John Adams: Bowl season heats up without UT

John Adams

From the 1989 through 2004 football seasons, Tennessee never missed qualifying for a bowl game.

It wasn't always a New Year's Day bowl. Nor was it always a desirable bowl.

Remember when the Capital One Bowl was a disappointment? Or when back-to-back Chick-fil-A bowls were almost insulting?

Maybe that's why the bowl streak didn't receive much attention at that time. It was too commonplace to be noteworthy.

Now, as college football season plunges into the heart of bowl season, the old streak has a newfound luster for a program that has missed out on bowls in consecutive years.

Once taken for granted, a bowl — and the six required victories that go with it — has become the goal for UT football. And the goal will be a challenge for coach Butch Jones' first Tennessee team in 2013.

Built-in optimism invariably accompanies a coaching change. Maybe the system will better complement the returning personnel. Maybe he and his staff will motivate a player or group of players that the previous staff couldn't.

You can weigh that against the significant losses from a team that was already undermanned in the SEC.

Few teams in college football will lose as much

of their offense. Quarterback Tyler Bray; wide receivers Cordarrelle Patterson, Justin Hunter and Zach Rogers; tight end Mychael Rivera: all gone.

What's left? A good offensive line, several productive players from the middle of the defensive front and questions everywhere else.

One of the biggest questions will be at quarterback.

Quarterback transitions always are important. This one is more crucial than usual.

In better days, Tennessee had sufficient overall talent to make the transition so much easier for a new quarterback. Not now.

Tennessee's next quarterback — be it Justin Worley or Nathan Peterman — will have an experienced offensive line in his favor. But the running backs are not exceptional by SEC standards, there are no established receivers and there's a new offense to learn.

The supporting cast won't allow for a struggling quarterback. The Vols just went 5-7 with Bray, who — despite his track record for faltering when a game was hanging in the balance — at least gave them a big-time passer.

Perhaps the loss of offensive talent can be offset by a resourcefulness recent Tennessee teams have lacked. Maybe Jones' Vols will find ways to make plays against comparable competition that will turn games their way.

If not, UT's latest bowl streak will continue next year.

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

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Comments » 55

Rumblefish writes:

JA....Where in this column are you telling us readers something we didn't already know???

There are folks who pile on Adams for kicking the Tennessee dog while it's down. Fair enough.

There are also folks who say that JA simply tells the truth that folks don't want to hear. Fair enough.

My beef with Adams??---the fact that he actually gets paid to state the obvious and does nothing more. I'll ask again JA....where in this story (or any of your other stories) have you told the fanbase of something they were not aware of already???

KNS editors....please take the time to actually read JA's submissions and ask the same question that I am before sending them out for print/online. Thanks.

tnsportsman writes:

#FIRECHEEKNOW On Twitter! This POS FL Swamp Lizard Cheek has destroyed UTAD in 7 Years! Tee Martin told me, this CHEEK UT review of Recruits after NCAA Clearing House Approval is KILLING TENNESSEE! I have donated over $100,000 in 20 years to UTAD, until CHEEK is GONE FROM UT, ZERO going forward!

MOVING VAN TIME CHEEK! Us Donors, Season Ticket Holders and Alum are coming for you! Leave UT and the Great State of Tennessee OR ELSE!

Question, wonder why the FL Swamp Lizard doesn't want one of their own in CHEEK, LMOA, YOU POS!

GO VOLS, ALWAYS!

golfman1975 writes:

Only Alabama and Texas have appeared in more bowl games...glass half full. GTF out of here ADAMS!

GoVols025 writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"Losers are Us" with YOU, the biggest loser, as the president. That will give you another credential! From street punk to Prez of "Losers are Us." Since you're so attracted to Coach Dooley, that should work out well for you. Perhaps you could invite him to your "Boys-Will-Be-BOYS" weekends at PC. He'd turn your down, but just like your Cowher fantasy, you could tell your BOYS you tried.

BigOrangeSmoker writes:

another useless post by johnadams,maybe Coach Jones will ask for johnboy to be removed or better yet a mac truck runs him over

orangecountyvols writes:

Rumblefish and GoVols025,

First to you Rumble. You're correct. Another typical Adams column......telling everyone what is essentially a moot point.

