Site-Wide Activity

  • While everyone else is hugging the #Grumors like a long-lost loved one, the Statsy Preview Machine has been hard at work looking at this weekend’s game between the Tennessee Vols and the LSU Tigers. It has bad […]

  • HT changed their profile picture 1 week ago

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    Whether it’s Jon Gruden, Dan Mullen, a surprise or someone further down the list, somebody is going to coach this team next year. What will Tennessee’s next coach inherit?

    This is our first, rough draft […]

    • HT replied 1 week ago

      OK, I think I am over here full-time now. I tried splitting time between here and RTT – mainly out of laziness/habit and familiarity with the interface – and I just can’t take the atmosphere there anymore. So hi again everybody! I was birdjam over there.

      • Great to see you!

      • Birdjam! Master of the haiku! (And of the Fun Office Pool, apparently.)

        Really good to see you.

        • HT replied 1 week ago

          Ha ha, forgot about the haikus. Good times.

          Good to see familiar faces over here too.

      • I am with you on that, GRT has become the first site I hit in the morning. I get enough negativity in the rest of my life to subject myself to it in my reading on a full time basis. Now I do understand not everything is right with Vols right now but I do need to see a ray of light at the end of the tunnel that is not attached to a train coming at me.

        • Thanks, Harley and Mark. One of the goals that Will and I discussed over and over again while making this decision was that we wanted to be different in a good way. Glad to hear that’s coming through.

      • Harley replied 1 week ago

        Agree 100% that RTT has changed to a complete “NegaVol” site that gets hard to stomach. Joel and his provide entertaining and insightful reads!! My No. 1 on the hit parade!!

        Go Vols!

    • What in the world happened on OL? That was supposed to be a position of strength going into this year, but it has completely fallen apart on the field and the depth is dreadful.

      And I also didn’t realize that there was going to be just a complete and utter fall off the cliff on the DL after next year. That’s…terrifying.

      It seems like a logical extension of this article I wrote last year.

      https://www.rockytoptalk.com/2016/11/16/13618486/the-monday-mathematical-wednesday-edition-roster-construction

      Transfers were higher under Butch than at peer institutions. You combine that with injuries and recruiting classes that were a bit smoke and mirrors, and here we are.

      • Should’ve been on the line next year: Chance Hall, Jack Jones, Venzell Boulware, maybe Nathan Niehaus, maybe Cade Mays. Hall and Jones had starts back to 2015, Boulware would have been an automatic starter, and Cade Mays would have had the freedom to progress at his own pace.

        • Surely Boulware’s decision to leave the team was about more than playing time, right? If he left because he lost his starting job to Jack Jones, then he’s got to be feeling a bit silly right about now, right?

          Also, I hadn’t heard anything about Chance Hall or Niehaus potentially having to hang it up for good like Jack Jones. Is that a real possibility? If so, then yikes.

  • Pam Wiggins changed their profile picture 1 week, 1 day ago

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    Dear Jon,

    It’s me.  Again.

    I know it’s been five years since we last spoke, and I still can’t get you off my mind.  I know we’ve got a history, and I see what you’ve made of yourself.  It makes me sad […]

    • Wow, that was pure poetry Brad. Haha I hope somehow he reads this 🙂 Best article of the silly season. Hands down.

      • Thanks Evan. I was driving home tonight thinking, “Dang it! I don’t feel like writing tonight. BUT I HAVE TO GET THIS OUT! THIS IS TOO GOOD!” I’m glad it worked out. It cracks me up that some on message boards are thinking it’s creepy. It’s satire. I had a ton of fun doing it.

        • Brilliant. Pure brilliance like the light of a thousand shining suns… now you’ve got me waxing poetic. Come home, Jon. ESPN is either going to lose MNF or cut your salary. You won’t go poor. We love you and your family. You will never buy another cold beverage in your life. We’ll take care of you..Hugs, Vol Fans…

    • Outdone yourself, Ghost.

