John Adams: Reserved optimism for Tennessee to break bowl streak

John Adams
Tennessee wide receiver Gerald Jones (4) catches a 29-yard pass at the goal line for a touchdown against North Carolina in the first quarter of the Music City Bowl NCAA college football game on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2010, in Nashville.

Photo by Mark Humphrey, Associated Press

Tennessee wide receiver Gerald Jones (4) catches a 29-yard pass at the goal line for a touchdown against North Carolina in the first quarter of the Music City Bowl NCAA college football game on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2010, in Nashville.

Vols practice on Monday, Aug. 5, 2013

The current state of Tennessee football is best defined by streaks.

3 Consecutive losing seasons.

6 Consecutive losses to Alabama.

8 Consecutive losses to Florida.

13 Consecutive seasons without playing in a BCS bowl.

16 Consecutive hotel bowl cancellations.

You might not know about the last one. I don’t publicize it a lot.

As an obsessive planner, I make my hotel bowl reservations almost a year in advance. And I try to account for every reasonable contingency.

In the past three years, those contingencies included plans to attend 16 Tennessee bowl games. All of those hotel reservations had to be canceled.

Never mind that track record or the unfavorable preseason projections for the current Tennessee team. I already have planned bowl trips this December to such exotic locales as Northwest Louisiana and Northeast Florida.

In addition to reservations in Shreveport and Jacksonville, I have postseason hotel reservations in Nashville and Memphis.

The streak has to end some time, right?

In the meantime, it has affected my bowl outlook.

While college football’s mainstream seems agitated that too little is required to attain bowl eligibility, I have become increasingly opposed to the current standard, which requires a team to win six games to qualify for a bowl.

Two-loss teams aren’t banned from a national championship game. But seven-loss teams are ineligible to win the Godaddy.com Bowl trophy? It’s nonsensical.

It makes less sense when you contrast what is going on elsewhere with the SEC, which has won seven consecutive national titles.

Kentucky (2-10) was the worst team in the SEC last season. It also was good enough to beat bowl qualifier Kent State (11-3) by 33 points.

Auburn (3-9) was the next-worse team in the SEC. Yet it beat bowl qualifier Louisiana-Monroe (8-5).

Missouri won only two conference games in its first SEC season and finished 5-7 overall. But it beat two bowl teams, Arizona State and Central Florida.

Tennessee also was 5-7 and won only one conference game. It was still good enough to beat bowl qualifier N.C. State by 14 points on a neutral field in the season opener.

The best teams in the SEC are rewarded for playing in the nation’s premier conference. But the worst teams in the same conference are penalized.

How about a little consistency? In a sport so dependent on power rankings, how about rating every college team for bowl-eligibility purposes?

Such a system also would be fairer to the bowls in that it would give them more flexibility in the selection process.

You might argue that fans wouldn’t follow a 5-7 team to a bowl game. That’s not necessarily true.

It depends on the program and the circumstances. Not all 5-7 seasons are alike.

I doubt Tennessee fans would have followed last year’s 5-7 team beyond the city limits. But the response might be different this year if the Vols went 5-7 in coach Butch Jones’ first season.

Of course, under the current system, you would never know. Unless Tennessee can win six games, its last game will be in Lexington, Ky.

And my bowl streak will extend to 20 consecutive cancellations.

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 » 67

MikeNPS writes:

Playing in a bowl is meaningless when teams load their non-conference schedules with junior high school caliber teams in order to get enough victories to qualify for a bowl.

strops writes:

john, your obsession with hotel reservations comes in second to downing the Tennessee sports (not just football) program. ENOUGH OF YOUR DRIVEL ALREADY!!!
Why haven't we heard from you about your beloved LSU program and coach that allows Jeremy Hill back on the team. In case you aren't aware of it johnny boy, Hill was put on probation for a sexual relationship with a 14 year old. He then violated that probation by punching a guy out and the judge, who must be an LSU fan, didn't put him away. So Little Les Miles puts him right back on the team because that's what the team voted. Apparently he won't miss any time this season. Guess that's 755 yards and 12 touchdowns talking through Miles' mouth or his other end!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Going to a bowl would be nice, but let's face facts. UT needs to play the games and get bowl eligible, then we'll talk.

