UT players say they embrace Butch Jones' process-driven approach

University of Tennessee head football coach Butch Jones speaks to reporters during a media luncheon at the Stokely Family media center in Neyland Stadium, Wednesday, July 31, 2013. (Amy Smotherman Burgess/News Sentinel staff)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

University of Tennessee head football coach Butch Jones speaks to reporters during a media luncheon at the Stokely Family media center in Neyland Stadium, Wednesday, July 31, 2013. (Amy Smotherman Burgess/News Sentinel staff)

Players, Coach Jones talk about importance of staff cohesion

Butch Jones speaks with media at preseason luncheon

Tennessee players gushed about the cohesiveness of their team, raved about the strength gains made in the summer and spoke confidently about the prospects for the 2013 season.

During a preseason press conference inside Neyland Stadium, where the Vols will open the new season in just 31 days, there was more optimism and excitement on display than at any time since ... August 2012.

That season ended with a 5-7 record, a fired coach and no trip to the postseason for the second consecutive year.

What makes players so certain that this summer’s progress will lead to something different?

Echoing first-year coach Butch Jones, they’re not promising a certain number of wins, but simply a more consistent and effective process. That input will ultimately lead to a better output, they say.

“That’s when you have to just focus on the process,” said offensive lineman James Stone. “Coach Jones and the staff, they’ve laid out a proven process on how you go about becoming a winning football team. You can’t really worry about last season. Just focus on the process of what develops winning teams. If you do it every day, you’re going to get better every day.”

The Vols will officially “report” for camp on Thursday, although in reality virtually every player on the roster has been on campus and working out this summer. Practice starts on Friday. The first game against Austin Peay is Aug. 31.

The excitement before camp? That’s easy right now, says Jones. Get back to him in a few weeks.

“Everyone is excited, but for me, I’m more interested in how this team is in week two or week three as we progress through training camp,” he said. “ It’s easy to be excited now, but what happens when you go through the long days of training camp, and every day seems the same and you’re hitting each other? That’s when your team is born, that’s where your toughness is born and that’s where your leadership is born.”

Jones said one of the reasons he scheduled an open practice at Neyland Stadium on Aug. 17 was to help combat the doldrums of training camp. After a spring practice in which he introduced music and other creative elements, Jones doesn’t plan to make August entirely serious.

“I kind of like the change of scenery. I like getting away,” Jones said. “You have to do a good job as a coach to stimulate your players and not become routine-oriented when you come into the second or third week of training camp.”

Jones has gone through two coaching transitions before, following Brian Kelly (now head coach at Notre Dame) both times. In his first year at Central Michigan, Jones and the Chippewas won the MAC title. In Jones’ first year at Cincinnati in 2010, the Bearcats scuffled to a 4-8 mark,

“(Tennessee) has bought in more quickly than either of the other two stops — and that’s taking nothing away from the individuals at the other two places,” Jones said. “This team has answered every challenge to date.”

The next challenge starts in one day. Defensive end Corey Miller said he and his teammates were “ready to play ball.”

“We don’t like to discuss what happened before,” he said. “We are focused on this season. This year, it’s on our shoulders.”

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat.

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Comments » 32

hateNCloveTN writes:

Let them play some football but most of all, let them play as mistake free football as possible. If that happens we will have a respectable season.

Show-me-your-TDs writes:

Now if we can just get through fall practice without any major injuries... Get better every minute, every hour, every day

GO VOLS!!!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

I'm stoked!!

PHAT_VOL writes:

SO far if you don't like the job coach Jones has done then there's something wrong with you. Personally I think he has done a just a Super JOB! I'm just Jones'n for the first game.
GO VOLS!!!

bobo2013 writes:

Butchjones rocks, bring it vols!!!!!!!

romevol writes:

Hot dogs, chili, and a healthy dose of Big Orange football...I'm like a kid at Christmas and I can't wait!