      Outstanding. 🙂

    • You complete me, Tennessee Football.

      Jon

    • Great job Brad… best read this “silly season”. GBO

    • Things in Knoxville right now…

    • Well played, sir. My hardiest congratulations on this piece. I’m certain the recollection of it would have been too painful to relate, but there’s the dreadful courtship by DD, that devil in the fancy French-tailored orange breeches, who spent your hard-won dollars with reckless abandon and made false promises and told you “opportunity was nowhere.” A cad, to be sure. We’re all better off without him.

      Here’s hoping Sir Jon comes home soon . Be still our beating hearts!

    • Awesome!!!!! I hope beyond hope he reads this and thinks, “time to go home, Jon” Wouldn’t we be lucky!

    • brilliant, simply brilliant

  • Ever since the Tennessee Volunteers fired Phillip Fulmer back in 2008, they have been pursuing the elusive greener grass that prompted them into that action. At every major crossroad along the way, they chose a […]

    • “Jon Gruden seeks thee not. It is thou, thou, that madly seekest him!”

      • That is one big Jon Gruden Face.

        • Indeed. But seriously, nice article. it’s remarkable how similar UT 2017 and Alabama 2006 were! Now if we can land a great coach and Saban would just retire in a couple years they could face their own post-legend downswing….

    • I feel like I’m much more skeptical of Jon Gruden than the general opinion. Nick Saban and Steve Spurrier were both national championship emeriti, those seem like much clearer “slam dunks” than a Super Bowl winner, considering the differences between college and the NFL. I don’t really watch the NFL, though, so is there something I’m missing about the man?

      • No, I think those are legit concerns.

        There are other intangibles that are hard to account for. For instance, there are other coaches available who have won a national championship, but for whatever reason, folks aren’t talking about them (Miles, Fulmer, Stoops).

      • I’m in the same boat with you, Ethan. I don’t understand the fascination with Gruden. He’s a risky hire in my book. Much riskier than some of the other options out there. I’d put Mullens, Miles, and Stoops down as better prospects.

    • There’s two big difference between Saban and Gruden. Saban was still earnestly wanting to coach. Heck, he was coaching when he was hired away. Gruden has yet to display the same intensity. He has at times mentioned how Tennessee is a dream coaching job and such, but those are words. I have seen zero effort to actually pursue a coaching job on his part.

      Personally I think Gruden likes the attention. The constant speculation, constant praise, and interviews puts him in the center of national sports news every day. In today’s interview with Mike & Mike, Gruden just gives a vague answer about the job which excited people to thinking “well he didn’t say no!”

      The second difference is simply pay. Gruden makes more money than every college football coach save for Saban, Swinney, and Harbaugh (keep in mind that Harbaugh is already showing up on overpaid/underachieving coach lists). Tennessee would have to drop 10 million a year to get Gruden to budge and that’s after a signing bonus. I can’t see that honestly happening.

      I don’t know guys. I think Gruden is complacent right where he is. Making 6.5 million at a desk job.

      • Good points. As counter-points, though, sometimes being away from it for a while can rejuvenate you. Meyer may be an example of this although it was a much shorter time frame. Sometimes you just miss the challenge.

        On pay, I really think that once you get above a certain amount of money, then the amount is really only a pride thing. I’m not sure the amount matters so much as the amount relative to others in the profession because of what it says about where you are in the pecking order. Saban took a pay cut to go to Alabama because there were other factors that mattered more.

      • Trey replied 1 week ago

        This is kinda where I’m at. Two or three or even five years is a break. A decade says to me you don’t actually want to do the job anymore.

    • Trey replied 1 week ago

      Count me as a pretty committed Gruden skeptic, but this is really fantastic stuff, Joel. And the type of thing that should really get talked about more! I’ve been following college football essentially since birth and still have only a vague idea of what actually happens in coaching hire negotiations (or recruiting visits, for that matter).

