Monday, November 03, 2008

We'll Miss You

Coach, you've been awesome. You brought us many excellent memories. I wish you well in retirement, and this is the perfect way to go. You can live in reverie forever at Tennessee now.

Thank you.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Pregame Speech

Men, the only people who know we're going to win this game are in this room right now. The media doesn't give us a chance. Fans across the country think this game has been decided. But I say to hell with them! The only people who can decide who wins this game are in this locker room, and the other locker room. And guess what? They aren't better than you - they aren't! All of us put our pants on one leg a time. We all practiced all spring, summer, and fall for this moment. They don't have super power abilities. They are men, just like you. The way we win this game is to be the team whose men fight the hardest, the longest, and the toughest. Is that going to be you today? Are you going to be the men on the field today, or are they? Listen, it's going to be tough. It's going to be hard. There will be times where you want to quit, stop, take a rest. Let me relate an old story to you.

Two frogs fell into a deep cream bowl. One was an optimistic soul. But the other took the gloomy view. "We'll drown," he lamented without much ado, and with a last despairing cry, he flung up his legs and said "Goodbye." Said the other frog with a steadfast grin, "I can't get out but I won't give in, I'll just swim around till my strength is spent, then I'll die the more content." Bravely he swam to work his scheme, and his struggles began to churn the cream. The more he swam, his legs a flutter, the more the cream turned into butter. On top of the butter at last he stopped, and out of the bowl he gaily hopped. What is the moral? It's easily found...
If you can't hop out, keep swimming around!

All the planning, practicing, crying, laughing, fighting, learning, EVERYTHING we've done since January, is about to grow into greatness, men. The days where you didn't want to wake up and lift weights. When you didn't want to run the Hill. When you didn't want to hit the ground anymore. It all pays off today. Take advantage of this situation, and make the most of it.

Men, when the times get tough today, don't just give up - fight for life on that field! FIGHT FOR IT! No, this ain't a war, it's not a battle. We'll all wake up tomorrow with God's blessings. But for right now, you can continue to kick and fight and hold each other up - and etch your names into the history books at the University of Tennessee. When you get hit in the mouth, don't fall to the bottom of the bowl, fight to stay afloat then HIT 'EM BACK! ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK - always attack. Let's go.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Same Junk, Different Year

I'm in the process of "breaking down the film," if you will, but before I post what I see, I want to cover something about fandom.

In the past, I've been railed for being a bit negative about Phil Fulmer and the Vols play (namely, UF and Bama 07). People told me I was a bandwagon fan. I want to address this kind of thinking.

It's very similar to this: when you have a child, you love that child to no end. You put so much faith, passion, love, everything, into that child. You would do EVERYTHING for that child. However, you still get disappointed, angry, and frustrated with that child. It doesn't mean you stop loving the child.

That is the best way I can explain my feelings and posts about Fulmer-UT. I love the Volunteers as much as anybody, and that will never stop. I will also be angry, frustrated, and disappointed when I'm let down.

And right now, I feel angry. Last season I was disappointed, but it's moved to anger. Not just with Coach Fulmer, but with myself. I'm angry at myself for buying all the talk from the players, the coaches, and the pay site writers. I bought it all, because I love our Vols. I'll buy it next year, and the year after, and I'll be upset more often than not. There's only one SEC Champion each year, and at best, a team should be expected to win it maybe every 5-6 years. That's a lot of disappointment. However, you deal with that when you love. And I love our Vols.

We have 11 games left to make something out of this season. Granted, nobody can be too confident after losing to the 6th or 7th best team on our schedule. That UCLA team never looked GOOD, which makes the loss more frustrating. But I say this: never give up. Don't stop cheering the players on. They just do what the coaches tell them (for the most part, Mr. Bread Loaf Carrier). I will root our players on, and will root for the success of the team.


Because you never stop loving.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Big Orange Roundtable, Volume 1, Week 4

Gate 21 has the questions this week, and he also picked up his award for Longest Winded Roundtable Member of 2008. (I keed, I keed)

Here are the responses from this week, which certainly are better reads than the answers you'll see here. Give them traffic!

3rd Saturday in Blogtober
Fulmer's Belly
Southeastern Sports Blog
Gate 21

1) Thus far we’ve made a number of predictions for the 2008 Vols. Now, let’s take the next step: What are your pre-season predictions for each of Tennessee’s regular season games this year (along with any explanations you feel are needed)?

DateEnemyOutcomeThe Story
Sep. 1stW 27-13Even before the myriad of injuries, Tennessee was going to be favored. UCLA lost enough players to fill a van meant for illegals, and they weren't very good last year anyway. Tennessee will come into the Rose Bowl, play well enough to get a nice win, save some things for Florida, and get out. We'll find some faults, but overall, we'll be happy. Foster will be our offensive star.
Sep. 13thW 48-6We won't sleepwalk here, no sir. This shellacking, combined with the solid win out west will cause most Vol fans to have some high, high, high hopes for the following week. Crompton will have his big game. UAB isn't as solid a midmajor as they once were.
Sep. 20thL 24-30Florida is my pick to win the National Title in 2008, but if there is a game they lose on the schedule, it's this one. Our boys will certainly be fired up, and this game is a coinflip for me. However, for the same reasons we think the young UT secondary will improve, the Florida secondary will improve. This will feel eerily similar to the 1996 loss to Florida, after being beaten for so long.
Sep. 27thW 20-17 (OT)Another game on the schedule that can go either way. I think a week after facing the best spread option in the country, our guys will be ready for it this week against an inferior offense. Lincoln hits a go-ahead FG with less than 90 seconds left, but we squib the kick and the Aubbies drive down to tie. We win in overtime, 'cause that's what we do. Defensive tackle for UT gets hurt, with panic reigning supreme amongst fans.
Oct. 4thW 38-20This is the week where we have a bit of a lapse - we'll be coming off two insanely hard-hitting, fast-paced, emotional games. NIU has a nice running back in Justin Anderson, and his good day of running on us will set in MORE panic as we deal with losing depth at DT the week before, and Knowshon Moreno on deck.
Oct. 11thL 27-33A yet another game that is a coinflip for Tennessee. Moreno exercises his demons from last season as he does a nice job shredding a tired, depth-deprived defensive line. Crompton cements himself as a top notch SEC quarterback in this game, though. Tennessee just doesn't make enough stops in this game.
Oct. 18thW 30-10I see a lot of people in the Vol World worried about this game, but worry not friends. Mississippi State is in for a rude awakening when they win 6 games, max. They won a boatload of close games last year, and that variance will catch up with them. Defense/special teams score twice.
Oct. 25thW 24-14While it won't be the bloodletting we want after last year, we'll get the win, Alabama fans will still be people I won't piss on if they were on fire, and there won't be a DJ Hall to have nightmares about.
Nov. 1stW 26-23 (OT)A surprise 50/50 game on the schedule. The Fighting Steve Spurriers won't have a great season to this point, so tOBC will want this even more. If he can't win a title, might as well clip the Vols. Carolina will have the ball first in OT and settle for a field goal. Crompton to Stocker on the 2nd play of our drive, and the Vols win amongst silence.
Nov. 8thW 46-3Yawner. Coleman gets some work at QB, and every Chattanoogan raves about how he looks like the next Peyton. Creer has 150+ yards. We all get bored because we face OPEN the next week, and they NEVER win.
Nov. 22ndW 30-13While Kentucky regresses on offense due to losses to the draft and graduation, the defense improves. If their defense doesn't improve, we might score 50. Their offense, now with the iffy Curtis Pulley situation, is really going to struggle. Not a close one this season. Crompton has another big game.
Nov. 29thW 37-9Another game on the schedule where people will be slightly worried due to the 2007 debacle, but we'll make a nice showing in hopes to jump in front of Georgia and Florida in the BCS standings. Why? Because it'll be a 2003 repeat - 3 way tie at the top of the East. Vandy has a very good secondary, so expect Arian Foster to have a huge final regular season game.

