Comments by td

Written on No suspense about starting QB, but Vols have decisions to make after Justin Worley:

There's an old adage about quarterbacks: if you have an older player and a younger player with "equal" ability, you play the younger one and use the older as the backup.

Written on Vols aiming to have nation's top offensive line:

The performance the offensive line and running backs (plus injury avoidance from key contributors at any position) will seal the fate of Team 117. A dominant running game can dictate tempo from "milk the clock" to "relentless play-after-play smash mouth." If this line can open holes, and if the RB's can protect the ball, and if they can get it going downhill series after series, no defense can survive that degree of punishment. That type of play is the essence of pure football -- physical dominance of your opponent destroying their will to continue with them praying the clock would speed up and end the torture.

Written on Observations: No clear No. 1 at running back for Vols:

Team 117 doesn't need a Heisman back -- just a stable of hard runners who protect the ball (don't fumble), gain 4 yards or more with every touch, can pass block, and catch an occasional pass out of the backfield. Match that performance with the Team 117 offensive line, and things could get interesting.

Written on UT's Don Mahoney wants to send his line out on winning note:

With the exception of significant injuries at any position, pass blocking (time & limited sacks) and short yardage 1st downs and touchdowns will determine the fate of Team 117. 2013 Tennessee wins or defeats ride on the shoulders of this offensive line. Five years from now, all could be starting in the NFL.

Written on Butch Jones says UT offense still needs to find 'playmakers' :

When we reflect on the last 50 years of rookie Vol Head Coaches, I believe it's fair to say Bill Battle and Philip Fulmer picked up the keys to Ferrari's when they assumed the top job. On the other hand, Jim McDonald, Doug Dickey, John Majors, Lane Kiffin, Derek Dooley, and, now, Butch Jones didn't get near the horsepower. So, QUESTION FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: which of the listed coaches had the worst material to work with in their first year at Tennessee? Of course, the schedule is more challenging now, and the competition in the SEC is at an all time high (especially 8 Conference games instead of 6). I'll reserve my comments. Y'all have it, if you're inclined to opine.

Written on Butch Jones says Riley Ferguson has 'stepped up,' although he hasn't named a starting QB:

Another thought about the new gray uniforms -- they provide the opportunity for the defense to claim the moniker, "The Gray Wolves." But anytime you start picking labels, you better be able to live up to it. I would think CBJ will name a starting QB early next week to finish out camp before game week.

Written on A 'smokey' shade of gray for Tennessee football uniform:

Worst thing of the day: Who decided to remove the black trim from the orange numbers on the white jerseys? Now we're back to unreadable numbers on game day unless you've got rattle your jewelry seats. And it's just as bad on television.

Written on A 'smokey' shade of gray for Tennessee football uniform:

At some point, there'll be: gray jerseys/orange pants; grey jerseys/white pants; orange jerseys/gray pants; and white jerseys/grey pants. I believe, with the traditional orange and whites, that's about 8 uniform combinations available for a 12 game schedule, or a different look for each SEC opponent. I don't know if that's a good idea or not. I know Bammer uni's look about the same as they did when I saw Joe Namath (didn't start -- injured knee) & the Bear in 1964 in Doug Dickey's first season. LSU is another school that hasn't changed much in the last 50 or so years. On the other hand, if smokey grey motivates the current players to maximum effort and makes the difference in one recruit signing with the Vols, I'm all for it.

Written on Fulmer has interest in joining selection committee:

At its core, this Committee thing is a veiled attempt to dismantle the recent SEC dominance in college football. The Big 10, Pac 12, Big 12, and ACC cannot consistently matchup with the current level of SEC football. So, they devise a way to potentially cut out the SEC. SCENARIO: the SEC has a one loss champion, but the four aforementioned conferences have an undefeated champion. Convince me this "Committee" with so called "regional balance" will not put four undefeated teams in the playoff. Coach Bowden is correct: Beware of the human element (especially with such visceral hatred by the outsiders of SEC Football).

Written on As Vols start to add pads, coaches will pick spots for practice hits :

Whether Team 117 finishes the 2013 season with a winning or losing record will very probably be related to the number of injuries sustained (and to whom they occur). With a schedule that includes 5 of the USA Today Top 10 in the first 8 games, this Vol Vintage has little room for error, much less significant injuries to key contributors or their backups.

Written on Mike Strange: A stronger Tennessee levels SEC playing field:

The solution is quite simple if the teams play a 12 game SEC schedule (6 home and 6 away), and the Conference drops the East and West Divisions like basketball. Fans would know the next year schedule immediately after the Championship Game each December. Consider: the two teams (#1 and #2) in the SEC Championship game would not face each other the following season; the other prohibited pairings would be 3vs4; 5vs6; 7vs8; 9vs10; 11vs12; 13vs14. Other than these prohibitions, everybody plays everybody.

