Monday, October 29, 2007

3rd Time's a Charm

If you told me on September 16th that Tennessee would be 5-3 and 1st place in the SEC East, I would have laughed you back to the Tri-Cities, optimistic Vol fans. It's been a Johnny Carson style season (weird, wild stuff), but I'm happy to be where we're at. We are in the driver's seat, which, in the college football world (and ONLY in the college football world), it's the best seat to be in, even if you end up being there drunk. Which is what we've done at Tennessee. We've stumbled, crawled, and cried our way to controlling our own destiny in the toughest division in football.

But, when looking at this season's performance, can we expect to not drop the ball again? This is Tennessee's third time to control their own destiny in the SEC East. First, when sitting at 0-0 in conference play, and traveling to Florida. We saw how that turned out. Then, on September 29th, Auburn upset Florida, bring the Gators down a rung on the ladder, with LSU looming on showdown Saturday. That same Saturday, Tennessee had a game against rival Georgia, in formerly Richt-Neyland Stadium. The Vols blew the Dawgs out, and LSU beat Florida to give Tennessee it's 2nd chance to control their own destiny. A week later, we went on the road and beat a good Mississippi State team (good for them, not good like Top 25 ... yet). The 3rd Saturday in October was an embarrassment, and were once again dead men walking.

Until ... Georgia managed to upset Florida in convincing fashion. Their game ended about an hour before our game against Steve Spurrier. We came out and acted like we were taking the East right then and there. Boom! 21-0 at half, showing moxie on both sides of the ball, looking like a real Tennessee Volunteers team. But someone slipped some GHB in our locker room gatorade, and we came out playing like drunk sorority girls on casino night. The Ghost of 2nd Half Collapses once again made an appearance on our roster, much like it did in Berkeley, Gainesville, and Tuscaloosa. Luckily, Daniel Lincoln doesn't believe in ghosts.

Anyway, the point is forthcoming.

What makes any of us so confident that our guys will take charge this third time, and win the East? Is it the mere fact that we only have 3 SEC games left and odds are better because of it? Or is it because we have 2 of those 3 games at home, where we're undefeated this year? I personally think we might not make it past the next SEC game before we blow it.

This team has had opportunity after opportunity handed to it, and thus far, has crapped it away each time. The talent on this team is plentiful, because you don't "show flashes" with no talent. We've shown flashes of being a great team, but it's been far too inconsistent, and it's been combined with scared playcalling on both sides of the ball. Arkansas is on tap, and we need to remember two things: 1. 2006 @ Arkansas, and 2. Cory Boyd just averaged 8 ypc on us. (Yes, I know, ULL is next, but we're talking SEC here) It's too late to fix things. It's going to be November on Saturday! NOVEMBER! You can't change scheme in November. Thought, if I was John Chavis, I would consider it. You cannot win games consistently when you have corners playing 10 yards off the receivers. You also will get picked apart if you continue to rely on Jerod Mayo and Rico McCoy in pass coverage. They suck at it.

So, someone, anyone, please make a logical debate for me on why this Tennessee team can finish up 3-0 to win the East with a nothing secondary put into bad schemes, a linebacking corps that has been the most disappointing unit on the team, and a coaching staff that won't even follow through on their word. Please, make me excited.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fire Kurt Roper Immediately

A story I've been following intensely is the odd, weird story about Montario Hardesty not getting a single snap on Saturday in Tuscaloosa. The same Montario Hardesty who had the best 2-game stretch in his injury-riddled career the 2 games before the Tide game. The same Montario Hardesty that coaches raved about in 2005, 2006, and again in 2007. The same Montario Hardesty who did not give up after rehabbing a ligament tear and made it back to his top form.

Phil Fulmer in the post-game interview said he didn't know Montario didn't play. That statement alone should merit it's own blog entry. Then, with a day to think about it, Fulmer said that Coach Roper told him it was because they used so many "open sets" and that Hardesty didn't catch the ball well. Okay.

