Archive for the 'Pac Ten' Category

CFR’s preview of the Tennessee-Cal game

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006

College Football Resource has posted a preview of the Tennessee-Cal game that has some Vol fans up in arms. CFR touches a nerve by describing UT’s 1998 national championship as “ill-gotten” and directly attributable to Clint Stoerner and Marcus Outzen. As I reminded everyone again a couple of days ago, Billy Ratliff actually forced Stoerner’s fumble — it was not an accident. As for Marcus Outzen, well it certainly helped that the Seminoles were starting a third string quarterback, but remember that before the game, everyone was still picking FSU.

CFR points out that Arian Foster’s five 100-yard games came against South Carolina, Notre Dame, Memphis, Vanderbilt, and Kentucky. True, but take a look at the Alabama tape and get back to me.

All in all, CFR appears to simply know more about Cal than he does about Tennessee, and for that we can give him a break. But we shouldn’t give him a pass.

1998 Tennessee Volunteers the 2nd best team of all time?

Thursday, July 27th, 2006

Just one click link this morning. Billingsley has crunched some serious numbers — stats from all 10,638 college football teams who have taken the field since 1869 — and found the Top 200 Teams of All Time. The best team ever, according to this computer formula, was the 1971 Nebraska team.

Second? The 1998 Tennessee Volunteers. Texas in 2005 was third and The Greatest Team of All Time (2005 USC) was 66, just to put things into perspective a bit. That’s pretty cool, but I’d wager the computer doesn’t know about Clint Stoerner.

Hat tip to John Pennington.

BON readers picking Cal-Tennessee as the biggest game of the opening weekend

Wednesday, July 26th, 2006

It’s looking like California at Tennessee is The Game to Watch the weekend of September 2, at least according to Burnt Orange Nation readers. No argument here, of course.

It looks like they’re even giving us a shot to beat the Bears. I’m not sure that the season is over for the loser, like one commenter suggested, but it certainly would lead to rumbles on Rocky Top if we pick up this year where we left off last year.

I’m thinking the Vols are going to squeak by on this one. Official prognostication later. Perhaps after the game.

You do know we can pre-date posts with WordPress, don’t you?

Two-minute drill: Eligibility update, punt coverage, California’s take on Tennessee

Tuesday, July 18th, 2006

Eligibility update: Ramone Johnson is in, and receiver Brent Vinson and running back Dustin Lindsey are out. Vinson’s headed to Hargrave Military Academy, and Lindsey’s headed to Coffeyville Community College in Kansas.

Inside Tennessee has a couple of good articles on UT’s punt coverage concerns and on whether coach Cutcliffe can fix Ainge. UT’s punt coverage has stunk for several years, and this year, we’ll be facing a couple of really good returners in Kentucky’s Rafael Little and Arkansas’ Felix Jones.

And there’s been a lot of talk on Rocky Top about Tennessee’s concerns over its first game against California, but California’s pretty concerned about Tennessee, too.

On the basketball front, Major Wingate remains suspended, and coach Bruce Pearl hopes to make a final decision on the status of Tony Passley by the end of this week. Passley was arrested earlier this year for possession of marijuana.

Two-minute drill: VQ’s Gator preview, opponent QBs and RBs, freshmen on campus, and . . . not

Wednesday, July 12th, 2006 previews the Florida Gators and says that offensive linemen Jacques McClendon, Darius Myers, and Ramone Johnson are the freshmen with the best chance of making an impact this year. Johnson, by the way, has been cleared to attend the second summer session of class. Brent Vinson, on the other hand, is headed toward Hargrave Military Academy, having not made the grade on his standardized test.

Looking toward the season, UT faced some marquee quarterbacks last year, , but QB stability is, let’s say, questionable throughout the SEC this year. (HT: Georgia Sports Blog.) No, this year, says Inside Tennessee, UT’s challenge is facing stellar running backs: California’s Marshawn Lynch, Alabama’s Kenneth Darby, Arkansas’ Darren McFadden, Kentucky’s Rafael Little, and Georgia’s Thomas Brown, all of which College Football News has ranked in their national top 20. Not especially good news if your strength is the secondary and there are question marks with the front seven.

Two-minute drill: Offensive line, Bears, 2QB Systems, and . . . pants

Wednesday, July 5th, 2006

I trust everyone had a nice Independence Day. Most of my time was spent trying to get the Animated Drive Chart working simply from ActionScript code. I’m this close.

While I was slaving away, John Pennington propounded Tennessee’s 5 Big Questions going into the 2006 season. No huge surprises here — Ainge, Cutcliffe, what happens if we lose the first game to California, how will fans react if we lose more than three games this year — but Pennington thinks the biggest question is how the offensive line will do. He’s right. Cutcliffe can’t work his magic on Ainge if the o-line doesn’t get it done. I happened across a replay of the 1996 game against Florida, where the Gators shut us out something like 31-0. The line was terrible, and even Peyton Manning couldn’t get anything done as he was running for his life most of the time. If I remember one series correctly, we had something like 1st and one on the goal line, and the drive ended with a missed field goal attempt from something like the 20- or 30-yard line. Must . . . block . . . rushers.

