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Rocky Top Talk Sep 24, 2014

Early Reviews of the 2014 Recruiting Class: Offense

Taking a look at the fabulous recruiting class of 2014 and their contributions on the field. Tennessee's 2014 recruiting class finished as the best class for the Vols in years, and we thought that many of the incoming freshmen would be difference makers. Through the first three games of the season, how have they done? Playing Time and Stats The charts below break down the contributions of each individual player. Twelve offensive players (not counting those listed as athletes) signed with the Vols, and defensive tackle/offensive guard Jashon Robertson has played solely on the offensive side...
Rocky Top Talk Sep 24, 2014
The Georgia-Tennessee Preview, or Mike Bobo vs. Mike Bobo

The Georgia-Tennessee Preview, or Mike Bobo vs. Mike Bobo

Will Georgia run the dang ball enough, and can Tennessee do enough to stop them? Finally, SEC play has arrived. With the schedule changing from prior years it feels a little strange to start the season with Georgia instead of Florida, but that's how it goes. Georgia's been the only good SEC East team this season (lest you think South Carolina counts, hear it from the man himself) and given the huge conference disparity this kinda counts as a big game. Y'know, provided Bobo runs the dang ball. RUN THE DANG BALL BOBO So: has Georgia OC Mike Bobo run the dang ball? As it turns out, yes he has,...
Rocky Top Talk Sep 23, 2014

RTT Podcast: Georgia Week

The podcast returns with SB Nation's Dawg Sports on the eve of divisional play. SEC play approaches, and for the first time in 19 years Tennessee will begin league play with Georgia, not Florida.  That means we're joined tonight by SB Nation's Dawg Sports to talk Tennessee and Georgia.  How have our feelings about this game changed since the season began, can Tennessee (or anyone) do anything to slow down Todd Gurley, and much more as this SEC East rivalry renews once more. Here's the usual info: Phone Number: (724) 444-7444 Call ID: 61505 Subscribe via iTunes You can listen live by...
Rocky Top Talk Sep 23, 2014
The Most Powerful SEC Power Rankings: Week 5

The Most Powerful SEC Power Rankings: Week 5

Wherein we try to come up with something as bad as losing to Indiana in a game of football, and we're not sure we succeed. A Note About Methodology This ranking is meant to be prospective in nature. It will do its best to ask which teams would win if they played tomorrow, and then rank accordingly. A prospective ranking looks at the same evidence as a retrospective ranking -- it necessarily has to; the past is all we got -- but instead of formlessly using that evidence as an end in and of itself, it attempts to use that evidence as an answer to the question we all wanna know: who...
Rocky Top Talk Sep 23, 2014
Weighing the Vols' chances against their remaining schedule

Weighing the Vols' chances against their remaining schedule

With opponents compiling actual results now, what are the Vols' chances against each of their remaining 2014 opponents? We now have four weeks of games under our belts, and it's time to start reassessing the Vols' chances of going bowling in 2014. Below is the remainder of Tennessee's schedule, their opponents' respective records and results, and my best guess as to the Vols' chances of beating them. My rating is on a scale of 5-30, where 5 is Never Gonna Happen and 30 is Absolutely Certain to Happen. So here we go. 9/27/14: @Georgia Bulldogs (2-1, 0-1 SEC, #13) Week 1: Beat Clemson,...
Rocky Top Talk Sep 22, 2014
Butch Jones Press Conference Thread

Butch Jones Press Conference Thread

For real this time. The bye week is over and done, and it's time to focus on Georgia. Butch Jones will return to his regular schedule and hold his Monday press conference at noon. The link is not up as of the time of the writing, but it should be up on utsports.com by the time this article goes live. As usual, if schedule permits, I will live blog the press conference in the comments for those who are not able to watch. We should get an injury update, and there are a number of players with concerns right now. Word is that Von Pearson will miss the Georgia game (which will be a big...
Rocky Top Talk Sep 21, 2014
While You Were Out: Tennessee and the SEC East

While You Were Out: Tennessee and the SEC East

If everyone's bad, weird things can happen. I mean: why not, right? 1. There's a very real chance six of the best seven teams in the SEC are in the West this year. I'm not as sure of seven of the best eight (basically comes down to who you trust more: South Carolina or Arkansas, I think), but Georgia's the only team so far that's shown the chops to hang with anyone in the SEC West, and even they have press-eject-on-wins button that is Mike Bobo calling plays in the red zone. 2. The highlights from the SEC East this week: Georgia obliterating Troy, South Carolina getting punched in the mouth...
Rocky Top Talk Sep 21, 2014
RTT Locks Recap, Week 4