GBO!

volforeverandever writes:

It's Football Time In Tennessee!

redskinvol1 writes:

I like everything about Coach Jones so far.I hope I still do around the middle of the third quarter of the Oregon game.The former guy in the head coaching position could not get the team to play sixty minutes even when his job was on the line.I understand that the score board might not be in our favor that day but I hope the team is ready and willing to give it they're all for Tennessee.Go Butch and Go Vols!!

DC82_Vol writes:

I just want to see improvement. I was so frustrated last year hearing the defense state week after week after week that they were having communication issues. Bad coaching.

pcorange writes:

It is realistic to say that this is probably going to be another tough season, but if we lose a game, I don't think it will be due to sorry coaching like it was last season. Offensively, we lost a lot of weapons. If not for that, I would think a challenge for the East would be reasonable this year. Having to replace Bray, Patterson, and Hunter isn't going to be easy, but by mid-season, we should be lookin' up. I'm excited. Go VOLS!

CCLC writes:

in response to pcorange:

It is realistic to say that this is probably going to be another tough season, but if we lose a game, I don't think it will be due to sorry coaching like it was last season. Offensively, we lost a lot of weapons. If not for that, I would think a challenge for the East would be reasonable this year. Having to replace Bray, Patterson, and Hunter isn't going to be easy, but by mid-season, we should be lookin' up. I'm excited. Go VOLS!

"in the short term, there is the predictable bump that a program gets from the burst of energy from a new staff, but it is unlikely they are able to fully address all their weaknesses in one ore two recruiting classes, the SEC is a tough place for incomplete football teams.

I really have no idea how Jones will turn out as a coach. Its hard to contexualize a coach has two 3 year stints following the same coach where the “heavy lifting” had been done. Urban Meyer is perhaps the classic case of an “overnight” success in 6 years from Bowling Green to a national title at UF, but again, the level of success he had had at Both Bowling green and Utah was unprecedented at both places. further, he and mullen could legitimately claim to having developed a proprietary version of the spread option.

Jones has not done either of those things….that does not mean he can’t or won’t succeed, but it simply means he is like any other hire in that it will take time to know whether or not he can build a winning program in the most competitive conference in college football."'

He pretended to be committed to Cincinnati. They all bought into "the process" which I thought was a Saban meme anyway..........
just typin'

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/...

pcorange writes:

in response to CCLC:

"in the short term, there is the predictable bump that a program gets from the burst of energy from a new staff, but it is unlikely they are able to fully address all their weaknesses in one ore two recruiting classes, the SEC is a tough place for incomplete football teams.

I really have no idea how Jones will turn out as a coach. Its hard to contexualize a coach has two 3 year stints following the same coach where the “heavy lifting” had been done. Urban Meyer is perhaps the classic case of an “overnight” success in 6 years from Bowling Green to a national title at UF, but again, the level of success he had had at Both Bowling green and Utah was unprecedented at both places. further, he and mullen could legitimately claim to having developed a proprietary version of the spread option.

Jones has not done either of those things….that does not mean he can’t or won’t succeed, but it simply means he is like any other hire in that it will take time to know whether or not he can build a winning program in the most competitive conference in college football."'

He pretended to be committed to Cincinnati. They all bought into "the process" which I thought was a Saban meme anyway..........
just typin'

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/...

Urban Meyer is at Ohio State. I don't know how Jones will turn out, or how long it will take. Neither do you, so shut up.

SevenT writes:

When a Coach uses a term like "process" what he is saying is the roster is terrible and fans should not expect to win many games until we get more talent on the team.

4-8

Shake_Bake writes:

in response to DC82_Vol:

I just want to see improvement. I was so frustrated last year hearing the defense state week after week after week that they were having communication issues. Bad coaching.

I agree 100%!! I realize that getting better may only mean six wins,...and a bowl bid, but so be it. Considering our schedule, I will take that. Should we get eight or nine wins, that' great; but I'm just trying to keep it real and have realistic expectations.

y9since80 writes:

in response to SevenT:

When a Coach uses a term like "process" what he is saying is the roster is terrible and fans should not expect to win many games until we get more talent on the team.

