Site-Wide Activity

  • The SPM was the bearer of bad news last week in advance of the Tennessee-Charlotte game, and although you can’t really say it nailed the thing, it was saner than most of us Tennessee fans.

    This week, the SPM […]

    • I will forever trust the SPM and hope the Vols get a few breaks so the score swings to our favor… Go Vols!

  • Thursday, Friday

     

     

    Hey, football’s almost over. Squeeze it in while you can. Don’t dwell on the fact that Syracuse is No. 13 and Fresno State is ranked.
    Gameday

     

    The main thing to wa […]

  • ALW3 became a registered member 1 week, 3 days ago

  • It all starts tonight for the #6 Vols. That’s the highest preseason ranking in program history, and better than any preseason ranking in football since 2005. These are good days. Enjoy them.

    Lenoir-Rhyne […]

    • Geeked for a D2 opponent and the start of (what should be) a very special season. Barnes, his staff and these high character kids are exactly the kind of guys I want to be emotionally invested in thru the season and throughout the tournament. I don’t know if they can complete with Zion Williamson or RJ Barrett at Duke or the usual NBA First Rounders at UK, but I sure hope that chemistry, character, experience and great coaching matter enough.

    • I’m also curious to see how the rotations break down and what the balance is early in the season between trying numerous lineups to see what works and attempting to develop continuity by sticking with a smaller set of guys.

      Also curious to see if there are small tweaks in the offensive system to generate additional efficiency (as we’ve discussed a couple of times now). The Vols ended up last year 36th in offensive efficiency on KenPom. Are there small changes that get that number in the top 25? Adding that while maintaining their defensive intensity would make UT a true national title contender.

      • Being better on 2 pt FG will put us in the top 25 for offensive efficiency. Finishing well at the rim and guys better understanding where they are really good at shooting are two of the best keys. Passing up contested for uncontested shots is the biggest lever of all.

  • What you’re hoping to see here is progress, both from 2017 and from the end of the difficult October slate to last week’s Homecoming game.
    Offense

    This is a mixed bag, at least when comparing post-Charlotte […]

  • Displaced_Vol_Fan maintains the lead after this week’s action despite going 0-for-3 on the questions, thanks to a couple of timely mushrooms and a blue shell welcoming a new leader by blowing him up.

    Here’s the […]

  • Congratulations to Fightin Walking Horses, who finished first this week in the Gameday on Rocky Top Pick ‘Em contest with a stellar record of 19-1 and 205 confidence points. He gets a Gameday on Rocky Top […]

  • What are Tennessee’s chances for bowl eligibility with three games remaining? It depends on how you view the Vols’ outing against Charlotte, how their past opponents looked this past weekend, and how those three […]

    • I am sitting 5.56 this week. Hoping our banged up players can get well, and i would love to see our offensive line somehow not be a liability for the next 3 games.

    • I’m at 5.25. It’ll be interesting at the end of the year to look at our strength of schedule. The top is business as usual, but the middle tier of our schedule is tougher than in recent years

    • I’ve dropped to 4.8. I think we have seen our last win for this season. The team seems to have regressed. I know the loss of Trey Smith was huge, but the way the line played this week was absolutely atrocious. There is no excuse for there not being any improvement by anyone on this line. Drew Richmond should be allowed to finish his degree, but should never see the football field again for UT (barring another catastrophic injury and even then I’d convert a couple D-linemen first). If there is a bigger disappointment as far as football expectations in the last 10 years, I don’t know who it would be. I have not been impressed by Will Friend, maybe it’s not his fault, but we should have seen some improvement on the OL. If they still don’t know WHO to block, then that is straight up coaching, that’s not about talent. If it’s not coaching, then it has to be lack of intelligence on the players, and I just don’t believe they are all stupid young men. And the bad part is, we are still 2 years away from having enough SEC caliber O-linemen to compete there, so I fear we have more of the same coming next year. I hope I’m just being overly pessimistic and I’m wrong.

    • Pre-season: 5.12
      Post-WVU: 4.98
      Post-ETSU: 4.84
      Post-UTEP: 4.65
      Post-Florida: 4.01
      Post-Georgia: 4.20
      Post-bye: 4.63
      Post-Auburn: 5.58
      Post-Alabama: 5.48
      Post-South Carolina: 5.08
      Now: 5.00

      My remaining individual game confidence levels are now Kentucky 20 (down from 25), Mizzou 30 (down from 35), and Vandy 50.

