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Rocky Top Talk Jun 9, 2015

Butch Jones and Bret Bielema: A Tale of Two Rebuilding Jobs

Both the Vols and Razorbacks have been in rebuilding mode over the last two seasons. This year will serve as a barometer for both teams when they play each other on October 3rd. When the Tennessee Volunteers host the Arkansas Razorbacks on October 3, 2015, both teams will be able to use one another as a measuring stick for their respective rebuilding efforts. When Butch Jones and Bret Bielema took over for Tennessee and Arkansas respectively, both teams had hit rock bottom in the SEC. The Vols had finished 5-7 for a 3rd straight year in 2012 and the Razorbacks ended with a 4-8 record that...
Rocky Top Talk Jun 9, 2015

What If: Tennessee Hires Kevin Sumlin in 2010

The 2010 football hire was one of the worst decisions the Tennessee program could have made. What if they'd hired Kevin Sumlin instead? On January 12, 2010, after leading the Vols to a 7-6 opening season that included blowout wins over Georgia and South Carolina and a heartbreaking 12-10 loss to Alabama, Lane Kiffin left Tennessee to become the head coach at Southern California, leaving athletic director Mike Hamilton scrambling to find a replacement just one year after Kiffin himself replaced Phillip Fulmer. After Vols fans took a deep breath (and burned some mattresses), message board...
Rocky Top Talk Jun 7, 2015

Vols gain commitment from 6'6" JUCO WR Jeff George

The Tennessee coaching staff is doing a good job of filling needs, as the team now has two commits from a position of need starting in 2016 Them Vols gained a big commitment this weekend from Dodge City Community College wide receiver Jeff George. No, not that Jeff George, this Jeff George is listed at six-foot-six and would make for an ideal red zone target as soon as he stepped on campus. The Dodge City prospect currently has offers to play at Mississippi State, Arizona State, Cincinnati and Southern Miss among others. Happy with my decision. Can't wait for the next chapter of...
Rocky Top Talk Jun 5, 2015

Which SEC East Team Has The Easiest Games vs SEC West Opponents?

Trick question, the answer is no one. There have been a few cases of a team winning their division thanks in part to being in the right place at the right time in the cross-division rotation in the SEC.  Most notably, Mississippi State was Tennessee's opponent in Atlanta in 1998 by way of missing the Vols, Gators, and Dawgs from the SEC East.  And we've spent plenty of time over the last few years lamenting Tennessee's freakish ability to catch SEC West teams at just the right/wrong time:  LSU and Arkansas in 2011, Auburn in 2013, Ole Miss in mid-October last year. But while there are...
Rocky Top Talk Jun 4, 2015

Why Missouri Will be the True Measuring Stick for the Vols

Games against Florida, Georgia, and Alabama are certainly pivotal games for the Vols. But Tennessee should know where they stand from a talent and depth standpoint once they take on Missouri. The Tennessee Volunteers have a handful of "swing games" on their schedule heading into the 2015 season. Whichever team is viewed as the favorite when Tennessee faces Florida, Georgia, Arkansas, and Oklahoma won't be a huge favorite, and the line for those games will likely be within one touchdown. While all the games mentioned above will be pivotal for the Vols this season, one of the most important...
Rocky Top Talk Jun 3, 2015

Can a 7-6 Team Win the SEC East the Next Year?

Absolutely they can. As Dave Serrano's fourth season as Tennessee's baseball coach was coming to a disappointing end, the head coach was asked if his preseason expectations of Omaha negatively affected a young team which had yet to play in even a single NCAA Tournament game.  Serrano's answer was a bit of both, but the question itself created instant comparisons to the conversation surrounding Team 119 right now. Tennessee was 7-6 last year, is 12-13 in Butch Jones' first two years, and 40-47 in the last seven seasons.  Tennessee is also projected to open the year in the Top 25,...
Rocky Top Talk Jun 2, 2015

How Have the Two New SEC Schools Fared?

Missouri and Texas A&M officially joined the SEC in 2012, and they've carved in spots for themselves since joining. But how do they compare to a handful of teams that the SEC could've added instead of them? When all the conference realignment was taking place at the beginning of this current decade, the SEC had several options when looking for teams to add to their 12-team conference. The conference wasn't looking to add two big-time schools like Florida State or Texas, but they weren't going to settle for some run-of-the-mill programs either. Ultimately, they chose to add Missouri and...
Rocky Top Talk Jun 1, 2015

What If: Tennessee as a One Seed in the 2008 NCAA Tournament

The best Tennessee team of the 64-team tournament era earned an incredibly brutal draw on Selection Sunday. How might things have been different if the Vols earned the final one seed instead of a two? The NCAA Tournament is about match-ups.  This is the mantra of mid-March, accompanying pounding fists on screen and in print.  Your seed is important, but your draw matters more.  With the rise of mid-major conferences and an increase in overall parity this seems increasingly true:  in all five years of the First Four in Dayton, one of the proverbial last four in has advanced to the Round...
Rocky Top Talk May 30, 2015

Women's College World Series - Lady Vols vs Auburn Live Thread

After falling to Florida in the opener, the Lady Vols must climb out of the loser's bracket in the Women's College World Series, beginning today vs Auburn. Four errors helped doom the Lady Vols in the opener on Thursday, a 7-2 loss to top seed Florida which puts Tennessee in win-or-go-home mode for as long as they can survive over the next two days.  It will take four straight wins - two today, two tomorrow - to advance to the championship series. Can't get four without one, and today that begins with an SEC Tournament championship rematch against Auburn.  The Tigers took two of three...

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