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Rocky Top Talk Oct 17, 2014

Tennessee-Ole Miss Guessing Game Questions

Here are your guessing game questions for the Ole Miss game. MasonW: No points in Week 6 of the RTT Guessing Game and yet still in the lead. Congratulations. This week's questions are up and ready. To play, go to the form and submit your answers to our three questions. When you're done, come back here and paste your responses in the comments section for discussion purposes. DON'T FORGET TO HIT THE SUBMIT BUTTON. Here are mine: If your RTT screen name is on the list below, choose it. Otherwise, choose NEW PARTICIPANT and type your screen name in the box that magically appears. Joel...
Rocky Top Talk Oct 17, 2014

SEC Power Rankings: Mid-Season Reset

Now that we're crossing the midpoint of the season, it's time to take a look back at how we initially ranked the teams and examine the evidence from the games played in the first half of the season. TL;DR: Mid-Season Official Power Rankings Ballot 1. Ole Miss. This team is probably a year ahead of schedule depth-wise, so we won't be surprised if they falter along the way against a tough slate of games. That caveat aside, it's amazing how much this team has improved in Hugh Freeze's third season, pairing an occasionally brilliant but often frustrating offense with a truly scintillating...
Rocky Top Talk Oct 17, 2014

Is Tennessee Following the Ole Miss Model?

As the Year 2 Vols face the Year 3 Rebels, we look at the similarities and differences in a pair of difficult rebuilds. The most obvious comparison between Tennessee and Ole Miss in 2014 is in recruiting, which was until two weeks ago the most celebrated point of the rebuilding efforts on both campuses.  In the Class of 2013 recruiting cycle you or someone you know had some form of the, "Ole Miss has to be cheating, right?" conversation, the surest sign your program is headed back to the top in the SEC.  It's the low hanging fruit when a program goes from 47th to 8th in 247's composite...
Rocky Top Talk Oct 16, 2014

RTT Pick 'Em Community Trends - Week 8

How our community is feeling about this week's biggest games. Strong work by alc04 last week, going 18-2 to take the week in both overall record and confidence points: 1 alc04 18-2 192 2 UTSeven 16-4 191 3 wedflatrock 16-4 189 4 corn from a jar 15-5 188 5 RichVols 16-4 187 6 Anaconda 17-3 186 6 Joel @ RTT 16-4 186 6 PrideofTheSouthlandFan 15-5 186 9 WAFG 17-3 185 9 Matt10 17-3 185 Overall we have some shakeup as well; birdjam (as well as BZACHARY in 16th place) cracked the 100 win mark overall this week, but in confidence points drops to fifth...
Rocky Top Talk Oct 16, 2014
Is Tennessee-Ole Miss the do-over of Oklahoma we wanted?

Is Tennessee-Ole Miss the do-over of Oklahoma we wanted?

Will the Vols have key opportunities against Ole Miss like they did against Oklahoma, and what will they make of them? Hey, remember the Oklahoma game? You know, that game against a highly-ranked opponent at their place where their line almost destroyed our quarterback and eventually won the game 34-10? And the game where we were saying things like, "We would have been seven points closer if not for that interception in the end zone and maybe another 14 closer if not for the pick six in the end zone?" And "Boo on that missed fumble call, too?" Yeah, that game. I'm beginning to think that...
Rocky Top Talk Oct 16, 2014

Most Important Vol - Ole Miss

Our writing staff makes its weekly picks for the game's most important Vol. Will Shelton - Jalen Reeves-Maybin It's no secret:  if Tennessee is going to have a chance to pull the upset Saturday night, it will take a legendary performance from its defense, currently 15th in the nation in yards per play allowed.  Cameron Sutton probably remains Tennessee's most talented defensive player, but the unit's greatest chance to be dynamic comes in tackles for loss, where the Vols are sixth nationally with eight per game.  JRM is the leader in that effort; if Tennessee wants to continue to be...
Rocky Top Talk Oct 16, 2014

