2:58 AM EST, Sat December 20, 2014
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Rocky Top Talk Dec 7, 2014

Lady Vols at Lipscomb Preview

Who knew exhibitions could be road games? Video: paying for the privilege of watching exhibition games Audio: Mickey's on the road? Gametracker: what on earth is this Tip's at 3 PM EST, by the way. The "regular season or extended exhibition season?" portion of the Lady Vols schedule continues apace with the Lady Vols playing at Lipscomb. This won't be the UT-Chattanooga game; Lipscomb is is terrible, clocking in with a RPI of 324 and a record of 2-5. This game is in Nashville-I'm guessing here, mind-because Lipscomb head coach Greg Brown is an apple off the Patt Summitt coaching tree. This...
Rocky Top Talk Dec 7, 2014

Selection Sunday Open Thread

For the first time in four years Tennessee will find out its bowl opponent today, and for the first time ever the College Football Playoff will select its four participants.  ESPN has the Selection Show from 12:30-3:00 PM ET (leading nicely into the Lady Vols at Lipscomb on ESPN3); we can assume the playoff participants will be announced first with plenty of discussion, and at some point they'll get around to the bowl matchups. Your two major questions for the day: Where will Tennessee land, and who will they see when they get there? The Liberty Bowl continues to be the conversational...
Rocky Top Talk Dec 6, 2014

Tennessee vs. Kansas State and Open Thread

When I'm writing the men's games threads, you know there's a problem. The Tennessee Volunteers basketball team is playing right now.  Unfortunately, you have the one writer who doesn't know a thing about this team other than that the head coach isn't too good at neckties.  As for the game, it's Tennessee vs. Kansas State in Knoxville, a part of the Big 12 / SEC challenge (or SEC / Big 12 challenge, I suppose). There are also lots of interesting football games today, so feel free to chat about them in this thread as well.  Alabama vs. Analytics starts whenever the TV people get their...
Rocky Top Talk Dec 4, 2014

SEC Schedule Rotation - Vols Have Played East's Most Difficult Schedule Since Expansion

Playing Alabama already ramps up the degree of difficulty, but the cross-division rotating opponents have done the Vols no favors in the last few years. Schedules will always be out of balance.  Even within your own division, where everybody plays everybody, the home/away balance can impact the outcome of a season.  When comparing schedules in the SEC Tennessee is at an automatic disadvantage right now because we play Alabama every year...but we want to play Alabama every year, so we're not complaining. But in the SEC's three year old cross-division rotation, the Vols have had the most...
Rocky Top Talk Dec 4, 2014

Rocky Top Locks: Championship Week

This is the final week of a less than stellar season for our resident pickers, but bowl season is going to be the best thing ever. Conference championship week is a great opportunity to ignore how bad these picks are. So is bowl season, which is also great because we're resetting these picks like it's going out of style. Current Standings I_S: 4-1-1 last week,  42-39-3 overall [if you had placed a hypothetical $100 wager on all of I_S's recommendations, you would be down 90 bucks on the year] KidB: 2-4 last week,   41-41-2 overall [if you had placed a hypothetical $100 wager on all of...
Rocky Top Talk Dec 3, 2014

Lady Vols vs. St. Francis, 7 PM EST

If the losing streak doesn't end tonight, we can just wrap up for the season. So just to get this out there, the last losing streak the Lady Vols had was two years ago, with back-to-back games against Baylor and Stanford.  We'll assume that ends tonight.  No disrespect to St. Francis, but they're winless, with the closest game an 80-88 loss to Buffalo.  There's not really much to say about the matchup: it's a team with All-Americans vs. a team, well, without All-Americans, or anything close to it.  Like the early start to the season, this should be exhibition-esque, which means an easy...
Rocky Top Talk Dec 3, 2014

Tennessee Football 2015 Depth Chart - First Draft

Butch Jones' third season will look for major improvement behind a host of returning starters. For the first time since the Phillip Fulmer Era, Tennessee should have stability on both sides of the ball moving from one season to the next.  If Mike Bajakian and John Jancek hold their posts - no reason to believe they won't at this point - the Vols will not only return the same head coach and coordinators for three consecutive years for the first time since 2003-05, Tennessee should return 19 of 22 starters (20 if you count Jakob Johnson replacing A.J. Johnson these last two weeks) including...
Rocky Top Talk Dec 2, 2014

