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Derek Dooley is now settling into what we all hope is  a very long-term job. Initial signs were good. Within a few days, Tennessee hired a pretty well respected receivers coach in Charlie Baggett. Baggett’s list of coached receivers is more impressive than the heralded tailbacks coached by Eddie Gran. Get a load of this: Randy Moss, Chris Carter, Plaxico Burress, Mushin Muhammed, Andre Rison, and Derrick Mason. Come get some. Shortly after, four-star receiver Justin Hunter dropped his nearly six month commitment to LSU and switched to Tennessee. Rumors swirled about Rodney Garner, Kevin Steele,and Dick Bumpas all potentially joining the staff. Word came in that long-time Georgia commit De’rick Rogers was to visit along with Markeith Ambles. Lane Kiffin was all over TMZ with a few blondes (one of which may or may not have been Layla), a lot of booze and a wrecked Lexus (a Wrexus?). We were down, but the resolve in Knoxville was strong. Read the rest of this entry »

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Troy Calhoun: He looks a little Skip Bayliss-ish to me...

Volunteer fans, I come before you humbled. Like many of you, I spent most of last night glued to my computer surfing the various message boards (I tend to float between Outermonvolia, VolChat and Volquest) and my phone waiting on the first inkling of a coaching hire. At one point Hamilton was in Dallas to talk to Muschamp (or was it a smoke screen for Gary Patterson?) then he was in Colorado to see Troy Calhoun (or was he secretly meeting with Chris Peterson?) then he was in Orlando talking with Mickey Mouse about a 7 year 21 Million dollar deal but evidently it hinged on his ability to bring Donald (Duck, not Chris) in as his defensive coordinator. Bottom line: I’ve got no idea what the hell is going on. I do know that Matt Milton, Corey Miller, and Tyler Bray (three of our freshman already on campus) are not in favor of Calhoun. But before we delve into the bottomless pit of (mostly mediocre) coaches that we seem to be combing through, I want to talk briefly about our last coach… Read the rest of this entry »

Well, Vol Nation, I feel badly addressing you after such an absence from the blog. Really don’t have an explanation other than to say the blog became more work than we had anticipated and with Jacob and I trying to graduate at some point it just became too much. However, in the wake of this Kiffin mess, I’ve got to write this, for my own sake. Read if you want.

The sky is falling here on the UT campus. I was part of a riot last night for the first time in my life. I saw my fellow students inexplicably climbing statues. One guy threw a road cone and hit a girl in the head. Neyland Stadium was close to being rushed by an angry mob. A few who led the charge made it into the stadium and safely snuck out after the cops arrived. We are just upset, man.

Pride is a factor. We are Tennessee. We aren’t used to being a stepping stone, and that’s exactly what Lane Kiffin has made us. I think it’s that more than any thing. Basically, we’ve been emasculated, because our football program is an absolute mess now. It’s not that we’ve lost Lane Kiffin; it’s the state he left us in. We don’t have a permanent school president right now. Our AD, Mike Hamilton, stuck his neck out to hire LK, and who knows how secure his job is right now. Reports have been circulating all morning about Phil Fulmer having been contacted about becoming AD or possibly the football coach again. All this three weeks before signing day. Shoot me now.

With all that we’ve lost, we need to look at what we have. We have Neyland. We have Peyton. Al Wilson. The Miracle at South Bend. A January night in Tempe. Basically what we have is the past. As Chris Walker said last night, “We are Tennessee today and tomorrow, next year. We are going to be Tennessee no matter what coach is going to be here.” And while it is something, keep in mind that current recruits were in elementry school when we won our national championship. Their image of Tennessee is the mediocrity that we have endured the last ten years. History is great, but we have to create new history.

Opposing fans, if you’re reading this, I’m sure you’re laughing. That’s fine. I really don’t give a rat’s ass what you think. I don’t need you. I don’t need sympathy from anyone. I’m a UT student. I’ve got 20,000 others just like me going through the exact same thing, and a whole state with us. We are Tennessee, and that means exponentially more to me than anything I’ve ever said about Lane Kiffin.

That said, I loved Lane Kiffin. Jacob loved Lane Kiffin. Anybody who read this blog knows. It makes me sick to say it now, but I loved what he was doing. I still believe he would have turned Tennessee into a winner. One of the things I loved about him was his professional approach to the game. With the staff he had, he was that caliber coach. The guy that could throw punches with the Sabans, Meyers, because we are that level of a school. We’ve got the tradition, the history; football is huge here. And with all our fan base has endured over the past few years, we thought we had the guy to get us back to where we want to be.

Oh well.

What Kiffin has done will set us back. We’ll lose tons of recruits. Michael Taylor, Brandon Willis, Delvin Jones, and Calvin Smith have been the first of an eventual list that at worst will contain names like Markieth Ambles (maybe USC, Florida), Jujuan James (Georgia, Alabama, maybe LSU) or Jacquez Smith (LSU) and best case scenario will still contain five to eight more guys. We may not get a good hire this time. We need to make a splash but is that coach really available at this point? Can we get Muschamp? Will a guy like Edsell, Calhoun or Peterson really be enough to satiate a fane base that has seen two head coaches in 14 months? Tennessee football may be down for a while.

