Grudenmania crashed and burned on Friday. The only thing that remains are ashes that still smolder.
Thought I was lost or dead?
Well, perhaps unfortunately for some, no. Instead, the 2012 season beckons, and I can’t resist the siren song of Tennessee Vols football. Never have, and possibly never will.
Opening posts will look at the defense, in general and position-specifics, to be followed by similar looks at the offense and special teams. There will also be a season outlook, a W/L prediction for the 12 scheduled games, and a preview of the opener against the NC State Wolfpack in the Georgia Dome.
So, I’m back. I hope you will be, too!
Reminiscent of the fears over schedule changes as a result of SEC conference expansion and partial divisional realignment, the Pac-12 Conference left a lot to be desired when it released its schedule for 2012 on Wednesday. Next season, Stanford and Cal will play on October 20. Yes, the 2012 Cal-Stanford game will be played on the third saturday in October.
Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley hosted a session for the media on Tuesday morning in Knoxville. It was quite the feel-good festival on nearly the 40th day since his last public commentary following the disaster in Lexington. He obviously had a lot of ground to cover, and not just because of the amount of time that has elapsed since his last appearance. A lot has happened since he walked out of Commonwealth Stadium.
A VIEW FROM THE TOP: ATHLETIC DIRECTOR DAVE HART SPEAKS ON THE NEED FOR LEADERSHIP (AND ANSWERS A FEW “BURNING QUESTIONS” FROM TENNESSEE FOOTBALL FANS)
At the Knoxville Quarterback Club this past Monday, University of Tennessee Athletic Director Dave Hart came “to talk about leadership” with the UT football faithful. I was in attendance for his presentation.
In reflecting on the talk, it seems to me that Dave Hart was consciously trying to distance himself from his predecessor, Mike Hamilton, with not only the emphasis on “leadership” but also the concept of “putting the student-athlete first.” Of course, it remains to be seen whether this will actually take place, or is simply a matter of public relations. If true, it could be a welcome change from the previous athletic director, who seemed to be interested first and foremost with wringing every last penny from fans, contributors to the athletic department, and service providers; with his main focii being the bottom line and then the happiness of the wealthiest contributors.
It also struck me that Hart genuinely enjoyed being among the Tennessee fans; and while coming to the Quarterback Club – and speaking and interacting with this segment of the fanbase – might have been an inconvenience, he never let on that it was anything but a pleasure.
This weekend the Tennessee Vols travel to Columbia, South Carolina for a meeting with the Gamecocks of the University of South Carolina. The current head coach of USC has many nicknames — the Ol’ Ball Coach, Steve Superior, Coach Visor — but one that might appropriately describe Tennessee’s relationship with him is, “Prince of Darkness.” So, with the upcoming game, a few comments and reflections about the POD.
Or maybe that’s really why Elvis shot his TV.
But there was some news this week that has caught my eye. For starters, Derrick Dooley’s staff now have their actual assignments of responsibility: Read More…
During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. – George Orwell
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. – Aldous Huxley
I don’t know all the Tennessee history and tradition with all the matchups, nor do I ever intend to… There’s a lot of great teams in this conference, but I told (players) that, to me, this is the biggest matchup. To me, because of what we need to do in recruiting, this (the Georgia game) will be the biggest matchup for this staff and for our team. – Lane Kiffin
Coach Lane Kiffin made that statement in a post-game press conference, chronicled by Wes Rucker of the Chattanooga Times Free Press where he explores Coach Kiffin’s post-game comments regarding Georgia being Tennessee’s biggest rival. Chip Towers of the Atlanta Journal Constitution did the same.
What is noteworthy is a comment posted to Mr. Rucker’s article: “Wow. This just shows what Kiffin cares about. Not the University, not the players, but how he looks in recruiting.”
How he looks in recruiting. Hmmm. Now why would that be a bad thing?
Senator Blutarsky over at Get the Picture has a beef with this post-game comment – it would have been more impressive as a pre-game comment he argues. The Senator then has a go at what the comment actually means, writing: “How weird is that rationale, anyway? I thought a program recruited to win games. The Laner wins games to recruit. Maybe he’ll give his program a trophy the year Rivals ranks his recruiting class #1.”
Ahhhh, I see. People think all of this is some kind of narcissism, not about wins and losses. Read More…