RTT Locks Recap, Week 4

Everyone strives for perfection. Only the best get there. It's hard to go 6-0. If you go 6-0, you're clearly doing something right. If the people you're picking against don't go 6-0, that's just more games ahead margin for you. it also gives me a two game lead going into the meat of conference play, because you better believe I'm writing this week in first person. Of course, the only option here is to put on more steam. Outside of the 6-0 contingent, a rough week for the kid (which he'll blame on Sal Sunseri's defense instead of his own shortcomings, no doubt) and this makes two good weeks...
Rocky Top Talk Sep 20, 2014

College Football Saturday TV Schedule: Big Orange Version

Tennessee's got a bye this weekend, so here's your chance to catch up on what's happening with other teams. No game for the Vols today, of course, but that doesn't mean there isn't anything to watch. Get your weekend chores out of the way this morning and early afternoon, but then settle in for Florida at Alabama on CBS at 3:30 and Clemson at Florida State on ABC at 8:00. If you're fortunate enough to have finished all of your vegetables already this weekend, go ahead and scout Georgia vs. Troy at noon on the SECN for whatever that may be worth. Oh, and root for Oklahoma to put a whoopin'...
Rocky Top Talk Sep 19, 2014

How Good Can Tennessee's Defense Be?

The Vol defense entered the season with baggage and uncertainty, but through three games has played above everyone's expectations. When Tennessee shut down Chuckie Keeton and Utah State in week one, some of us did the week one stuff where we assume only the very best about our team ("This defense can carry us all year!"), and some of us did the week one stuff where we try not to overreact ("It's only one game, but...").  A couple weeks and a couple games later, it's clear Utah State isn't quite as good as we thought they were...but Tennessee's defense?  It might be the real...
Rocky Top Talk Sep 18, 2014
RTT Pick 'Em Community Trends - Week 4

RTT Pick 'Em Community Trends - Week 4

How our community is feeling about college football's biggest games this week Yours truly did not three-peat in the picks last week: 1 danmarcel 17-3 181 2 I_S 16-4 180 3 VillaVol 17-3 176 3 rhickson87 16-4 176 5 VolFanatETSU 16-4 173 5 BZACHARY 16-4 173 5 chuckiepoo 15-5 173 8 Caban the Grey 15-5 172 8 I Called John Anthony 15-5 172 8 RichVols 15-5 172 8 Phonies 14-6 172 Lots of familiar names there, and in the season top ten: 1 --> Will...
Rocky Top Talk Sep 17, 2014

Help Wanted: Tennessee Offensive Line Recruiting

One of the Vol's top remaining targets committed to Ole Miss last week. Where does this leave Tennessee's offensive line recruiting needs, and what happens now for the 2015 class? #HottyToddy -- #OleMiss lands 5-star OT Drew Richmond over #Vols #Bama #OhioState #LSU http://t.co/b4ygf7wUvY pic.twitter.com/XoP2YQsT4s — Rivals.com (@Rivals) September 9, 2014 Last Tuesday, Memphis University School offensive tackle Drew Richmond verbally committed to Hugh Freeze and the University of Mississippi in a ceremony held at his high school. Richmond, a composite four-star and the top ranked...
Rocky Top Talk Sep 16, 2014

RTT Podcast: Post-Oklahoma with John Brice

We're joined by John Brice of VolQuest.com to discuss Oklahoma and where the Vols go from here. There's plenty of conversation in the bye week after Tennessee's "not quite a moral victory but definitely an encouraging performance" 34-10 loss at #4 Oklahoma Saturday night.  To do that, we'll be joined again by John Brice from Volquest and WNML's The Nation radio show.  It's a special Tuesday night edition of the podcast, live here at 8:30 PM ET or available for download anytime, as always.  Hopefully my house won't get struck by lightning again between now and then and we can avoid any...
Rocky Top Talk Sep 15, 2014