RTT Locks Week 14 Recap

Only one more week until the merciful end. The RTT lock-pickers had yet another rough week, and we only have one person over .500 going into the final week of the season. If you're smart, you will pick against I_S this week, because if this season has shown us anything, it's that the worst place to be is the lead. Current Standings I_S: 4-1-1 this week, 42-39-3 overall KidB: 2-4 this week, 41-41-2 overall Chris: 1-5 this week, 38-45-1 overall Chris' Picks Texas +6.5 over TCU. After struggling against Kansas, TCU went into Donkey Kong's Royal Stadium and tried to show everyone that they...
Rocky Top Talk Dec 1, 2014

Tennessee Bowl Projections - Where Will The Vols Go?

A look at the SEC bowl picture and where Tennessee might find itself for the holidays. How I've missed this week of trying to figure out who's going where and what teams might be waiting on us when we get there.  In the old days you could also count on some bowls to do screwy things in passing up better teams for bigger paydays; the SEC now places teams, so hopefully we get lesser shenanigans instead of just different shenanigans. In breaking down Tennessee's bowl possibilities there are a number of factors still at play: Ole Miss Makes the New Year's Six AND/OR Missouri beats...
Rocky Top Talk Nov 30, 2014

Lady Vols Take on Texas, 6:30 PM EST

In which we hope Isabelle Harrison's healthy. Video: Looking LIVE at Fox Sports 1 Audio: I don't believe it. Gametracker: Some weird new different thingy run by Texas I've never seen before but probably isn't good When we left the Lady Vols last, they were busy getting stupid against Chattanooga, falling down 16(!) at halftime before rebounding to barely lose. That means Holly Warlick is 0-2 against UT-C on the road, which is the early favorite for weirdest Warlick-related stat. It's more than just a venue curse, though; Chattanooga ran a lot of screens on offense and basically waited for...
Rocky Top Talk Nov 29, 2014

Tennessee 24 Vanderbilt 17 - Let's Go Bowling!

It was never easy, but the Vols got their sixth win through sixty tough minutes at Vanderbilt. For the first time since 2010, Tennessee will play in a bowl game. The last three years Tennessee's bowl dreams have died in ugly football games.  In 2011 Kentucky used a wide receiver at quarterback and won a 10-7 game despite gaining just 217 yards of offense.  In 2012 Vanderbilt put an official end to the Derek Dooley Era with a 41-18 blowout in Nashville.  And last year freshman Josh Dobbs played without Marquez North, averaged just 2.8 yards per attempt, and the Commodores snuck by the...
Rocky Top Talk Nov 29, 2014

SEC Power Rankings Week 14: An Intervention for Missouri

First and Always Dear Rock M Nation, Congratulations on your team's win against Tennessee last Saturday. That was a talented Vols team, and your veteran defensive line (preseason rank: 11th) played their best game of the year and absolutely took the young, inexperienced Tennessee offensive line behind the woodshed. This is genuine praise and sincere congratulations-- quite frankly, I'm amazed that Missouri was able to win that game, and as the young Vols improve, Mizzou might not win again until 2026. But that's not why I'm writing this missive. Let's talk about the soft bigotry of low...
Rocky Top Talk Nov 29, 2014

Previewing the Vanderbilt Game with Anchor of Gold

Previewing Saturday's game with our Commodore source from Anchor of Gold. Christian D'Andrea, editor and blogger extraordinaire at SBNation Vanderbilt fan site Anchor of Gold, was kind enough to answer all of our burning questions about Saturday's game. (You can read my preview of Tennessee for Anchor of Gold here). Presented below is our email exchange in its entire, mostly unedited glory. Coaching and Recruiting Prior to the season starting, the consensus seemed to be that Vanderbilt football might take a step back under Derek Mason, but that James Franklin had left a pretty decent...
Rocky Top Talk Nov 29, 2014