So, yes, I am predicting a 6-2 three-way tie on top of the SEC East with Florida and Georgia. I'll say this: Tennessee has 4 tossups on the schedule, and I think will go 2-2. We could beat Florida and lose to Auburn. We could lose to Florida and Auburn, then beat Georgia.

2) Gameday routines, we all have them. What are your gameday rituals, especially those that are completely irrational, grounded in baseless superstition, or otherwise defy explanation?

Well, being on the West Coast (big-ups) makes mine pretty strange. I live in Arizona, so we don't do anything for Daylight Savings Time. Thusly, I won't get exact on times. However, I wake up 30 minutes before Gameday on ESPN, head to the local convenience store and buy a couple cold Starbucks Mocha Frappucinos, sometimes more than 2. I make or buy a breakfast burrito and watch Gameday, not for any insights, but only because it's a great buildup for the day. I watch the early ESPN 1 and 2 games, which are generally the Big 10 and ACC middle tier games, like Michigan State/Purdue or NC State/Maryland. I do laundry during this early block, as well as knock out dishes during halftime. During the second half, I start cooking whatever I bought the night before. I like to buy a lunch meal and a dinner smörgåsbord. If I decide against buying for dinner, I'll order a pizza and wings. See, the 3:30 EST games are 12:30 here, so I can have a fantastic lunch during a UT game, or the ESPN night games are at 4:30 or 5:30 here, so I have a nice dinner when we play South Carolina or Auburn. I don't go to bed until after midnight, as I'm drunk and rewatching the game. If the game is on PPV or Raycom, I have to go to the sports bar, where the owners greets me EVERY time with "HEY TENNESSEE!" That's my name to him - Tennessee.

3) Crompton vs. Tebow? Discuss…

Huh? Grenada vs. United States? Tebow, despite his weiner-cutting, roommate-kissing, Crocs-wearing, spikyhaired-styling, LSUfan-taunting, jorts-wearing, squintyeyed-smiling ways, is a fantastic collegiate quarterback. We may dislike him, but we dislike him because he kills us. Crompton is chocked full of Mountain Damn Values (tm LoserWithSocks), so that gives him points. But Tebow is the Flawless.

4) Will the Vols manage to make it to the SEC Championship Game again this season — either outright, or through the backdoor? Why or why not?

If my visions are fruitful, then it will be a tossup. I think Georgia, while 6-2 in the SEC, will be 9-3 overall after an early season loss to Arizona State. We'll be ahead of them in the BCS. The real question is: will we be ahead of Florida? Sadly, I think because SO much weight is put on preseason polls, it will be hard to jump ahead of them, even though we have the harder schedule. So, no, I think we will be a few plays short of winning the East, and thusly, a few plays short of winning the SEC. The SEC East winner will undoubtedly win the entire SEC.

There you go. I have a very specific picture in my mind of how this season plays out. We'll be confused once again. A good season, but not a championship season. If Tebow and Stafford leave for the NFL, 2009 is our National Title season.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fulmer Served Subpoena at SEC Media Days, or not?

I'll be busy all day today, but by now you've heard about this story. It's confusing, but my friend, Vol Freak, site owner of Volnation (best Vol forum on the net) has a great time line of how things have gone today. We still don't know what's up, but again, keep checking at Volnation for Freak's time line. It's worth the click through, seriously.

Fulmer/Subpoena Time Line @

Monday, July 21, 2008

Big Orange Roundtable, Volume 1, Week 3

These roundtables sure do make the time fly by. The wait for the season is evaporating by the week, and we're only about 6 weeks away! Rocky Top Talk has the privilege of hosting the questions this week, and he made some doozies. Here are the responses in so far:

Southeastern Sports Blog
3rd Saturday in Blogtober
Moondog Sports
Fulmer's Belly
Gate 21
Loser with Socks
Rocky Top Talk

And onto the worst of the bunch, mine:

1. For some inexplicable reason, Phillip Fulmer invites Urban Meyer, Mark Richt, Steve Spurrier, Nick Saban, Les Miles, and Tommy Tuberville over to his palatial estate for a dinner party. At 2:00 a.m. the next morning, The Papa discovers that Smokey IX has been murdered. Who did it, with what, and where? Think Clue. You know, Mr. Mustard in the parlor with the candlestick?

The wind howls through the great maples, the raindrops tap upon the window, and the distant croaks of bullfrogs orchestrate this haunting evening. Inside a Southern mansion in Maryville, Tennessee, a light suddenly illuminates in an upstairs window, followed by a guttural scream of a man whose best friend has just been found dead, head removed. The man runs down the stairs to find his bluetick hound, Smokey, dead and decapitated. The man is Phillip Fulmer, and as he holds his dearest Smokey IX, he knows he has a duty to his furry friend. But ... where does he start? Which way? He smirks, then gets on all fours, sniffing the Appalachian Red Oak. He finds a scent, then a hat - a very large hat. This purple and yellow hat has blood all over it. The Papa glides his finger across the blood, then tasting it. Yep, he knows it - he knows Smokey's blood. Ever since that day in '96 in Anderson County when Smokey caught his left haunch on a barbed wire fence, Papa has known the taste. This hat, he knows who owns it, and thus, who ended Smokey's life prematurely. But just as Papa is about to call the authorities, he hears a rustling from a nearby hall closet. It grows louder, louder, louder, and the door explodes open ...