It would be very easy to develop a master schedule and then, based on season finish, just plug in the appropriate name for the next season schedule.

As for UGA/Tech, SC/Clemson, UF/FSU, those would become lucrative major bowl match-ups with guaranteed ticket sales. Also, my research shows there is not a Florida law that requires the Gators and 'Noles to play every year. There was a directive issued, in I believe 1956, that directed UF to play the former girls school starting in 1958 (I don't claim to absolutely accurate on the dates).

Nonetheless, with the SEC Network premiering in 2014, a 12 game SEC schedule guarantees absolute top tier games every week of the football season. I predict it would rival the NFL for viewers and revenue.

By the time each year we get to the SEC Championship Game, the two truly best teams will meet, and scheduling will no longer be a point of contention.

Written on Mike Strange: For John Adams, a Hall of Fame sportswriting career started early:

I still recall with humor a John Adams' column from many years past which alluded to an imagined scene should SEC mascots be released free on the football field, or something to that effect. If memory serves me correctly, he created a visual tour de force of Mike the Tiger in hot pursuit of an appetizer named Uga with the words, "Let the Big Cat eat!" Congratulations John!

Written on Butch Jones says players being 'transformed' in summer conditioning:

In close contests in any sport, the mentally tougher team invariably wins. Coach Jones & Staff appear to be sharpening the psychological edge of the sword. If the players feel like they look stronger, they will play stronger; and if they play stronger, they will win against comparable teams (and just maybe against a few superior opponents)! It would be peerless (wish he could still play) to pull a historic upset in Eugene!!! I predict right now that Coach Jones & the Vols will earn a signature win in Norman, Oklahoma in Sept 2014.

Written on Mike Strange: Vols' dilemma: ticket sales down, SEC travel costs up:

One of the non-numeric metrics in evaluating leadership is: Did you leave the place in better shape than when you arrived? On Mike Hamilton's performance report, that's an indisputable NO! Well, he did set in motion infrastructure improvements; however, at what cost -- damn near destruction of Tennessee Athletics. All one needs to consider is the non-renewal rate of long time season ticket holders, and the ever increasing cost of every athletic product or service.

The Tennessee Athletics Department can survive and even thrive if: 1. the money sports field products that create excitement in which fans want to participate (tall order with the advent of HDTV and HD Programming); 2. the money tightening UTAD has begun actually yields fiscal results and not accounting gimmicks; 3. there's a successful campaign to renew the loyalty of the long suffering fan base who will buy those tickets regardless of team records. Tennessee Fans, for many years, did that and funded the successive expansions of Neyland and constructed Thompson-Boling. Unfortunately, Mike Hamilton chased the all mighty dollar and, in the process, chased away many solid loyal-to-a-fault fans; 4. build a new loyalty from new fans who will develop their own love for all things Tennessee.

Written on Saban's scheduled Tennessee appearance causes stir:

Very Simple Response. It's the Athens Chamber of Commerce. Boycott Athens businesses! Let 'em rely on the people who support that jelly company.

Written on SEC's new network with ESPN to debut in 2014:

Just in time for the new SEC Network, as of 6:45 EDT, Rivals ranks Tennessee's 2014 Recruiting Class #3! They only trail Texas and A&M. Yep, it's a long road to next February, but it's not as long as the road the Vols and fans have trod since 2007 (or maybe earlier, depending on your perspective).

Written on Mike Vollmar hired as UT's new senior associate AD for football:

The #1 pick in the NFL Draft, Eric Fisher, played at Central Michigan his freshman year for BuTch Jones and OLC Don Mahoney! They recruited Fisher. How's that for ammo on the recruiting hunt? And by the way, Fisher only had two scholarship offers -- CMU and Eastern Michigan. Just proves it's not the recruiting services stars online; it's the player development on campus.

Written on Tennessee football's spring answers some questions for season, raises others:

"How poor are they that have not patience!" Shakespeare, Othello, Act II, Scene 3. Who says this web site (and the people on it) "ain't got no class!"? That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it!

Written on Tennessee still looking for 'playmakers' on offense:

The cavalry may be on the way! As of 9:40 EDT April 11, 2013, ranks Tennessee the #4 Recruiting Class of 2014 -- only behind Texas, A&M, and florida!!! Granted it's a long road to next February, but if you don't like this rarefied air, get off the 'Top.' That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it!