Next, GoVols025, you're also correct about the kid, Billie the kid from the Grove, wherever that is.
He and fellow troll, Wilted Flowers 10 years from now will still have Dooley on their minds. What absolutely losing idiots .......

pingkr62 writes:

Isn't it amazing how a fan base can become spoiled? I think the reason we go through hard times, is so we can appreciate the good. We as Tennessee fans should let this sink in, because good times are coming. I've been a fan of the VOLS since 1974, and I've seen the highs and lows. The good thing is Tennessee has ALWAYS come back. And we will again. G.B.O.!!!

smokeyvol1 writes:

Wow! My guess is that ESPN, Yahoo, AP, Fox and all other media outlets will pickup on this and John will get a emmy! Lst me be the first to congratulate you on breaking this story!

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

in response to Rumblefish:

JA....Where in this column are you telling us readers something we didn't already know???

There are folks who pile on Adams for kicking the Tennessee dog while it's down. Fair enough.

There are also folks who say that JA simply tells the truth that folks don't want to hear. Fair enough.

My beef with Adams??---the fact that he actually gets paid to state the obvious and does nothing more. I'll ask again JA....where in this story (or any of your other stories) have you told the fanbase of something they were not aware of already???

KNS editors....please take the time to actually read JA's submissions and ask the same question that I am before sending them out for print/online. Thanks.

I totally agree with your comment. Have you ever in your life seen anyone revel in UT's misery more than this clown? If possible, they should bar him from access to campus and/or player interviews.

cloudodust writes:

Note to Tennessee football fans et al, a quote from Winston Churchill : 'If you're going through he**, keep going.'...As always, GBO

cloudodust writes:

in response to snowpeapod#263184:

I totally agree with your comment. Have you ever in your life seen anyone revel in UT's misery more than this clown? If possible, they should bar him from access to campus and/or player interviews.

Some would agree, others will disagree. Pull up JA's articles in the KNS the day after the Fiesta Bowl 1999 (Tennessee, 1998 BCS Champs) and tell me he doesn't call it as it IS, at least for someone that gets PAID to do so...Happy New Year to all.

underthehill writes:

in response to Rumblefish:

JA....Where in this column are you telling us readers something we didn't already know???

There are folks who pile on Adams for kicking the Tennessee dog while it's down. Fair enough.

There are also folks who say that JA simply tells the truth that folks don't want to hear. Fair enough.

My beef with Adams??---the fact that he actually gets paid to state the obvious and does nothing more. I'll ask again JA....where in this story (or any of your other stories) have you told the fanbase of something they were not aware of already???

KNS editors....please take the time to actually read JA's submissions and ask the same question that I am before sending them out for print/online. Thanks.

If you are not the one paying Adams and you are not paying for the privilege of posting on this site..you got no beef..just a bunch of road kill..does that help you understand why KNS editors are not likely to respond to your request..

decades_vol (Inactive) writes:

We gripe, we complain, we fuss and cuss about JA's articles, yet we read and read again. Yeah, I read this one too. And posted as well. What else is there to do on a sit-on-your-rear Saturday night?

SummittsCourt writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

pingkr62 writes:

in response to decades_vol:

We gripe, we complain, we fuss and cuss about JA's articles, yet we read and read again. Yeah, I read this one too. And posted as well. What else is there to do on a sit-on-your-rear Saturday night?

I can state for a fact, I wouldn't want his job. Please don't mis-understand, I am no fan of the media, but having a job where you are required to fill empty space on paper seems to be pretty stressful. And if the journalist at K.N.S. weren't writing the articles, we wouldn't have things to gripe about.

NGage writes:

in response to Rumblefish:

JA....Where in this column are you telling us readers something we didn't already know???

There are folks who pile on Adams for kicking the Tennessee dog while it's down. Fair enough.

There are also folks who say that JA simply tells the truth that folks don't want to hear. Fair enough.

My beef with Adams??---the fact that he actually gets paid to state the obvious and does nothing more. I'll ask again JA....where in this story (or any of your other stories) have you told the fanbase of something they were not aware of already???

KNS editors....please take the time to actually read JA's submissions and ask the same question that I am before sending them out for print/online. Thanks.

Very accurate, and very astute post.

fearthehound writes:

Good column. Straight forward, just the facts, informative. John, you really can do a good job when you're not trying too hard to be funny. This article is exactly what it was meant to be--an opinion piece by a sports columnist.

fearthehound writes:

in response to GlennFordsFoible:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

On this site, anonymity is your best friend. Pray that it is maintained.