The look of pure terror upon the Papa's face told it all - the half man, half Neanderthal beast was right there; within arms length. Les Miles continues screaming for what seemed like hours, but really just a minute or two. As the Papa stared at his beloved Smokey's head on a platter, he had a flashback to 1995 when he and Peyton Manning took the life out of Alabama with a playaction touchdown on the first play of the game. Why? Because that was the strategy for this monster - end it quickly. With lightning-like quickness, the Papa unleashes a deadly Dtae Wiang to the beast's neck, ending the battle before it begun. But yet, he is still without Smokey.

2. Who between Eric Berry for the defense and Gerald Jones for the Clawfense will have the biggest impact for the Vols in 2008?

Tough question, here, truly. I'm going to say it and hope nobody bludgeons me, but Eric Berry's freshman campaign was a litttttttttttle overrated. Yes, he was incredible, but you have to add the "for a freshman" phrase. This year, he'll be all around very, very good. However, if he's just good, the defense should still be much improved. I think the Oklahoma Whirlwind adds a dimension to the offense not seen since ... ever? We've had top notch wide receivers like Robert Meachem, Alvin Harper, Donte Stallworth, etc, but Jones brings a shape shifting ability that can't be denied. Therefore, the Oklahoma Whirlwind will have a bigger IMPACT than Goon #1.

3. You devise a way to harness the Lost island's temporal displacement properties. The island will allow you to change one thing, but one thing only, in the history of the Tennessee Volunteer football program. What do you change? By the way, Ben warns that if you try to say "2005" or any other entire season, the mysterious clicking black smoke will sound its wailing siren, shoot from the earth, grab you by the ankles, and pound you to a pulp against a palm tree. So change only one thing. Unless, of course, you like that sort of thing.

I would change the 2004 SEC Championship Game. Odd choice, eh? I have a point, though. Let's say for a second that we won the SECCG in 2001, and our 2002-2007 seasons were the same as what REALLY happened, we'd be in a very similar situation as we are now. However, if we win that game against Auburn, 2005 probably doesn't happen, we have 3 SEC titles under Fulmer, with one being in the last 4 seasons. We'd be in far better shape in terms of national perception. Would we still have Randy Sanders? That's a damn good question.

4. What about the future? What is your worst fear for this upcoming season, the turn of events that would send you into a blind rage?

Well, duh, 0-12 would be the worst fear. But that's not realistic. There is a 0% chance of that. So what is a realistic possibility? Losses at UCLA, versus Florida, at Auburn, at Georgia, versus Alabama, and at South Carolina. 6-6, while a small probability, could happen in the worst case scenario. That would literally send me into a remote-throwing, pillow-tearing, self-punching, chair-sawing, stranger-chiding, car-wrecking, whiskey-guzzling rage. I'd stop.

Tennessee and Close Game Variance Ratio

One thing that has always fascinated me is the propensity for some college football teams to have wild swings in wins from season to season. Phil Steele started this metric, and I gave it a name and update all of you. Now, before I go much farther into this, let me link you to 2007's CGVRs and also link you to an explanation of CGVRs in case this is all new to you.

Even more interesting to me than CGVRs is trying to figure out why teams that fall in the parameters don't produce results that follow the theory. Every year you have a handful of teams who won more than their fair share of close games, only to have a better season the next time around. Tennessee has been one of those teams. Here are the W/L records, CGVRs, and following W/L records for every Volunteer season under The Papa.

YearRecordCGVRExpectationNext SeasonCorrect?

What does this tell us? Not a lot more than we already assume through CGVRs. There have been 9 years where a Fulmer-led team had a CGVR that fell within the parameters. In 6 of them, or 66.7%, resulted "correctly." What I find a tad more interesting is that in 8 of those 9 seasons where UT had a CGVR in the parameters, 8 of them we had positive CGVRs. That tells me that The Papa wins more close games than he loses (which I really like). In 5 of those 8, or 62.5%, our team followed the theory and had the same or worse record the following season.

The exciting prospect of this (sort of) is that Fulmer is better than the rest of the country, on average, at not following a "lucky" season with a "lesser" season. The national average for positive CGVRs is 77% of them either have the same or worse record the next year, whereas Fulmer's teams have the 62.5% ratio.

What does all of this mean for 2008? Well, if you click the link at the very top for the 2007 CGVRs, you'll see that Tennessee's 2007 squad racked up 3 net close wins, which is considered "lucky." Nationally over the last 6 years, 73% of teams with a +3 CGVR have finished with the same or worse record the following year; that's not good news for the prospects of our 2008 season. However, because of the comparison above, I'm not panicking, as The Papa has shown he bucks the trend, at least a little bit.

In the end, it boils down to this: the +3 CGVR is a sign that Tennessee won't improve on the 10-4 record of 2007.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Big Orange Roundtable Roundup, Week 2

So far, so good on the Roundtable front. We've had great response the first two weeks, even with all of us leading busy regular lives. I've enjoyed reading each UT blog every week to see what we have in common and where we differ. I think adding in some silly questions always allows the bloggers to show their real personalities as well. This week, I had the pleasure of hosting the questions. I've chosen the best answers of the bunch (2 for each questions) to highlight here. Before I do that, here are links to all those who participated this week.

Southeastern Sports Blog
Moondog Sports
Loser With Socks
Gate 21

Fulmer's Belly
Rocky Top Talk
3rd Saturday in Blogtober

1. A position of strength for the Vols this fall should be wide receivers. Which two guys will emerge from the pack to start the opener against UCLA alongside Lucas Taylor? Why?

The answers were pretty much in the same line of thinking: Austin Rogers and Josh Briscoe were picked twice as the 2nd and 3rd WRs, but 5 blogs pushed hard for Gerald Jones to be ahead of Briscoe. Oddly, if I read correctly, not one blog mentioned a Taylor, Briscoe, Jones triumvirate. Again, if I remember correctly, only one blog mentioned Ahmad Paige, who had the second best spring of any WR (behind the Oklahoma Bottlerocket). It was difficult to pick what I deemed the "best," because in a roundtable like this, I consider ANY answer to be best. Regardless, I picked these:
Southeastern Sports Blog: Gerald Jones is the wild card here - Dave Clawson said this in part of an interview that Third Saturday also mentioned: "Who’s our go-to wideout? Is it Gerald Jones or is it Lucas Taylor? Lucas was hurt during the spring. He nor Austin Rogers were out there, so you really don’t know until you get to preseason practice."

