published Monday, November 12th, 2012

5 at 10: Vols coaching turmoil (with potential replacements), Around college football and the NFL

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    Tennessee quarterback attempts to calm head coach Derek Dooley after a call is made during a game against Missouri Saturday at Neyland Stadium. Tennessee fell to Missouri 51-48 in quadruple overtime.
    Photo by By Allison Love

Tennessee football

Here we stand. The program is broken.

The University of Tennessee is too proud and too powerful to start 0-6 in the SEC, nevermind to do it in back-to-back seasons.

The University of Tennessee, the home of Neyland and Atkins and White and Manning and Fulmer and Berry and too many other college football Hall of Famers to name, can not abide this.

The University of Tennessee and its 102,000-plus-seat football coliseum can not afford or allow crowds of 65,000. The disinterest and apathy are the biggest by-products of this bad product.

After Saturday's 51-48 four overtime loss to a Missouri team that has played two-plus months of an SEC slate, the reports (http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2012/nov/12/derek-dooleys-time-at-ut-appears-close-to-end/) from our UT beat ace Downtown Patrick Brown that Dooley's end is on the horizon make sense. And we could not agree more with our ace columnist Mark Wiedmer, who wrote here http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2012/nov/12/its-time-for-hart-to-talk-about-plan-for-ut/#comments that Dave Hart's silence was golden and loud and clear about Dooley before Saturday, but now that reports have surfaced that the cat is out of the bag, it's time to name that kitty.

The Vols' latest meltdown — another classic, snatch-defeat-from-the-jaws-of-victory moment in which if they make just one play among several they win — was the latest in a season full of hair-pullers. This is not about tough schedules or tough breaks or being close anymore. This is the University of Tennessee, and it's broken.

Saturday was the final straw for even the last Dooley defenders we know. And granted, Dooley was given a tough job that was made tougher by the circus and the circumstances in and around Knoxville the last three years.

There are a list of turning points that could have turned this ship and left the Johnny Vols Fans everywhere asking "Why fire Dooley?" as opposed to "Why has it not been announced?" But heading into the last two games of the regular season — and almost to a person the reasoning behind not announcing the happenings and discussions in the UT football offices Sunday are an attempt for the team and coaches to focus on Vandy and possibly making a bowl game — if Dooley's not the answer, who is?

Here's a list of names from what we've heard and believe would work best for the Vols moving forward:

1) Jon Gruden, TV analyst. Yes, we know he was a young assistant there. And did you know his wife was a UT cheerleader? Oh, you knew that? That said, we've heard there are some very high-profile UT boosters that are going to make him say no multiple times. He likely will, considering there are just as many reports that he's the top name on a slew of NFL boards too, including in Philadelphia. Let us be clear: We do not expect Gruden to be the next UT football coach, but that does not mean it's not being discussed by the power-brokers in the 865.

2) Bob Stoops, Oklahoma coach. Crazy, huh? Well, he's a name we've heard more than once in the last 36 hours.

3) Charlie Strong, Louisville coach. Despite the disappointing loss Saturday, Strong and Co. have done work in Louisville, and while Cards AD Tom Jurich has said he's willing to make Strong the highest-paid coach in the country, there's one thing the Cards can't give Strong: The chance to coach in the SEC.

From there, it's a hodgepodge of names that range from impossible (gang, Lovie Smith is not coming from the Bears to Knoxville) to the nostalgic (Phillip Fulmer is not coming back) to the unrealistic (we're not going to name names, but to the person that emailed about whether Russ Huesman could be a candidate, know that as great a job as Russ has done with the Mocs, that's not happening).

Here are two names that have not been mentioned a great deal: Bobby Petrino and Kirby Smart. Take that for what it is.

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    Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) runs through the tackle of Alabama defensive back Deion Belue (13) during the first half of an NCAA college football game at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Around college football

What a Cuh-Razy weekend, huh?