Rocky Top Locks Week 3 Recap

Hopefully Richt has saved some Richt for week five. Current Standings 1. I_S: 4-2 this week, 9-9 overall (50%) 1. Chris: 2-4 this week, 9-9 overall (50%) 1. KidB: 2-4 this week, 9-9 overall (50%). There appears to be a tie of some sort atop the standings. And abottom the standings. Chris (2-4) Utah State (-14.5) vs. Wake Forest - Had a 22-point halftime lead, but allowed 17 third quarter points to the Clawfence to pull out the failure to cover. 0-1 Duke (-14.5) vs. Kansas - This just in: Kansas still sucks. 1-1 Baylor (-35) vs. Buffalo - Allowed 21 points, was still a touchdown clear....
Rocky Top Talk Sep 15, 2014

Butch Jones Press Conference Thread

Butch Jones' weekly press conference is scheduled for today at noon. At the time of writing, the link was not yet available on utsports.com, but they will put it up closer to the time of the event. If possible, I will be providing live updates in the comments for those who are unable to watch. If I'm unable to be at a computer at noon, let this be your reminder that the press conference is happening (unless the bye week has thrown off the schedule--check utsports.com!) and it's time to watch, if you feel so inclined. There didn't seem to be any scary injuries this week, and we probably...
Rocky Top Talk Sep 12, 2014

Third Down for What T-Shirts

It's the craze taking Neyland by storm and giving the Tennessee defense that extra little something whenever they need to stop the team and give the ball back to the offense, and now you can add your own two cents to the hype. If you're an old fogey like me, you'd never heard of the Turn Down for What song that Tennessee's 3rd Down for What hypey thing is based on. And if you're an old fogey like me, you then found the video and shook your head while mumbling the phrase "kids these days" over and over under your breath. Fortunately, if you're an old fogey like me, your memory is not what it...
Rocky Top Talk Sep 12, 2014

RTT Guessing Game: Oklahoma

It's the RTT 2014 Tennessee-Oklahoma Guessing Game. How are you doing? Congratulations to biologydropout and mariettavol, who I think may be tied in the 2014 RTT Guessing Game overall standings. Props, too, to MasonW, for tying those two in the Week 2 standings. I say "I think" because the form generator is having trouble. _trey_, I know is missing again this week, and I know it's not him because my entry is missing as well. Who knows how many others. So for now, this is all just for fun and bragging rights week-by-week unless and until I can squash the gremlins under the hood. This week's...
Rocky Top Talk Sep 12, 2014

Tennessee vs Oklahoma Preview - The Last Time or The First Time

Can this young Tennessee team make progress on the road against a top five opponent? Two weeks ago on our podcast our old friend Brad Shepard made a really good statement:  for Tennessee, this season is either the beginning of the end of being bad, or the beginning of the beginning of being good. The transition probably won't be instantaneous and perhaps not even within the same season.  But tomorrow night could be our best indicator yet which one we're closest to.  Here's #4 Oklahoma, legitimate playoff contender and beater of Bama, a three touchdown favorite over the second winningest...
Rocky Top Talk Sep 11, 2014

RTT Pick 'Em Community Trends - Week 3

How our community is leaning in this week's biggest games. I'm not even going to say anything this week.  Here are the Top 10 from Week 2: 1 Will Shelton 18-2 199 2 chuckiepoo 18-2 196 3 Thaivol 17-3 194 3 OriginalVol1814 17-3 194 3 dougdavis710 15-5 194 6 Anaconda 16-4 193 7 DCVFL 17-3 192 7 corn from a jar 17-3 192 7 ChuckieTVol 16-4 192 10 rhickson87 16-4 191 10 Never Kick 57-Yard FGs 16-4 191 And here are the Top 10 for the season so far - full standings available here: 1 --> Will Shelton 34-6 377 2 DCVFL 34-6 367 3 Davy's...
Rocky Top Talk Sep 11, 2014

Is Oklahoma the monster we're making it out to be?

The Sooners are really, really good. But are they scary good? Hear me, Sooners fans. Oklahoma's a great, great team. Right now, they're much, much better than Tennessee. That said, I wonder: Is Oklahoma the monster we're making it out to be? Look, we're Tennessee. We eat frightening for breakfast. Take our 2012 Alabama game preview, in which we discovered that the Monster was #1 nationally in 5 of 7 defensive categories. Or take our preview of the 2013 game at Eugene against Oregon, when we learned that the Monster was in the top three in 4 of 8 offensive categories. There are several other...