4-8

I see your still in love with the great hall of famer who took a top five program and ran it into the ground

lahvolman2 writes:

in response to SevenT:

When a Coach uses a term like "process" what he is saying is the roster is terrible and fans should not expect to win many games until we get more talent on the team.

4-8

Dude... When are you going to have someone laser the big L off your forehead?????

AllforTenn writes:

in response to CCLC:

"in the short term, there is the predictable bump that a program gets from the burst of energy from a new staff, but it is unlikely they are able to fully address all their weaknesses in one ore two recruiting classes, the SEC is a tough place for incomplete football teams.

I really have no idea how Jones will turn out as a coach. Its hard to contexualize a coach has two 3 year stints following the same coach where the “heavy lifting” had been done. Urban Meyer is perhaps the classic case of an “overnight” success in 6 years from Bowling Green to a national title at UF, but again, the level of success he had had at Both Bowling green and Utah was unprecedented at both places. further, he and mullen could legitimately claim to having developed a proprietary version of the spread option.

Jones has not done either of those things….that does not mean he can’t or won’t succeed, but it simply means he is like any other hire in that it will take time to know whether or not he can build a winning program in the most competitive conference in college football."'

He pretended to be committed to Cincinnati. They all bought into "the process" which I thought was a Saban meme anyway..........
just typin'

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/...

No need to contexualize Coach Jones. What a rambling post.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to CCLC:

"in the short term, there is the predictable bump that a program gets from the burst of energy from a new staff, but it is unlikely they are able to fully address all their weaknesses in one ore two recruiting classes, the SEC is a tough place for incomplete football teams.

I really have no idea how Jones will turn out as a coach. Its hard to contexualize a coach has two 3 year stints following the same coach where the “heavy lifting” had been done. Urban Meyer is perhaps the classic case of an “overnight” success in 6 years from Bowling Green to a national title at UF, but again, the level of success he had had at Both Bowling green and Utah was unprecedented at both places. further, he and mullen could legitimately claim to having developed a proprietary version of the spread option.

Jones has not done either of those things….that does not mean he can’t or won’t succeed, but it simply means he is like any other hire in that it will take time to know whether or not he can build a winning program in the most competitive conference in college football."'

He pretended to be committed to Cincinnati. They all bought into "the process" which I thought was a Saban meme anyway..........
just typin'

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/...

Uhhh, Mark Richt was never a HC before the UGA gig..What's your point??

CCLC writes:

in response to NINEwillstillbesofine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

8? which ones?
Date Opponent Location
Aug. 31 Austin Peay Knoxville
Sept. 7 Western Kentucky Knoxville
Sept. 14 at Oregon Eugene, Ore.
Sept. 21 at Florida * Gainesville, Fla.
Sept. 28 South Alabama Knoxville
Oct. 5 Georgia * Knoxville
Oct. 12 Open Date
Oct. 19 South Carolina * Knoxville
Oct. 26 at Alabama * Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Nov. 2 at Missouri * Columbia, Mo.
Nov. 9 Auburn * Knoxville
Nov. 16 Open Date
Nov. 23 Vanderbilt * Knoxville
Nov. 30 at Kentucky * Lexington, Ky.

CCLC writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Uhhh, Mark Richt was never a HC before the UGA gig..What's your point??

Let's don't get into a comparison of Butch and Coach Richt's back grounds.

" Under Richt’s direction, Florida State had some of college football's most explosive offenses. In his seven years as offensive coordinator the Seminoles ranked in the nation’s top five scoring offenses on five occasions, were top twelve in total offense five times and top twelve in passing offense five times. The 2000 Seminoles offense finished the regular season ranked first nationally in total offense (549.0 yards per game), first in passing offense (384.0 ypg) and third in scoring offense (42.4 points per game).