— How much fun is Johnny "Football" Manziel having right now? Sweet buckets of energy and effort, the young, running-and-throwing prodigy did the unthinkable Saturday. He went to Tuscaloosa and slayed the beast that is the Alabama Crimson Tide. It was a magical game to watch, and in truth, everyone watching with the possible exception of Johnny Manziel's folks, were waiting for Alabama to score in the final minute. That didn't happen, and the unbeaten Tide lost 29-24.

— The 5-at-10 was in the stands Saturday night for the Auburn-Georgia game and the two biggest cheers of the night were for Spirit, the eagle that flies into the stadium before kickoff (it's a pretty cool sight if you have not experienced it) and when the Alabama score was announced. Of course, there was not much for Tigers fans to cheer in the 38-0 whipping that the Bulldogs delivered. Which brings us to...

— The Fab 4 (plus 1) picks went 4-1 for the third consecutive week. And gang, hitting 80 percent against the spread is not too shabby. Overall, we're 39-16-2 after hitting Arkansas State (giving 7 in a 43-21 win over La.-Monroe), Oregon (giving 30 in a 52-17 win over Cal), Georgia (minus 15 in a 38-0 win over Auburn), UT-Missouri over 60 (UT's defense delivered for the Fab 4) and missing on Louisville (minus 2 in a straight-up loss at Syracuse).

— Side betting note for those of you who like this sort of thing: Idaho was getting 40 points Saturday night at BYU. And 40 points is one of those monster spreads that catches the 5-at-10's eye. So, the final score was BYU 52, Idaho 13. Yes, the Vandals won in Vegas' eyes by a slim point. Well, that number is made even more interesting by the fact that Idaho kicked a 35-yard field goal on the LAST play of the game. Who's coaching the Vandals now a days, Luca Brasi?

— Derek Dooley is far from the only coach neck-deep in turmoil. Pirate Mike Leach is under fire again for treating his players poorly at Washington State. Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville is being questioned about putting his hands on an assistant. There are some reports that Gene Chizik has actually adopted a screenplay where he reprises the role as Bernie the corpse from "Weekend at Bernie's," in a special, made for TV version of "Weekend Tailgate at Bernie's."

— The national championship chase has been completely reshuffled thanks to Johnny Football and the Aggies. Alabama is now No. 4 in the BCS, one spot ahead of Georgia, and those two one-loss teams will meet in the SEC title game. For the SEC to be a player in the national title game for the seventh consecutive year, the Tide or the Bulldogs will need help. Oregon, Kansas State and Notre Dame are the top three and each is unbeaten. If all three stay unbeaten, the experts project Oregon and K-State will play the title and that the Pope will excommunicate the nation. If two of those three lose, the winner of the SEC title game is back in the mix. (That said, Notre Dame's predicament is very much like Auburn's in 2004: Each started so low in the polls and made gradual ascensions during the season that when the BCS polls started rolling out, the hill was too steep to climb.)

— Sad end for the Mocs, who played Wofford tough in another tough OT loss to one of the SoCon powers.

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    Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson is tackled by Miami Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon (50) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, in Miami.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

NFL

Somewhere the 1972 Miami Dolphins popped the corks on some champagne or some Metamucil or whatever their drink of choice is these days because with the Falcons' loss at New Orleans on Sunday, the Dolphins are assured of at least another year of being the only NFL team to finish the entire season unbeaten.

We'll get more into this with Tuesday's power poll, but the Falcons are still on the short list of the best teams in the NFL. They are built for the modern NFL, and quarterback Matt Ryan has become an MVP candidate. That said, the Falcons need to be able to run the football better than they did Sunday.

Against a Saints defense that came into Sunday allowing an NFL worst 176.5-yards per game, the Falcons managed just 46 yards rushing. Worse still, the Falcons threw the ball on nine of their 13 snaps on goal-to-go situations. (And it's tough to argue the play calls since Michael Turner ran four times for minus-2 yards in those situations.)

That said, this was still a game for the Falcons to win. Atlanta started quickly and had a 10-0 lead — and Ryan was 9-for-9 for more than 100 yards in the first 10 minutes before Julio Jones went down with an ankle injury — and had a chance to take the lead late but was stopped on three plays inside the Saints' 4.