Rocky Top Locks, Week 8

We're taking liberal assumptions with the word "locks" now. What's better this year: your RTT pickers or your Tennessee offensive line? SPOILER: both are subpar. Current Standings I_S: 23-19 Kid: 20-20-2; Chris: 20-21-1 Chris's "2013 Was So Last Year" Picks Syracuse (-6) @ Wake Forest - Syracuse is terrible, but we know exactly how long it takes for the Clawfense to take hold. Michigan State @ Indiana OVER 59 - from the annals of "overthinking it" comes this pick, but: Indiana doesn't understand defense and Michigan State's forgotten games run 60 minutes so I'm basically banking on some...
Rocky Top Talk Oct 16, 2014

Tennessee Baseball Releases 2015 Schedule

27 of the Vols' 55 games this coming season will be against teams that made the postseason. The University of Tennessee has finalized its 2015 baseball schedule, and will open the season in Miami, Florida against Florida International.   Outside of the Southeastern Conference, the Vols will also face the Big Ten's Rutgers, AAC's Cincinnati Bearcats, and Dave Serrano's former UC Irvine Anteaters.  Serrano was the head coach at UC Irvine from 2005-2007, where he lead them to the postseason twice, including a College World Series trip in 2007.  Out of the SEC West this season the Vols draw...
Rocky Top Talk Oct 15, 2014

Offensive Lines, Inexperience and You: A Brief Public Service Announcement

Or, a stats-ish look at returning starters, tackles for loss, and why this line so, so awful. Since the Florida debacle (and a not-at-all reassuring performance against Chattanooga), there's been a lot of discussion here about the offensive line play, and some very understandable frustration with line coach Don Mahoney's results. So I thought it'd be a nice time to take a more quantitative look at this line, and some other recent programs in similar situations- charting the teams with the fewest returning starts on the offensive line over the last three years, along with the number of...
Rocky Top Talk Oct 15, 2014

Tennessee and Ole Miss To Stage Party in Opponent's Backfields

Can this be 2015 Tennessee vs. 2014 Tennessee? What if we ask really nicely? So when we last left our intrepid team, they were busy ignoring the plan I had designed for them to be offensively competent. Bad show, guys. As punishment, I sentence you to play Ole Miss in Oxford, which coincidentally was exactly what was on the schedule. I'm brilliant. Specifically, I sentence you to participate in the BATTLE OF THE OVERMATCHED OFFENSIVE LINES Tennessee will not have the better offensive line in this game. (ed note: are you just starting the rest of your previews with this sentence? ed...
Rocky Top Talk Oct 14, 2014
Vols Announce 2015 Schedule

Vols Announce 2015 Schedule

Seven home games including Oklahoma and a neutral site trip to Nashville highlight the 2015 slate. We've known the opponents for a while now, but tonight the SEC released the dates for each of its 14 teams for 2015.  Tennessee will play seven home games in all plus a neutral site date with UAB in Nashville, making five of the first six games in Tennessee with a road trip to Gainesville returning to its rightful place as the SEC opener.  The other big change sends Kentucky to October, creating what would traditionally be perceived as a welcome break between Alabama and South Carolina on...
Rocky Top Talk Oct 14, 2014

RTT Locks Week 7 Recap

The one-eyed man is king. "Everybody is over .500. . . chances that continues one more week?" we asked. Evidently, they were low. And in the land of losses, the .500 picker is king. Current Standings I_S: 3-3 this week, 23-19 overall KidB: 2-3-1 this week, 20-20-2 overall Chris: 1-5 this week, 20-21-1 overall Chris' Picks: Stanford/WSU under 55. 34-17 adds up to 51, giving Chris a narrow cover and the highlight of his week. 1-0 Michigan State -21 over Purdue. Purdue scored 31 points in this game, so I'm assuming Michigan State's defense was replaced by Eastern Michigan's. 1-1 West Virginia...
Rocky Top Talk Oct 14, 2014

Statistical rankings improve but show Vols still lack key ingredient to success

The Tennessee defense is on schedule and playing Top 25 caliber football, but the woes along the offensive line are hindering the offense's ability to keep up. The statistical rankings this week bear out what we all know: Halfway through the season with the sixth-most difficult schedule in college football, the Vols are still looking for that final piece to the puzzle, but the rest of the picture is coming together nicely. What Tennessee is doing well You expect a fair amount of general improvement in these rankings after playing an FCS opponent, and we got it. What we may not have expected...
Rocky Top Talk Oct 13, 2014

