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<<We're doing fine???????????????????????????????
1. Lawsuits on the horizon that UT is destined to lose.
2. Men's football 1-7 in the SEC two straight years
3. Men's basketball team NIT two straight years
4. Men's baseball team can't even qualify for the SEC tournament when it is expanded to 12 teams>>
We will see about the lawsuits. At least one women had two women's coaches recommend her dismissal. We will have to see how this plays out. As for our problems in 3 men's sports, he inherited Dooley and Martin. Dooley got a quick hook from Hart, considering the huge buyout he got from Hamilton. Firing Fulmer, replacing him with Kiffin, and hiring Dooley are on Hamilton, not Hart. We will see how Martin does (I'm optimistic), but that is also on Hamilton. Hamilton also fired a successful baseball coach and replaced him with the guy that ruined our program. I can't remember if Hart hired the current guy or not. What will determine where Hart is successful or not mainly will be if Football turns around with his hire. That would take care of our finances if football is successful again. After that, we will need to see if basketball and baseball improve. It is way to early to say if Hart is successful or not.
I guess you have to write something in the off season. I'm guessing the top of the SEC could finish undefeated against the bottom of the other conferences, too. Our overall bowl record holds up pretty well against everyone else. As for Stoops, since his national title, it seems like Oklahoma is picked in the top 3 every year, and falters every year. When was the last time Stoops won a big bowl game?
For all the Bray bashers, it will reflect better on our program if he makes it. Unfortunately for Bray, his career was being a good player on a bad team.
The point made in an early post that no one needs an athletic director is absurd. This is a business with several hundred million dollars per year in revenues and expenses. It will not run itself. The factors that will determine Hart's effectiveness will be if football improves (Butch is his hire, and I really like what I see so far), and if our financial situation improves. It will take a few years to tell. Other than his haircut (and I am unlikely to have much hair when I reach that age), I don't have any complaints so far.
A few thoughts: I'm guessing the interviews must have hurt the most. Several players with much bigger off the field and on the field issues were drafted, while Bray was not. Also, like any former Vol athlete or student, I wish him well. He could have played for many other schools, but he picked us and stayed after the coach that recruited him bolted after one year. My guess is that next year, we will miss his ability. Finally, from an agent's perspective, it's probably best to tell 10 rounds worth of players they will make it in the NFL, to sign as many as they can, hoping to land a few that get big contracts.
Keep in mind that he led the 2nd most prolific offense we had. My guess is that the most prolific offense had he ball more, because they had a good defense to go with it. I think he's right to go this year, because it's a weak QB year and he would have to break in all new receivers next year. I hope he does well. It reflects better on our program if he does. As someone earlier pointed out, he came across country and stayed after the coach that recruited him bolted. I appreciate that he came, and I hope he is successful in the future.
I didn't see the game, but it sounds like the energy level is good. I think 6-6 or 7-5 would be a successful first year, given our schedule and lack of experienced skill players. To do that, we have to win the 3 OOC games except for Oregon. Given the issues with our opponents, I think Kentucky, Auburn, and Mizzou are the best chances to win. Vandy will certainly be favored over us, and we will be a big underdogs in the rest. I think the key will be staying healthy at RB and WR. The main thing I will look for is if the team imrpoves as the season goes on, or if they regress through the season like last year.
To me, the criticism for Bray is similar to the criticism that Manning never beat Florida. There was one game where he threw a critical pick (but the receiver dropped a TD pass on the previous play), but in his last game, two of the INT's hit the receiver right in the hands in stride.
I think it's time to let the animosity for Rogers go. From what I read at the combine, the teams were very impressed with his honesty about what he did and what he learned from it. He seems to have turned it around. That compares to a high profile linebacker who was lying about his arrest during the interviews while the teams had a copy of his arrest record in front of them. Like I hope for any young person that made a dumb mistake, I hope Rogers learns from it and moves forward.
I think the main reason Bama may not want him is that he's already in in low 60's. Unless he wants to work until he's 70, they would be looking again, soon.
I take the criticism of Hart with a grain of salt. He inherited a mess from Hamilton, who is a fine man, but was a horrible AD. Other than letting it leaked to the point we were very publicly turned down by Strong, I can't point to anything bad he has done. No one was going to come in and turn it around in a year or two. If he wants to go to his alma mater, I won't hold that against him. If he wants to stay, fine.
I understand liking what Pearl did for the program. However, he will never be hired back. He knowingly broke a rule, then lied to the NCAA about it. Yes, I want to win, but not at all costs. We will see how Martin does next year. If Stokes and McRae both stay (and I think it would be a mistake for either of them to go, since I don't think either will go in the first round), Maymon is healthy, and Hubbs can shoot better than our outside shooters this year, we should be a pretty good team.
