Pardon the errors, as the bot understands neither southern accents nor football.
GRT Podcast 9.21.18
[00:02:56] Does this week still feel like a regular Tennessee-Florida week?
[00:07:25] Will’s prediction for the game.
[00:12:13] Hilarious transcription error here.
[00:15:05] Will’s list of priorities for the Vols this weekend against the Gators.
[00:21:43] Will’s answers to the Guessing Game questions.
[00:25:33] The odd strategy that Will has used to secure the overall lead in the GRT Pick ‘Em contest after Week 3.
[00:27:46] This portends the end of the world, as both Joel and Will admit that they’ve picked Vanderbilt over South Carolina this weekend.
[00:29:38] Will’s take on Rick Barnes, the Tennessee basketball program, and the addition of a five-star point guard to the mix.
Joel: [00:00:14] This is the Gameday on Rocky Top Podcast Episode 152. I’m Joel Hollingsworth and I’m with Wil Shelton again this evening. How you doing Will
Will: [00:00:22] I’m doing all right. How are you.
Joel: [00:00:24] I am doing great. We are on big episode 152 so you know Brad missed the big milestone a couple of episodes ago and he said he felt terrible about it. Actually he didn’t say that but you know it was it was a big deal. And now we’re like sorry I’m repositioning and got way too close to the microphone. So you know we’ve been racking them up this this week so we’re we’re going to roll this odometer over to you know we’re going to be at 1800 in no time flat.
Will: [00:01:02] Right.
Joel: [00:01:03] So yeah.
Will: [00:01:03] Only if Tennessee wins though like we’re not doing that many podcasts if we keep losing.
Joel: [00:01:07] That’s true because they’re much more difficult to do when they’re losing or they actually
Will: [00:01:12] Yes
Joel: [00:01:12] They do turn in sort of a therapy session. So those are kind of good. They tend to be longer and sadder and probably a lot less fun to listen to but they’re good for us you know. So that’s what counts right.
Will: [00:01:28] Well and longtime listeners of the podcast will recall that we didn’t we have we had a sports psychologist on once
Joel: [00:01:34] We did.
Will: [00:01:34] And
Joel: [00:01:34] Yes.
Will: [00:01:34] Liked to have a 2011 when things were really dark and dreary. And I also remember you’re doing one in 2010 we were and Tennessee was playing Ole Miss. The last time he won an SEC West game. And I remember being sitting outside a friend’s house. I was in Knoxville for that game and I was sitting outside a friend’s house we were doing like an hour and 15 minutes on Ole Miss and we were three and 6 and I was like. Internally I was asking anyone listening to this probably probably not. So
Joel: [00:02:09] Yes.
Will: [00:02:09] We asked if we can if we can avoid any other sports psychologist in our future. That would be it would be a really good sign.
Joel: [00:02:16] That would be a good sign. I will say that according to one metric there’s like twenty five thousand downloads over the course of 152 episodes so you know that sounds like a lot of people I guess.
Will: [00:02:31] Yeah. Yeah. And there were some. I think sometimes too about we did that one. It would have been 2009 where like on the same podcast we had Clay Travis
Joel: [00:02:44] Yes.
Will: [00:02:45] Spencer Hall
Joel: [00:02:45] Yeah.
Will: [00:02:46] Holly Anderson
Joel: [00:02:46] Yeah.
Will: [00:02:47] And the little old you and me. So. So you know like it’s you know that’s pretty cool
Joel: [00:02:56] Yup.
Will: [00:02:56] These days regardless of everyone’s changing opinions about Clay Travis or whatever the case may be. So yeah we’ve had we’ve had all kinds of fun throughout the years despite the the on field football products not necessarily being all kinds of fun and so hopefully that is a play this is a this is a fun week. It’s still like I still feel the same about this week right now as in just about any other year. Like another coaching change and going 4-8 last year given be by West Virginia and even Florida losing in Kentucky like I still feel the way I’m accustomed to feeling on the Thursday night before the Florida game or do you feel do you feel the same way like I. That’s that’s warm and welcoming to me that still feels like everything the Tennessee Florida game should be in terms of what what’s on the line for fans that sort of stuff. Does it feel the same to you.