Butch Jones Press Conference Thread

It's Monday again, so Butch Jones will be giving his weekly press conference at noon, in which he will wrap up Chattanooga and look ahead to Ole Miss. The link should be available at utsports.com. Last week, there were no questions about Chattanooga and a lot of questions about the state of Tennessee. Expect that to change this week, as the Vols' next opponent is ranked #3 in the country. Last week, Jones was asked over and over and over about the state of the offensive line. After that performance against Chattanooga and with an elite defense on deck in Oxford, those questions are just as...
Rocky Top Talk Oct 13, 2014

Weighing the Vols' chances against their remaining schedule: Week 7

The Vols will have their chances against most of the rest of their schedule. Well that was fun. The Land Sharks look downright frightening, Missouri falters further, and Alabama is beginning to look like a particularly generous Grandma in wolf's clothing. So how do we feel about the Vols' remaining schedule? We rank the remaining games, again with our own 5-30 point scale. 10/18/14: @Ole Miss (6-0, 3-0 SEC, #3) Week 1: Beat Boise State, 35-13. Week 2: Beat Vanderbilt, 41-3. Week 3: Beat LA-Lafayette, 56-15. Week 4: Bye. Week 5: Beat Memphis, 24-3. Week 6: Beat Alabama, 23-17. Week 7: Beat...
Rocky Top Talk Oct 11, 2014
Vols beat Mocs 45-10, look good in spots

Vols beat Mocs 45-10, look good in spots

Tennessee looked both good and bad in a rout of the UTC Mocs. The Tennessee Volunteers put up 45 points and held the Mocs to 10 in what looks to be a rout on the scoreboard. You could also probably make an argument that it was, in fact, a rout. Tennessee looked great in certain aspects of the game. The defense held UTC to just over 200 total yards, 11 first downs, and 5 third down conversions, and they looked impressive doing it. The offense, too, had some decent stats, putting up 340 total yards (123 of which were on the ground using mostly backup running backs), and there were three...
Rocky Top Talk Oct 11, 2014

Tennessee Volunteers vs. UTC Mocs: Game Thread

The Vols host the Chattanooga Mocs today at 4:00. Here's your open game thread. The Tennessee Volunteers host UT-Chattanooga at 4:00 today on the SEC Network. This is the second best place to watch and discuss it with other Vols fans online as it happens. Go Vols! SATURDAY, OCTOBER 4TH, 2014 4:00 p.m. Chattanooga at TENNESSEE TV: SEC Network Radio: Vol NetworkONLINE: Watch ESPN, Live Audio, GameTracker
Rocky Top Talk Oct 11, 2014

RTT's Other Games Thread

There are several great games scheduled for today in addition to the Vols-UTC matchup that kicks at 4:00. Here's the schedule and place to watch. Oh, look. The Vols don't play at noon while still shaking the cobwebs out. Good news. The other good news is that there are a lot of great games again this weekend. Things kick off with #13 Georgia at #23 Missouri at noon on CBS. Who do we want to win this one? Things are a mess at 3:30 with three Top 25 matchups all airing at the same time (and with the Vols game kicking off at 4:00 to boot. Your DVR is going to get a workout. Here are those 3:30...
Rocky Top Talk Oct 11, 2014

Vols vs. Chattanooga: Game time, TV schedule, live radio stream and more

Tennessee hopes to wash the rest of the Gator breath away with a homecoming game against UTC this week. Good morning, Vols fans. It's the Next Saturday, and hopefully we've gotten that Florida mess out of our systems. Whatever remains can be washed clean this afternoon at 4:00 against UT-Chattanooga. Here's the info you need to watch if you're not going to be at the game. Game time, TV schedule: 4:00 Eastern, SECN Live TV stream: WatchESPN Live radio stream: Vol Network Live stats: Gametracker
Rocky Top Talk Oct 10, 2014

Most Important Vol - Chattanooga

Our writers make their weekly picks for the game's most important player. Will Shelton - Coleman Thomas I go first and it doesn't seem fair to me to take the whole offensive line and leave the rest of the guys hanging.  Coleman Thomas isn't the lone offender, by far.  But he is one of Tennessee's youngest offensive linemen, and thus hopefully one of the ones with the most still to gain.  We watched James Stone snap the ball on the ground against Florida as a freshman, and his partners in crime who are now starting NFL linemen were part of a group that gave up 40+ sacks in 2010.  What...