Vol1973 writes:

Great job John... I like your thinking and covering all your bases... hope our Vols do the same and you are able to get out of the "Hotel Slump".

Go Vols !!!

8inarow writes:

After reading the first 7 lines, I agree. There are lots of streaks in the bowl.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Bowl? I dropped one earlier but it didn't break. Maybe the only one I'll see this year. Maybe not?

right now I'm more concerned with more recruits. Sitting near or at the top. when it's bowl time I'll go bowling.

tovolny writes:

Does anybody know what he is trying to say? Seems to me what he is relaying is that the Vols haven't done much the last few seasons,and he just came up with this crying front so he can wave a flag that says Tennessee Vols aren't very good any more with a silent "ya na na ya ya" built in. How are his hotel reservations that much relative to the news about the UT Football Team. We have Woodberry's blog (that doesn't work half the time) to give some insight about practice. But,one KNS article at 7 something AM and one at 6 something PM makes me wonder what the KNS people are really doing. I think there is some golf involved, I know there are three hour lunch breaks taking place. When do these people work and what do they do when they do work? The pair of Jacks don't have a clue either. I know they used to follow us around trying to catch us doing things we shouldn't.

The junior sportswriters and the clerks and secretaries have to work hard to fill up the sports page. Does anybody else out there feel like the KNS sportswriters need to KICK IT UP A NOTCH? I am not talking about the new young guys, Mike Strange, or Erin Chapin...these folks are great You know the ones I am referring to...so what do you think?

RockyMtnVol writes:

John Adams has fallen into a routine of just finding something negative to say about the past and UT. His deamenor is always negative and rarely states anything past the obvious. I love reading the Chatanooga Paper, they are more upbeat and it does not come across as condecending. He always defends himself by stating "he calls them like he sees them", well, so do I.....JA is very middle of the pack reporter.

Go Vols!!

MetroplexMojo writes:

John,

There are some lovely hourly rate motels in Memphis that don't require reservations. Just ignore the ammonia smell...they are just cooking meth.

If you wanna splurge, the Motel 6 on Brooks is in a lovely part of town.

MetroplexMojo writes:

Should UT make the Cotton Bowl, South Dallas is lovely at night

Happy travels John

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

Adams is on a troll/roll

DawgDayAfternoon writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

WaltGoVoIs writes:

"As an obsessive planner, I make my hotel bowl reservations almost a year in advance. And I try to account for every reasonable contingency."

Then you are an idiot. Only an idiot/moron would have picked the Vols to go to a bowl game in 2012.

Aren't you the same award winning journalist who opined that Derek Dooley might soon be a hot commodity last year?

Do you even have laurels to rest on?

Walt

UT '81

WaltGoVoIs writes:

in response to DawgDayAfternoon:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The Vols will win 8 or more games this year.

Just marking this down so I can quote you in a few months.

Walt

UT '81

WaltGoVoIs writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

Vols,

Adams is on a troll/roll

I like that.

Think we can shame the lame John Adams into just not posting?

I mean the guy is so clueless regarding the Vols it just beggars common sense. He has been since Phil Fulmer was the coach.

To channel Coach Dooley, Adams' reasoning is like the French General Staff thinking they can defend France from the Germans in 1940.

Walt

UT '81

WaltGoVoIs writes:

in response to RockyMtnVol:

John Adams has fallen into a routine of just finding something negative to say about the past and UT. His deamenor is always negative and rarely states anything past the obvious. I love reading the Chatanooga Paper, they are more upbeat and it does not come across as condecending. He always defends himself by stating "he calls them like he sees them", well, so do I.....JA is very middle of the pack reporter.

Go Vols!!