During his tenure as an assistant coach at Florida State, Richt coached two Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks Charlie Ward and Chris Weinke respectively and was part of two national championships (1993 and 1999).[1]"

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to CCLC:

Let's don't get into a comparison of Butch and Coach Richt's back grounds.

" Under Richt’s direction, Florida State had some of college football's most explosive offenses. In his seven years as offensive coordinator the Seminoles ranked in the nation’s top five scoring offenses on five occasions, were top twelve in total offense five times and top twelve in passing offense five times. The 2000 Seminoles offense finished the regular season ranked first nationally in total offense (549.0 yards per game), first in passing offense (384.0 ypg) and third in scoring offense (42.4 points per game).

During his tenure as an assistant coach at Florida State, Richt coached two Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks Charlie Ward and Chris Weinke respectively and was part of two national championships (1993 and 1999).[1]"

He also inherited FSU's job after the Bowden's had built it. The same thing you are clamoring about CBJ did on the heels of Brian Kelly.

CCLC writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

He also inherited FSU's job after the Bowden's had built it. The same thing you are clamoring about CBJ did on the heels of Brian Kelly.

No not at all. He was an FSU qb.. grad assistant, qb coach and O coordinator. He was there 10 years. He was promoted after Brad Scott left. There were no NC until he started running the O. And he put 10 years in to get to that point. Seriously do your home work. I'm feeling your Orange Pride thing and all. But I wonder if Butch isn't LameK with a flat top. He peddled himself like a used car salesman.

EastTnVols962 writes:

in response to CCLC:

8? which ones?
Date Opponent Location
Aug. 31 Austin Peay Knoxville
Sept. 7 Western Kentucky Knoxville
Sept. 14 at Oregon Eugene, Ore.
Sept. 21 at Florida * Gainesville, Fla.
Sept. 28 South Alabama Knoxville
Oct. 5 Georgia * Knoxville
Oct. 12 Open Date
Oct. 19 South Carolina * Knoxville
Oct. 26 at Alabama * Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Nov. 2 at Missouri * Columbia, Mo.
Nov. 9 Auburn * Knoxville
Nov. 16 Open Date
Nov. 23 Vanderbilt * Knoxville
Nov. 30 at Kentucky * Lexington, Ky.

He's a Florida troll. His "eight" is referring to the current win streak Florida has over UT. But since you asked the question, let me try and come up with an answer. It should be noted, that this is all subjective, and I don't neccessarily expect it, not saying it isn't at all possible.

Let's start with the should be gimmes: Austin Peay, W. Kentucky, S. Alabama, and UK SHOULD all be wins. That's four so far. Let's delve in deeper. Missouri should have been a win last season, if not for our at the time candy arse coach. This year we go to Colombia, but I believe the Vols will pull one out there. That's five. Auburn was the worst team in the SEC last year. Granted they have a lot of talent, and an improved head coach in Malzhan, I think that game being at Neyland gives the Vols an edge. That's six. Here's where it gets shaky. I honestly believe this: Franklin has clearly taken Vandy to new heighths, and that cannot be denied. They had a very good team last year. But, if you watched UT throughout the season, especially against UGA and USC, it's obvious that we were not as bad as the Vandy score reflected. We simply gave up at that point all throughout the team, coaches included. They're coming to Neyland this year, and this team has not forgot what happened last year. A solid 60 minutes of football and I think we can take home a "W". That would make seven. This is where it get very tricky, and I cannot make a bold prediction either way. I honestly do not think we take Oregon in Eugene, and for the simple fact that we have to travel to Gainesville the next week, the UF game seems unlikely as well. And let's be honest, does anyone really expect the biggest upset of the year to take place in Tuscaloosa? Of course not. So that leaves two very good and very powerful teams in UGA and USC. Luckily we have both at home. If I was forced to pick one, I would go USC, simply because of the open week to prepare. Based on performance against these two teams last year, I don't think it's at all realistic to say the Vols don't have a chance. Both games were ours to win, yet we coughed up the football both times. The key is going to be our offense. If they can move the ball and put up some points, I beleive we can keep these close. And maybe since they're both at home, those drives will go in our favor this year. So an upset over either would make eight. Will it happen, most likely not, but it isn't completely impossible. I believe we'll know more for sure after our trip to Eugene. Just my opinions. Go Vols!