      How I have picked each UT game in the Pick ‘Em contest versus actual results:

      West Virginia 40, Tennessee 14 (picked WVU for 14 points)
      Tennessee 59, ETSU 3 (picked Tennessee for 20)
      Tennessee 24, UTEP 0 (picked Tennessee for 18, two games canceled for weather)
      Florida 47, Tennessee 21 (picked Florida for 7)
      Georgia 38, Tennessee 12 (picked Georgia for 20)
      Tennessee 30, Auburn 24 (picked Auburn for 18)
      Alabama 58, Tennessee 21 (picked Alabama for 20)
      South Carolina 27, Tennessee 24 (picked South Carolina for 15)
      Tennessee 13, Charlotte 3 (picked Tennessee for 20)

    • Total Wins 5.2. I have KY=40, MO=30, Vandy=50… tough year; was hoping for better. Prove me wrong… Go Vols!

    • Down to 5.0 from 5.10. I think we are poised for a great defensive turnaround which will at least keep the games as possible wins for a little longer while we hang onto the bowl dream. We’ve held 5 teams under 126 rushing yards (W Va, ETSU, UTEP, Auburn, Charlotte). While last year’s Vols gave up 289 (8.0); 433 (8.2) and 246 (5.7) rushing yards to UK, Mizzou & Vandy. [You remember last year’s defense, right? Coach Jones, Coach Shoop, meet General Sherman, What? Yes you can smoke his cigar as you watch the fires burn…]

      • It’s really odd that Shoop has been great at every stop, including his current one at Mississippi State (currently top 20 in rushing, passing, total, and scoring defense), but was awful at UT.

        It makes you realize/appreciate that there must have been some serious dysfunction in the overall administration of the program.

  • Not everything is the best or worst you’ve ever seen, though it may feel like it in the moment. Such was the case for portions of the day against Charlotte, when the Vols ran it 26 times for 20 yards against a […]

    • I’m sure there were strategic reasons for it (and 2016 is a bit of an outlier in that a) the offense was so explosive late, and b) the defense was so horrific), but I always found the tempo shift under Butch a bit odd.

      In his first few years, the offense operated at a pace such that ESPN would put the timer on to see how quickly they could get another play off. After that, it became much more deliberate.

      You can win fast or slow if you are effective. When you aren’t effective, going slow is probably better because it increases volatility by shortening the game.

  •  

    This is going to be short and sweet.

    The first reason for that is there simply wasn’t much about which to be excited in a lackluster 14-3 win over Conference USA also-ran Charlotte that looked like […]

    • I don’t want to psychoanalyze 50+ kids and staff, but I wonder how much of this team’s motivation is driven by Pruitt. He’s a first year HC, so he’s learning how to lead, and that comes with some growing pains.

      Is it that hard to imagine the 3-year Alabama assistant and lifelong Auburn hater was fired up as all get out for that game? And maybe, after the better part of a decade with elite programs, he might not have been too fired up about a game against a C-USA also-ran?

      I don’t want this to be taken as a knock on CJP, just as an observation that maybe our guys follow the tone set by the HC more that we think, and he’s learning on the fly how to get the same fight from the team every game…

    • I gotta reiterate that Saban’s first Alabama team lost to UL-Monroe. So as long as we win in season one, I’ll be happy. If we get to a bowl game I’ll be ecstatic. Right now we’ve got a shallow Sun Belt offensive line and that will change.

      We will be a decent team next season and downright scary by year three. Pruitt gets “it” in a way that Dooley and Jones don’t. The man knows what is and is not important to win at football. And Helton is a phenomenal coordinator, QB developer and playcaller… he’s just trying to cover up the one thing no coordinator can completely cover up, a bad offensive line. And, FWIW, with a healthy Chandler we probably score a couple more TDs.

      Also, I don’t want to brag… at least that’s what I think I’m supposed to say just before bragging… but 19-1 in this week’s pick’em baybee! Now I just need to make up 27 more spots.