      Also, I’m going to spend the next hour wondering about RichRod at Bama.

      • Thanks, Trey. Man, funny to think about how different the world would be if that dude hadn’t changed his mind at the last minute. I think Saban would have gone back to college at some point, but when and where? There was a big opening at a major program in the SEC the following year, you know. Although again, I’m not convinced that we had then (or currently have) the administrative staff capable of doing what Mal Moore did that year.

  • In almost a carbon copy (woo for anachronistic sports metaphors!) of its game last week against the Presbyterian Blue Hose, the Tennessee Volunteers raced out to a huge lead in the first half against the High […]

  • We interrupt this coaching search to bring you . . . Tennessee hoops, which welcomes the High Point Panthers to Thompson-Boling Arena tonight. The game tips at 7:00 p.m. and will be broadcast on SEC Network +, […]

  • Mark Martin changed their profile picture 1 week, 3 days ago

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    From a fan perspective, it does indeed feel good to look forward. There hasn’t been real doubt the Vols would have a new coach since the end of the Kentucky game three weeks ago, and I do think John Currie […]

    • I’d push hard for Frost regardless of any concern about the NFL. That should be something you could get some leverage out of during the negotiations. Offer a buyout on our end and one on his end, meaning he’d have to pay to leave early, too, and make it a good one. When his agent objects, trade some of that for some annual compensation or the buyout on our end.

      Even if he does leave for the NFL at some point, I’d take that right now rather than having coaches leave the way they’ve been leaving. 🙂

    • Frost is my favorite, for what it’s worth, with Mullen a close second. Wouldn’t sneeze at Patterson, but I’m not hot on Gruden.

    • In this age of #content, it’s hard to tell what information is coming from which source, but…

      247 reporting this afternoon that FootballScoop.com says there’s no smoke, much less any fire to Gruden and that we should all move on. Take that for what it’s worth during this silly season.

      • The first part of that could actually be true without the second part being true at all. I hope they’re not just crossing people off the list when they say no the first time, you know?

    • Frost might be a better possibility now. It looks like Chip Kelly to Florida is getting more plausible with the SEC clearing him to coach. Nebraska would be the team to worry about since it’s Frost alma mater.

      • My assumption has been that Frost would go to either Nebraska or Florida, with Tennessee third on that list.

    • Of these, I think that the only real possibility on this list is Greg Schiano. Scott Frost seems likely to go to Florida (easier job), or Nebraska (alma mater) than Tennessee. I’m not sure how much we’d have to pay Mullen to get him to leave Mississippi St., but I’m not sure anyone has the stomach to throw tons of money at someone who has been consistently good, but never great. And if you read that article on Gary Patterson, when they ask if he wishes he’d gotten the Tennessee job, he says “Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers.” It seems like he’s rubbing our faces in our choice ten years ago, not expressing interest.

      Once again, we’re hiring in a year when there are a lot of openings and no slam dunk hires. At least the program is stronger than the last time, and we’ve got time to try to do it right.

    • Interesting analysis from the folks over at Florida’s SEC Nation podcast (boo florida).
      https://www.seccountry.com/florida/florida-podcast-chip-kelly-scott-frost
      Short version: UF fans want either Chip Kelly or Scott Frost. They prefer Kelly because he’s the Meyer and Frost is the Mullen. He’s the proven commodity, Frost is the newcomer.

      I think this is silliness, since there’s more to all this than Jedi/Padawan. So many more variables. But I would be perfectly happy with Kelly going to UF and UT getting Frost. 🙂

    • I’m a bit torn between Gruden and Frost.

      I really think Gruden could do it pretty easily, especially with a good recruiting staff around him. They set em up, and Gruden finishes em off flashing that Super Bowl ring. I don’t think he’d have the issues that some think he’d have. That said, I’d really happy with Frost too. He has such a high upside, and looks to be more legit than some of the recent mid-major flash in the pans.