Not even a middle of the pack reporter picked UT to beat UF last year.

I do not claim any special insight.

Okay, I do that all the time.

But I watched the UF/Vandy game early last year and it was instantly obvious to me that UT could beat neither team.

If I saw it, why couldn't Adams?

Walt

UT '81

sameolvolalum writes:

If there was an award for most prolific troll-baiter, it would most definitely go to John Adams. Never mind the abuse-by-annoyance to us regular sports fans who enjoy keeping up with the UT Vols. No. Just get those post/repost numbers up by opening up the sewers filled up with sociopathic trolls and simpleton troll responders. I'd be willing to bet that more trolls read and post on your editorials than those of any other sportswriter on the KNS staff. You'd no doubt move to Baton Rouge if one of their newspapers would hire you.....which they wouldn't.

VOLKING writes:

in response to DawgDayAfternoon:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hear that? It is the sound of the Dawgs choking on a bone once again...as always. It is the sound of inevitability in Georgia.

6972 writes:

Hundreds of newspapers in the USA, and JA has to write for KNS.

DawgDayAfternoon writes:

in response to VOLKING:

Hear that? It is the sound of the Dawgs choking on a bone once again...as always. It is the sound of inevitability in Georgia.

Try an 8-4 bowl record in the last 12 years straight. How many straight have the Vols been to?

Try 2 SEC championships and 3 BCS bowls since you Vols even got a sniff of one.

Good luck trying to get to the Weedeater with your over-hyped, never coached anywhere, new savior this year. It's 4-8 for the Vols this year, but keep dreaming.

budd#207344 writes:

It looks like John may be on his way out. He is now only getting comments from the stupid, lame ,and dumb. His bosses would surely like for him to get more but those of us who read and enjoy JA just get tired of the same group of losers making the same stupid complaints time and time again. Maybe JA has stumbled into the weekly meeting of the Tennessee Masochist Club. Only people who enjoy pain would continue to read a columnist that makes them so ill.

ReeseHallRelic writes:

Why doesn't John just subcontract his column out to Jeffy? They're equally negative, and it would open up a whole new audience for Jeffy.

Consider it, Jeffy. You could give up your pseudo-Dawgie persona (before you lose this name, anyway) and think of how many new audience members would be able to see what a horse's arse you are......

budd#207344 writes:

in response to tovolny:

Does anybody know what he is trying to say? Seems to me what he is relaying is that the Vols haven't done much the last few seasons,and he just came up with this crying front so he can wave a flag that says Tennessee Vols aren't very good any more with a silent "ya na na ya ya" built in. How are his hotel reservations that much relative to the news about the UT Football Team. We have Woodberry's blog (that doesn't work half the time) to give some insight about practice. But,one KNS article at 7 something AM and one at 6 something PM makes me wonder what the KNS people are really doing. I think there is some golf involved, I know there are three hour lunch breaks taking place. When do these people work and what do they do when they do work? The pair of Jacks don't have a clue either. I know they used to follow us around trying to catch us doing things we shouldn't.

The junior sportswriters and the clerks and secretaries have to work hard to fill up the sports page. Does anybody else out there feel like the KNS sportswriters need to KICK IT UP A NOTCH? I am not talking about the new young guys, Mike Strange, or Erin Chapin...these folks are great You know the ones I am referring to...so what do you think?

Every time I read a John Adams column I am then assaulted with your critique of his article. And it is always the same critique. If you hate his writing so much then you might want to refrain from reading and especially commenting about it. Because if you think he is such a bad columnist you have no idea how bad you suck at commenting

TnOrange4Life writes:

Im having unreserved optimism for you John for retiring as a "writer"....VFL

Henley-Street-Bridge writes:

Keep it on the field and looking forward Adams.

gc_scvol writes:

The dawg is none other than John Adams himself.

volfanz writes:

I just like to throw caution to the wind and start each season with a renewed and vigorous vol spirit....What happens, happens and it is not I that can decide that fate...It is only I and we as VOL fans that can cheer our team on...through glory and defeat. I prefer to pretend that we always have a shot at greatness and if the season disappoints me, so be it.

underthehill writes:

in response to WaltGoVoIs:

Not even a middle of the pack reporter picked UT to beat UF last year.