  • It’s Gameday on Rocky Top, with the 3-5 (1-4) Tennessee Vols hosting the 4-4 (3-2) Charlotte 49ers at 4:00 on the SEC Network Alternate channel. Here’s the Gameday Gameplan for Vols fans. Where and when to find […]

  • It’s time for this week’s edition of the GRT Guessing Game. If you are new here and have no idea what this is all about, you can find out everything you need to know here. Last week’s results are here.
    Let’sa […]

    • How many net rushing yards do the Vols get? (15 – 25 points available) 101-150 15 points

      Who catches the most passes for the Vols? (20 points available) Marquez Callaway 20 points

      Who wins and by how much? (25 points available) Tennessee by 15-21 25 points

    • How many net rushing yards do the Vols get? (15 – 25 points available) 101-150 15 points

      Who catches the most passes for the Vols? (20 points available) Marquez Callaway 20 points

      Who wins and by how much? (25 points available) Tennessee by 22 25 points

    • 1) 151+ rushing yards
      2) Josh Palmer
      3) UT by 22+

      Go Vols!!

    • 151+, Palmer, Vols by 22+

    • 151+
      Jennings
      22+

    • 151+, Josh Palmer, 22+

    • How many net rushing yards do the Vols get? (15 – 25 points available) 151 25 points

      Who catches the most passes for the Vols? (20 points available) Jauan Jennings 20 points

      Who wins and by how much? (25 points available) Tennessee by 15-21 25 points

    • Vols get over 151, thinking CFA has a big day despite the rust. Jauan Jennings finds beast mode. And Tennessee looks to win big to get rid of the bad taste last week’s game left with the team.

    • How many net rushing yards do the Vols get? (15 – 25 points available) 101-150 15 points

      Who catches the most passes for the Vols? (20 points available) Jauan Jennings 20 points

      Who wins and by how much? (25 points available) Tennessee by 15-21 25 points

  • Scott Jackson changed their profile picture 2 weeks ago

  • At this point, I feel like Tennessee is going to struggle to make a bowl game. But that’s not to say the Vols can’t.

    When you have a game like they had against South Carolina where you’ve got myriad […]

    • Can’t take the 49er’s lightly… need to maintain momentum going into the KY game. Rhythm and discipline will go a long ways to getting out in front of these guys early so the banged up guys get some rest. I prefer not seeing a sloppy game on a lesser opponent.

      Good luck Brad on your picks this week… mine have been lousy all year. Go Vols!!

    • Pete replied 2 weeks ago

      3-3 last wk. Navy (2-6) outscored the overrrated Irish in the 2H after scoring precisely zero points in half#1. Not bitter about missing on 4-2. Not at all. Not one bit. Overrated Irish should be hypenated. If they make the playoffs, I hope they face Bama.

      BC -1.5 (Westgate/Unibet) over Va Tech is a gift. Old Dominion, Georgia Tech and the aforementioned overrated Irish all scored 45 or more ag’in’ that Hokies D. BC has a mildly above average QB and a great RB.

      Clemson -39 over Lousiville. Like Tennessee and Bama – in the first quarter – times 4. Wake Forest hung up 56 & Ga Tech put 66 on Louisville.

      Wake Forest/Syracuse – Over 76.5. Wake avg 33 and Syracuse avg 44. Wake gives up 37 a game. Syracuse isn’t much better.

      PSU +12 vs Michigan. The UM D is solid but +12 is pretty rich. I’d love to see a straight up win and relegate the Big 10 to the couch for the playoffs.

      TN -21 over Charlotte. I hate laying 3 TDs as we haven’t done a terrific job covering against teams like this in the past decade. Of course, Pruitt isn’t the Intern, or Dooley or Kiffin, either.

      Oklahoma -13 over Texas Tech. Just because the Sooners need a big scoreboard every week to get into the playoff discussion. Plus I think they can outscore TTU with a modicum of defense.

      • WIN & COVER – BC 31-21 ; Clemson 77-16;
        FAILS: Wake/Syracuse over 76.5; PSU +12; TN -21; Oklahoma -13

        But I was feeling pretty good about my Vols pick at 14-0 in the first quarter….

  • One of the greatest indicators of health for last year’s basketball team was the absence of any real blueprint for success. From our post on the eve of the NCAA Tournament:

    The Vols are 19-3 when shooting at […]

    • Pete replied 2 weeks ago

      Have you guys ever asked Coach Barnes about looking for a greater mix of threes in the offensive flow? Does he just talk about better shot selection when we take twos and finishing with contact? Just curious what his 1:1 or small reporter group answer would be if you showed him that data and then asked the question as a student would to a teacher.

      • I’ve never sought credentials – haven’t had time/interest/opportunity living outside the Knoxville area for the last 13 years – so I can’t speak personally to what Barnes thinks. I am curious to see how this changes if/when the Vols get players like Josiah James or maybe Keon Johnson who have more shot-creation skill at guard.