I think there are as many arguments for us being in the field as their are for us not being in the field. If Ole Miss wins tomorrow, I think we are definitely out. With the players we have coming back, plus Maymon, plus the stud shooting guard recruit, I hope next year's team doesn't wait until the last 10 games of the season to play well. I expect that we will have a more consistent season next year and not sweat out Selection Sunday again.
A few thoughts. 1, We didn't "lose" Bell. He was never a UT commitment. Sure, it would have been nice to get him, but we didn't. 2. I always take the recruiting rankings with a grain of salt. Ray Goff almost always had the best recruiting class, and never won the SEC. Usually, around half of the first team all All Americans were 3 stars in high school. 3. I think the staff did an ok job given the time to work with and the apparently damaged relationships with area high school programs. We will see over the next few years what Butch Jones can do. I'm optimistic.
First of all, I like Dooley. I wish he won, but obviously wasn't getting it done. As for people saying that it's a joke having Chizik and Dooley to provide commentary, I think both would be more inciteful than people that have never coached and recruited. Current coaches obviously caren't avaialble to be on the show. If nothing else, Dooley's bluntness and wit will probably add to the show. I wish him well.
Good for these young men, but does this mean we don't expect 25 in our signing class? It could also mean some other players are leaving.
I don't think Sentimore will get drafted, but I wish him the best. Bray would take a risk on his numbers with Hunter and Patterson leaving (and don't forget how reliable Zach Rogers was his Senior season). I think Hunter and Bray made the right choice.
I don't think Fulmer is campaigning for the AD job at all, and I think he's right. We haven't had a good president since Dr. Joe Johnson retired, and I think we have bigger issues at UT than the athletic department. Just like the changing coaches often has left the football program in disarray, changing university presidents as often has done the same.
Finally, I am still surprised how many negative comments Fulmer continues to get. How many of you would gladly accept an identical record from Butch Jones over the next 17 years (same winning % and 1 national title)? I would in a heartbeat.
<<First off, I am happy with the hires. But what happened to proving your worth? I know these guys have experience coaching, I get that. I just don't understand throwing big $$ at people before they have delivered the goods. Exhibit A, Sal Sunseri, wow, still owing him 1.3 million is insanity. Same for the 5 million dollar man....>>
A couple of thoughts. One, if we pay all those guys the same, then they could easily go somewhere else. I think it's reasonable that an assistant for the Vols would make more than an assistant for the Bearcats. As for Sunseri, he was leaving a stable job for a job where he knew that Dooley could get fired after one year. He needed an incentive and security to leave Alabama. Obviously, it didn't work out (who knows if he could run that scheme with better personnel?). In hindsight, Wilcox understood that he didn't have the players to attack, so ran a bend don't break defense. Sunseri was never able to adjust to the players that he had, or teach them what they were supposed to be doing.
I think this makes sense for all of them. Hunter doesn't want to risk another knee injury that could mean no NFL. Patterson is raw and needs to run routes better, buthe's still projected mid first round. He should take the money, and with no NFL practice limits, he can run routes all day. Bray may slip into the late second or third round. However, I'm sure he noticed what happened to Clausen, who came back without his best receivers (Kelly Washington went down that year), played hurt, and went undrafted. Also, the Oklahoma QB Landry's draft stock plummeted when he came back without his star receiver and looked ordinary. I think Hunter and Bray risk more by coming back than going early, and or Patterson, if you will be a top 15 pick, you go.
I wish Hunter well, and glad he was a Vol. I think it's the right decision. If he were projected 2nd rounder and hadn't been injured, I think he should have come back. However, second round is still good money, and he doesnt' risk another knee injury before he gets paid.
A few thoughts: I think we are currenlty somewhere between the #15 and #25 job. The facilities are top 5, we should be able to pay a top 10 salary, but the leadsership at the top (I'm talking more about the administration since Dr. Joe Johnson retired, not Hart)is weak, and the state isn't a recruiting hotbed.
As for why anyone would take the job, we give them the opportuity to compete at the highest level outside NFL at a place where you can win big. Yes, it is currntly a challenge, but I don't think so much has changed since we blew a shot at the natinal title in 2001 that Tennessee can't be successful again.
I didn't think we were the underdog to FSU in 98, were we?
<<Question to all the media types,know it all Basillio, UT coaching staff and players of the UT. How did a Penn State football team go through all they did and still finish the season like they did today? Tell us ! You guys didnt go through any thing like they did but THEY(PSU) were able to focus and play the game of football like its meant to be!!>>>
Penn State played a much easier schedule than the Vols. I don't think anyone would mistake the Big 10 with the SEC (the Vols played 4 top 10 teams to 1 top 10 for PSU). I think the Vols could have possibly gone 8-4 with that same schedule.