Now, I know we're trying to get the ball to the playmakers...but let's keep something in mind:

Lucas Taylor - 73 catches, 1000 yards, 5 TDs
Austin Rogers - 56 catches, 624 yards, 4 TDs
Josh Briscoe - 56 catches, 557 yards, 6 TDs
Gerald Jones - 11 catches, 111 yards, 1 TD

Now, if you're into this sort of thing, you could take those numbers and make a bad joke about Gerald Jones being "The One". Or you could realize that Jones got a lot of publicity for the G-Gun, one catch at Kentucky and all of his potential...but the on-field result shows three guys who are all proven threats and will demand respect from the defense when they're on the field together. Jones I think will ultimately be a much greater factor in the 2008 offense, from both the G-Gun and the WR spot. But right off the bat in the first game of the season? I think you'll see Rogers and Briscoe alongside Lucas Taylor to start things off.

Fulmer's Belly: Gather ’round my children and you shall hear,
A Roundtable discussion in the Blog-o-sphere.
This week’s answers shall all come in verse,
And each of the styles will be very diverse.

Gerald Jones is our first nominee,
Don’t ask why, it’s easy to see.
He’s a quick receiver with delicate hands,
And he probably does chicks with really big cans.

Our next in line is Ahmad Paige,
His 40 time is impossible to gauge.
His on-field abilities are really quite fine,
And now it’s time for this kid to shine.

2. Which game on the schedule do you, as a fan, need Tennessee to win for your own sanity and happiness? Why?

As you would have guessed, Florida and Alabama got the most keyboard strokes on this topic, with UF getting a little more. Gate 21 mentions UAB, NIU, and Vanderbilt as teams we can't lose to. I hate Alabama like Mark Mangino hates an empty plate.

Loser With Socks: Alabama, silly. I live right in the middle of these fuckers. These people got tradition. They are smart enough to bring their own toilet paper to the games on a mop handle. Not only do they do that, but they bring their own laundry detergent in case they forget to use their toilet paper! Nothing says bama football and tradition like bringing your own toilet paper for use, when and where a full bull Bammeroid would need it.

After that, it has the be Florida. If Fulmer loses to Herban Meyer again, he really does need to be fired (See question 3). Meyer has perfected the “deer in the headlights” look. With that said, let’s all focus on karmic thoughts on how well Fulmer is going to dominate Herban Meyer, and how awesome the Vols look. I think that my fellow Vols better start burning Votive candles than suffer the darkness of another loss to the Gates. Staples would be nice to repair the Tattered Windsock from last year.

YMSWWC: Alabama. I hate them. The only good Alabama team is a beaten Alabama team. I want the aisles of Neyland to be flowing with the sweet tears of defeat by the Bama faithful who attend. I will take those tears and make me a Martini and I don’t even drink! Look even Taylor Hicks hates them.

3. What are your thoughts on the 8-win clause in Coach Fulmer’s new contract that automatically rolls his contract over another year if he wins 8 games in a season?

I was shocked at the almost 5/3 split on the topic. Rocky Top Talk, Gate 21, and Loser with Socks were all quite adamant and fair in their reasons for either a) being okay with the clause or b) not worrying about. The 5 against it were vehemently against it, except for Fulmer's Belly who just rejoices that he can keep his blog's name forever ever (forever ever?).

3rd Saturday in Blogtober: I’m glad we’re finally addressing this topic. The eight-win clause is absolutely ludicrous. (Every time I say that word, I picture Keenan Ivory Wayans playing Mike Tyson on In Living Color and it makes me happy … unlike this retarded clause.) This should be called the Kirk Ferentz Clause because ever since he was the Next Big Thing in the coaching world, the Iowa coach has decided to crap his pants and just sit there and stew in it, in his own complacency, enjoying his contract, his second-rate recruiting classes and his thug Hawkeyes roster.

Seriously, how would you feel if Bruce Pearl had a 19-win clause in his contract? “Thanks, coach, for pissing off your entire fanbase and being ALMOST good enough to make the NCAA tournament. We’re going to give you some extra money.”

This clause makes it seem OK to play in the Peach Bowl every year, and personally, if Fulmer takes us to the Peach Bowl (or comparable bowl) during the next few years, I’m going to be calling for his head again. Nine wins, maybe … I guess I can understand moderate compensation, but, to me, a season is not a success unless it features double-digit wins.

Rocky Top Talk: I never really get overexcited about college coaching contracts. If you just look at the dollars and the "importance" of the job, these guys are overpaid as compared to actual important jobs like soliders, teachers, law enforcement, etc., etc., etc. But because life is stressful, there is a huge market for Escape, and it pays well. So the coaches are paid market value, and at that point, it's all about the dollars. Extensions in contracts really aren't so much about committing to another year for the coach as it is committing to more dollars in the event of an exercise of the buyout provision. So yeah, if The Papa wins eight, then has another 2005 or worse, it will cost more to change directions. But it's all still market.

Besides, who am I not to trust Mike Hamilton, who brought us Bruce Pearl?

4. What is your favorite gameday recipe, whether for tailgating or in your own kitchen? Explain why in delicious detail.

This question had so much potential, but it crashed and burned (my non-recipe started the spiral). However, I will say, the hardest laugh I got this week came from an answer to this question.

Gate 21: The Magna-rita:

I suppose most folks enjoy a good margarita every now and then — especially when celebrating with friends. Mixing up a batch of the good stuff, however, takes time, effort, numerous bottles of mixers and tequila, cups, ice, salt, and a sombrero. The “Magna-rita” solves all these problems and is great for gamedays. Even better, it’s super-easy to make and — most importantly — dirt cheap. To make one of these beauties up, you simply:

Take one 40 oz bottle of of your favorite Malt Liquor — the distinguishing whino gentleman generally prefers “Magnum,” but feel free to use you own favorite brand, such as Colt .45 (just like Billy Dee Williams) or Schlitz Malt Liquor Bull. Actually, now that I think about it, you could use any kind of alcohol you can find: from a 1972 Dom Perignon to a 3-week old half-empty bottle of Ripple — heck, if you got enough of those little alcohol wipes and squeezed them hard enough, you might even get enough sauce that way.
Next take one large bag of Skittles candy, and pour them out on a table, in a bowl, on the floor — wherever, but make sure to save the bag.
Now pick out all the lime flavored Skittles and put them back in the bag, securing the bag tightly.
Jump up and down on the bag for about 3-4 minutes, or bash the hell out of the bag with a tire iron until the lime Skittles are broken into pieces.
Now pour the sort-o-lime flavored dust into your 40, and give it a swirl or two with a straw, a pocket knife, a coat hanger, stick, or whatever you can find.
Drink and enjoy.

Loser With Socks: 5 Brats, 1 onion, 1 apple, ½ pound of sauerkraut, 1 beer, 3 spoons of brown mustard (I don’t know what kinda spoons).

Put the brats in a pan. Spread the onion, apple and sauerkraut on the brauts. Mix the beer and mustard in a container. Pour over the brats. Cook direct heat for 20 minutes. Turn 2 or 3 times. After 20 minutes, remove the brats to the grill. Let the mixture in the pan continue to cook.