CCLC writes:

in response to EastTnVols962:

He's a Florida troll. His "eight" is referring to the current win streak Florida has over UT. But since you asked the question, let me try and come up with an answer. It should be noted, that this is all subjective, and I don't neccessarily expect it, not saying it isn't at all possible.

Let's start with the should be gimmes: Austin Peay, W. Kentucky, S. Alabama, and UK SHOULD all be wins. That's four so far. Let's delve in deeper. Missouri should have been a win last season, if not for our at the time candy arse coach. This year we go to Colombia, but I believe the Vols will pull one out there. That's five. Auburn was the worst team in the SEC last year. Granted they have a lot of talent, and an improved head coach in Malzhan, I think that game being at Neyland gives the Vols an edge. That's six. Here's where it gets shaky. I honestly believe this: Franklin has clearly taken Vandy to new heighths, and that cannot be denied. They had a very good team last year. But, if you watched UT throughout the season, especially against UGA and USC, it's obvious that we were not as bad as the Vandy score reflected. We simply gave up at that point all throughout the team, coaches included. They're coming to Neyland this year, and this team has not forgot what happened last year. A solid 60 minutes of football and I think we can take home a "W". That would make seven. This is where it get very tricky, and I cannot make a bold prediction either way. I honestly do not think we take Oregon in Eugene, and for the simple fact that we have to travel to Gainesville the next week, the UF game seems unlikely as well. And let's be honest, does anyone really expect the biggest upset of the year to take place in Tuscaloosa? Of course not. So that leaves two very good and very powerful teams in UGA and USC. Luckily we have both at home. If I was forced to pick one, I would go USC, simply because of the open week to prepare. Based on performance against these two teams last year, I don't think it's at all realistic to say the Vols don't have a chance. Both games were ours to win, yet we coughed up the football both times. The key is going to be our offense. If they can move the ball and put up some points, I beleive we can keep these close. And maybe since they're both at home, those drives will go in our favor this year. So an upset over either would make eight. Will it happen, most likely not, but it isn't completely impossible. I believe we'll know more for sure after our trip to Eugene. Just my opinions. Go Vols!

Hard to argue with that prognostication. I was shocked when uSC pulled off the victory. I was relieved when Georgia did the same. Win those games and SOD is still coaching at UT. Missouri is much improved and you are at their house. CLose game. Beat Vandy and shut them up or they will get into your players heads for a while. UT's got a O line with some NFL lineman. I give the edge to UT. But Georgia's O can run and pass and I do sense they control clock with the ground game and score at will with that aerial circus. Edge Georgia. If UT were to pull an upset I would say they do it against the Gators. Vols O matches up better against the Gator D. Gator O well they don't really have an O line and their QB is not a game changer. UT will upset the gators.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to CCLC:

"in the short term, there is the predictable bump that a program gets from the burst of energy from a new staff, but it is unlikely they are able to fully address all their weaknesses in one ore two recruiting classes, the SEC is a tough place for incomplete football teams.

I really have no idea how Jones will turn out as a coach. Its hard to contexualize a coach has two 3 year stints following the same coach where the “heavy lifting” had been done. Urban Meyer is perhaps the classic case of an “overnight” success in 6 years from Bowling Green to a national title at UF, but again, the level of success he had had at Both Bowling green and Utah was unprecedented at both places. further, he and mullen could legitimately claim to having developed a proprietary version of the spread option.

Jones has not done either of those things….that does not mean he can’t or won’t succeed, but it simply means he is like any other hire in that it will take time to know whether or not he can build a winning program in the most competitive conference in college football."'