One point you didn't make is that PSU got better as the season went on, while the Voles got worse.
Someone said they are kicking us while we are dead. We aren't dead yet. We are pining for the fjords.
For the first time in a few years, we finally have an SEC caliber offensive line. I'm pretty happy with where the offense is right now. The most glaring project that this staff has is getting an SEC caliber secondary. We have to get more speed for DB's in recruiting if we are going to challenge for the East again.
<<Win or lose against MSU, you got no shot at the SECe.
Sorry Troll. It would be very tough, but not completely out of reach.>>
I interpreted Adams statement is how the team would react with an 0-3 SEC start and no chance at the SEC East vs. a 1-2 start with a slim theoretical shot at winning the East (no, I don't think anyone thinks we can actually win the East). My guess is that Adams thinks, and I agree, that it would be harder to get motivated after an 0-3 SEC start. This is a must win game.
Also, I think 7-5 and continued improvement keep Dooley around another year, expecially since his buyout goes down significantly after the 2013 season. I think our offense is significantly better than last year, with a decent running game and an SEC caliber offensive line. I think our biggest shortcoming, aside from learning the 3-4, is lack of speed in the secondary. Every RB and WR on other teams seem to be able to outrun our DB's. If they get past our LB's, which is too often, they are gone. I hope some of our DB commits are 4.3 guys.
I think a better analysis would be Tennessee's passing game vs. Georgia's pass defense,DL vs OL, etc. Murray and Bray don't play each other. I still think Georgia gets the edge in most matchups. However, a QB could be better than the opposing QB, but that may not be an edge if the opposing secondary and pass rush are great, while the lesser QB is going against a poor defense. Position vs same position matchups only matter in fantasy football.
The only thing about these evaluations is that the units on each team don't play each other. I think the Vols passing game vs the Florida pass defense, the Vols running game vs. Florida,s front 7, etc. is much more important. The reality is that our best side of the ball (offense) will face the Gators best side (defense). Our two weaker units will also face each other.
I read an intervier with Patterson, and it's pronounced cor DAR uhl. Kinda like Darryl with a Cor in front of it. THe announcers will learn after last night. For Da'Rick, I see no reason to pile on. He probably realizes that he has potentially cost himself a lot of money, but I hope he works hard, stays clean, and gets a shot at the pros. It sucks that we don't have all 3 stud receivers, but I do like how Patterson and the supporting cast stepped up instead of folded like we've done in the recent past.
<<It appears that the team is overall better in all aspects except the running games and kicking game>>
How is the running game not better? Last year, we couldn't run for 100 yards on the worst teams we played. We ran for just over 190 yards against a team that is supposed to be pretty good. I don't think we have a dominmant running game, where running will be a frequent option on 3rd and 3, but we are clearly better than last years 116th ranked rushing game. My guess is we will be in the middle of the pack in the SEC for rushing yards.
Since Dooley was named coach just a couple of weeks before signing day, he had to take risks. There was no way he had time to vet each player's character for his first class.
I guess the only positive is that this site actually has this news up before it's on ESPN or CBSSports. Anytime you lose a star player, it hurts. That means our passing game that may have been the best in the SEC is one injury (Hunter or Patterson) away from being mediocre. It especially hurts since we are very thin at TE will all the injuries to that position. That said, no player is bigger than the team. I'm not sure what problem Rogers has, but this will cost him a lot of money. Even if he comes back and gets drafted (either from the Vols or an FCS School), it will be much lower becasue of his attitude. The NFL already has enough TO's, Ochocinco's, DeSean Jacksons, etc. Of course, he may not get drafted at all.
I hate to face him again, but this is good news. He had the most dominant freshman season for an RB in the SEC since Herschel. I don't think he has Walker's breakaway speed, but he wears defenses down in the 2nd half. He's fun to watch.
If Dooley wanted to stoke Coach Franklin's ire more, he should have said that he wanted to the team to bond while roughing it in substandard facilities. Vandy wasn't available, so he had to choose Milligan.
I think I pretty much agree with this list. I would also leave Haynesworth off the list (he was too inconsistent - he took plays, and sometimes games, off when he wasn't motivated. I'm fine with Peerless Price, because he produced when it counted most. I would have considered Shawn Bryson for FB, but he was really a RB playing the fullback spot. Howard was a much better blocker, and could carry the bal, too.
He is filing for a reogranization of his debts. His problem is liquidity, having the cash to pay his bills. Besides the fleet of cars and several homes, he owns half interest in a water park in Ohio. It could be that the business isn't doing well and he can't sell his stake in it. FWIW, he is a plaintiff in the concussion lawsuit against the NFL. I don't think that totally excuses no contact with his son, though.