I do not claim any special insight.

Okay, I do that all the time.

But I watched the UF/Vandy game early last year and it was instantly obvious to me that UT could beat neither team.

If I saw it, why couldn't Adams?

Walt

UT '81

Let's see Walt..last year you claim you correctly predicted UT to go 5-7 and this year you predict UT will win at least 8..if that hold true..Jones should be SEC coach of the year and may contend for higher honors..I hope you are right but I think 6-6 would be more realistic..we'll see..if you think it was obvious UT couldn't beat Vandy last year..what makes you think they can this year..as for Adams picking UT over Fla last year..the vast majority of UT fans were in that boat because of the UT- N C State game

underthehill writes:

in response to budd#207344:

Every time I read a John Adams column I am then assaulted with your critique of his article. And it is always the same critique. If you hate his writing so much then you might want to refrain from reading and especially commenting about it. Because if you think he is such a bad columnist you have no idea how bad you suck at commenting

I think most who read newspapers know they are reading facts and opinions..some seem to see foolish comments as a means to get attention because that's all they got..others with enough knowledge of sports to comment on the content of articles do so..does this help?

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to strops:

john, your obsession with hotel reservations comes in second to downing the Tennessee sports (not just football) program. ENOUGH OF YOUR DRIVEL ALREADY!!!
Why haven't we heard from you about your beloved LSU program and coach that allows Jeremy Hill back on the team. In case you aren't aware of it johnny boy, Hill was put on probation for a sexual relationship with a 14 year old. He then violated that probation by punching a guy out and the judge, who must be an LSU fan, didn't put him away. So Little Les Miles puts him right back on the team because that's what the team voted. Apparently he won't miss any time this season. Guess that's 755 yards and 12 touchdowns talking through Miles' mouth or his other end!

I agree he threw a full out everything you got roundhouse sucker punch then proceeded to celebrate with his buds..I like the idea of deferring to the student body council for the punishment. I forget what school it was that the student council kicked a football player out of school for such a thing and I salute them

Rock_E_Topp88 writes:

in response to VOLKING:

Hear that? It is the sound of the Dawgs choking on a bone once again...as always. It is the sound of inevitability in Georgia.

King...FYI, the troll you responded to is NOT a UGA fan. He is none other that one of the scummiest lowlife POS trolls to ever disgrace this site. I will not even mention his filthy name but most here will know who it is. He has had about 50 different screen names and his whole mission is to get some attention here. Please do not respond to the POS anymore. Let him wallow in his own misery.

GO VOLS! GO BUTCH JONES! 12-0 coming this year!

Vol43 writes:

in response to NINEwillstillbesofine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey 88, how's things at the factory? Nothing wrong with factory work, at least you aren't mooching off the taxpayers, yet. I get a good chuckle out the fact that you have to live and work right smack dab in Big Orange Country. This the funniest part of it all is you probably can't afford to go to the games at gaysnville so I suggest you watch the Vol/gator game at Calhouns in Knoxville and wear your gator gear and cuss the Vols and spit on em just like you would in gaysnville. Life in Knoxville! You have to feel like you're in prison, and, you are. He

johnlg00 writes:

in response to WaltGoVoIs:

The Vols will win 8 or more games this year.

Just marking this down so I can quote you in a few months.

Walt

UT '81

Do you really mean that? I of course am a congenital optimist when it comes to UT football and basketball, but even I would have to say that it would take a couple of breaks and everybody playing their best for the Vols to go 8-4 this season. What game or games that the Vols are not likely to be favored in do you think they will win? What do you see as their strengths and how can they cover their weaknesses?

bUTch_please writes:

5 days into fall camp.