Written on Mike Strange: Vols' coaches worked their way up:

This staff appears the most motivated of any Tennessee Football Staff I can remember; and that goes back to my first live game at Neyland -- Nov 11, 1961 when the Vols beat Bobby Dodd's 9th ranked Georgia Tech team 10-6. Thanks for the memories! That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it!

Written on John Adams: Lady Vols ran out of comebacks:

As a #2 Seed and by reaching the Elite 8, Tennessee lived up to its Tournament expectations. Louisville (#5 seed) exceeded expectations. That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.

Written on Baylor not the only ones 'stunned' by upset:

in response to maxvolfan#217855:

Wow never saw this coming! I'm with you CW and Dean will be up all night tonight scouting Louisville! This is it! This is our chance to have a very special year! I'm so pumped! We can take LVL! We can beat dem Dawgz if they beat Cal which I believe they will and we can get our revenge on Skylar and ND. Wouldnt it be interesting if 3 SEC teams make it to the final four?

Not just 3 SEC teams -- 3 SEC East teams!!!

Written on Mike Strange: NIT spells another disappointing end for Vols:

Jordan McRae has flopped since Caldwell-Pope received SEC player of the year. Fair or not, McRae's performance these last couple of games has proven Jordan ain't. Of course, there's plenty of blame to go round; and now, they can all go on Spring Break. Like it or not, NIT first round loss is the Legacy of 2012-13 VolB-Ball. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Written on New Tennessee assistant Robert Gillespie has plenty of memories from Florida career against the Vols:

In the 1999 game at the Swamp, Steve Shaw (now SEC Grand Pooh-Bah of Officials) stood by as Alex Brown teed off with a late hit on a defenseless Tee Martin that nearly severed Martin's tongue. I've always believed that play had a significant influence on the outcome.

Written on As Tennessee opens spring football under Butch Jones, 5 storylines to watch:

All real Tennessee fans need to have patience until September 15 -- the Sunday after the Oregon game. September 14 is the first time we'll have a true metric to measure progress and project expectations. Until then, enjoy the ride. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!

Written on Mike Strange: Tennessee's best players played when they had to:

From this point forward, NOBODY gets a night off if the Vols want it. "Lock down defense" and "light it up offense" is all it takes, and these guys are absolutely capable if they play focused, smart, team basketball. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!

Written on Georgia had gameplan for limiting Jarnell Stokes :

If the Vols beat Auburn and Missouri plus win two in Nashville, they punch their ticket to the Dance. One maybe two losses buys the NIT. Three losses wins a Big Orange pumpkin and a trip to next year!

Written on In Knoxville, Butch Jones, John Jancek talk up defense to fans hungry for improvement :

Absolutely, the 2012 Vol defense "hoovered" in the 3-4; but the two teams that played in the SEC Championship game (both) aligned in the 3-4. It ain't the scheme as much as the players with the talent to execute the scheme and a coach who knows what scheme his players can execute. That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.

Written on John Adams: Win or lose, games take toll on Vols :

This vintage of Tennessee Basketball is living proof that more games are lost by the losers than won by the winners. The games Tennessee has lost (except for Oklahoma State) they could have won, and the SEC games they've won could have been lost. Which is more unpredictable, this Vol Team or a box of Forrest Gump candy? If they can just keep winning (not losing), it won't matter.

Written on Poll: Should the Vols recruit more junior college football players?:

Absolutely! Quality Junior College players provide the quickest return on investment when a coach is trying to turn a program around. Get quick results with the JUCO's; breed interest from high schoolers; transition out of the JUCO's except for exceptional players like Cordarrel. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!

Written on Mike Strange: Something is missing ... Vols looking for a closer :

Mental toughness and focus in the last five minutes of any close game determines the winner. The will to win is paramount, and that is something that CAN be coached. These Vols need some time in the Sports Psychology Department. As it is right now, they are finding ways to lose.

Written on John Adams: Super hoax may upstage Super Bowl :

I am not a John Adams basher, but this column wasted my time. Now, to think about it, my writing this comment is an even bigger misapplication of precious seconds on that journey to eternity.

Written on Efficient version of Vols appeared against Mississippi State, can it continue? :

Overall, best effort to date with significantly more intensity on both ends.

As for Ole Miss, if the Yogi Rebs get 44 free throws again, we probably get the same result again.

Written on John Adams: Stokes, Golden performing better as a disappearing act:

Kentucky starts 4 freshmen and a sophomore, yet, they don't commit a single foul in the first half! Really!? That's how the refs called it.