As for our other NFL team, well, last week we ere over critical about the prospects of the Tennessee Titans. Welcome back Jake Locker, and the Titans put together one of their best and most complete performances in recent memory Sunday. Tennessee whipped Miami 37-3 and head to the bye week 4-6.

Is that where the Titans want to be? Surely not. But it's still not the dire, doomsday situation we purported last week. Alas, the 5-at-10 may be prone to hyperbole. So it goes.

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This and that

— Wow, how about that Jeff Gordon losing his cool and control Sunday. Gordon, a four-time NASCAR champion, retaliated on the track and wrecked Clint Bowyer. The benches cleared and the lug nuts came off in the aftermath and there was no shortage of drama. And yes, the 5-at-10 was as entertained by it as you were. But, here's a question: There's no doubt that drivers settle scores and go after one another, and it falls under that monster umbrella of "That's racin'" and we can accept that. But what would be the outcome if Bowyer was seriously injured, or worse killed? How liable would NASCAR and Gordon be, and could — since we all know it was intentional — Gordon or whichever driver was seeking revenge be on the hook for criminal charges?

— So the Lakers canned Mike Brown on Friday. Had all but agreed to bring Phil Jackson on board and reignite the Bryant-Jackson duo that won five titles in L.A. Then, BANG, they hire Mike D'Antonio, and reunite him with former Suns point guard Steve Nash. Something screams to us that the soap opera that is going to be the Lakers is going to be fun to watch. And what's the over/under on when the "Kobe's not happy with fewer shots" stories start to circulate? We'll take Dec. 19.

— Sweet buckets of upsets and emotion, congrats to Wes Moore and the Lady Mocs for a huge, Huge, HUGE win to open the season on Friday night. Wow. Beating UT is always a special thing for UTC fans, and beating the Lady Vols is something that can never be taken away from Moore, those players and the program. Kudos.

— From the files of "Social media is not for everyone" we bring you Charlie Beljan, the until-now-sledom-heard-from PGA golf who won the Children's Miracle Network event Sunday (first-place paid $846K). In one of his first Twitter attempts, Beljan called President Obama "the biggest D-Bag the country has ever seen. Holllllla." The account has since been deleted.

— College hoops started this weekend, and here are two quick thoughts: On a team filled with high school superstars, we loved that former walk-on Jarrod Polson bailed out Kentucky with 10 points off the bench in a 72-69 win over Maryland; the outdoor games on battleships has run its course. Big night Wednesday, with UK-Duke in the Georgia Dome.

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Today's question

So we know the current stink-i-tude of the UT football situation. Almost all of us concur on the outcome. But what do you believe is the Patient X moment of this tire fire? Is there one moment that if it had gone the other way, we would be looking at something completely different?

Which was the biggest global killer for the current UT football debacle:

— Da'Rick Rogers being dismissed. Could you imagine Tyler Bray throwing to Rogers, Cordarrelle Patterson and Justin Hunter? Wow, that could generate leads even the UT defense could protect. And to be fair, the Vols offense had probably been working all offseason looking for ways to maximize this potential Lethal Weapon 3. That said, offense hasn't really be the problem. (Side note: To the utter shock and awe shucks of everyone, Da'Rick has Da'Clared for the NFL draft.)

— Not being able to stop a UK wide receiver at QB. Think of it this way: If UT beats Kentucky last November, the Vols go to a bowl game. Plus, that would also change the second-worst stat hounding Dooley's resume right now: The Vols are Vandy-and-13 in SEC play since the end of the 2010 season. The worst stat? Well, it's 0-for-15 against ranked teams of course.

— Playing off the UK win, if they had gone to a bowl and maybe had won it, would seven UT assistants go scrambling for higher ground? Likely not. But the most important assistant — former defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox — might have stayed, which leads us to...

— Hiring Sal Sunseri — SAAALLLLL!!! — has been a complete disaster. That said, Sunseri and the Vols' DBs are sooooo cute when they try to cover people.