Joel: [00:03:47] It actually does and I’m a little surprised about it because you know when we talked a couple of nights ago it was you know is this a race for the bottom of the SEC East. You know. And so if that’s the case you know you’re like well you know nothing. Nothing really matters. But you know what. When I saw that video which have you seen it yet the
Will: [00:04:08] Admiral Schofield video.
Joel: [00:04:10] Yes
Will: [00:04:10] Yeah.
Joel: [00:04:11] That is awesome. So after watching that that really finally kicked me into regular Tennessee Florida hate week mode. So yeah I’m excited. And you know what. It’s not just because it’s Tennessee Florida and I want to beat them and we owe them and we get all this revenge stuff and all the record of wrongs. Remember when we used to do that.
Will: [00:04:32] Yeah yeah.
Joel: [00:04:33] There’s a lot of stuff there you know it’s all pent up. But it’s not just that because as Brad was mentioning last night. This is this is sort of a game where you can think that whoever wins sort of has the inside track to competing with Georgia for the SEC East probably not this year but seems to be the team that’s going to be favored to be the one to to compete with them in the immediate future. So I don’t know. Maybe that’s reading too much into it and of course if we lose I’ll say well it won’t matter you know.
Will: [00:05:18] No I agree with that though I think that’s I’ve read some interesting stuff from the Florida perspective this week talking about. Because they’ve already lost to Kentucky if you lose again here for them. Is that sort of the a reality check that they their administration the powers that be in Gainesville might need to say hey this is way worse than we than we thought it was. And even in their moments when they thought things were going poorly for them before whether it was the end of Ron Zooks tenure or you know the sort of the last Urban Meyer year that led to the first Will Muschamp year when things weren’t necessarily great they still had the potential to bounce it right back you know Urban Meyer won a national championship in his second year. Will Muschamp almost won the SEC in his second year got him. I think it was the sugar bowl it was a BCS. Yes. You know at large bid for them in his in his second year so even when they’ve had down moments I think the Gators are used to, we can turn this around almost overnight. Year two we can win. You know 13 plus games in the national championship. And I think if Tennessee wins this game Saturday it’s going to almost help is the word I want to use. It’s going to help them realize like hey this is this is more down than we have been previously and it’s going to take more time I think than Florida fans might want to Because you know you lose to Kentucky maybe Kentucy’s good who knows. You know maybe Kentucky this is a 9 or 10 win Kentucky team maybe probably not but maybe. But I think if you lose here to a team you’re still accustomed to beating I’m sure and to a Tennessee team that also has won four games last year. That may this may be a reality check for the Gators that sort of last year and really a much longer period over the last decade for Tennessee fans. I think we’ve already kind of gone through that that process says that’s kind of how I look at things.
Joel: [00:07:25] Yeah. I asked Brad this last night because my my statsy preview machine spit out after some eyeball and gut adjustments a one point Tennessee win 23 22. That’s my prediction. And Brad completely independently without any prior discussion. His prediction was Tennessee 24 Florida 23. So we’re both expecting really close games. What are you expecting Saturday
Will: [00:07:58] Well independently as well I can tell you in the in the confidence points picks contest I picked Tennessee 21 20. So I think we’re we’re all either we’re all brilliant or we’re all idiots. And you know again longtime listeners of this podcast can come to their own conclusions on that. But no I think the biggest thing to me is this. It really does feel like a toss up. It’s I think it’s still hard to get a really good read on either of these two teams because you got one bad performance and then you’ve got competition that is just kind of hard to I think Colorado State a lot of people thought it was going to be better than what Bobo and John Jancek and those guys put together and so it’s hard to look at what Florida did last week with any kind of real confidence or merit. So I’m not convinced this is when people talk about is going to be a rock fight and two really bad teams and whatever the case may be I’m not convinced of all that. I don’t think this is you know if we go back to 2013 Butch Jones first year that that the infamous Nathan Peterman game. Those were two really bad offenses really bad offenses in that game. I don’t think the offenses are that bad when we’re talking about this year. And there was you know we’ve seen some ineptitude Tennessee certainly last year was was really inept at times offensively in terms of execution inside the 10 yard line and all that we remember so I don’t think that this is destined to be a 16 13 18 punts sort of sort of game. But I do think it will. It will be lower scoring and until you see Tennessee’s line protect against a better sort of defense than what they have faced this year. You can’t really I have a hard time picking Tennessee to score 28 30 points until I see the line stand up. But I don’t
Joel: [00:10:01] Yeah.