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to andforhisnexttune:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

you are correct. You smell like sh##

creekroad writes:

in response to underthehill:

If you are not the one paying Adams and you are not paying for the privilege of posting on this site..you got no beef..just a bunch of road kill..does that help you understand why KNS editors are not likely to respond to your request..

You are mistaken, as long as we have freedom go the Press, Adams has the right to publish, and we have the right to disagree.

WetumpkaThumpa writes:

Adams used to write decent stuff, but the UT fans on here have hurt his feelings and pissed him off enough that he only hates on the Vols now. Congratulations guys, you Adams bashers have finally gotten under his skin.

JayTee writes:

Another Pulitzer Prize winning story. When pigs fly. :) :) :)

claiborneh writes:

"You can weigh that against the significant losses from a team that was already undermanned in the SEC."

Since they were undermanned in the SEC, maybe their personnel losses as a team are not so significant

killervol69 writes:

in response to GlennFordsFoible:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Ahhaaaa, there's old wilted flowers sticking his head out of his
Dooley-Hole! Good morning Jeff, how's your famous brother, Richmond?

jmaples54 writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

lol. "but wipe" every time you post you make yourself look like the ignoramus you are. (in case you don't understand, "butt" has two t's, just like summitt).

jmaples54 writes:

in response to andforhisnexttune:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

you have covered all the senses, except for touch, taste and common.

jmaples54 writes:

in response to BigOrangeSmoker:

another useless post by johnadams,maybe Coach Jones will ask for johnboy to be removed or better yet a mac truck runs him over

if everything useless gets fired by coach jones or run over by a mack truck, you're a goner.

pingkr62 writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

FanNotSheep writes:

To be fair, there are only so many stories to write when the team isn't playing in a bowl game. Strange covers the basketball team, Fleser handles the Lady Vol beat and Adams writes columns he believes interest the most UT fans. He is not a reporter so don't expect him to do investigative articles, and you'd probably regret it if he did -- I mean, the program barely has a pulse, do you really want media types energetically poking around for big stories?

madrigal writes:

Most of these aren't bowl games, just very ordinary games in the post-season. There are only 5 or 6 worth anything (including bragging about)...Rose, Cotton, Orange, Sugar, and maybe (just maybe) Fiesta and Sun. The rest I heard someone refer to yesterday as a series of Toilet Bowls.

golfman1975 writes:

in response to FanNotSheep:

To be fair, there are only so many stories to write when the team isn't playing in a bowl game. Strange covers the basketball team, Fleser handles the Lady Vol beat and Adams writes columns he believes interest the most UT fans. He is not a reporter so don't expect him to do investigative articles, and you'd probably regret it if he did -- I mean, the program barely has a pulse, do you really want media types energetically poking around for big stories?

I just watched the Miami-UT game on YouTube from 1985. It was a bowl game from heck for Miami and J Johnson. I really hated it for him. It would be nice to run a story on some of our great bowl moments...like beating Michigan, Ohio State (Eddie George senior year), Miami, VT...and not the least...Florida State...there are some great games to relive. But wait...you would have to be a fan to want to read something like that and JA is just a fan of his ego. Got to keep that fire burning!

BigOrangeFreak writes:

On the positive side of things, it looks like we have locked up recruiting at Dobyns Bennett. Jones has already put up a fence around Kingsport.

Why does this seem so familiar?

KVCrockett writes:

WHAT???? The VOLS are not playing in a bowl game this year? John thanks for the breaking news. This will drasticly change my holiday plans. VOL fans are so lucky to have such an informative writer to keep us updated.

Navaloranges writes:

in response to GlennFordsFoible:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You didn't "tell us" squat. You're an insignificant TROLL/POSER that got LUCKY that Dooley couldn't hack the SEC. Your "predictions" are made with the HOPE that they'll come true so you can be somehow significant. You're a LOSER that hides behind your keyboard and fills this site with your useless nonsense for personal satisfaction, NOTHING MORE. Your biggest gripe about Dooley was his losing record... NOW, you have to come up with another excuse to hate on Jones, becasue he's won championships EVERYWHERE HE'S BEEN!

YOU

ARE

A JOKE!!!!!! PERIOD!!!!!!