He pretended to be committed to Cincinnati. They all bought into "the process" which I thought was a Saban meme anyway..........
just typin'

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/...

All decent coaches are process-oriented, so I doubt Saban would claim ownership of that term. When you think about it, the process is the only thing the coaches can control. They can't determine what kind of team opposes them, they don't own the refs, the ball bounces funny, the weather can be trouble, etc., etc. All they can do is set out limited, short-term objectives for improvement, and relentlessly and consistently teach the preferred techniques.

If all that is done, then it is up to the players to play. Sometimes the opposition is just too strong or their players may be more talented and are used according to their strengths at peak efficiency. So a coach can't control whether or not his team wins--the result--he can only control how they prepare--the process--and to some extent how hard and smart they play.

Besides, Jones isn't trying to reinvent the wheel. He seems to have found a sound way to play and seems able to teach players how to play it. It doesn't really matter how creative a coach may be; if he doesn't have enough good players or can't sell a philosophy to the players who have to execute it, he isn't going to be successful. If he can do those things, it doesn't really matter that much where the elements of his system come from.

I understand a degree of skepticism for a new coach coming into a situation like Tennessee's. The cards are heavily stacked against Jones. Speaking for myself, I don't expect anything from the Vols this year except for some signs of improvement. I have seen some signs like that already.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to CCLC:

8? which ones?
Date Opponent Location
Aug. 31 Austin Peay Knoxville
Sept. 7 Western Kentucky Knoxville
Sept. 14 at Oregon Eugene, Ore.
Sept. 21 at Florida * Gainesville, Fla.
Sept. 28 South Alabama Knoxville
Oct. 5 Georgia * Knoxville
Oct. 12 Open Date
Oct. 19 South Carolina * Knoxville
Oct. 26 at Alabama * Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Nov. 2 at Missouri * Columbia, Mo.
Nov. 9 Auburn * Knoxville
Nov. 16 Open Date
Nov. 23 Vanderbilt * Knoxville
Nov. 30 at Kentucky * Lexington, Ky.

Surely you realize you replied to a troll who was talking about Florida's consecutive wins over UT. You know, the ONLY thing he talks about. Most Vol fans have learned better than to predict how any particular team is going finish record-wise, but they have had more than a bellyful of underachieving coaches and players going all the way back into Fulmer's later years.

So yes, Butch IS concentrating on the process, since that is the only thing he or any other coach can control. We WIIL be able to tell fairly early on if the team is getting better, and if they are, then their final record might be better than some think, too. Most other teams have their weaknesses as well; most of the time, the winner is the one who best hides his own and exposes the opponents'. And just maybe the Vols might get a break or two to go their way for a change. If that happens, they can beat any team on the schedule.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to EastTnVols962:

He's a Florida troll. His "eight" is referring to the current win streak Florida has over UT. But since you asked the question, let me try and come up with an answer. It should be noted, that this is all subjective, and I don't neccessarily expect it, not saying it isn't at all possible.

