Mike Strange: Sports weekend offers something for everyone

If there were a sports bar with a wall of radios, that's where I'd be tonight.

This is going to be one terrific weekend for tracking teams and scores. So many games, so little time. Tonight offers a smorgasbord. Too bad you can't be in more than one place at a time.

It's basketball time in Tennessee. The men open up in Thompson-Boling Arena against Kennesaw State, the women at Chattanooga.

Precisely when the respective officials are tossing the respective opening tips in the air, a host of second-round high school football playoff games will be kicking off.

Saturday, a dramatic Tennessee football season unveils another chapter at Neyland Stadium.

If you're still up for a game on Sunday, how about some NCAA soccer? The Lady Vols play host to Miami of Ohio at Regal Stadium. Or, you have a choice of watching Holly Warlick's Lady Vols play hoops on TV at Georgia Tech.

There's more. The Knoxville Challenger at UT's Goodfriend Tennis center runs through Sunday and features several former Vols making their way on the pro circuit.

It's a great night for high school football, with five games on tap in Knox County, usual suspects Maryville and Alcoa both at home and more survive-and-advance passion from Oneida to Greenback.

While Friday night heroes are wrapping up a season, college basketball is reporting for tipoff.

Cuonzo Martin's second season at UT finds the program considerably healthier than a year ago. For one thing, Vol Nation has had time to recover from Bruce Pearl's jarring exit.

For another, Martin and his roster are no mystery, bringing back virtually everyone from a surprise runner-up SEC team. Expectations of returning to the NCAA tournament after a one-year hiatus are realistic.

The Lady Vols will be under local and national scrutiny to see how the program fares without Pat Summitt's guiding hand — and laser stare.

Warlick's first roster is in rebuilding mode. The recent commitment from the nation's No. 1 recruit, Mercedes Russell, is a sign the Lady Vols will remain a national brand. But there is a season to play until Russell gets here and it starts tonight.

Saturday at Neyland Stadium will launch a new era with SEC newcomer Missouri in town. By this point, however, UT fans couldn't care less about the opponent.

Coach Derek Dooley's career seemingly hangs in the balance week to week. Breaking into the SEC win column would prolong the intrigue. Athletic director Dave Hart will be counting heads in the stands as he works toward a decision on Dooley's future.

Last winter he made a decision on another sport's future. It turned out OK. Sunday, he can watch his first UT hire, Brian Pensky, coach an NCAA tournament soccer match.

Mike Strange may be reached at strangem@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/strangemike44 and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/strange.

© 2012 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 1

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Notice how Strange it was that Strange didn't mention the lady Mocs game exactly. BIG MISTAKE. well to be fair he DID say "and it starts tonight" talking about the new season. I'll get to be extra proud though for maybe a year for the Lady Mocs even if I hated to see Warlick lose her first game as the official head coach. but I also loved seeing Moore finally win one over the LVs. First win since I graduated High School over the Volettes. At that time I was all Vols.lol
No one's reading this article so I guess I could write a book on here. hmmm Now that I thought about it I sorta skipped on most the article.

GO Vollies Dollies

GO Lady Mocs and bobby socks.lmao No I love the ladies. peoples I mean persons. Lady moc persons. never mind.

The End

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