Then, on Sunday night, Montario Hardesty did not show up to practice. Originally, Fulmer said he, nor Montario's roommate, knew where Hardesty was. Keep that in mind, because on Monday afternoon, Hardesty was at practice. Where had he been? According to the coaches - sick in bed. Where was his bed? Not in his dorm room? I would imagine his roommate would notice him being sick in bed. Anyway, this is the smallest lie of them all.

Next, in an interview, Roper said, "Yes, Hardesty should have played in the game." Really? "It is just one of those things that happened." Excellent. Did you take the Phillip Fulmer seminar for coachspeak excellence, Mr. Roper? That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Then, I quote the Volquest article:

"Roper said today (Tuesday) that there was not any kind of issue between him and Hardesty leading up to the Alabama game that prevented him from playing. There was some academic business that Roper told Hardesty to handle and Roper said he did, but the running backs coach said Hardesty was not being punished in any way on Saturday."

Take a deep breath to let all the info marinate. First, Fulmer says he didn't NOTICE Hardesty on the bench. Roper then says he should have gotten Hardesty in, but Montario needs to keep working hard. Hardesty misses practice, nobody knows where he is, but yet he's in bed sick. Roper says there were no pre-3rd Saturday issues with Hardesty.

Now back to the present. I speak to a few people, plus include an opinion from Brent Hubbs, about the Hardesty/Roper stuff. The things I hear are that there WAS an issue before the Alabama game between Roper and Hardesty. Apparently, Roper had a task for Hardesty to complete by a deadline (a deadline AFTER the Alabama game). By Saturday at 2:30 EST, Hardesty had not completed the deadline, but 2:30 EST on October 20th wasn't the deadline. Regardless, because said task was not completed yet, Hardesty did not play in a game that will keep Tennessee out of the race for the SEC East.

What's my point behind all of this? Kurt Roper is a liar, and Coach Fulmer is too loyal. Even without the information from sources, you, I, my deaf aunt Sally, and everybody else knew there was more to this story. Kurt Roper is a lying piece of junk. He helped bring down David Cutcliffe at Ole Miss, and now he's doing his part in making a mockery of this program. Seriously, look at either theory.

1. Kurt Roper punishes a running back for not meeting a deadline in the future.


2. Kurt Roper forgets to play the #2 running back.

Do either of those options make you confident in his abilities? NO! Now, add in his weasel attitude, his lies to the faces of UT fans, and you have a guy who should be canned immediately. What a joke.

And yes, Mr. Roper, I would be more than happy to let you sit in with me during my workday. Even if I lose an account, you won't see me lying about it.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Analyzing the Idiocy

I've never been quiet with my opinions about Alabama football fans. Most Tennessee fans consider them the most delusional of all sports fans, and from January through August, it was at it's absolute worst. Alabama fans were saying Erik Ainge was overrated, that Bob Stoops would be their head coach, and once they hired Saban, that they'd win the SEC right off the bat. I could somewhat buy into the last point, because all of my analysis said they could, too. However, as the season has progressed, Alabama fans have been shockingly normal. Nothing too over the top, except a few nutzos here and there. We'll analyze those today.

From forum, a prediction for the game:
"I've got no feel for how this one will shake out, but I'll blindly call 28-24 in favor of the good guys."

So you think Tennessee wins? Right on.

Another prediction from
"Mississippi State scored 21 on UT, so I'll say we score at least that
Bama - 27
UT - 21"

So you think Alabama will hold us to our 2nd lowest output of the season? Florida's D talent >>>> Alabama's D talent. Hell, Mississippi State's defense is as good as Alabama's, and we scored 33, you dolt. Keep in mind Ole Miss scored 24 on your ass, meaning we could put up 40+. Don't let evidence get in the way of your bias.