Tennessee doesn't appear to play with intensity. At times, they only seem to be "going through the motions." Speaking of motion, the players are almost universally missing open guys to make plays in CCM's motion offense. The plays are available if they would only make the pass quickly, but the opportunity closes fast. For whatever reason, the Vols don't pull the trigger when they should; then at other times, some of the guys play totally out of control.

Written on John Adams: Cincinnati's bowl gives UT fans glimpse of 'Butch Ball' :

in response to atnvol#283282:

I am very hopeful that B.Jones will make us think of a young Doug Dickey back in the mid-sixties....hopefully with the same winning results. On a different note, I just finished watching the Rose bowl and I think Wisconsins receivers had the worse hands of any team I saw in the recent Bowl games ....their coach is now our coach....although I will say that their QB from Tennessee's Kingsport D-B high school seemed to be throwing high most of the evening.

The Wisconsin receivers did miss a few passes that looked catchable. As for Curt Philips, he is from Kingsport, but he attended Sullivan South (which never beat Dobyns-Bennett during Philips' years at SS).

Written on Butch Jones says Zach Azzanni 'will pay dividends for us' :

This is not posted to create panic; however, the only "measurable" we have to gauge the status of the football program as of Sunday, Dec 16, 2012 is the recruiting rankings. Today, Rivals lists Tennessee at #38. The day Tennessee hired Coach Jones, Rivals ranked the Vols at #24. The Vols are now ranked below every SEC Team except Kentucky (#60). Certainly, a lot can happen between now and Feb 6th, but with the dead period, it will be a climb for sure.

Written on Tennessee AD Dave Hart says Butch Jones offers 'new beginning' for program :

in response to VFL_Troll_Patrol:

A new beginning! Yes it is! The 2012 season wasn't great but we can still look back at some of the moments that took our breath away! A new leader, new attitude and a hopeful future! GBO

This video showcases all the good moments from the 2012 season, with head coach Butch Jones. Let me know what you guys think by visiting my youtube channel.

VIDEO: "A New Leader" A look at the past with the "Butcher" Butch Jones (2012 season)


*Im always watching*
Here's to a brighter future

Absolutely one of the best "promo" videos I've ever seen! Above and beyond the call of duty!!! For those of you who didn't take the time to view it, you've missed something special (go back; you will not waste your time). We just need to get recruits to see this video.

Written on Mike Strange: Tennessee needed a fresh start and Butch Jones gives them one :

Coach Jones made a positive impression in his first meeting with team on Friday. The fact that Vols on the Team now who were recruited by CBJ to attend Cincinnati seemed to embrace him as their new coach spoke volumes. I hope he can live up to his claim about the "best staff" in America. The first real measure of progress will be on National Signing Day. Can Coach Jones and his staff improve on the Vols current #24 ranking by Rivals.

Written on Players, media tweet optimism for Butch Jones:

Player and recruit "buy-in" is more important than any other opinions. Only they have a direct impact on CBJ's Tennessee future. So far, so good.

Written on Mike Strange: Virginia, Georgetown, it's one long struggle for Vols :

There's only one solution to correct bad shooting, and that's individual practice -- attempting shot, after shot, after shot. Obviously, this team invests considerable effort in practice on defense. Consequently, the players absolutely must spend their own time perfecting the offense. If they're already doing that; then, they're not doing enough. Up the ante!

Written on Louisville coach Charlie Strong meets with players:

If or when all is lost with Strong, Why not Chaney? Tennessee only needs to correct the defensive side of the staff! A hungry Defensive Coordinator ready for SEC competition should be an easy hire for the Vols.

Written on No. 4 Florida, No. 22 Louisville in Sugar Bowl:

Tennessee could do worse than a Charlie Strong Defense matched with a Jim Chaney Offensive.

Written on John Adams: Coaching (not Christmas) lists, the buzz this holiday season :

in response to Rumblefish:

Agreed with fred flinstone. You not think a coach deserves credit for hiring the right assitants to succeed???? There is something wrong with you man. Just look at Fulmer's record with Cutcliff and without.

See the 11:58 post. Let's deal in data regarding Mike Gundy as a worthy HC for Tennessee. His record against Texas (Mack Brown) is 2-6. The Oklahoma ledger (Bob Stoops) reads a dismal 1-7, and the scores vs Oklahoma (overall) ain't pretty either: 42-14; 27-21; 49-17; 61-41; 27-0; 10-44 (12-1 Season); 51-48. In 2011, OSU had the inside track to play LSU for the BCS Championship but lost to Iowa State.

Further, from 2001 to 2004, Coach Gundy served as Les Miles' OC at OSU with records of 4-7, 8-5, 9-4, and 7-5. Gundy assumed the HC position at Oklahoma State with four years of his recruits and his offense. He promptly posted a 4-7 record.