Will: [00:10:01] Think it’ll take 20 or 30 points to win this game. So yeah I think a toss up given given the toss up nature I still am going to write about this for Friday morning. I just default back to the same thing I’ve been saying for the last two or three years which is I think Tennessee is better. I think Tennessee has been the better team four years in a row at this. And finally we asked this question we were talking about Spencer Hall a minute ago we used to have him on the podcast when we were at SB Nation here every week and every year when Tennessee played Florida. And I feel like for years we would ask is Tennessee feels like Tennessee is the better team is Tennessee the better team or at least caught up and the recruiting rankings really didn’t ever bear that out regardless of what Muschamp was or wasn’t getting out of the Gators. But now that really has changed because of. You’ve got three years of Jim McElwain’s recruiting you’ve got a kind of a tough transition class with Dan Mullen and so. The Athletic did a good piece this week. Just looking at. Yeah like Tennessee in recruiting going back over the last three or four years is equal to or better than Florida. Now some of those guys at Tennessee transferred out didn’t pan out. Preston Williams those kinds of guys were really highly rated. And Florida I’m sure has got some of that too but I just feel like in every measure that generally speaking in terms of who gained the most yards in these games recruiting those kinds of things that Tennessee has been better than Florida in the last four years and that it’s not. Again I’ll I’ll get into this more in-depth and in writing it out but it’s not homer fan optimism crazy talk to say that Tennessee has had to have some spectacularly strange things happen to them. Many of them self-inflicted
Joel: [00:11:57] Right.
Will: [00:11:58] To lose in 14 15 and 17. And Florida fans will probably say hey we had some spectacularly. You know what happened in 16 was weird. All of the games have been weird. I think we would say what happened in 16 was
Joel: [00:12:10] We just beat
Will: [00:12:11] Tennessee.
Joel: [00:12:11] You
Will: [00:12:13] Yeah and if Tennessee had had their stuff together the first half would have been way worse. But you know Tennessee was capable of just beating Florida in at least 15 as well and really dominated, dominated seven eighths of the game in 14 the one they ultimately lost 10 to nine. And last year Tennessee didn’t dominate that game but Tennessee was play for play. I would say was better than Florida in last years game and just spectacularly weirdly passed the ball inside the 10 yard line a bunch of times. Again you don’t need me to tell you that, you remember but. I just default to I think these are evenly matched teams in terms of. 2018. And when I think something is close I often just go back and say look I think Tennessee has been the better team the better. Even now. Equal to or better than Florida in recruiting and overall talent which is something that’s almost never been true in the history of this robbery [KEEPING THIS ERROR FOR FUN!]. And so all that being the case I tend to lean Tennessee’s way. Now all that stuff can go right out the window if you get that sort of coaching ineptitude because I was saying that about Tennessee and Georgia up to the kickoff of that game last year where Tennessee and Georgia had played one possession games 2011 through 2016. And so regardless of anything else kept going back and saying look these these teams are not that far apart. And as it turned out the difference between Kirby Smart and Butch Jones made them incredibly far apart. So you know I’m open to be wrong about this as as I am most things but I think this is a toss up. If you asked me how confident I am I would say five out of ten. And you know you hope that it’s 5.1 out of 10 and Tennessee they will find a way to get this done.
Joel: [00:14:13] Yeah. That’s interesting that you mentioned the Georgia thing because the difference there I think still goes back to recruiting because it was always pretty clear that Georgia had better players and then it was just a matter of the coaches sort of evening things out. And I think with Florida it’s almost like we have about the same kind of players and where we lost was on coaching. Even though McElwain got fired too you know we just made some. It seemed like coaching blunders were sort of the primary culprit for those for those losses. And you’re hoping that with the coaching change that a little more discipline a little more football knowledge a little more you know hey we know what’s going on here maybe makes the difference. So anyway that’s kind of what I’m thinking.