— Missed chances against Georgia and South Carolina. Yes, missed chances are exactly that — missed — but these Vols are starving for confidence, and just one victory in those type of environments would have been huge and a powerful force for the players, fans and coaches. Sadly, the lack of any meaningful victory — Dooley's biggest win is likely an OT win over Vandy at home, and that speaks volumns — is just as huge. And just as powerful.

Discuss.

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

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jomo11 said...

Jay- congrats to the Lady Mocs on their victory ! It is a good thing that after Summitt left, UTK DIDN'T hire the current winningest lady B-ball coach in the state, Wes Moore. With all due respect, to Coach Warlick, Coach Moore coached rings around her Friday night. She made some serious strategy errors that Wes jumped on that cost her that game. Wes Moore took a bunch of in-state girls and beat UTK's 5 and 4 star recruits. Imagine what Coach Moore could have done with the type of talent Lady Vols have. . . .

November 12, 2012 at 9:54 a.m.
TennFlyer said...

Your first pick in last Friday's mock draft looked really good Saturday. The great players play big in the biggest games. Johnny Football showed up big time. Next coach of the Vols - Gruden -- no, he'll coach in the NFL for more money and less headaches (no recruiting), Stoops -- why leave Oklahoma, more money? - no, coaching in the SEC? - top of the Big 12 or middle of the SEC where's the improvement, Strong -- Papa John's versus Pilot money. He'll stay put and come out the big winner. The next coach will have to come out of the "fast risers" or the pool of coordinators (other than Sal).

November 12, 2012 at 9:58 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Morning Jay,

Well, it appears the 5 at 10 is a little early out of the gate this morning. I'm use to seeing it right at 9 AM CST on the dot. Well, let's get to it (in JMC order).

Da Lady Mocs: Had a sliver of hope and shocked to hell at the performance of Wes Moore's ovarian elite at the Roundhouse via online streaming video. This was my third game that I watched between the two schools and was surprised at the level of hussle AND heart that was on the court. Especially number 44 (after the win, I took back all the things I said under my breath about her and the Golden Corral buffet).

That being said, mamma bear has already mailed me the front sports section from last Saturday's paper and it will be professionally framed.

This also is another milestone in the fact that for the first time in 3-4 years, I'm actually looking forward to Mocs Roundball.

Da Mocs: Obviously, who ever suggested Coach Huesman gets booted up to Knoxville has never been to a Mocs game in his/her life (more on that later). What can I say, other then I was in shock after the OT loss. For about four/five hours, I felt EXACTLY like CelticVol. I know a win at Elon all but gives us a winning season but I am sick of just settling for that.

Also, I've never been critical of Coach Huesman ever but I really hope he doesn't go into the whole "Next year's schedule is going to be really, really, tough etc. etc." WE KNOW ALIGHT!!! Next year there should be just one loss and that's against a certain school in the SEC. I want a win at Boone! I want a win at Statesboro! Period! This is NOT open for discussion.

On a side note, I knew A&M would be the one school that would have a shot at knocking down the Tide. Unfortunately, my friend Tim (an Alabama alumni) was going ape over it with shouts of "FIRE SHULA!" on his Facebook wall (I kid you not!)

Da Vols: Don't care much about who gets in because there are people within the UT System with more experience than me in these sort of affairs. I do call into play the decision of this very paper going with sources such as "vol24/7.com"? Didn't anyone hear SportTalk when Quake went off about this sort of thing? Long story short, unless ESPN or SI or someone "legit" comes forward, nothing should be reported no matter how much JVF is bitt'n for info.

Also, as predicted on Friday, I knew the Vols would find a way to lose by 3. I don't know whether to be happy or sad.

Da'Boys: Didn't watch. Went to see "Man with the Iron Fists" and price checking bed sofas at Ikea (It's a big city thing, kinda hard to explain).

November 12, 2012 at 10:08 a.m.
chas9 said...

Johnny or Cam? Who do you take?