Also, has begun its opponent previews, starting with the California Golden Bears.

I hope to take a look at DawgSports’ take on 2QB systems. If you recall, Burnt Orange Nation allowed Kyle and myself some time at the BON site to give our thoughts on the matter. A condensed version of mine is over at BON, while the whole sordid story is here, and Kyle’s can be found either at DawgSports or at BON.

Finally, a couple of readers emailed with comments and questions. C wants to see two thin orange stripes on the players’ pants and orange bands on the sleeves and collars, and Adam is trying to locate a country-sounding song recapping the 1998 national championship season. It wasn’t Touchdown Tennessee, he says, and it might or might not have been Kenny Chesney. Any ideas, anybody?

Two Minute Drill: Mini-previews, fantasy match-ups, and Hooker’s multiple personality disorder

Monday, June 12th, 2006

GoVolsXtra’s Dave Hooker displays his split personality and tells us both why the Tennessee Volunteer football team will right the ship in 2006 and why they won’t. And speaking of Dave, he returns to radio, filling the 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon slot on The Sports Animal. Good news, as he brings a bit more fun to the Knoxville airwaves.

John Pennington has some fun of his own and picks the out of conference match-ups he’d most like to see. I’m with John on the Ohio State home-and-home to share our “running through the T” one season and witness their “dotting of the i” the next. UT’s don’t-shoot-me-I’m-not-a-deer orange versus the other UT’s burnt orange would also be . . . orangey.

The season previews are coming in multiples now. College Football News publishes its preview of the Florida Gators, and Inside Tennessee’s Randy Moore draws on the past to predict the future, writing that Spurrier’s Gamecocks could very well hit the hat trick it barely missed last year and beat Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee. Moore also points out that when UT and California meet on September 2, UT will run basically the same offense it failed with last year, while California will run a different offense it won with last year. One of us is making a mistake. Maybe both.

Two Minute Drill: Fulmer acknowledging mistakes, punditry predicting humiliation, Fanblogs goes big time

Friday, June 2nd, 2006

Coach Phillip Fulmer, hoping to avoid any repeat of last year’s humiliating season, is saying for the first time that he should have made some offensive coaching staff changes “a couple of years” earlier.  He didn’t say which ones.  According to Inside Tennessee’s Randy Moore, though, Greg Amsinger of College Sports TV is predicting more humiliation for the Vols this year starting with its first game against California on September 2, 2006.  More could be on the horizon just two games later if, as It’s a Definite Maybe is satiracally reporting, the Florida Gators’ unveil their new “leave before Chris Leak gets on the bus” wrinkle to the spread offense.  (Hat tip to EDSBS.)

And hearty congratulations to Fanblogs, the Adam of the college football blogosphere, which is joining the network.  Friends forever.  Don’t ever change.  I’ll write every day, etc., etc., etc.

Troglodytes on the defining of Fulmer

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006

Eight straight days without internet access was trying. Re-entry was a lot like trying to merge back onto a six-lane interstate packed with bumper-to-bumper traffic traveling at the speed of light. Getting up to speed did, however, bring a few things into focus:

GoVolsXtra’s John Pennington pointed out that the Vols’ game against California on September 2, 2006 will be the most important season-opener in coach Fulmer’s career, and Inside Tennessee’s Jimmy Hyams concurred, saying the Cal game will define the 2006 season and Fulmer’s future.  No question, Cal is going to be tough, as they are the second-best team in the PAC-10, just behind Southern Cal.  Not your typical cupcake opener, and UT will have re-entry issues of its own.  The schedule is tough and front-loaded, and if the team gets off to a good start, all may be well.  If not, well, things could get ugly in a hurry, and the team’s new emphasis on discipline may indeed lead to a rift between the offense and defense.

UT fans, while not necessarily “troglodytes living off deviled ham in plush but chilly underground lairs”, are still divided on the Fulmer question.  Many are behind him, but it seems that just as many are already erecting the gallows and knotting the noose.  On this theme,’s Brent Hubbs had an excellent article last week that compiled the five moments that define Fulmer to those that support him and the five that define him to those in the pointy black hoods.

In which camp are you, and why?  When you think of Fulmer do you tend to remember the 1995 win over the Tide, Travis Stephens running over, around, and through the Gators in the Swamp in 2001, Derrick Tinsley’s end-around at Miami in 2003, and the 1998 National Championship in Tempe?  Or does the mere mention of Fulmer’s name conjure up uneasy memories of getting behind the Gators 35-0 in the blink of an eye in 1996, death by the hobnail boot, blowing a shot at the Rose Bowl and the National Championship in 2001, and a loss to Vanderbilt?

Houston Texans inexplicably pass on Reggie Bush

Saturday, April 29th, 2006

How to squander a first-overall pick:

Step 1: Pass on freaky-good Reggie Bush.

Step 2: Pass on local hero Vince Young.

Step 3: Select a defensive end . . . because linemen last longer.

Absolutely nothing against . . . wait, need to go find his name . . . Mario Williams, but come on.