Players returned leaner, stronger, faster with focused attitudes. Grades up. Great citizens. Coaches dialed in on so many fronts it would take a week to list. Freshmen in the mix. Seniors loving the coach. By some accounts, the #1 recruiting class in the nation, loaded with legacies. Lettermen standing 10 deep in support of Coach Jones, statewide fan base absolutely frothing at the mouth with excitement.....

.....and we get this. John Adams, the Travelocity of sports writers.

Samuel_L_Salma_GataBait_HowBoutDemCowboys_BlueWaffles88 writes:

in response to Vol43:

Hey 88, how's things at the factory? Nothing wrong with factory work, at least you aren't mooching off the taxpayers, yet. I get a good chuckle out the fact that you have to live and work right smack dab in Big Orange Country. This the funniest part of it all is you probably can't afford to go to the games at gaysnville so I suggest you watch the Vol/gator game at Calhouns in Knoxville and wear your gator gear and cuss the Vols and spit on em just like you would in gaysnville. Life in Knoxville! You have to feel like you're in prison, and, you are. He

I'm not going to lie, it gets rough out here. Everyday I have to put up with the fans of Big Orange Country. I got to hand it to you folks, y'all are very passionate (and delusional) about your Vols. I'll agree with 9willbesofine, however, I think UT could beat USC and MAYBE UGA (depending how bad they are defensively). You can go ahead and chalk the UF, Bama and Oregon games down as losses lol.

Your favorite troll,

88

The_View_From_Memphis writes:

I don't care what league you're in. If you can't win at least half of your games, you don't belong in postseason. First of all, at the very least, 3 of your non-conf games are outright GIMMES. So now you're looking for 3 out of 9 versus similar(league) competition. And if you feel that your conference peers are too tough, YOU'RE IN THE WRONG CONFERENCE. Sorry people, don't hate the game, hate the players!!

Vol43 writes:

in response to Samuel_L_Salma_GataBait_HowBoutDemCowboys_BlueWaffles88:

I'm not going to lie, it gets rough out here. Everyday I have to put up with the fans of Big Orange Country. I got to hand it to you folks, y'all are very passionate (and delusional) about your Vols. I'll agree with 9willbesofine, however, I think UT could beat USC and MAYBE UGA (depending how bad they are defensively). You can go ahead and chalk the UF, Bama and Oregon games down as losses lol.

Your favorite troll,

88

Question. Are you and 9willbesofine the same guy? I remember at one point 88 wasn't difficult to be around. That was about a year ago.

antonio14313 writes:

in response to budd#207344:

Every time I read a John Adams column I am then assaulted with your critique of his article. And it is always the same critique. If you hate his writing so much then you might want to refrain from reading and especially commenting about it. Because if you think he is such a bad columnist you have no idea how bad you suck at commenting

reading john adams' articles is like watching a train wreck: you know you shouldn't look, you know what's going to happen, but you still look anyway. once in a while it's a good, clean, harmless tap, but most times it's a head on hard collision!

go vols.

t

antonio14313 writes:

in response to bUTch_please:

5 days into fall camp.

Players returned leaner, stronger, faster with focused attitudes. Grades up. Great citizens. Coaches dialed in on so many fronts it would take a week to list. Freshmen in the mix. Seniors loving the coach. By some accounts, the #1 recruiting class in the nation, loaded with legacies. Lettermen standing 10 deep in support of Coach Jones, statewide fan base absolutely frothing at the mouth with excitement.....

