actually arguing the debate on hand.

SCVFL writes:

October has always been tough. But go back and look at UT's October record and you will find that it is very impressive.
For John, maybe GA, LSU. ALA, ansd SC will be looking past us to their next game and OOPS we win.
Coach Double D and staff are working hard and the team will get better and better and better.
Only thing that could be better is Peyton coming home to coach.

TheRealDragonSlayer writes:

in response to Packer_Park_Orange:

Truth is Adams laid it on a little light in deference to the Dooleyphiles here...4 straight SEC losses before MTSU...0-5 in the SEC...3-5 overall...By that time the Kool Aid might taste a bit more bitter.

It doesnt matter if you really even played football or not. It doesnt matter if you are a Fulmer fan or not. It doesnt even matter if you dont like Dooley. Just you saying that we will be 3-5 overall or 0-5 in the SEC is just ridiculous, and clearly shows a mental condition that needs treatment. NO fan, NO student, NO Fulmer-supporter, could or would wish bad things on his own team.

Fact is, you are no fan. You have psychological issues that need to be addressed.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to TheRealDragonSlayer:

It doesnt matter if you really even played football or not. It doesnt matter if you are a Fulmer fan or not. It doesnt even matter if you dont like Dooley. Just you saying that we will be 3-5 overall or 0-5 in the SEC is just ridiculous, and clearly shows a mental condition that needs treatment. NO fan, NO student, NO Fulmer-supporter, could or would wish bad things on his own team.

Fact is, you are no fan. You have psychological issues that need to be addressed.

I am a big UT fan and like Dooley, BUT a 3-5 record in the SEC is not ridiculous. Actually, its very probable. I am not wishing it to happen, but its very likely. I find it helps to prepare yourself for disappointment by not expecting alot. I do think that the worst fan in the world is one that would wish a team to lose because they dont like the coach. I knew quite a few that did that before Fulmer was fired too.

PennVol writes:

in response to UTKin1992:

Well said.

I certainly hope we begin to get a return on our investment with Dooley after this year. If not, it could get ugly quick.

That being said, I do believe the administration will back Dooley for several years to come - regardless of his record - because the last thing we need is more change at the head coaching position. Stability may be viewed as more important than wins and loses...

I think it's very important to pull some upsets this year in order to get some better recruits. Without these upsets, we may be stuck with lesser recruits and hoping this coaching staff can coach them up to an SEC competitive level, which I haven't seen yet, except for maybe Bray. An example includes the major breakdowns on defense (Pead, Rainey, 3rd and long) and Poole's lack of production against good teams. Hunter and Rogers were highly recruited and they are contributing - most likely due to their talent over our coaching them up.

I hope these coaches are better at developing young guys than we've seen so far, but the jury is still out in my opinion. The same goes for Xs and Os.

TheRealDragonSlayer writes:

in response to orangeman1:

I am a big UT fan and like Dooley, BUT a 3-5 record in the SEC is not ridiculous. Actually, its very probable. I am not wishing it to happen, but its very likely. I find it helps to prepare yourself for disappointment by not expecting alot. I do think that the worst fan in the world is one that would wish a team to lose because they dont like the coach. I knew quite a few that did that before Fulmer was fired too.

I think you misunderstood my post. The idiot I was responding to had said that we would be 0-5 in the SEC and 3-5 overall by the time we play MTSU...It is possible that we go 3-5 in the SEC when all is said and done, but I dont expect us to go 0-4 in October. It is not likely and it is not very probable. If you believe that, then I must disagree with you. Even from a realistic standpoint, we have to believe that we can beat either Georgia or South Carolina, even if we dont upset Bama or LSU.

I appreciate that yolu are a big UT fan and like Dooley, but give the talent on our team some credit. We got hit in the mouth against Florida and even though we reacted badly, we still had enough to make it a game. I dont expect that many mistakes in every game we play, especially not going forward into the SEC schedule.