So, Rumblefish how long have you had this urge to lash out at people ("There is something wrong with you man.")? Take two aspirins and maybe you'll feel better about yourself.

Written on John Adams: Coaching (not Christmas) lists, the buzz this holiday season :

in response to yabadabadoo1026:

so in your view a coach doesnt get credit for hireing good coordinators but gets the blame if the coordinators dont prove out to be good?---in your thinking just how then does a coach with a good record deserve some credit?

Your logic would hold merit if all his hires proved to be a stroke of genius. Gundy is a favorite son of OSU. He did not turn the corner in success until he hired Trooper Taylor after Phil Fulmer declined to promote Troop to OC after Cutcliffe left for Duke. Troop was promised the position of co-OC. Didn't happen, but he did bring in good recruits. Troop left for Auburn.

Gundy did hire Holgerson and Monckton but look at the defensive side. By your reasoning, since Dooley retained Chaney, Dooley should still be the coach at Temnessee.

Obviously, neither you nor I can do anything but speculate; however, since I live in the Oklahoma City area (1/4 mile from where David Oku went to HS and 2 miles from where Gundy attended HS as well as Jonathan Brown - mid 90's Vol), I've followed Coach Gundy for years (as well as his brother Cale at Oklahoma), I just have an opinion that Mike Gundy is best suited for his current job at his "Old Tomater," and Tennessee would be better served by another candidate.

Written on John Adams: Coaching (not Christmas) lists, the buzz this holiday season :

Mike Gundy is NOT the coach Tennessee needs. His jump in success is a consequence of having Dana Holgerson (WVa now) and Todd Monckton as his OC. If the Vols hire Gundy, they will regret firing Derek Dooley!

Written on Tennessee's opening one of a dozen:


Written on John Adams: No shame for UT in a big-name rejection :

If Tennessee can't drink from the top shelf, how about: Jim Chaney and the entire offensive staff retained with Chaney declared Associate Head Coach; entice Lance Thompson to return with a new title -- Defensive Coordinator; pour a tall one for Kirby Smart as HC?

Whoever signs on, this hire has to be Rocky Top solid and considered in relation to the talent on hand.

Written on At least history is kind to Tennessee offense :

How's this for consideration: Hire a new Head Coach who's a Defensive Guru, but with the stipulation he retains the current offensive staff. Saves a bunch of money, and we know what we've got offensively.

It would seem the ideal HC candidate for this scenario would be Kirby Smart even if there's concern he would bolt for Georgia in a few years. It gets the Tennessee program stabilized and attractive. Name Chaney Associate Head Coach.

Written on John Adams: Tennessee fans might not mind if juniors leave early :

The Question: Will the new coach employ an offensive scheme that reflects the skill set of the current players, or will he bring in a system that requires a transition period (i.e. 2-3 seasons).

Tennessee decision makers would be wise to consider the Rich Rodriguez experiment at Michigan -- an absolute disaster! On the other hand, Rich Rod has Arizona ranked, and in 2012 he beat Mike Gundy (badly) and Lane Kiffen!!! The difference is Rich Rod had system compatible players in Tucson which he did not in Ann Arbor.

Whether the juniors stay or go, the Vols need to prepare the fan base for whatever is coming offensively. Do the fans get to anticipate immediate improvement or tighten the seat belt for more "working like heck" to get better.

Successs for the next hire can be summed up: "Fulfillment of expectations."

Written on Tennessee players take news of Derek Dooley's firing in stride :

This post will no doubt be controversial, but I cannot find a better explanation for what transpired Saturday night in Nashville. This is not your Dad's Vanderbilt team. Got that, check. But how does an offense as prolific as Tennessee's turn in such a dud when the defense actually displayed some pulse (in the first half, maybe the best defensive performance of the season, minus one screen pass).

Did a group from the offensive side decide to sabotage the game in order NOT to go to a bowl? This scenario has Kentucky 2011 all over it. As I recall, the 2011 seniors complained about younger guys not wanting "to play in a sh*tty bowl." By losing in Lexington, they guaranteed sleep in time in December.

Same scenario faced Tennessee in 2012. Win against Vandy and Kentuck and go bowling -- but a lower tier destination. A second time loss to Kentucky in as many years (especially in Neyland) would be unthinkable; so in Nashville, they don't play to potential, lose to Vanderbilt, and ensure the Vols remain Home for the Holidays.

Now, for Saturday, look for a lights out display of offensive precision. Last time on Shields-Watkins and a performance to remember as they depart early for the NFL.

I hope I'm wrong in this conspiracy theory, ... but what if I'm not?