Are you down with the piped in music?

Playing every time the Vols defense forces the opponent into a third down is the popular DJ Snake & Lil’ John song “Turn Down For What” changed slightly to “Third Down for What.”


It is a note for the Big Orange fans in attendance to make havoc and a reminder to the Vols defense to bring everything to the next play. And it’s allowed by a new NCAA rule allowing music to be piped into college football stadiums while the ball isn’t in play. 

After Sunday’s win, Curt Maggitt said, “That’s why you play defense. Third down is the money-maker. That’s the play, you’re making it or you ain’t. Third down for what, we’re just getting hyped. That’s the opportunity to get off the field.”

Utah State converted on just three of 14 third-down opportunities, with the last coming on a 3rd-and-3 in the final minute.

Do that against Florida (October 4) or Bama (October 25) and I’m buying DJ Snake & Lil’ John’s next CD.

What say you?

Are you more optimistic for this season now because of the opening win?

Tennessee 38  Utah State 7

This solid win was on the back of experience: on defense it was linebacker A.J. Johnson; and on the offense it was quarterback Justin Worley. For me, this performance sets the tone for 2014 in that this team will have strong leadership for all the heralded underclassmen that have come to Knoxville. We’ve been looking for this kind of mentorship for years. Tyler Bray? Great arm, but as any kind of leader, you’ve got to be kidding me.

So the answer for me to this post’s question is a resounding yes.

What say you?

If Tennessee loses to Utah State, will Butch Jones be on the coaching hot seat?

Patience ran thin on Derek Dooley beginning near the end of his second season and was fired at the end of the following season. Even Johnny Majors faced the wolves as early as his second season.

Do you know how ridiculous the proverbial hot seat can get? Go to the website and see who’s hot seat is ranked as the 14th hottest. That’s right, it’s one of the most successful college football coaches in the last 50 years: Nick Saban.

So all of this raises today’s question… would Butch Jones begin his hot seat tenure if the Vols were to lose on Sunday evening? Would there be a contingent of the Vol Nation that would want him fired?

Probably, but they would be of very small numbers. What Butch has done via his wildly successful recruiting rankings is to give him some pretty thick insulation to protect him from the crazies. At least for a while.

So my answer to this post’s question is ‘no’, and it would remain ‘no’ throughout this season unless the Vols do what they have never done — lose 8 games.

4-and-8 would raise the temperature to ‘hot’.

What say you?

What will the margin of victory be for Tennessee’s win against Utah State on Sunday evening?

Quite the presumptuous question, don’t you think?

Tennessee vs Utah State

You don’t think Utah State could really defeat the Vols at Neyland do you?

I indeed do think that they could. But I don’t think they will. Even with the unknowns regarding our linemen on both sides of the ball, and our kicking game, our skilled guys will trump their skilled guys.

But by only 11 points.

Tennessee 31 Utah State 20

What say you?

Are you as excited about the Vols in 2014 as you were for any of the previous five seasons?

At the urging of my old friend TK, Vols in the Fall is back up and running for the 2014 season. But it will be different than the previous version, which was a detailed chronicle and commentary of Tennessee Vols football during the single-season experiment of Lane Kiffin, and the failed three-year reign of Derek Dooley.

How different?

Each post will prompt a discussion, not present an expose of a game or a player or a coach. It will ask a question.

So this first post for the new season, as will be all future posts, is titled by a question.

The present question comes from my own ambivilance regarding the coming season (and a growing indifference for the game of football in general). This ambivalence is born from simply being burned out from writing nearly every day on the Vols for four years — four years that brought over-hyped expectation and gross underachievement: basically a slow destruction of a once-relevant program. Butch Jones was brought in to right a sinking ship (or exume an already sunken ship depending on your personal view). Although I believe Mr. Jones has begun to turn the direction toward redemption and W/L success, I believe that, great recruiting classes notwithstanding, it will take several seasons before Tennessee wins the SEC once again. The sustained strength of our conference over many years, a trend that is not going to change in the foreseeable future, has a lot to do with this protracted projection.

So back to the question…

My answer is an uneqivocal NO. But that could change at the drop of a hat (or a couple of big wins). And, my view shouldn’t change or influence your view. We all move from one phase of our life to the next, and do so sometimes out of sync with others. So, what do you have to say? Are you as excited about the Vols in 2014 as you were for any of the previous five seasons?

What say YOU?

Fear and Loathing of NSD

Today was National Signing Day.

In the South, NSD is the equivalent of a holiday such as Labor Day. In fact, some football fans think that Super Bowl Sunday should be followed by three consecutive days off, exceeding my favorite holiday season of Thanksgiving: Monday as a recovery day from the hype and glitter of the game/halftime/commercials, Tuesday as a catch-up day on what college football has been up to since the National Championship game, and Wednesday for more hype and glitter of a much different kind.

I’m not one of those football fans.

Tommy Tomlinson at Sports on Earth and John Brandon at Grantland give me permission to remain detached.

Read More…

Butch Jones: The Choice to Conduct Yet Another Rebuild at Tennessee

This morning, the University of Tennessee announced that Butch Jones, the University of Cincinnati’s head man for the past three seasons, is the choice of Dave Hart.

As of the time of the announcement, Jones was not the choice of the majority of the Vol Nation.

Even with the lucrative price tag of $18 million over six years, he likely wasn’t Tennessee’s first choice, or second choice, or third choice. He likely wasn’t in the top twenty of desired candidates for the vast majority of fans.

But, regardless of the secrecy of the actual process, executed priorities, and actual timeline of the search, Butch Jones is now the head coach of the Vols.

Read More…

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