.....and we get this. John Adams, the Travelocity of sports writers.

lol. great post.

it's like, well, i dunno, like recieving a present on christmas day that's not even wrapped. or, better yet, like having a great pizza delivered to your front door by a guy in a visibly dirty uniform. john adams should bathe, and put on clean clothes...

go vols!

t

murrayvol writes:

in response to underthehill:

Let's see Walt..last year you claim you correctly predicted UT to go 5-7 and this year you predict UT will win at least 8..if that hold true..Jones should be SEC coach of the year and may contend for higher honors..I hope you are right but I think 6-6 would be more realistic..we'll see..if you think it was obvious UT couldn't beat Vandy last year..what makes you think they can this year..as for Adams picking UT over Fla last year..the vast majority of UT fans were in that boat because of the UT- N C State game

Not predicting 8 wins but I won't be surprised. Motivation is a big deal in college football. Jones knows motivation.

murrayvol writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Do you really mean that? I of course am a congenital optimist when it comes to UT football and basketball, but even I would have to say that it would take a couple of breaks and everybody playing their best for the Vols to go 8-4 this season. What game or games that the Vols are not likely to be favored in do you think they will win? What do you see as their strengths and how can they cover their weaknesses?

Most fans don't get into strengths and weaknesses johnlg. The vast majority can, however, count to 8.

dirislr#209355 writes:

John Adams gets more trolls than any other KNS writer. Why do you JA haters read his writings. He laughs all the way to the bank.

Central_IL_Vol writes:

in response to 8inarow:

After reading the first 7 lines, I agree. There are lots of streaks in the bowl.

You must be referring to the many streaks in your underwear little boy. Why don't you grow up and move out of mommy's house now that you have turned 40? You are a disgusting little maggot!

Central_IL_Vol writes:

in response to WaltGoVoIs:

The Vols will win 8 or more games this year.

Just marking this down so I can quote you in a few months.

Walt

UT '81

DawgSHI#Afternoon is great at "marking" his territory; but only in his little kennel!

GerryOP writes:

in response to WaltGoVoIs:

The Vols will win 8 or more games this year.

Just marking this down so I can quote you in a few months.

Walt

UT '81

Dang Walt! I think that for the 1st time ever you and I agree on something. Yes, the Vols win 8 or more games this year. I will qualify that with only 1 condition ... barring extensive injuries. The Vols may be short on depth, but it appears that the talent and coaching are there.

GONAVY writes:

There are 4 "givens": Austin Peay, WKU, South Alabama (didn't know they had football) and UK. Throw in the mix Auburn, Vandy and Missouri and UT will make a bowl.

DawgDayAfternoon writes:

in response to GONAVY:

There are 4 "givens": Austin Peay, WKU, South Alabama (didn't know they had football) and UK. Throw in the mix Auburn, Vandy and Missouri and UT will make a bowl.

Malzhan is a far superior Coach to Jones in every way, as is Franklin. They both have major college experience. That leaves the Cats. If they can find a wide receiver to play QB, it's 4-8 and 0-8 in the SEC for the Vols. If not, you might get to 5-7.

Face facts.

ThaiVolFan writes:

in response to budd#207344:

Every time I read a John Adams column I am then assaulted with your critique of his article. And it is always the same critique. If you hate his writing so much then you might want to refrain from reading and especially commenting about it. Because if you think he is such a bad columnist you have no idea how bad you suck at commenting

You guys take it easy on John Adams...budd is obviously John Adams boyfriend and he is getting upset...

GerryOP writes:

in response to GONAVY:

There are 4 "givens": Austin Peay, WKU, South Alabama (didn't know they had football) and UK. Throw in the mix Auburn, Vandy and Missouri and UT will make a bowl.

Yes, I agree that Auburn, Vandy and UMo are toss ups but I believe the "leans" are our way. And I believe that the Vols will upset at LEAST one of UF, UGA, UA and USC. The only two games that are really questionable are Alabama and Oregon. But I would not be so arrogant as to predict 10-2, but I do feel comfortable with 8-4. With only one condition... extensive injuries to key players. This year could be the beginning...

GerryOP writes:

in response to DawgDayAfternoon:

Malzhan is a far superior Coach to Jones in every way, as is Franklin. They both have major college experience. That leaves the Cats. If they can find a wide receiver to play QB, it's 4-8 and 0-8 in the SEC for the Vols. If not, you might get to 5-7.

Face facts.

Absolute clown nonsense...

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