SevenT writes:

This article is not "stating the obvious" UT fans by and large are delusional. UT fans think their team is an elite program. Truthfully the program has pretty much been a dump for the past 10 years and there is zero evidence to expect anything more for a long time. Just face the music Vol fans you ain't Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Florida, So Car., Ark......UT is in the same boat with Ole Miss, KY and Vanderbilt

BigOrangeFreak writes:

in response to SevenT:

This article is not "stating the obvious" UT fans by and large are delusional. UT fans think their team is an elite program. Truthfully the program has pretty much been a dump for the past 10 years and there is zero evidence to expect anything more for a long time. Just face the music Vol fans you ain't Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Florida, So Car., Ark......UT is in the same boat with Ole Miss, KY and Vanderbilt

First off, Kentucky ain't even in the boat.

Second, why don't you go back to Kentucky and lick Calipari's boots some more. Nobody wants to hear from you.

We realize you didn't get the attention you needed from Mommy and Daddy, but chasing negative attention is not going to fill the void.

sundiver98 writes:

Air sireens should have sounded as soon as Strong blew off UT, Cheeks is a joke and psudo coach of ut football...JA can't be blamed, everyone allowed him to destroy Fulmer and many of you supported this, so be happy, blindly through your money into the cess pit Neyland has become, chances are with the restrictions and penalities ut is not going to win much for the next 5 years, hope I'm wrong...come to think of it, I haven't been back to a game since Phil was fired, probably never will as long as the regime is there, just as I have not bought a KNS paper in years, and for 40 years I did not miss a game except when deployed overseas, listened to ut on the radio for at least ten years as a kid and still can here JW call Tennesse is in Power I and the Cobb run against Auburn at Neyland..a mild earthquake to say the least, these will never be duplicated and all the radio announcing is color, no down and distance, Tried to listen to one game this year from Bangalore, with Ward the play would be over for 30 seconds and he would still be describing the formations, Miss you John, now slience then "Incomplete" the color, 'Gollie sucks if he would just..."

orangecountyvols writes:

NavalOranges,

Hope you and family have had a really nice Christmas.

A big present for all the real Vol fans would have been for Santa to take the trolls back to the North Pole and drop them off thousands of miles before he got there.

Of course, those idiotic trolls are the usual ones.........in particular, Wilted Flowers,
the kid from the Grove.........Billy the punk, Seven.........the band wagon U K fan who as the old saying goes, "the Kat has got his tongue" after the one and dones dropped yet another game.

Yes, Wilted Flowers and Billy the punk kid, 10 years from now will still be whining about Dooley. The rest of us will have moved on, but these two pathetic trolls will be off somewhere telling each other how 'brilliant' each other is, and asking "hey, it's year 2023.........but what's the latest with Dooley? Or........what about Kremser and Glenn Ford? Where are they now? Flowers is still consumed with those 3, 10 years from now.

Who knows, perhaps in 10 years Wilted Flowers will work up enough courage to send a post card to Glenn Ford telling him just what he'd say to him if he had the 'guts' to meet him in person.

Moesart writes:

Talking to family at a Christmas gathering, we were all happy that we didn't have to see TN play and lose in another Whocares Bowl this year.

TKO writes:

Reassuring. This column will probably go straight to espn and CNN breaking news.

jjk writes:

Sorry if the truth hurts, Vol Nation. With Bray, Patterson, Hunter and others gone, Jones should get a pass his first year. Neither of those QBs are going to light the world on fire. Worley has played sparingly, and Peterman has yet to take a snap. The RBs aren't as good as their press clippings say, we will have some inexperienced WRs, and who knows what the defense will look like? I want to remain optimistic that Jones can get it done, but this is probably going to be a bigger challenge than Dooley's first year. Especially with that schedule. Vol Nation better be patient, because although Jones brings good credentials to the table, 2013 may be another long year.

Supersayin1 writes:

in response to jjk:

Sorry if the truth hurts, Vol Nation. With Bray, Patterson, Hunter and others gone, Jones should get a pass his first year. Neither of those QBs are going to light the world on fire. Worley has played sparingly, and Peterman has yet to take a snap. The RBs aren't as good as their press clippings say, we will have some inexperienced WRs, and who knows what the defense will look like? I want to remain optimistic that Jones can get it done, but this is probably going to be a bigger challenge than Dooley's first year. Especially with that schedule. Vol Nation better be patient, because although Jones brings good credentials to the table, 2013 may be another long year.

