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
Loser With Socks
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:
TENNESSEE 2007 RECEIVING STATS
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.