Let's start with the should be gimmes: Austin Peay, W. Kentucky, S. Alabama, and UK SHOULD all be wins. That's four so far. Let's delve in deeper. Missouri should have been a win last season, if not for our at the time candy arse coach. This year we go to Colombia, but I believe the Vols will pull one out there. That's five. Auburn was the worst team in the SEC last year. Granted they have a lot of talent, and an improved head coach in Malzhan, I think that game being at Neyland gives the Vols an edge. That's six. Here's where it gets shaky. I honestly believe this: Franklin has clearly taken Vandy to new heighths, and that cannot be denied. They had a very good team last year. But, if you watched UT throughout the season, especially against UGA and USC, it's obvious that we were not as bad as the Vandy score reflected. We simply gave up at that point all throughout the team, coaches included. They're coming to Neyland this year, and this team has not forgot what happened last year. A solid 60 minutes of football and I think we can take home a "W". That would make seven. This is where it get very tricky, and I cannot make a bold prediction either way. I honestly do not think we take Oregon in Eugene, and for the simple fact that we have to travel to Gainesville the next week, the UF game seems unlikely as well. And let's be honest, does anyone really expect the biggest upset of the year to take place in Tuscaloosa? Of course not. So that leaves two very good and very powerful teams in UGA and USC. Luckily we have both at home. If I was forced to pick one, I would go USC, simply because of the open week to prepare. Based on performance against these two teams last year, I don't think it's at all realistic to say the Vols don't have a chance. Both games were ours to win, yet we coughed up the football both times. The key is going to be our offense. If they can move the ball and put up some points, I beleive we can keep these close. And maybe since they're both at home, those drives will go in our favor this year. So an upset over either would make eight. Will it happen, most likely not, but it isn't completely impossible. I believe we'll know more for sure after our trip to Eugene. Just my opinions. Go Vols!

Very thoughtful analysis. The fact is that there is just a very fine line between winning and losing. Talent is only part of the equation. Who knows what shape each of UT's opponents will be in, in terms of injuries or morale problems of some sort on their teams.

I would only disagree with you in terms of what we might learn from the Oregon trip. The odds--first powerful opponent for a new staff and a team with possible emotional fragilities on the road--are so great that the Vols might well get destroyed. Then the issue will be whether or not they can avoid a similar fate at Florida the next week. In the worst-case scenario, they lose both games by four or more touchdowns, the QB(s) is/are ineffective, key defenders get hurt, and another season starts spiraling down the drain.

Given that possibility, losing by only a couple of TDs or less and escaping with no major injuries might well set them up to be (mostly) successful the rest of the season. If they should actually WIN one of those two early biggies and get out healthy, look out!

SewaneeVolFan writes:

in response to EastTnVols962:

He's a Florida troll. His "eight" is referring to the current win streak Florida has over UT. But since you asked the question, let me try and come up with an answer. It should be noted, that this is all subjective, and I don't neccessarily expect it, not saying it isn't at all possible.

Let's start with the should be gimmes: Austin Peay, W. Kentucky, S. Alabama, and UK SHOULD all be wins. That's four so far. Let's delve in deeper. Missouri should have been a win last season, if not for our at the time candy arse coach. This year we go to Colombia, but I believe the Vols will pull one out there. That's five. Auburn was the worst team in the SEC last year. Granted they have a lot of talent, and an improved head coach in Malzhan, I think that game being at Neyland gives the Vols an edge. That's six. Here's where it gets shaky. I honestly believe this: Franklin has clearly taken Vandy to new heighths, and that cannot be denied. They had a very good team last year. But, if you watched UT throughout the season, especially against UGA and USC, it's obvious that we were not as bad as the Vandy score reflected. We simply gave up at that point all throughout the team, coaches included. They're coming to Neyland this year, and this team has not forgot what happened last year. A solid 60 minutes of football and I think we can take home a "W". That would make seven. This is where it get very tricky, and I cannot make a bold prediction either way. I honestly do not think we take Oregon in Eugene, and for the simple fact that we have to travel to Gainesville the next week, the UF game seems unlikely as well. And let's be honest, does anyone really expect the biggest upset of the year to take place in Tuscaloosa? Of course not. So that leaves two very good and very powerful teams in UGA and USC. Luckily we have both at home. If I was forced to pick one, I would go USC, simply because of the open week to prepare. Based on performance against these two teams last year, I don't think it's at all realistic to say the Vols don't have a chance. Both games were ours to win, yet we coughed up the football both times. The key is going to be our offense. If they can move the ball and put up some points, I beleive we can keep these close. And maybe since they're both at home, those drives will go in our favor this year. So an upset over either would make eight. Will it happen, most likely not, but it isn't completely impossible. I believe we'll know more for sure after our trip to Eugene. Just my opinions. Go Vols!