Again, if you do believe we go ofer in October, thats up to you. But that is not THE realistic or probable choice here.

baldingalum writes:

in response to Packer_Park_Orange:

Truth is Adams laid it on a little light in deference to the Dooleyphiles here...4 straight SEC losses before MTSU...0-5 in the SEC...3-5 overall...By that time the Kool Aid might taste a bit more bitter.

Call me a Dooleyphile. He is a great ambassador for the school. There will be upsets in October.

GR82BAVOL writes:

Well I see not much has changed here. Besides Naval and a few others, there is just no common sense when it comes to posting, and that's just sad.

I have never had a problem with Adams. He tells it like it is, and that's what he is supposed to do. THIS JUST IN: he is a Journalist!

I believe CDD is doing a tremendous job. He has these kids playing 4 quarters, regardless of where they stand on the scoreboard. That in itself is a vast improvement over one coaching staff that became complacent, and another that for the most part were a bunch of snake-oil salesmen. The only person standing in the way of longevity is Coach Dooley himself. As long as he begins to win at a .750 or higher clip in a few years, he will be here, unless he goes to Georgia when CMR leaves.

Anyway, I like what I see, and I see a very well put together, educated man that knows his X's and O's coaching up his team week in and out.

It's just that simple.

Theo writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

I think the main complaint with this article and many more like them is adams is quick to point out the faults of the Vols and slow to point out the good things. He writes this article and it's like the Vols are going to give up 300 yards to each runner and they have no chance at stopping them. It's almost as if he hopes that happens and he gets a kick out of it.

His articles do have a negative bend to them towards anything Vols. Maybe he is right about the upcoming schedule, but we don't live in a cave and we all are aware of what's ahead. Some of us believe we can win one, maybe even 2 of those games. who knows - it's why they cal them upsets.

There is no doubt in my mind that he writes these articles with some issues with the Vols.

I think you are exactly right SC. I think journalists should be unbaised - for the good and the bad. John Adams seems to only write highly critical articles. Very few positive. Or even in the same article there should be an "on the other hand". We obviously have a more challenging October than any other team in the country but, we have a young and improving team. We may pull off an upset or two in October but regardless for the Vols its all about learning and getting better at this point in the rebuilding process. Love Fulmer or hate him the program was in shambles by the time Dooley arrived. It will take time to get back to where we should be. Thanks goodness the basics are there to hopefully rebuild quickly - facilities, fan base, financial support.
I am optimistic about the future no matter what happens in October. Go Vols!

orangeman1 writes:

in response to Theo:

I think you are exactly right SC. I think journalists should be unbaised - for the good and the bad. John Adams seems to only write highly critical articles. Very few positive. Or even in the same article there should be an "on the other hand". We obviously have a more challenging October than any other team in the country but, we have a young and improving team. We may pull off an upset or two in October but regardless for the Vols its all about learning and getting better at this point in the rebuilding process. Love Fulmer or hate him the program was in shambles by the time Dooley arrived. It will take time to get back to where we should be. Thanks goodness the basics are there to hopefully rebuild quickly - facilities, fan base, financial support.
I am optimistic about the future no matter what happens in October. Go Vols!

Left the program in shambles? Exaggerate much? You do remember what UT accomplished less than a year before he was fired? Again, UT has talented athletes also. Next year, inexperience and youth and depth wont be excuses. As I've stated the team will be mostly made up of JRs and SRs. If Dooley can fix whats wrong with the team (mainly the running game) then we might pull off an upset. But if he cant get it fixed then there are bigger problems.

BigOrangeSmoker writes:

in response to orangeblood8456:

tennessee doesn't need an opponent, other than john adams!

all johnboy knows how to do is talk negative about Tennessee he really needs to go

budd#207344 writes:

We do not need John Adams to point out the good things about the Vols. We need him to provide a realistic assessment of the team's performance. He does that in most instances. I have read the ATL papers for years. They spend the whole year talking about how great the dawgs are and then the season trying to figure out why they consistently underachieve. Part of the reason is that they never hear about their faults only their greatness. So hate on Adams all you like but give me the facts not the koolaid.

absgovols writes:

To all the "0-4 v 4-0 in October" folks, it is impossible: we play 5 games in October...

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