Tough week for undefeated teams in the South beginning with the letter A. I love Matty Ice, and The Falcs woudn't have been in a position to win at the end without him, but he usually throws a better ball than he did at the end. By not leading the receivers more, the defenders could get their hands on the ball, and wasn't Gonzalez open on the last one?

The Cats cagers squeaked out a win, but will lose at Duke, even though they'll learn a lot from their first tussle. They didn't play hard the whole game, but Cal will change that. He'll also get them rebounding better.

Duke will outbound UK and they'll hit more three pointers than The Terps did.

It's too early to know about how good Big Blue will be at point guard, but it'll have to be better than in the opener to make the Final Four. (Polson played well for a former walk-on, but not five-star good.)

Nobody should expect Noel to be the reincarnation of The Uniblocker, but in his coming out party Nerlens didn't look awesome the way AD did from the get-go. With all the diaper dandies in their first game, The Cats weren't as ragged as you might expect, but until they get into their flow, they are vulnerable to Duke and Notre Dame. Last year the rough first of the season was covered by Davis' unmatched quickness, agility, size, timing, smarts and instincts. Didn't see that package in Mr. NN.

Still, Kentucky has a premier slasher/penetrator in Goodwin and probably has the best four big men in the country. Willie Cauley-Stein looks good enough that I expect Wiltjer to again be a sub most of the year.

The Vols, on the other hand, aren't very good without Maymon. In the opener, their lineup was guard dominated.

Along with no more aircraft carrier games, lets have no more cami-unis.

Lady Mocs RULE!

November 12, 2012 at 10:22 a.m.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show StuckinKent —

Ton of stuff to hit on there. First off, Duke-UK in the Georgia Dome is Tuesday night following Kansas-Michigan State. Second, if UK relies on Polson this year instead of Harrow at PG (and Harrow had the flu so who knows), then the Cats are not a national title contender. There were long stretches of that game where the offense did not have a clue what to do, and they were battered on the boards as well.

Thirdly, hard to blame JUST preseason polls on Notre Dame being number three- Oregon was preseason number 5 in both the AP and the Coaches. Kansas State was 22 in the AP and 21 in the coaches. Notre Dame was 26 in the AP and 24 in the coaches. Yes, they were behind Kansas State- but the fact is that the Wildcats and the Ducks have been better than the Irish to this point. There hasn't been a game where Kansas State almost lost in triple OT at home to a team that lost to an FCS school. In 2004, I thought Auburn was the best team in the country and got jacked. This year, the team I'm probably rooting for the most is the Irish, but I don't think they belong in the top two.

Fourthly, I tried to warn you about crowning the Tide the best team ever before the season was over. Happens every time. Also...ummm...West Virginia???? I thought they'd lose twice, but they've now lost four straight and have Oklahoma coming to Morgantown this weekend. Yikes.

Also, if Gruden or Stoops are available, get them. Beyond that, said preseason if the Vols needed a new coach that it would be one of Strong and Smart. Both are excellent candidates. As for Huesman- yes, he's done a fine job with the Mocs, but they still have never made the playoffs, and haven't done better than 6-5 any year he's been there. Yes, he's great. But you need to win much bigger at the FCS level to get considered for a BCS job opening. I would think.

Take it for what it's worth, but here are my computer rankings Top Ten:

1) Oregon 2) Kansas State 3) Alabama 4) Florida 5) Notre Dame 6) Georgia 7) Texas A&M 8) Florida State 9) South Carolina 10) Clemson

November 12, 2012 at 10:23 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

What? A pro golfer with anti-liberal tendencies? Surely, you jest. And I won't call you Surely anymore.

Looks Dooley and Co. got taken for a little Missourah boat ride Saturday (that one was just for you, 5, just for you. Wonder it how works on stains - like those orange pants).

The Fighting Johnsons of the North Avenue Trade School put up 68 points on the Heels. I think Doughboy Scott had like six 3s or something and Tom Hammonds had 12 rebounds. Oh, wait ... that was football? Do whut?

November 12, 2012 at 10:28 a.m.
fechancellor said...