Good post; nice analysis.

EastTnVols962 writes:

in response to CCLC:

Hard to argue with that prognostication. I was shocked when uSC pulled off the victory. I was relieved when Georgia did the same. Win those games and SOD is still coaching at UT. Missouri is much improved and you are at their house. CLose game. Beat Vandy and shut them up or they will get into your players heads for a while. UT's got a O line with some NFL lineman. I give the edge to UT. But Georgia's O can run and pass and I do sense they control clock with the ground game and score at will with that aerial circus. Edge Georgia. If UT were to pull an upset I would say they do it against the Gators. Vols O matches up better against the Gator D. Gator O well they don't really have an O line and their QB is not a game changer. UT will upset the gators.

Nice to have a rival fan post with some dignity. I applaud you for that CCLC. I would love nothing more than to beat the gators. I am so sick of this streak they're on. I only give them the edge due to it being at the swamp the week after we go to Eugene. Of course an upset at the swamp would be oh so sweet.

EastTnVols962 writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Very thoughtful analysis. The fact is that there is just a very fine line between winning and losing. Talent is only part of the equation. Who knows what shape each of UT's opponents will be in, in terms of injuries or morale problems of some sort on their teams.

I would only disagree with you in terms of what we might learn from the Oregon trip. The odds--first powerful opponent for a new staff and a team with possible emotional fragilities on the road--are so great that the Vols might well get destroyed. Then the issue will be whether or not they can avoid a similar fate at Florida the next week. In the worst-case scenario, they lose both games by four or more touchdowns, the QB(s) is/are ineffective, key defenders get hurt, and another season starts spiraling down the drain.

Given that possibility, losing by only a couple of TDs or less and escaping with no major injuries might well set them up to be (mostly) successful the rest of the season. If they should actually WIN one of those two early biggies and get out healthy, look out!

I guess my biggest reason for saying we will learn something from the Oregon game is that fact that we'll get a chance to see what our D-Line is really made of. Oregon is known for their speed rather than size. One reason I believe they would struggle in a NC against the SEC is the size of their lines. I think seeing a smaller O-Line than we'll see in the SEC will let us know how improved our big D-Line is. Honestly, if we can get our big guys in the backfield quickly, we could create quite a headache for their offense. Of cousre then you have to contain. If their QB hits the corner he can be up field in a flash. But I predict we dominate at the line of scrimmage in that game. Well we should anyway. And it'll be a HUGE test for our secondary.

tennlions writes:

in response to CCLC:

No not at all. He was an FSU qb.. grad assistant, qb coach and O coordinator. He was there 10 years. He was promoted after Brad Scott left. There were no NC until he started running the O. And he put 10 years in to get to that point. Seriously do your home work. I'm feeling your Orange Pride thing and all. But I wonder if Butch isn't LameK with a flat top. He peddled himself like a used car salesman.

And I wonder if CBJ isn't the real deal. Point is, we can both just sit and wonder until a reasonable body of work has been created. Then we'll all know.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to EastTnVols962:

I guess my biggest reason for saying we will learn something from the Oregon game is that fact that we'll get a chance to see what our D-Line is really made of. Oregon is known for their speed rather than size. One reason I believe they would struggle in a NC against the SEC is the size of their lines. I think seeing a smaller O-Line than we'll see in the SEC will let us know how improved our big D-Line is. Honestly, if we can get our big guys in the backfield quickly, we could create quite a headache for their offense. Of cousre then you have to contain. If their QB hits the corner he can be up field in a flash. But I predict we dominate at the line of scrimmage in that game. Well we should anyway. And it'll be a HUGE test for our secondary.

Another generous helping of food for thought. Perhaps it's only taking counsel of my fears to predict an awful beatdown at Oregon. You never know until the game is played. In the grand scheme of things, a creditable showing up there, even in a loss, oould be a boost for their morale and it will be useful for them to see how they respond to such a challenge.

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