My most consistent frustration with the Vols has been the inability to find anyone that can get kick offs to the endzone for at least 10 years. Even the weak OOC teams we play seem to find someone that can reach the endzone on kicks. Even if the guy can't kick a FG at all, it's worth a scholarship.
We will see what kind of coach Dooley is this year. For all the "Dooleave" crowd, how many more wins would another coach have over the last 2 years with the same attrition and lack of depth? If I remember correctly, we had 9 Seniors and 9 Juniors on last year's squad, with only 8 players remaining from Kiffin's lone class. How many SEC teams have won big with that much youth? How many won big while inheriting an OL that had 3 career starts between them? None. Dooley still has to prove that he is a good coach, but at least we have the players and depth to see what he and his staff can do. We weren't going to contend for the SEC East the past 2 years no matter who was coaching. 3 coaching staffs in 3 years does that to a program.
I'm not sure we will hang 40 against the Gators. They will have a stout defense. In that game, it will b strength against strength (our offense against their defense), and our weakness against their weakness (our defense against their offense). My guess is that the winner of the battle of the weaknesses wins the game.
I'm not sure why there are so many knocks on Bray. He played great until he got hurt. Until he proves otherwise, I think he will play great this season when healthy. I think the main thing he needs to do is learn the right checks on running plays, but that will come.
The reality is that with the last 4 or 5 years, we don't have the success to land big time recruits this early. I think the staff is doing the right thing to go after more big time players that won't likely commit until next Fall.
As for next year, I think we win 8 or 9 games. We finally have more depth, and we don't play LSU or Arkansas.
Wiclox's defense can be effective, but I'd much rather have an attacking defense than a bend don't break defense. I'm lloking forward to a more aggressive philosophy.
It says that Shaka Smart has been offered the Illinois job, and is considering it.
Shaka Smart is a great young coach, but he wouldn't have done any better this year. With the NCAA cloud hanging over us, Martin had to sign his recruiting class when we didn't know what the Pearl penalties would be. The media expected an 11th place finish in the SEC. The end of the season stunk, but this team overachieved. Martin is a good coach, and we should be pretty good next year.
My only complaint is that this could have been a a much longer article. I would have liked to see quotes from all the coaches.
<<Agree completely !!!! Kiffin does more with less scholarships, seems to keep his assistant coaches and definitely knows how to win !! Need to fire Dooley and find a winner to coach Tennessee !!>>
I think there are only 8 players left from Kiffin's class. He has also had several 5 and 4 star recruits at USC that didn't pan out and transferred. He did seem to turn the corner midseason as a coach, but we need to see that Kiffin can keep his high profile recruits for 3 or 4 years. Right now, he is winning with many holdovers from Pete Carroll. Kiffin may very well win, but if he loses too many high profile players during the peak of affects of the scholarship limits, he will have problems.
While it's better for the recruits to be told to look elsewhere when Dooley thinks the class will be full (Henderson and Cross), most other SEC teams seemed to sign more than 25 players and have to cut the extras later.
Dooley's way this year was probably more ethical, but cynically, it's probably better to get a 26th and 27th commitment to hold in his back pocket if someone flips. Any thoughts?
<<I would think he is replacing Josephs, our db's were horrible last year
It's about time. Dooley finally has a coaching staff, not a bunch of want to be's.
Joesph never played football, and I think it's hurt the development of the db's each of the past 2 season.>>
Joseph lost his best player (Janzen Jackson) before the season. We then lost more to inury, forcing the swtich if Waggner to safety (he played well, but is the best corner we have). Joseph didn't exactly have a lot to work with last year. No excuses next season, though. We have experience coming back, and more depth coming in.
I think it's possible that Joseph may still work with the safeties. I'm not sure how Dooley will split the duties.
I don't think one particular game is a must win, but I do think Dooley has to win at least 8. The opener againts NC State on a neutral field is huge. The team will need confidence early on with a win. I think Florida is more important because it would be an early confidence booster, and it is one of our winnable games (mainly because they will be inexperienced at QB and RB, and still have no WR that scares anyone yet). If we can start out 3-0, I think that builds momentum for a pretty good year. A 2-1 start gives less margin for error later in the season, and I don't think the team can rebound from a 1-2 start.
One other thing, I always take recruiting rankings with a grain of salt. In theory, a team could get the #1 rated class by stocking up the best players in positions that they don't need. This class did a good job addressing our needs at DT, RB, and WR. The hole in this class is at LB with our transition to a 3-4 defense. We also look like we upgraded our speed. Of course, we won't know until we see the results on the field, but I would say a pretty good, but not great class.
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