Ten Ring, although it takes 5 coaches to get 5 recruits, we might as well snuff the Gruden talk right here, right now.

Bob Stoops would be a great get, repeat a great get. However, the Haslems merely sell petroleum products--Oklahoma's boosters pump the oil and refine it too. These boosters can be both "White Knight" and a "Poison Pill" to all comers.

Result: a bidding war where Stoops is the only clear winner.

Besides, which is the more storied match-up, "The Third Saturday in October" or "The Red River Rivalry?"

Like the UT Athletic Department, I can't name the next coach today, but I can name Tennessee's worst moment in the Dooley era--surrendering the first half lead, and the ensuing second half debacle against Florida.

November 12, 2012 at 12:01 p.m.
chas9 said...

Worse than losing to KY with a wide receiver at QB?

Jerry Palm no longer projects The Vols going to the Liberty Bowl. BIG MO has taken their place.

November 12, 2012 at 12:13 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Sorry about the delay. Been a CUH-razy morning.

And kudos to the group for a solid Friday last week despite the 5-at-10 being on the road most of the day.

Jomo —

Kudo to Coach Moore indeed. Holly will be fine.

TennFlyer —

Thanks for the BOSS question last week in the mailbag. Spent entirely too much time on it, and yes, Johnny Football showed out . (And considering he did it against Alabama, here's saying a smart jersey dealer would have those Maroon No. 2s in stores in Auburn and Knoxville this morning.)

We believe if Strong is approached, he comes. All the pepperonis and garlic butter dipping sauces in the world can't be worth more than proving to the schools that skipped you that you can do it in the SEC.

Run JMC —

We can assure we were not counting on Vols 247 or rivals.com among our sources. We simply noted that they also reported it. That's how it's done, and we feel very strongly about what Downtown Patrick Brown and our staff got last night.

9er —

Cam. Did more with less. As great as Johnny Football has been, he's got two high NFL first-rounders in OT Luke Joeckel and DE Damontre Moore, and two second-rounders in WR Ryan Swope and OT Jake Matthews. The Aggies have some skills.

Too early for too much to be accurately gleaned from the hardwood.

Although your post last week that Ashley Judd may run for Senate; that's an eye-opening development.

And nothing is worse than the UK loss last year.

Stuck —

Fair point about Notre Dame, although the uproar will be through the Golden Dome. And holier than thou.

Tide got beat it happens, but we still rank them among the best dynasties of the BCS era. And West Virginia... You had to go there, didn't you? The shine is off Dana Holgorsen's bloom, huh?

Spy —

Dying ain't much of a living. Ask Al Groh.

Tom Hammonds, the cotton-candy-haired NBC gmynastics announcer? He had 12 boards? In an Upward League game maybe.

Talking to a GT friend yesterday and asked him if they could do a better job of spreading some of those points out. An extra TD here or there against VaTech or Miami would make the Jackets' season look a WHOLE lot better.

FE to the C —

With openings likely at UT and Auburn and already at UK and Arkansas, there are going to be a slew of coaches that earn pay raises for simply answering the phone. Heck, coach super agent Jimmy Sexton will add an extra $1 million by pitting his current clients in a bidding war.

— 5-at-10

November 12, 2012 at 12:36 p.m.
GBO77 said...

Someone gave me KY vs UT tickets (I know, hard to believe!). When will kickoff time be announced? CBS isn't pulling that stupid 6 day rule again, are they?! Anyone?

November 12, 2012 at 12:54 p.m.
jgreeson said...

GBO77 —

When can you get there? (Kidding, that's from an old Lewis Grizzard joke.)

UK-UT will be a 12:21 kickoff on the game that will forever be known as the JP game for most of us a certain age.

— 5-at-10

November 12, 2012 at 12:57 p.m.
chas9 said...

Now that Texas A&M is getting more attention, their assistants will be mentioned for vacancies. Maybe not for Tennessee, but I'll repeat my mention from last week that their assistant Kliff Kingsbury could fit at UK.