This will make you wanna stand up and beg for buttermilk.

5. You have a tag team championship match against the Legion of Doom coming up. Which current Volunteer do you choose as your tag team partner? Why?

I went Vlad the Impaler, 3SIB went Jacques, YMSWWC went freshman Prentiss Waggner, SESB took the Real McCoy, Moondog made a great choice with the Oak Tree Ramon Foster, RTT went lucha libre Eric Berry, Gate 21's ultimate choice is The Papa (tm Joel), and Fulmer's Belly goes for the namesake of his blog as well. LWS chose Josh McNeil, who Gate 21 would have taken if not for Fulmer. All incredible choices, but the ones that made me snort the most were:

YMSWWC: I pick Prentiss Waggner. He was a member of this years recruiting class. When I was breaking down this class I predicted he would serve 20-25 Armed robbery and aggravated assault Bottom line Hawk gets capped and Animal has his spikes stolen and this all occurs before the match begins in the locker-room area.

Moondog Sports: Ramon Foster. At 6-7 and 340 pounds, Ramon is obviously a large young man. I like guys who have been assigned their own zip codes and have planets orbiting them.

That's your Big Orange Roundtable Roundup for this past week - hope everybody enjoyed. Next week, Joel at Rocky Top Talk will host the questions, so be sure to head over there to follow along.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Big Orange Roundtable, Volume 1, Week 2

We keep rolling along with the Big Orange Roundtable this week. Last week, 3rd Saturday in Blogtober hosted the questions, so check those out if you haven't already. I got the short straw and got Week 2, but I kinda like it. We should have some fun questions mixed in with serious football questions. So, here they are, the BOR questions for Week 2.

1. A position of strength for the Vols this fall should be wide receivers. Which 2 guys will emerge from the pack to start the opener against UCLA alongside Lucas Taylor? Why?

I hate to be boring, but I think at UCLA, Austin Rogers and Josh Briscoe will be the Y and Z receivers for the Vols. Both have weaknesses, yes, but overall, they were adequate 2nd and 3rd options. Rogers had some drops and didn't do a ton after the catch. Briscoe isn't all that dynamic, but he is consistent. Of course I love Gerald Jones, and he could eventually work his way into the starting lineup, but I think in a hostile road environment, in a game Tennessee has to have, it will be the proven guys.

2. Which game on the schedule do you, as a fan, need Tennessee to win for your own sanity and happiness? Why?

For me, it's Alabama. I know the Florida game is more important in achieving goals, but have you been to Alabama boards in the past 8 months? One big victory over us, and they think Alabama now owns Fulmer. I cannot fathom dealing with a losing streak to those suckers. If we lose that game, at home, with a team I think is destined for very good things, then I'll lose it. I'll just ... I'll just ... I'll just ... looooose it, man.

3. What are your thoughts on the 8-win clause in Coach Fulmer's new contract that automatically rolls his contract over another year if he wins 8 games in a season?

Frankly, I hate it more than I hate Ann Coulter. It's an awful, preposterous addition to an already questionable extension. 8 wins? Really? Since when is that cause for reward? 8 wins in a 12 game regular season is easy. Add in the bowl, and it's downright elementary, Watson. I just don't understand giving away free money. Keep it, or let the students come for free, or buy Chief a mustache comb - SOMETHING. 8 wins? Ugh.

4. What is your favorite gameday recipe, whether for tailgating or in your own kitchen? Explain why in delicious detail.

I have a killer queso dip recipe that I found, but I forget where. I'm at work right now, so at lunch, I'll post that as well as my bacon wrapped hot dog recipe. Sorry for forgetting to bring that to work.

5. You have a tag team championship match against the Legion of Doom coming up. Which current Volunteer do you choose as your tag team partner? Why?

Vladimir Richard, hands down. Have you seen this man? He's part man, part deity, part beastly Gorilla, and part of my tag team. See, not even Hawk or Animal could handle Vlad the Impaler. They'd be all, "OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH WHATARUSH!" and he'd END them instantaneously with the VladBomb, a variation the Powerbomb, except onto a bed of nails and scorpions. All I would ever have to do is have my trunks stocked with that crazy white powder that apparently blinds people just long enough for us to cheat, but no longer. We'd be unstoppable.

Go forth, fellow Volggers, and answer questions. I'll post the others below.

3rd Saturday in Blogtober
Moondog Sports
Southeastern Sports Blog
Rocky Top Talk

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Big Orange Roundtable, Volume 1

Finally! One of the largest college team blog communities has gotten it's collective backside in gear and created the Big Orange Roundtable. It's something we've all pondered for awhile, so, with the diligence and bribery from The Ghost of Neyland at the 3rd Saturday in Blogtober, we have the first round of questions! He's running this thing, and unlike Nick Saban, I have time for this. Go here for the questions: mash it.

Also, here are some answers from participants already! Moondog is fast, and UT Vols Football in a close second (which sounds similar to our actual program right now).

3rdSIBn asked to keep it PG-13, so I'll make sure to use Battleship Galactica

1.) How good/bad do you think Jonathan Crompton will be in his first year as a Tennessee starting quarterback and what makes you think that?

Heizmen ZOMG~!!!! No, really, he should be fine. He doesn't need to be a 3,000/30/8 guy to get this team to championship level. He needs to be able to sell the play-action pass, get the ball into the hands of playmakers, occasionally throw the deep go route, and make a few plays when the pocket collapses. If Jon throws for more than 2,500 yards and keeps the interceptions to under 12, this team will win the SEC East again. Let's say he puts up 2,700 yards, 27 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions - wouldn't you guess we'd be a 2 loss team or better? There's no doubt that the Foster/Creer combo is going to get some things done in the running game, so if Jon can do that, it'll be special. Will he? I don't know. I don't put a lot of stock in the Orange and White game, because it's obvious to me that the coaches played it to maximize 1st team successes and build confidence. I mean, the first TD to Moore was against a beaten defensive back that I think Joel could outrun. A lot of optimists will point to the 2006 LSU game as a piece of evidence for Jon's superhuman 2008 performances to come, but I'm not completely sold. One of the touchdown passes was all Jon, a beautiful bomb; but the other was Meachem being Meachem, and we were lucky to have that pass not only be completed, but to our guy! All that being said, I have a lot of confidence that Jon will be a success within our team. What I mean by that is I don't think he'll be in contention for All-SEC or for any awards, but his award should be leading this team to a possible BCS bowl if he plays well.

2.) This question was posed on our site a few weeks ago by the Bama boys, and it brought some good discussion, so given UT’s rich history of scheduling home-and-homes with top-shelf BCS programs, what school would you most like for the Vols to play in the future and why?