      Patterson would be cool, but as others have said, I think he’s fully against UT and seems to pouring some salt on the wound.

      Chris Peterson would be a dream for me, but apparently nothing seems to be there seeing as no one seems to even mention him. I feel it will never happen.

      Mullen, now that’s the one I just don’t know about. My immediate reaction is really meh. Not that I hate the idea, but I’m just not thrilled about it. It feels like settling. But as I think about and read more, my brain starts to say it’s a good hire. I do believe the fact of his record overall at MSST means that in a place like UT, he could do great things. Because MSST is just not a place that regularly succeeds at the level he has brought to them. Despite all that, I just never get thrilled by him.

      Finally, I really really am not interested in Schiano, Petrino or Miles. Just too many things there for me.

  • As Tennessee embarks on its fourth coaching search in ten years, here’s a quick look at Vols coaching candidate D.J. Durkin.
    D.J. Durkin’s coaching experience (39 years old)
    This is Durkin’s second season at […]

  • Interim head coach Brady Hoke is scheduled to do the regular weekly press conference today at noon. You can watch for yourself with the video below or follow along with my real-time notes in the comment section below.

    https://youtu.be/5wuw5ymUVEQ

    • Opening remarks:

      Will live in the present. Focus on the seniors.

    • Q: Do you have to coach differently as an interim, or the same as he’s done before?

      A: Schembeckler told me to be myself when I took over. We will tweak some things because of the comfort level with how I like to run a program. Some practice changes. But I have to be who I am. If not, that would be a fraud.

    • Q: What was the team meeting like?

      A: It was a team meeting, and I’m going to keep it at that.

    • Q: Who will have the defensive line duties?

      A: [Nate Olley] will work with me. He’ll do a great job.

    • Q: Did you think you might be a head coach again?

      A: Hadn’t thought of it a lot. We have to stay in the present of what we want to accomplish for our seniors. Want to finish in a positive manner for them.

    • Q: What are you going to tweak?

      A: I’m keeping that to myself. I think that’s best.

    • Q: Injury update, and why close practice?

      A: I’ll give injury update later. RE closing practice: For this team, I think it’s the best thing for us. Remember, I said I was going to tweak some things.

    • Q: What went wrong this season?

      A: I don’t think that’s fair to comment on. I think a lot of things went right. Maybe we didn’t play as well, that’s on us as coaches. There are a few games that could have gone either way. That’s something for you guys to talk about and figure out.

    • Got bogged down, so transferred over to word processor. Here’s the rest:

      Q: Do you point to Florida and warn the team about it?

      A: No, not really. We just have to go.

      Q: What have the last 24 hours been like getting ready to take over.

      A: No. 1, we lost a good man. That’s the first thing you deal with from an emotional, respect, and friend level.
      And then you have to move forward. If you don’t move forward as coaches, you won’t get it from the players.
      These next two weeks are about coaching our hearts out for our seniors and our football team. Many of them
      this will be the last game they play in their lives. We have to finish that.

      Q: As interim, what’s your role in recruiting?

      A: We’re going to work our tails off, stay committed to the kids who are committed. We’re going to do what
      we’re supposed to do. This is a job, and it’s a job we have to finish.

      Q: What has Currie told you about your opportunity moving forward?

      A: We had a good conversation. That’s really all I want to get into. I was honored that he entrusted us with this.
      We just want to win for those seniors.

      Q: Vandy games was to be a big recruiting weekend. Is it still?

      A: We’ll just see what happens.

      Q: Have you talked with Larry Scott about being an interim?

      A: Yeah, Larry and Chico have both been interims. It’s new to me, but we have some really intelligent coaches on
      our staff. Always good to share ideas. But I have to run the program I would run a program.

      Q: How difficult is the coaching profession?

