11:37 PM EDT, Wed August 31, 2016
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Rocky Top Talk Aug 5, 2016

The Case for Georgia being the Vols’ Most Critical Game of the 2016 Season

The Bulldogs’ schedule leaves little margin of error for the Vols Yesterday, Will mentioned in passing while addressing another topic that the Tennessee-Florida game was the unquestioned most important game of the Vols' season. That's right, from a certain perspective, but I believe the Tennessee-Georgia game may actually be more critical to the goal of getting to Atlanta to play in the SEC Championship Game. If we're assuming the Vols finish the regular season 10-2 overall and 6-2 in the conference, then it's that second loss I'm most concerned about. More precisely, I'm concerned about...
Rocky Top Talk Aug 4, 2016

Vols in the Top 10: Ante up.

When I think about the “how long has it been?” conversations, I think about JaMarcus Russell. JaMarcus Russell has been out of the NFL for six years. He was the number one overall pick three years before that. And the year before that he led #13 LSU on a 15-play, 80-yard drive, throwing a touchdown pass on third-and-goal from the four yard line with five seconds left to beat the #8 Vols 28-24 on November 5, 2006. That was the last time Tennessee was ranked in the Top 10 until today. Tennessee’s last offensive snap before that LSU drive (which we’re always quick to point out would...
Rocky Top Talk Aug 4, 2016

Butch Jones vs Kirby Smart: Looking Back

Jones and the Vol offense did better than most against Smart’s defenses at Alabama. After going 1-2 in three incredibly compelling football games against Mark Richt, Butch Jones and the Vols will get their first shot at Kirby Smart in Athens this fall. It’s dangerously placed a week after what we all hope will be a day of liberation against the Gators, the unquestioned most important game of Tennessee’s season. But should the Vols stumble against the Dawgs the following Saturday, they could find themselves right back in second place in the SEC East. However, unlike the rest of the...
Rocky Top Talk Aug 3, 2016

LINKS: AP Lists Vols as 14th All-Time in College Football

The Associated Press called in their seasonal football writers a wee bit early, team roster updates, and unfortunate Lane Things: it's your (uncommon!) Wednesday links! Morning folks. The Butch Jones Roster Management Train is not without victims; in addition to our normal lists of transfers here, there are a number of players that don't make the roster, for various reasons. Perpetual fan favorite S WR Cody Blanc (of Alabama 2013 fame), S TE Joe Stocstill, and Jr WR Jay Rochell are the guys today. Well, the AP put together an all-time college football ranking, listing Tennessee 14th....
Rocky Top Talk Aug 2, 2016

10 Questions for 2016 #7: Who’s next at linebacker?

If we were to play the always terrifying “Which player could the Vols least afford to lose?” game, you could make a compelling case for Jalen Reeves-Maybin. His 105 tackles were 35 more than Brian Randolph’s second best last season, and while the Vols found an answer at middle linebacker in 2015 freshman Darrin Kirkland Jr., JRM’s play at the other spot with the Vols primarily in the nickel was far more valuable. The sophomore Kirkland and the senior Reeves-Maybin should combine to make Tennessee’s starting linebacker corps one of the best in the SEC. But who’s behind them?...
Rocky Top Talk Aug 1, 2016

Josh Dobbs’ Legacy, Now and Later

As training camp begins expectations are through the roof for Team 120 with much of the hype focused on quarterback Joshua Dobbs, entering his second full season as the undisputed starter. Wins and nothing else will cement Dobbs' legacy, but that does not mean conversations are not happening all across Tennessee concerning Dobbs' rank among UT quarterbacks. For the sake of limiting the discussion, let’s see where Dobbs fits among Vols quarterbacks of the last quarter-century. Statistically, Dobbs will likely become the greatest dual-threat quarterback in Vols history, with only 38 yards...
Rocky Top Talk Aug 1, 2016

Hello, August.

One of the best days of any off-season is the one when you realize how close it is to being over. My friends and I used to call it “the smell”. Sometimes it comes with the first hint of cooler days ahead, which have thus far remained beyond the horizon for most of us this summer. Other years it’s been the sight and smell of a freshly-cut 100 yards, but a lack of rain in East Tennessee has made things a little less green. Our hopes for the Big Orange are evergreen when the calendar hits August. But this year there isn’t much with this team requiring talking ourselves into. It’s...