    • I waxed poetic about the 2’s vs. 3’s issue in the 2nd post you linked, so I won’t launch into that diatribe again. 🙂 Generally speaking, though, I echo Will: I don’t expect a major philosophical shift away from emphasizing ball movement to find open shots.

      But are there ways to tweak the system to generate additional efficiency when the possession breaks down and the shot clock is getting late? Without having possession-level data (sidebar: does Thompson-Boling have ShotTracker/SportVU cameras?), we’d just be guessing, but how many late clock possessions ended in a heavily contested 2 (and no FTs)? If there’s a way to emphasize drive-and-kick in those situations, I’d still rather see more 3’s than tough 2’s.

    • I think the most important thing for this team to do is find another point guard. So, you got Bone and Turner…but they are on the floor a lot at the same time. How do you confidently rest them and keep the same dynamic. Bowden? Schoefield? Williams? Don’t think so. I believe the additional point guard is our one (rebounding and foul trouble, but those will ebb and flow) Achilles heel, but certainly hope I’m wrong. Please talk me down.

  • Friday

     

    Hey, it’s football.
    Gameday

     

    There are a lot of great games this weekend. The noon slate starts off a bit slow, but you can warm up with a contest between former opponent Auburn and T […]

  • Numbers know no context. Sometimes that’s a good thing, and sometimes that’s a bad thing, and often you don’t know which is the case. Our Statsy Preview Machine thinks this weekend’s game between the Tennessee […]

  • My web browser marks the changing seasons as well as anything. Right now my most visited sites include Sports Source Analytics and the hubs for my fantasy football team and our weekly pick ’em contest. But soon, […]

    • Amen and Amen. Can’t wait for the season. Thanks for hoops coverage. By the way, that’s indirectly the most damning criticism of Cuonzo Martin’s coaching ability I’ve ever seen hidden away in those KenPom stats. More talent than any other UT team (measured by Vols in the NBA) and better per possession than nearly every other team nationally, yet worst in luck (i.e. situational coaching at the end of games; struggling against teams they shouldn’t or somehow managing to pull defeat from the mouth of victory). Cuonzo did less with more during the season than anyone I’ve ever seen. He rivals Calipari. The players got hot and finally played up to their potential in the tourney, finishing with a nice run. Too bad Cuonzo isn’t a great coach because he’s a person I wanted to cheer for – just wish he could develop his players and get everything out of them like Barnes does.

    • I’m having a hard time totally buying the hype this year.

      I think the Vols will be good, but it’s important to recognize that they had unbelievable injury luck last year (did a starter miss a game until Alexander in the game against Loyola? That absence was…important) and that the rest of the league isn’t standing still. The average KenPom for SEC teams to start the season is 45.6; it ended last year at 50.6.

      There also just isn’t the top end talent on this roster that exists elsewhere. Cal and Kentucky have shown that starzzzz aren’t the end all be all, but teams ahead of/around us have NBA players. I’m not convinced that there’s an NBA player on UT’s roster right now. I’d probably give Admiral the best shot, but he and Grant are both tweeners. Kyle would get manhandled. The guards don’t have enough size/quicks. Again, it’s not the MOST important measure (while Nova has won 2 titles without top 3 talent, they HAVE had 5 dudes taken in the last 2 drafts, 4 in the 1st round), but I think it matters when considering the ceiling.

      It’ll be interesting to see how UT handles the various pressures of the season (expectations, definite last run for Admiral/Kyle, possible last run for Grant). Barnes won’t let them coast, but there are a number of things they’ll have to fight through.

      All I really ask is that they comfortably handle Memphis on December 15th because this city is gaga for Penny and the Tigers right now and I’d love to put them in their place 😛 (note: just so I don’t sound like too much of a homer…with the way he’s recruiting, they will probably be really good in the next few years)

      • Agree 100%. Gotta have talent and development because Grant’s ceiling is a very good college player and maybe an off-the-bench role player in the NBA. Calipari has NBA players already and they won’t develop much under him. Our other 3* have lower ceilings, except maybe Admiral and our center (cause size matters). Develop a 4* and you have an NBA player.

        We have to beat Memphis this year, before the roster improves. Penny is recruiting like Duke or Kansas. He has an NBA coach on his staff. He’s a former NBA All-Star and he also has championship ring wearer, Mike Miller., who wasn’t bad at Florida. Fortunately, we play in December, not February.