Demarcus Cousins has been suspended for two games. As a high school talent he had a rep for being hotheaded and as a pro he's had some scrapes. Keeping him cool at KY is another proof of Coach Cal's skill.

Went to a NASCAR race and a hockey game broke out.

November 12, 2012 at 12:59 p.m.
JonathanMCook said...

fechancellor wrote-

"Besides, which is the more storied match-up, 'The Third Saturday in October' or 'The Red River Rivalry?'"

As a ditizen for two worlds, I can speak from experience that it all boils down to where you're standing.

One is not as big as the other regarding the national scene. Back home in Tennessee and in the Tri-State area in general, nothing compares to Tennessee-Alabama. Here in Texas, that game is not even REMOTELY on the blip of anyone's radar screen unless they are from the previous area living here. In reality, it's ALL about the Cowboys from September to January with the exception if the Rangers make the post-season (editorial withheld T_T).

Both games have deep storied histories but the inner passion is truly based within the regions these games are held in. The rest of the country simply yawns.

November 12, 2012 at 1:05 p.m.
GBO77 said...

J, Thanks for the help! Taking my dad to his first game in 30 years-his bed time is 7pm, so the kickoff time works! Aw yes, the Jefferson Pilot game-poor tv reception before we had ever heard of HD. Didnt The play by play, color commentator, and sideline reporter all had the same 1st name? John?

November 12, 2012 at 1:12 p.m.
jgreeson said...

GBO77 —

They were all Daves.

Dave Neal, Dave Baker and another Dave...

Hope you and your dad have a big time.

9er —

Almost wrote about Demarcus this morning, but we're kind of on his side about this. Dude has always been a fiery competitor — which we admire — and Sean Elliott has kind of big yapper.

JMC —

Concur that the Red River may have the bigger national panache. So it goes.

— 5-at-10

November 12, 2012 at 1:21 p.m.
Livn4life said...

"Hang down yore head, Derek Dooley, hang down your head and cry..." Or could it be the Spearsian "Oops, I did it again...." No 5ur, it is not the UK debacle. That was last year. GA and SC are clearly better than the Volunteers. The only ones wanting to keep the UK thing alive are a bunch of negative wave types.(Oddball in Kelly's Heroes,"Moriarty, there you go with them negative waves again")No I honestly believe it was settled when a)the offense Sat. tried to eat up time instead of scoring in the second half and b)having over 40 seconds and times out on the 40 yard line and playing for OT. That is unconscionable. I do not buy the we didn't want to have to punt and give them the ball back. Great buckets of choked spittle. If they could do that with so little time left, the Vols deserved to lose...Oops THEY did do it again! So what now? I can only hope that Hart has the Hart to make sure he has a sure thing on some level before he UnDooleys the program. If not, it could be their UnDoing and we JVFans do not need that right now, nor ever.

Kudos to Johnny Football. I never thought they could or would do what they had to do, strike early and stay hot. They did and it's a big A&M win. They have always been one of my "out there" teams I liked. I even visited the campus in 1977(day Elvis died)with the Future Farmers of America. But the turmoil now present in the NC Game hunt should be very interesting. Peace to all and since there is no mail today let me say a late THANKS TO ALL VETERANS, you are truly appreciated for your service.

November 12, 2012 at 1:44 p.m.
Stewwie said...

Too bad to see another close Mocs loss. Hate to keep saying "maybe next year", but I think next year is really going to be THE YEAR. An extra game is on the slate next year, and the non-conference games are all winnable (except Bama of course). All the playmakers are coming back with good experience from this year. This team should be playoff-bound for sure in '13.

T-Rob looks like he has embraced his new role this year as his time at QB has all but diminished entirely. However, I'm not entirely convinced that he will stay at UTC especially if someone else offers him the chance to be the man at QB elsewhere (including a team at a lower level). Hopefully he stays though, and all of the coaches stick around as well.

