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Rocky Top Talk Jul 13, 2015

Vols get first 2018 Commitment

During all the SEC Media Days madness on Monday afternoon, the Vols learned they picked up their first commitment in the class of 2018. In the world of college football recruiting, coaches can never look too far ahead in an effort to build up their recruiting classes. This current cycle includes athletes in the 2016 class, and the Vols even have a 2017 commitment in defensive end Jordan Riley. And on Monday afternoon, the Vols added their first commitment in the 2018 class. Cade Mays, an offensive lineman out of Knoxville, committed to the Vols early Monday afternoon. While Mays has yet to...
Rocky Top Talk Jul 13, 2015

Poll: Who Wins the SEC West?

If the Vols are in fact legitimate contenders in the East, who might they see if they make it to Atlanta? All seven teams have a solid case in the SEC West as Media Days begin... The light at the end of your off-season tunnel is that beacon of hope, the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Alabama.  SEC Media Days begin today, with Butch Jones scheduled to step to the podium tomorrow afternoon.  Unlike Butch's first two trips to Hoover and really most of the last six years, Tennessee will find itself in the championship conversation in the SEC East.  I think all of us fully expect to see...
Rocky Top Talk Jul 10, 2015

Tennessee vs Georgia: Cruel and Unusual

The Vols haven't just been close against Georgia the last three years, they've been unusually generous in the game's final minutes. A popular argument in the buildup to the 2015 encounter between the Vols and Dawgs is some form of, "Tennessee has almost beaten Georgia three years in a row and the Vols are way better this year!"  I'm a fan of this argument and support it regularly.  And both looking back and looking forward in this series, the gap between these two teams is smaller than it often gets credit for. Georgia, like the rest of the SEC's upper echelon, still has the Vols at a...
Rocky Top Talk Jul 9, 2015

Memphis Won't Release Austin Nichols to Tennessee Due to Usual Memphis Nonsense

The Tigers' decade-plus efforts to duck the Vols in basketball played into Nichols' conditional release in an absurd and unsurprising way. Austin Nichols, a consensus five-star power forward in the Class of 2013, signed with Memphis over Cuonzo Martin's Vols among others.  He averaged 13.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 3.4 blocks as a sophomore last season for an 18-14 (10-8 American) Tiger team that failed to make the NCAA Tournament or the NIT. Nichols asked for a transfer last week, which the Tigers initially denied.  When Memphis eventually allowed the transfer today, as most schools...
Rocky Top Talk Jul 9, 2015

Dobbs, Guarantano provide hope at quarterback for the Vols

For years, the Vols have struggled to have a household name at quarterback. That looks to change for the foreseeable future. Playing quarterback at the University of Tennessee is no small feat with the likes of Peyton Manning, Condredge Holloway, and Heath Shuler having played the position in the past. But for the first time in several years, the Tennessee Volunteers have a bright outlook at quarterback. In fact, it may be the brightest it's ever been for the Vols. Heading into the 2015 season, junior quarterback Joshua Dobbs is the unquestioned starter after a breakout 2014 campaign....
Rocky Top Talk Jul 8, 2015

10 Questions for 2015: What If ____________ Gets Hurt?

We begin our series with the bench: Tennessee may very well have championship talent in the starting lineup, but are the Vols deep enough to reach their goals in 2015? Back in February we looked at Tennessee's recruiting stars in their projected starting lineup.  Thanks to excellent work on the recruiting trail by Butch Jones and company, this should easily be the most talented starting 22 we've seen since the Fulmer Era, with talent evenly distributed on both sides of the ball.  The Vols have two players on the Maxwell Award preseason list and three more for the Bednarik.  Tennessee...
Rocky Top Talk Jul 6, 2015

What Tennessee's player selection for SEC Media Days says about roster

The three athletes who will be representing the Tennessee Volunteers at SEC Media Days were announced on Monday afternoon, and the three players came as no surprise. Junior quarterback Joshua Dobbs, redshirt senior defensive end/linebacker Curt Maggitt, and junior cornerback Cam Sutton will join head coach Butch Jones in Birmingham, Alabama. There was some talk about who aside from Dobbs and Maggitt would go down to Birmingham, and Sutton, sophomore running back Jalen Hurd, and redshirt senior safety Brian Randolph were three of the top candidates being debated for the third spot. The...
Rocky Top Talk Jul 6, 2015

Tennessee, Georgia, and the Alabama Effect

What do Tennessee and Georgia have in common in 2015? Fantastic running backs, questions on the defensive front seven, and really tough SEC West opponents on October 3. How will that affect the Vols and Bulldogs when they meet in Neyland a week later? One of the toughest things about college football in a major conference is the wear and tear. As Boise State, Utah, and TCU showed with some fantastic runs from small conferences in the 2000s, a team without the depth of a major conference roster can go toe-to-toe with the big boys for a game, but asking them to do it week after week through...
Rocky Top Talk Jul 2, 2015

What Vol fans learned from the Nike unveiling

Wednesday, July 1, 2015 marked the first official day of the University of Tennessee's partnership with Nike and their departure from Adidas. Nike held an hour-long reveal party at noon on Wednesday, showing off all the new gear for every sport at the university. Most notably, of course, were the five uniforms displayed for the football team. OFFICIAL RELEASE: Tennessee Enhances Brand Across All Athletics! #Vols #OneTennessee http://t.co/hh8CgV5zGR pic.twitter.com/pZxhG0jCbT — Tennessee Athletics (@Vol_Sports) July 1, 2015 Nike made some minor tweaks to the "normal" home and away...
Rocky Top Talk Jul 1, 2015

An insider's view of Tennessee Football's transition to Nike

There are many concentric circles in this particular Circle of Trust, and the view from this one unfortunately isn't really much different than yours. Many of you know that back in 2011 I retired from the practice of law and opened a business that sells, among other things, licensed apparel and accessories to sports fans. Primarily, due to geography and my unnatural and sometimes irrational fondness for the team, that means Vols stuff to Vols fans. Of course, my beloved Tennessee athletic program picked just then to commence the worst four year period in the last 100 years of its history, and...

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