      • I’m braced for 22-8, second in the SEC behind Kentucky, another #3 seed, and for some people to call that disappointment. The 2010 team went 23-7 and spent the entire season in the Top 20, but because we had a taste of success already, almost every time they lost it was like the end of the world. It actually works to basketball’s advantage that we’re much more used to losing in football now, so we don’t take the mentality from the one and put it on the other.

        • If that’s the season we have, I would qualify it a success!

          I think you’re right on the need for us as fans to manage our expectations. Most of the joy I got from this team last year (or the Braves this year) was the complete surprise of, “Wait…we weren’t supposed to be good. I think we’re good. Are we good? WE ARE DEFINITELY GOOD!”

          They’re still college kids. There will still be hot nights and cold nights. And if they drop one of the ACC games (GT, Wake, the ‘Ville) or get blown out by Kansas or drop an early conference roadie at Mizzou or Florida, that’s ok (assuming there are numerous wins to accompany said downers).

          A top-3 league finish and a top-4 NCAA seed are still very successful seasons. I’d take that right now.

          • There will undoubtedly be people who call the season a failure if we don’t make the Final Four. I think that’s crazy. Those people have basically guaranteed themselves disappointment going in.

  • Offense

     
    Defense

     
    Special Teams

    Turnovers and Penalties

     

    • Considering how bad things were and got to last year, how do we compare against ’15 or ’16 around this point in the schedule? Or, would be interested against ’13 and Butch’s first year.

  • What are Tennessee’s chances for bowl eligibility with South Carolina in the rearview mirror and four games remaining? Let’s take a look.

    My new expected win total:

    This week: 5.55
    Last week: 6.0 […]

    • Down to 5.5 from 5.8 last week. Charlotte 100% and 50% on the rest. Think we still have a mathematical chance of making a bowl… tough to call the mental state of the Vols after the close loss. Go Vols!

    • 5.10 These kids deserve a bowl, but may not get it. Charlotte’s a gimme. Dog to Kentucky and Missouri (1 in 4 and 1 in 3 chance for me); slightly better than a coin flip to Vandy at 55%. Since we have to pull an upset and have the coin fall our way, a bowl is less than likely.

    • 5.65

      50/50 games with UK and Mizzou with Vandy a bit better. Honestly I really think we can win out. A beat up UK coming into town and another winnable game at home. Then with as much as we fought against Auburn and SC on the road we should take Vandy.

      I’m feeling a 7-5 coming on, but no worse than 6-6.

    • Pre-season: 5.12
      Post-WVU: 4.98
      Post-ETSU: 4.84
      Post-UTEP: 4.65
      Post-Florida: 4.01
      Post-Georgia: 4.20
      Post-bye: 4.63
      Post-Auburn: 5.58
      Post-Alabama: 5.48
      Now: 5.08

      I am basically back to where I was pre-season. Didn’t expect to beat Auburn but expected to win one of Florida/South Carolina. My individual game confidence levels are now Charlotte 98, Kentucky 25 (down from 30), Mizzou 35, and Vandy 50 (down from 51). All are obviously winnable individually but getting to the post-season is a tall order for this team.

      How I have picked each UT game in the Pick ‘Em contest versus actual results:

      West Virginia 40, Tennessee 14 (picked WVU for 14 points)
      Tennessee 59, ETSU 3 (picked Tennessee for 20)
      Tennessee 24, UTEP 0 (picked Tennessee for 18, two games canceled for weather)
      Florida 47, Tennessee 21 (picked Florida for 7)
      Georgia 38, Tennessee 12 (picked Georgia for 20)
      Tennessee 30, Auburn 24 (picked Auburn for 18)
      Alabama 58, Tennessee 21 (picked Alabama for 20)
      South Carolina 27, Tennessee 24 (picked South Carolina for 15)

    • I’m at 5.40 this week, shading ever-so-slightly to 5-7 over 6-6. I do love where we catch Kentucky on their schedule

    • I’m at exactly 5.00.

      They’ll beat Charlotte (95%), I still expect to be 7-10 point dogs to Kentucky (25%) and Mizzou (30%), Vandy should be a toss up (50%).

    • Sitting at 5.59 this week. My big hope for this week, is for Kentucky to have a very physical game with Georgia and for the Vols to be able fine tune some things, along with getting playing time for the backups.

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