"More prediction from "12 Rings" on
31-13 Bama. I think this is the game we punch the gas and keep it down. I'm not worried about (or)ainge picking us apart. They got smoked by two teams in games where there was little or no pressure on him. (he's only been sacked once all year) I'm thinkin this will be the game where our O begins to take shape. RTR !!!!!!!!!!!!"

Riiiiight. 13 points for a team that hasn't scored less than 20 to date? Against a defense that allowed 38 to an Arkansas team that has no passing game, and allowed 21 to a Florida State team that has half the offense Tennessee has? Makes sense ... in backwards land. Ohhhhh BUUUUURN.

From the "10 Reasons Alabama is better than Tennessee" list at 3rd Saturday in Blogtober:
"and the seats are literally 12 inches wide. (That ain’t pretty with Jim Bob and Looloo both going about 3 bills on either side of you.)"

Hilarious ... except for the FACT that Alabama is rated as the 2nd fattest state in America, and Tennessee is like ... 5th. Fifth isn't anything to brag about, fatty Tennesseans, but it isn't 2nd. Sooooo, get your facts straight, Bammer.

From the same list:
"If you like gals that are into Nascar and dipping Skoal maybe Knoxville would suit you fine. You want to see the best Knoxville has to offer? Check your local Saturday morning hunting show? She will be dressed as the Moose. I actually like my women a little more on the classy side. Of course there is more to our women than sundresses and class. You like a challenge? How about a future law student that can kick your tail in a debate on current foreign policy? More likely to find her in Tuscaloosa. Your future smokin’ hot business professional? T-town. I think you get the picture."

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhahahahahha. Seriously? I mean, seriously? C'mon you can't ... you aren't serious. Right? It's satire, amirite? I'm not going to type some ridiculously subjective statement saying UT coeds are prettier than Alabama coeds, because frankly, both universities have a great share of hotties mctotties. Period. Gun to my head, need to make a decision: UT wins. And I guess Alabama residents don't like Nascar and chew? C'mon. Just so you know, in 2006-2007, Alabama ranked as the 45th smartest state, Tennessee was 30th.

From the same article, on mindsets and what UA football did for the state:
"As a southerner, Alabama football helped put this part of the country on the map. It helped make us count again. It was a shot across the bow to yankees everywhere that we actually could do something good."

I like the last 6 words best, because it shows that grammar isn't something "you do good," either. "Do well," just so you know. Basically, this is why I hate Alabama fans. You're bragging that the only thing your state does well is play football. Your state is the BEST at putting guys in tight pants and ramming into each other. Fantastic! You can have that title! I love college football as much as ANYBODY, but let's keep it what it is: a game, a sport. If Tennessee never wins another game, the world will continue to spin, the state will continue to thrive, and I'll be living. Sure, the wins make it a bit sweeter, but really, when all you can brag about is being #1 in football history, being the 5th dumbest and 2nd fattest state, you have a problem. Catch up Alabama - you can love football AND excel at life. Try it.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Third Saturday in October! 2007

This is the most important week of the year for me and many of my Vol brethren. Lately, younger fans consider Florida or Georgia bigger games, but even at 25, I know the hatred when I see it. Seriously, if you've always wondered why most of us hate Bammers, head over to and read what they have to say about Tennessee. Or, read this article from last season by me - fair warning, it's me without a censor button. I can't stand Bammers and I'd rather be 1-11 with a win over Alabama than 11-1 with a loss to them.

As for this blog, I again apologize to everyone that it's been sporadic. This has been the most insane month of my entire life, with a 5-year relationship taking a turn for the worse, and computer problems. I promise to the three of you who read this that I'll turn up the heat, especially this week.

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Sorry I've been away. At least our Vols had a bye week. I'll be back on Sunday or Monday with post-Georgia thoughts. Life has thrown me the biggest of curveballs, but this Saturday is the most important of Saturdays for Phillip Fulmer and this program. I'm a bit buzzed right now, and since that Florida loss, I've seen more alcohol than ever. This blog's content goes to another level post-Saturday.