But we’ll be back.

At some point, we’ll be back. We’re too good to stay down. There’s too much passion here. Too much pride. Too much love for it all to stay down. Our basketball team just did one of the most remarkable things I’ve ever seen in sports, and there’s no limit in my mind to what Tennessee can be.

So here’s your pick me up, Vol fans. Times are dark right now, but you don’t have to look very far to see an example of a program overcoming devastating NCAA sanctions and their coach skipping out in the middle of the night for a “better job”. Alabama, once on the verge of the death penalty, is now the best college football program in the country. And they are in a position to remain so for a very long time. Things will get better Vol fans. From Memphis to Savannah, Union City to the ‘Boro, Nashville to Lexington, Shelbyville, Columbia, Chatt-town, McMinnville, and all of EAST TN, sing it with me…..

Rocky Top, you’ll ALWAYS be, home sweet home to me….

WE ARE TENNESSEE

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Photo: Amy Smotherman Burgess, KNS

Tennessee’s coaching staff has been celebrated from its earliest moments by both fans and the media. For several different reasons, the staff has a sort of star quality. For one, there’s the obvious appeal of Lane Kiffin coaching with his father (shades of Junior Griffey knocking back-to-back dingers with Senior). Read the rest of this entry »

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The first off week of the Lane Kiffin era has Kiffin and company jet setting around the country, trying to find the best talent available for the Vols. Names like  Michael Dyer, Morgan Moses, Lamarcus Joyner and Cody Riggs will surely be tossed around in the next few weeks. Tennessee fans should be hopeful, afterall if nothing else, coach Kiffin has proven his worth on the recruiting trail already with the number five class in the country according to Rivals. Many of the freshman Kiffin recruited from last year are making an impact on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Early playing time, in my opinion, is the single best way to get a recruit, and Tennessee has shown an extreme willingness to play freshman. So here’s an update before the first off week of the year on how the recruits we got are doing, as well as how some of the ones we didn’t get are performing.

The Good:

1. Janzen Jackson: He’s been everything I thought he could be and more. He doesn’t quite fly around like Berry did as a freshman, but he’s bigger. He slid into the starting lineup after only one week and I don’t think Prentiss Wagner has been heard from since; and I thought he looked good in fall camp. I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves here, but Jackson has a chance to be a really good, All SEC type player. Read the rest of this entry »

Photo Courtesy: UTsports.com

Photo Courtesy: UTsports.com

You guys probably didn’t know this, but we are shown the search terms that lead people to our blog. These are the ones from yesterday:

tyler bray

ronnie brown tennessee

16th and highland

eric berry

cadillac williams jason allen

ronnie brown jason allen

ronnie brown runs over jason allen

ronnie brown running over ut defense

ronnie brown crompton

Must be Auburn week, huh? Read the rest of this entry »

jay-z1

This post is about Tennessee football, I promise, but for those of you who aren’t fans of rap music, let me briefly educate you. Two weeks ago, Jay Z released his latest album, The Blueprint 3. It’s already reached #1 on the Billboard charts, giving Jigga his 11th number one album. That’s the most of all time – more than Elvis, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones on the US charts. In my opinion, it cements Jay as the greatest rapper ever. He’s been on top for a long time now, his stamina and consistency keeping him there. These are just a few characteristics of his career that I hope Lane Kiffin can replicate at the University of Tennessee. Read the rest of this entry »

Might as well be the cover of UCLA's media guide this year...

Might as well be the cover of UCLA's media guide this year...

“BECAUSE THEY PLAY IN THE PAC-10 AND THE PAC-10 CAN’T COMPETE WITH THE SEC!!!1EXCALMATIONPOINT!1!!.” Seriously, pop over to VolChat and you’ll see plenty of posts like that (not that I dislike Volchat, I check it daily, but there are some morons that post there).  And yes, the SEC is a more competitive conference in just about every way than the Pac-10, but that doesn’t mean that Tennessee is playing a game they can’t conceivably lose. To be clear, I think we wax that ass,  but not because UCLA isn’t physical. Read the rest of this entry »

The Lane Kiffin era at UT is underway. I witnessed its long awaited inception this past weekend, which was a raging success. Campus was like a Big Orange Utopia on Saturday, and after a slow start, the game gave everyone wearing the Power T something to smile about. I think my Dad said it best: “It was like expecting a certain Christmas gift, and opening it up to find something better than you were hoping for.” Read the rest of this entry »

While reading Jacob’s prediction post, I really thought he was going to pick us to beat Alabama. I’m glad he didn’t. Because while I, too, am optimistic about our young Vol squad, 10-2 is very lofty. If he had gone with 11-1, I would’ve called him crazier than John Henderson’s trainer. Here’s how I see this season playing out. Read the rest of this entry »