      A: If you keep it in perspective of why you do it . . . I got into coaching to help kids because I had
      coaches help me. If I’m not helping kids, you’re failing as a good. But if you are, you can feel good
      about what you’ve done.

      Q: What do you have to do to get back to a bowl game?

      A: We have to win six, right? We have to have a great week, have to be focused and lean on each other. Motivated by
      taking seniors to a bowl game for their last year.

      Q: What’s your message to fans?

      A: These guys have won 29 games, three bowl games, the senior class. When you look at what they’ve done, the
      guys who have lasted, they’ve put their heart and soul into it. That’s important, and I think it should be
      appreciated. This is a great place, it’s really fun to see Vol Nation and how passionate they are about
      Tennessee football. We understand that passions go both ways. The game is much harder than it used to be because
      of media and social media. It’s not like they’ve laid down or that they haven’t stayed together. That’s a tribute
      to Coach. We’re living in the present.

      Q: Will lean on Olley, will he be the eval guy? (Recruiting)

      A: Not sure yet, we just have to be focused on us doing what we can do so these kids can play their best.

  • As Tennessee embarks on its fourth coaching search in ten years, here’s a quick look at Vols coaching candidate Chad Morris.
    Chad Morris’ coaching experience (48 years old)
    After a prolific run in the fertile […]

  • As Tennessee embarks on its fourth coaching search in ten years, here’s a quick look at Vols coaching candidate Joe Moorhead.
    Joe Moorhead’s coaching experience (43 years old)
    College assistant at Georgetown, […]

  • As Tennessee embarks on its fourth coaching search in ten years, here’s a quick look at Vols coaching candidate Mike Bobo.
    Mike Bobo’s coaching experience (43 years old)
    This is Bobo’s third year as the head […]

  • As Tennessee embarks on its fourth coaching search in ten years, here’s a quick look at Vols coaching candidate Les Miles.
    Les Miles coaching experience (63 years old)
    After a strong tenure as Oklahoma State’s […]

    • I like this choice as he is one of the few National Champs that still could be considered for recall from the ranks of the retired. Maybe he’d reunite with Chavis? 🙂 Yes, the offense thing is tough to overlook, but that can be overcome. Plus, that man is one with the football field in a way few are.

    • Not my first, second, or third choice, but how many people have to tell you no before you call this guy? I just find it fascinating he’s on no one’s hot board.

    • There’s a lot of upside here. He knows recruiting. He’s won in the SEC. He’s available now before the early signing period. There’s not a buyout. If he got us to 10 win seasons I think we could put up with some of the craziness.

  • As Tennessee embarks on its fourth coaching search in ten years, here’s a quick look at Vols coaching candidate Lane Kiffin. Really? Yes, really. (Well, kind of.)
    Lane Kiffin coaching experience (42 years […]

  • As Tennessee embarks on its fourth coaching search in ten years, here’s a quick look at Vols coaching candidate P.J. Fleck.
    P.J. Fleck’s coaching experience (36 years old)
    This is just his first year of […]

    • Well, if you win a championship or two no one cares about the slogans.

      • True. But I think it’s more about how much patience a guy gets. Familiarity breeds contempt, and because so many people were so fed up with Jones’ slogans, they’re going to be on guard against it. And at the first sign of trouble, that’s going to come back up. Bottom line, he won’t have as much patience as some other new guy because he’ll remind everyone of Butch too soon.

  • As Tennessee embarks on its fourth coaching search in ten years, here’s a quick look at Vols coaching candidate Mike Leach.
    Mike Leach’s coaching experience (56 years old)
    Leach has experienced successful […]

    • Wasn’t there also a pretty major scandal with Leach at Texas Tech? Something about him hitting a player or something along those lines?

  • Evan posted an update in the group Group logo of Bluegrass Vol FansBluegrass Vol Fans 1 week, 4 days ago

    Hello from Covington KY! Too close to Urban Meyer country for my taste, but whatcha going to do?

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