Virginia Tech or Oklahoma. I love both of these programs, and I think they exemplify what the mid-to-late-90s Vols exemplified. They always have incredible defenses, they make breaks in the kicking game, and they win games in the trenches. Virginia Tech also has some of that local interest as well. Of course, we've all heard the baseless rumors about a neutral site game with VT at Bristol Motor Speedway. However, a home and home would be phenomenal. Neyland Stadium is one of the best venues in college football, and Lane Stadium is one of the toughest to win in.

3.) A lot has been made of our lack of depth at defensive tackle. With Demonte Bolden, Dan Williams and Walter Fisher pretty solid, what other player do you think makes a big move toward becoming dependable?

I don't think we'll have one. Sure, Langley, Nelson, and Thomas will try to get there, but none will be able to be SEC ready this year. Langley will be the #4, I'm confident, but I think the dropoff from Fisher to Langley will be noticeable. In 2009, Langley will be what we need him to be, but it's too much to ask in his 2nd year in the conference. Do you think he'd be successful against Antoine Caldwell or Jim Tartt? One guy to watch for is Marlon Walls - he's apparently up to anywhere from 250 to 270 pounds. If he's 270 when he hits the fall practice field, he could be inserted into the practice rotation at tackle. Just 5 months ago, he was an outside linebacker - kid has grown!

4.) Neyland Stadium has undergone some wholesale external and internal renovations during the offseason, updating and improving the overall appearance. If you could change one thing about Neyland, what would it be?

Keep the capacity at 107,000+. We're down to 102,000ish now, and that makes me a bit sad. I know it's just a number, and we still have a crapload of fans in the House that Robert Built. But come on! Why would you lower capacity? Ooooo, nifty chairback seats - SIGN ME UP! Also, to add: get rid of Sodexho. What an abomination of a food supplier. Not only will you pay your left testicle and your first born for a pizza, it'll be scalding hot on the top of the cheese, and a frozen tundra in the middle of the pie. And sodas that are more water than ... soda. I went to a few places that had Sodexho, even before UT added them, and it was wretched. When I heard UT hired them, I knew the complaints were one quarter of Southern Miss away from being very loud.

5.) Different UT fans have different opinions on last season. Was it a success? Was it a failure? Why do you think so?

It was a failure, and I hate to be "that guy." We didn't win a championship, we didn't make it to a BCS bowl, and we didn't secure a top recruiting class. I love that this team fought back from the dead and won the East Division. I cheered them on every second along the way. However, we won nothing tangible that will be remembered. Tennessee's football program, and all-time top 10 program, should never be satisfied with "almost." The standards at the University of Tennessee should be, and ARE, 2 SEC Titles every 10 years. I'm not saying you can't have 8-5, 9-4 seasons, but have them when you REBUILD! WIN A DAMN SEC TITLE! WIN ONE!!! In 2000, when we went 8-5, I was okay with that. We won a National Title two years prior, and had to break in a new quarterback. 2002, I was okay with 8-5, we just appeared in the SECCG, and were obviously the best team in the conference, and we were still in the 5 year window of not being able to bitch about not winning a title. It's now 2008, we haven't won an SEC Title in 9 years, and that's just too long. Any season from here on out where we don't win an SEC Title is a failure. I hate to be "that guy," but "that guy" is becoming more and more common in Knoxville.

List of Big Orange Roundtable Volume 1 answers:
3rd Saturday in Blogtober
Moondog Sports
UT Vols Football
Fulmer's Belly

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

XPOST: Rich Brooks Capsizes

From CFB Authority:

This morning, WHAS Channel 11 out of Louisville, reported breaking news that a boat capsized, and one of the passengers was University of Kentucky head football coach Rich Brooks. The article also states that Brooks is fine and will be out on the river, fishing, again - even though fishing is bullshit.

We have an exclusive photo of Brooks after the boat capsized, when he attempted to swim to shore.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Alex Bullard to Notre Dame

If you follow recruiting, you already know the news: Brentwood Academy OG Alex Bullard has verbally committed to Notre Dame this morning. GoVolsXtra has the story here

Unlike most, I'm not going meltdown about it for various reasons. Sure, it hurts to lose one of the best linemen in the state, especially when he has grown up as a fan of our Volunteers.

However, keep in mind that signing day is still 7 months away, and Notre Dame is still rebuilding. They could be anywhere from 4-8 to 8-4 this season, and if it falls closer to the bottom than the top, Bullard could change his mind.

Also, we're standing in good spots with a lot of highly rated offensive linemen across the country, as well as currently unrated linemen who will be great talents. Therefore, freaking out is probably a bit premature. Call me in January if we don't have any offensive linemen verballing.

Bullard did say academics played a major role in his decision, which begs the question: "Did anybody at UT pimp the Thornton Center?" The Volquest article from awhile back gave a great look at the center and how it helps the athletes.

Lastly, I'll spend time this weekend updating the recruiting board due to the commitment of Bullard, and the Vols handing out more scholarship offers. It should be up by Sunday night or early Monday morning.

Good luck to you, Mr. Bullard, and don't forget that it's not February.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

2009 Recruiting Board

This is the first installment of the 2009 Recruiting Board. I'm not great with HTML, so if you see any glaring miscues, let me know. Also, with it still being early in the process, it's hard to nail down where these kids stand. I'll update this weekly. Also, after the tables, you'll see the section called "On the Radar." This section lists some kids who should be getting UT offers soon. Hope you like the board.

Josh NunesCA****Vols, BYU, Stanford, UF, OU, othersUCLA got a commitment from another QB; we're in the top 8
Jordan ReedCT****Vols, UF, UConn, Iowa, BC, Duke, OregonLikes our former OC
Tate ForcierCA****Vols, ASU, UF, Mich, PSU, Oreg, othersBrothers at PAC 10 schools, might come to UT camp this summer; we're in the top 20

Running Back
Toney WilliamsGANRVols, UK, Indy, GT, NCStLoves the coaches and tradition
Dominique AllenTNNRVolsProjected at FB; All Vol already, and HS teammates with prospect Marsalis Teague
David OkuOK****Vols, FSU, Mich Neb, IllGreat friends with Gerald Jones's family
Desmond ScottNC****Vols, SEC, ACCSeems Clemson is the leader, and Tennessee is an afterthought currently
Jarvis GilesFL****Vols, UF, FSU, Clem, Ark, USCe, othersHad Vols as leader
Gabriel HunterTNNRVols, UK, Mem, VU, MissNot a lot out there - likes Bammer, but no offer
Tim EdmondOHNRVolsFullback - no offers outside of UT