As much as sucks, I have to agree! It's the only realistic way of looking at 2013

underthehill writes:

in response to jjk:

Sorry if the truth hurts, Vol Nation. With Bray, Patterson, Hunter and others gone, Jones should get a pass his first year. Neither of those QBs are going to light the world on fire. Worley has played sparingly, and Peterman has yet to take a snap. The RBs aren't as good as their press clippings say, we will have some inexperienced WRs, and who knows what the defense will look like? I want to remain optimistic that Jones can get it done, but this is probably going to be a bigger challenge than Dooley's first year. Especially with that schedule. Vol Nation better be patient, because although Jones brings good credentials to the table, 2013 may be another long year.

I think you are right..this is a bigger challenge than Dooley's first year..Jones could well be the best coach UT could have hired and not have a very good W-L this year..the schedule is not only brutal..it just go worse..Petrino has a pretty good roster and signed 4 JUCO players for Western Ky ..this game which was thought to be a breather may be a trap..if Jones can go 6-6 he is the coach of the year in the SEC as far as I am concerned..if he goes 5-7 ..I would consider it a very good job..I know most UT fans expect more..I hope for more

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to underthehill:

I think you are right..this is a bigger challenge than Dooley's first year..Jones could well be the best coach UT could have hired and not have a very good W-L this year..the schedule is not only brutal..it just go worse..Petrino has a pretty good roster and signed 4 JUCO players for Western Ky ..this game which was thought to be a breather may be a trap..if Jones can go 6-6 he is the coach of the year in the SEC as far as I am concerned..if he goes 5-7 ..I would consider it a very good job..I know most UT fans expect more..I hope for more

I think a 6&6 season with upsets over UGA or USCe very possible (probably not both) but if UT could beat an SEC opponent early (remember the LSU game Dooley's first season) it would mean the world to this teams confidence.

Colliervol writes:

Wouldn't know if it's hot or not. Haven't watched one minute of a bowl game yet and not likely to until the championship game. And if the Grizzlies are playing that night then I won't be watching that one either. They have taken my mind off our football woes. Fun bunch to watch.

underthehill writes:

in response to Colliervol:

Wouldn't know if it's hot or not. Haven't watched one minute of a bowl game yet and not likely to until the championship game. And if the Grizzlies are playing that night then I won't be watching that one either. They have taken my mind off our football woes. Fun bunch to watch.

I see your point Collier..sports need to be fun to watch...

FanNotSheep writes:

in response to golfman1975:

I just watched the Miami-UT game on YouTube from 1985. It was a bowl game from heck for Miami and J Johnson. I really hated it for him. It would be nice to run a story on some of our great bowl moments...like beating Michigan, Ohio State (Eddie George senior year), Miami, VT...and not the least...Florida State...there are some great games to relive. But wait...you would have to be a fan to want to read something like that and JA is just a fan of his ego. Got to keep that fire burning!

But it's not Adams' job to be a UT fan. And I really hate to start living in the past, even though I share your love for those big games. John does have an ego, and he does seem to enjoy picking the scabs so the fans can't heal their pride. But the truth is UT has gone steadily downhill since the 2001 SEC Championship Game, and the program has hit bottom. Reliving the good old days won't get us back to the level Fulmer took us to in the 90s. Alabama fans lived in the past too, but they went out and hired the guy who led them back to the top. Maybe we will be lucky and Jones will have the right stuff. But I want to see the team make it to the Sugar Bowl again more than I want to talk about the one we won nearly 30 years ago.

Snapshot writes:

in response to SevenT:

This article is not "stating the obvious" UT fans by and large are delusional. UT fans think their team is an elite program. Truthfully the program has pretty much been a dump for the past 10 years and there is zero evidence to expect anything more for a long time. Just face the music Vol fans you ain't Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Florida, So Car., Ark......UT is in the same boat with Ole Miss, KY and Vanderbilt

seven t you are a freaking coward. Where were your comments on the article about Louisville beating the mildcats? You were NOWHERE to be found! If you can't take the heat, then just shut up. Coward...

Snapshot writes:

in response to GlennFordsFoible:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Are you really the brother of legendary Vol Richmond Flowers?

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to Snapshot:

Are you really the brother of legendary Vol Richmond Flowers?

I doubt it. He's just a trolling, pot stirring punk

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