The b-ball Mocs tip off tonight and it will be good to see this new team in action. Jay, you were spot-on with your "grades" of last year's team...A in math, but an F in chemistry. The chemistry should be at least a B this year (hopefully those upperclassmen will keep those young bucks in check when the going gets tough).

For conference play, what is a reasonable expectation for this year's team? I'm thinking win 5/9 at home and 2/9 on the road for a 7-11 conference record. I'm still befuddled as to how the Mocs lost every single conference road game last year. A senior-laden team did that.

I chuckled when seeing in Sunday's paper that Shulman gave a good word for Wattad to play in Israel. What good word was that? Other than maybe Chris Early, Wattad spent more time in the Shulman doghouse than anybody else.

November 12, 2012 at 1:49 p.m.
jomo11 said...

Jay- "Holly will be fine" . . ?? exactly what you told me about Dooley in September . .She is not a very good floor coach

November 12, 2012 at 2:02 p.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Nice to see Stewwie get in some early afternoon Moc talk.

I had to pull-up some files but did see where next year we're going up against our twin school, the fight'n SkyHawks along with Dirty Governors (not to be confused with the band) and the UGA wannabes next to big sister Tech (no seriously, drive down North Street in Atlanta. They are across the street from one another).

My hopes are no-cancellations as these are all FCS schools.

I also hope we play Bama early so we don't become too injury prone. Be cool if we could pull a Ragin Cajun upset (or "near" upset) but I'm not seeing it happening.

Unfortunately Stewwie, I have LITERALLY not followed Mocs B-ball in both genders in over five years.

For obvious reasons.

However, since it appears both teams have an "appealing" schedule (no more Hawassee Colleges or Lollipop U. bull%$#@! but REAL schools), I'm more than looking forward to this year even though I have to learn who everyone is.

November 12, 2012 at 3:08 p.m.
Stewwie said...

JMC,

I believe the game with Bama is in November next year. I am with you in that I wish the money games were always at the beginning of the season, but I guess this one didn't work out that way. The game at Knox-Vegas in 2014 is the season-opener though. I wish Dooley would get to stay for the duration of his contract so that we could have the best chance possible at pulling off the upset. Haha.

And yes, the b-ball schedule is indeed better this year. It is getting tougher to beef up the home schedule simply because the big boys are more resistant than ever to go play at the little guy's house. I think the minimum demand now is one game at our place for two at theirs (any big school). However, given how close the Vols are to us, for example, there's no good reason why they can't agree to play us once each year with the game alternating sites each year.

November 12, 2012 at 4:21 p.m.
JonathanMCook said...

I actually had this same "escalated" discussion with Quake many, many moons ago on a trip home prior to my recent one where I called in. This is unfortunately understandable on the account there is more to occupy people's time than go to a mid-level B-Ball game. Also, one thing that may have just now dawned on me is just because you are "University of so-n-so" doesn't guarantee you a win against UGA-Hazzard or some other mid-level program. So they are cautious to play in a mid-level court. I believe this is simply because the bohemeth talent that use to be the stuff of Duke, North Carolina, Xavier, etc. are going straight into the NBA right out of high school. Hince why the normal "dynasties" I vividly remember are being replaced by schools not normally associated with basketball. Schools UTC probably faced in the past as a "pier" school if that makes any sense.

Women's B-Ball doesn't have that issue since the WNBA is still considered more a novelity act than a legit league in equal to their male counterparts. Hince why you still see the kind of talent in the Tennessees, and the UTCs and Connecticuts, etc.

Regardless, it's nice that after 5-6 years, it looks like the fans have spoken and both teams are getting the healthy schedule the rightfully deserve.

Though it would be cool to turn the Dr. Pepper Classic into SoCon vs. SEC tournament but that definitely is not gonna happen.

November 12, 2012 at 4:51 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Hey, Weeds made the online version of the Wall Street Journal. And I quote:

Hey, Kids! What Time Is It? "Mark Wiedmer: It's Time for Hart to Talk About Plan for UT Football"--headline, Chattanooga (Tenn.) Times Free Press, Nov. 12

November 13, 2012 at 12:12 a.m.
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