Je'Ron StokesPA****VolsVerballed on 4/6, and loves everything about Tennessee
Marlon BrownTN*****Vols, all big time schoolsTalks with UT coaches regularly, but is also getting worked by Aaron Murray at Georgia; interested in basketball also
Rueben RandleLA*****Vols, LSU, UF, UGA, FSU, Bama, ND, OU, Miss, MiamiOle Miss and LSU leading(?); Vols will be in to meet with him soon
Chad BumphisMS****Vols, SEC, TTWide open, but likes UF, Bama, Miss St, and LSU; his HS QB Chris Garrett is committed to LSU
Alshon JeffreySC****Vols, Bama, UF, FSU, Mich, USCe, othersSays Bammer, South Carolina, and USC are his leaders, but the Trojans haven't offered
Lamar ScruggsFL****Vols, UF, Miss, FSU, Miami, Aub, WVU, Clem, othersLifetime Gator fan, but not so fast my friend; wide open
Zach RogersTNNRVols, OKST, Duke, Ark, Aub, Bama, UK, othersBrother of current UT WR Austin Rogers - says he feels home at Tennessee but is "wide open"
Orson CharlesFL****Vols, SEC, BC, FSU, Miami, Mich, many othersTight End; He's the prospect who broke the UF National Title Trophy; with the name "Orson," he's going to Florida
Thad McHaneyTNNRVols, UK, USCe, VUTE/DE; HS teammate and friend of OL prospect Alex Bullard; context clues point to UT being the one to beat, but it's early
Shaquelle EvansCA*****Vols, USC, LSU, ASU, OU, ND, Mich, othersWork to do, but will be visiting Tennessee

Offensive Line
Morgan MosesVA*****Vols, VT, UVA, WVU, UGA, Bama, othersMassive kid; really likes WR coach Latrell Scott; VT fans think UT is their biggest competition
Nick AlajajianFL***Vols, UF, FSU, UGA, Miami, ND, othersFlorida is on top, and it's not close
Marcus HallOH****Vols, Mich, tOSU, Ill, othersIllinois, Ohio State, and Michigan are the leaders, with the Vols at "low" interest
Xavier NixonNC****Vols, ND, UF, LSU, Mich, UGA, tons of great schoolsWill be making a top 10 list by the middle of June; I actually like where UT stands
Stavion LoweTX****Vols, ND, OU, OkSt, TAMU, othersTexas would be on top, but they haven't offered; thusly, Tennessee is on top
John MartinezUT****Vols, USC, LSU, UCLA, UF, UGAUSC leads, with LSU and UCLA 2nd and 3rd, respectively
Peter WhiteDC****Vols, UF, PSU, Mary, Ill, othersSays he's definitely coming to Tenn for a visit this summer; good feeling here
Alex BullardTN****Vols, Bama, Aub, ND, TAMU, Duke, othersLoves Coach Fulmer and thinks Coach Clawson is a "cool guy"; I would almost consider Bullard a lock
Johnnie FarmsGA****Vols, Bama, UGA, Aub, UF, OU, othersSeems like Alabama and Florida are the leaders, but he likes Coach Fulmer
Quinton WashingtonSC****Vols, Bama, Clem, Miami, USCeI think it will be hard to pull him out of state, but he seems wide open
Courtney EasterwoodTNNRVolsVols have only listed offer
Andre HarrisGANRVols, GT, Mary, NCStNo news on any leanings; have to like the competition so far
Kamran JoyerFLNRVols, USCeNot a lot of info, but Tennessee was the first to offer
Khalil WilkesNJNRVols, Rutg, Neb, WVU, Mary, slew of othersLooking at academics; teammate of Nyshier Oliver who loves Tenn; Vols are the best program with an offer

Defensive Line
Devon KennardAZ*****Vols, ASU, USC, UF, UCLA, LSU, othersHe lists USC and ASU as top 2, but Rivals lists UT as top "Medium" school
Sam MontgomerySC****Vols, UF, LSU, Clem, USC, USCe, Miami, othersMentions USC, USCe, Clemson, Florida St, Miami, LSU, and NC State as his tops right now
Ryne GiddensFL****Vols, UF, FSU, Aub, Miami, USFFlorida St probably leads
Dyron DyeFL****Vols, UF, FSU, USC, LSU, Miami, Aub, othersWide wide open; teammates with Ray Ray Armstrong and Andre Dubose
Jamil MerrellDENRVols, FSU, WVU, VT, Rutg, othersTwin brothers with LB Jamal; will be visiting UT
Craig DrummondIL****Vols, UF, LSU, tOSU, USC, othersKnows current Vol OT Ramone Johnson; wide open, quiet
DeOnte ArnettMD****Vols, UGA, tOSU, PSU, WVU, othersNobody is in his top 3 yet
William MingAL****Vols, Bama, Aub, LSU, UGA, ND, OU, Mich, othersI think it will be hard to pull him from the Bammers
Jason AnkrahMDNRVols, VT, WVU, Rutg, Mary, othersWide open, but he wants to visit UT and we'll be a good fit
Duane ChisolmSCNRVols, Clem, USCe, Bama, WVU, othersWe don't seem to be in the running
Lanford CollinsVANRVols, PSU, VT, UVA, WVU, othersNot a lot, but we offered in early May
Daniel HoodTNNRVols, Aub, FSU, UCLA, CU, othersWill be OL; grew up UT fan, but we're listed at "low" by Rivals
Anthony OrrALNRVols, Bama, Aub, Clem, othersOpen, but UT is behind the instate schools
Chris DavenportLA*****Vols, LSU, UF, Bama, USC, othersMight not be destined for LSU; UT in top 6
Jamarkus McFarlandTX*****Vols, LSU, Tex, OU, ND, UF, othersLSU, Texas, and Oklahoma far ahead; LSU could be the one to beat
Corey AdamsAZ****Vols, USC, UCLA, ASU, tOSU, UF, othersWide open, but USC will be hard to beat
Chris BondsSC****Vols, USC, USCe, ND, FSU, Bama, othersLikes USC and Alabama, but will visit Vols; sister wants to visit for UT softball
Demonte McAllisterFL****Vols, FSU, UGA, LSU, USC, UF, othersLikes USC and FSU, but didn't find UF "nice"
Darrington SentimoreLA****Vols, Bama, Aub, OU, othersNo LSU offer, but will come if he gets his grades in order
Raynard RandolphMDNRVols, UGA, WVU, Mary, Rutg, othersLikes WVU, but might camp in Knoxville this summer