Tennessee Volunteers at Vanderbilt Commodores: game thread

The Vols head to Nashville to take on Vandy this afternoon at 4:00. Here's your open game thread. The Tennessee Volunteers take on the Vanderbilt Commodores this afternoon at 4:00 p.m. EDT on the SECN. This is the second best place to watch and discuss it with other Vols fans online as it happens. Go Vols! 4:00 PM ETSECN Tennessee at Vanderbilt TV: SEC Network Radio: Vol Network Satellite Radio: Sirius Ch. 113/XM Ch. 190  Online: Watch Live GameTracker
Rocky Top Talk Nov 29, 2014

RTT's Other Games Thread

Lots of great rivalry games today before the Vols' game against Vandy. Here's the entire day's schedule. Today's college football schedule is below. At noon, we get to see whether Georgia's able to focus after being disappointed by Missouri getting itself to the SEC Championship again this year. That game against the Yellow Jackets is on the SECN. At 3:30 on ESPN, we have Florida attempting to ruin Florida State's season, which could be fun but uncomfortable for Vols fans. There's also the Egg Bowl (Mississippi State vs. Ole Miss) on CBS at 3:30 and Minnesota at Wisconsin at 3:30 on the Big...
Rocky Top Talk Nov 29, 2014

Vanderbilt Guessing Game

Three contestants are tied for the lead heading into the final turn, and cheaters never prosper but instead blow themselves up. Last week, in this high stakes Mario Kart style 2014 RTT Guessing Game, the first bit of drama that unfolded was that the first half of the game between the Vols and Missouri ended in a tie, depriving everyone of any points for the "easy" question. Then, 18 people correctly guessed that Missouri would outrush Tennessee and got two points for their efforts. Would anyone throw a blue shell this week? Well, yes and no. GBOVOLS1 attempted to throw one on Sunday, but...
Rocky Top Talk Nov 28, 2014

Orlando Classic Kansas 82 Tennessee 67 - Signs of Life

The Jayhawks pulled away in the last six minutes, but a game Tennessee team gave fans reason to hope. It's Thanksgiving weekend and many who didn't see this game will look at the box score, see a 15 point Kansas victory, and assume.  Don't assume.  That's the lesson for today with this game and this Tennessee team. The Vols, who would have plenty of things going against them if they didn't have to deal with an NCAA investigation at Donnie Tyndall's previous stop and the abrupt resignations of two assistants, came to Orlando to fight.  And they fought Kansas for 40 minutes, going...
Rocky Top Talk Nov 28, 2014

Stats say Vols should take care of Vandy and bowl eligibility tomorrow

Anything can happen in a rivalry game, but all signs point to the Tennessee Volunteers earning bowl eligibility tomorrow against the Vanderbilt Commodores. Here it is, y'all. The last game of the regular season, and hopefully the last time in a long time we have to wonder at Thanksgiving whether it's too soon to put the qualifier "regular" in front of the word "season." Of the eight Lunatic Fan's List of Demands, only two have been crossed off the list, but we can cross off two more tomorrow with a win against Vanderbilt to get bowl eligible, which would position us well for nabbing three...
Rocky Top Talk Nov 27, 2014

Rocky Top Locks Week 14

The regular season is mercifully winding to a close as Vegas rakes in the cash against the squares. Look, this is awful. You're only reading this on Thanksgiving because you're trying to get away from family, and your reward are these picks. The staff at Rocky Top Talk would like to apologize on behalf of the pickers. KidB:  2-4 Last week, 39-37-2 overall (51%) I_S:   3-3 Last week, 38-38-2 overall (50%) Chris: 3-3 Last week, 37-40-1 overall (48%) Chris's "2013 Was So Last Year" Picks Texas (+6.5) v. TCU - If I'm not going to finish over .500 anyway, might as well go out with some...
Rocky Top Talk Nov 27, 2014

Orlando Classic Preview

The Vols head to the Magic Kingdom for three games in four days. Sometimes when external turmoil surrounds a team, the best thing you can do is just go play in hopes of making winning the story.  The Vols will get three chances to do just that in the next four days, but a strong field in Orlando makes turning this weekend into a positive a tall task. The opening bout should be the easiest one:  the Vols face Santa Clara today at noon on ESPN2.  The Broncos are 2-2 on the year with wins over Cal State Fullerton and San Diego Christian before falling at Utah State and most recently at...