Manti Te'oHI*****Vols, USC, ND, ASU, Oreg, UCLA, othersCousins with JT Mapu; says he's wide open, but USC has to be the favorite
Nico JohnsonAL****Vols, Bama, Aub, USC, UF, LSU, othersThis is a battle between Bama and War Eagle
Tana PatrickAL****Vols, Bama, UGA, USC, FSU, othersWants to take his visits; hard to take from the state
Jerod AskewVA****Vols, VT, WVU, OU, Mary, othersTennessee has a great shot
Chris WilliamsTX****Vols, LSU, OU, TAMU, Neb, TT, othersTennessee not in top 5
Daniel MackFLNRVols, Aub, USCe, Wisc, WVU, many othersSeems wide open, but mentions Spurrier
Jelani JenkinsMD*****Vols, USC, VT, UF, PSU, tOSU, other big onesHas family in Charleston, SC and doesn't mention Tennessee for visits
Frankie TelfortFL****Vols, USC, LSU, tOSU, UF, FSU, ND, many othersWide wide open; but mentioned 4/8 that USC, UF, ND, and GT on top
Barkevious MingoLA****Vols, LSU, Bama, OU, othersLSU is clear leader
Jamal MerrellDENRVols, FSU, WVU, VT, Rutg, othersTwin brothers with DE Jamil; will be visiting UT
Johnathan StewartLANRVols, GT, TAMU, Miss St, othersNo leaders right now

Defensive Back
Dre KirkpatrickAL*****Vols, Bama, Aub, USC, UF, LSU, UGA, many othersA lot of work to do, but will camp at Tennessee
Justin GreenKY****Vols, Bama, Aub, Miami, UK, Lou, othersSeems open, but wants to go to a place where he can grow as a person
Branden SmithGA****Vols, UGA, LSU, UF, ND, Mich, othersHigh on Tennessee and likes Eric Berry
Eric GordonTN****Vols, Bama, OU, Miss St, USCe, othersBrother Jamont plays BB at Miss St
Terry ShankleNC****Vols, UF, UNC, NCST, Clem, BamaHas us in his top 6; his uncle was coached by Dan Brooks
Jordan LoveVANRVols, UGA, PSU, UVA, Lou, othersWill try to visit Tennessee
Josh RobinsonFLNRVols, USF, Aub, Miss, othersTeammates with DB Brandon McGee; likes UF, but no offer
Roderick SweetingGANRVols, Clem, VT, Aub, Bama, othersWide open, but doesn't mention visiting Tennessee
Darren MylesGANRVols, UGA, LSU, UF, ND, Bama, Aub, othersSeems wide open; will trim his list soon
Vladimir EmilienFLNRVols, Mich, tOSU, Aub, Ill, othersOhio State leads, with Michigan #2
Gabe LynnOK****Vols, OU, USC, UF, LSU, othersFriends with UT prospect David Oku, watched Meachem play in HS
Angelo HadleyFLNRVols, UGA, Aub, Mich, USF, othersWide open and planning visits
Gerald HodgesNJNRVols, PSU, Rutg, BC, Pitt, othersPenn St and Rutgers might be top two
Rod WoodsonMSNRVols, Bama, Mich, Miss St, Miss, othersHe says Alabama is on top, then Ole Miss

Damien ThigpenVA****VolsCommitted on 4/20; loves everything about Tennessee
Andre DeboseFL****Vols, UF, FSU, tOSU, USC, othersTeammates with Ray Ray Armstrong and Dyron Dye; most likely a packaged deal; not talking about Tennessee
Logan ThomasVA****Vols, Aub, Clem, VT, WVU, UVA, othersUT recruiting him as TE; visited the O&W game
Ronnie Wingo, Jr.MO****Vols, Mizz, OU, Neb, Bama, othersPlanning visits, but grew up an OU fan
Ray Ray ArmstrongFL****Vols, UF, FSU, ND, LSU, UGA, othersTeammates with Andre Debose and Dyron Dye; probably a package; not talking about Tennessee
EJ BanksPA****Vols, ND, tOSU, Pitt, Ill, othersOhio State is clear leader for now
Corey BrownPA****Vols, tOSU, Mich, ND, PSU, Pitt, othersWide open, but Tennessee seems an afterthought
Montrell ConnerLA****Vols, OU, Bama, Miss St, Miss, othersWould go to LSU, but they have not offered
Brandon McGeeFL****Vols, USC, UF, tOSU, LSU, UGA, othersWide wide open, but knows Vlad Richard and Demetrice Morley, and Drayton is working his magic
Josh BoydMS****Vols, Bama, LSU, Miami, Mich, Miss, othersProjected DL; likes the idea of staying in state but will visit Tennessee
Stephon GilmoreSC****Vols, UF, Clem, USCe, tOSU, PSU, othersTennessee interests him, Slade says he could play early; knows Jon Hefney and loves our coaches
Nyshier OliverNJNRVols, PSU, Pitt, Rutg, othersTeammate Khalil Wilkes says Oliver has Tennessee in lead
David SimsSCNRVols, UF, Mich, Bama, USCe, UNC, othersWide open, but Rivals has Tennessee on top(?)
Joe StewartGANRVols, GT, Mizz, M(OH), MTSUTT leads but they haven't offered
Marsalis TeagueTNNRVols, Miami, Mich, Clem, Miss, othersIn the running, but he likes Michigan a lot; teammate Dominique Allen already committed to Tennessee

On the Radar
LB Cody Ledford, Tallahassee, FL
RB/LB David Jones, South Pittsburg, TN
RB Andre Harris, Torrance, CA
WR Jamarielle Brown, Paducah, KY
C Sam Simpson, Lexington, KY
DT Mister Cobble, Louisville, KY
LB Nigel Mitchell-Thornton, Stone Mountain, GA
DB DJ Swearinger, Greenwood, SC
DT William Campbell, Detroit, MI (committed to Michigan)
QB Clayton Moore, Louisville, MS
RB Morgan Alexander, Cartersville, GA
RB Warren Norman, Chamblee, GA
DB Stephon Morris, Greenbelt, MD (committed to Penn State)
TE Joseph Sloan, Nashville, TN
OG Will Jackson, Knoxville, TN
WR Xavier Rhodes, Miami, FL
DT Curtis King, Memphis, TN
LB Derrick Webb, Memphis, TN
DB Gene Robinson, Memphis, TN
OT Logan Massengale, Brentwood, TN
DT Curtis Porter, Charlotte, NC
TE Malcolm Bush, Hackensack, NJ
LB Ridge Wilson, Louisville, KY
TE Darrell Smith, Gadsden, AL
DE Brian Johnson, Charlotte, NC
ATH Ka'lial Glaud, Atco, NJ
LB DT Shackelford, Decatur, AL
TE Leneil Brown, Teaneck, NJ
DT Barry Dabney, Brentwood, TN
ATH Theron Norman, Richmond, VA

Whew, lots of work. Let me add this: if you ever see someone on a forum named "NYCVol010," listen to everything he has to say. He's the man, and he'll soon have his own recruiting site, which we'll pimp vigorously.