Joel: [00:15:05] But what do you think is the list of priorities for Tennessee on Saturday.
Will: [00:15:13] I think first of all it is for Jeremy Pruitt and Tyson Helton establishing some sort of rhythm offensively that gives you your best chance of victory which is to say how much more are they going to ask of Jarrett Guarantano without asking too much of him. It’s quarterback that hasn’t thrown an interception yet he’s been hit on a lot but not necessarily been put in terrible positions by the play calling a lot of deep shots have been with max protection and that sort of stuff. So when you have to be a little more exotic than that against the better defense and an SEC opponent how much more are they going to rely on Guarantano to do things for him and the passing game without relying too much without us coming back next week and talking alright Guarantano had three picks in this game and what do we do and that sort of stuff. And then right alongside that what’s the balance in their run game. If Tennessee is the next to worst rushing team in the country in the first quarter this year. If we’re bad running the ball in the first quarter again. How. How patient are we going to be this got Philip Fullmer some years with Florida where when we talk about the team that wins the rushing battle wins this contest. If Tennessee has one of these you know 35 carries for 70 yards that’s too many carries at two yards a carry.
Will: [00:16:39] You know at some point you need to try something else so how. How willing is a head coach as a defensive guy that we all I think kind of assume is more conservative and would like to run clock and have his defense be the one that dictates the game. What’s the sweet spot there in terms of how aggressive you’re going to be. How patient you’re going to be with the run game if it struggles early. All that sort of stuff so I think figuring out what that rhythm is offensively that gives Tennessee the best chance to win. To me that is the most. Important thing. You know other other things we’ve talked about before are important. If this line can’t block. Not much of this matters. If Tennessee can’t get pressure with just their front four guys then we’re back to the West Virginia conversation of alright here comes a bunch of blitzes and if he gets it off. Cross your fingers that you know our freshmen back there are going to be able to to not get beat and that should be an easier task against Florida. But that’s you know those things to me are just kind of simple. If we can’t block out a lot of these matters and if we can’t get to Felipe Franks cross your fingers.
Joel: [00:17:53] Have you heard Brad’s a stat on that I can’t even repeat what it is. But it’s but the gist of it is that apparently the numbers so far this year show that Felipe Franks is worse if you don’t pressure him.
Will: [00:18:10] So the idea there is right is such a bad decision maker
Joel: [00:18:13] Yeah.
Will: [00:18:13] That you want to have him sit back there and try to read the field and and pick it out. And you know I’ve heard Brad say that I’ve heard some other folks I read on Tennessee have made that point. I’m intrigued by that. You know I have the memory of this guy bombing a Hail Mary on us last year so there is a part of me that’s like well let’s put that guy on the ground if we can. But you know this too I think that will be telling a little bit about Pruitt is I don’t necessarily think that Pruitt is super overly aggressive by trade but he he has tremendous experience going against quarterbacks that are far better than Felipe Franks when he was in Alabama and Florida State and Georgia and trying to find ways to minimize what they were able to do. But Pruitt talks a lot about turnovers. You know you talked a lot about it again this week and
Joel: [00:19:06] Yeah.
Will: [00:19:06] So that’s that’s one of the things I think that that Chavis was really good at when he was here. Not all the turnovers that Tennessee got were about getting pressure on the quarterback. Some of them were. We got real good athletes and we’re going to put them in the right radar area on on the field and we’re going to trust that they’re going to go make a play. And I think again you’re seeing Pruitt play freshmen because he trusts that these guys have abilities to make plays that maybe some of the Butch Jones upperclassmen just just don’t have as much ability there even though they got more experience so you know I’m intrigued by that. I don’t I don’t know that you can build a whole game plan around that. The trust Felipe Franks to do something dumb game plan. I don’t know if that works or not
Joel: [00:19:52] Yeah.
Will: [00:19:52] But I mean again to see this rivalry. It’s so funny to look at and talk about because that the 15 game like those were two good teams that Florida with Will Grier was a really good team. And Tennessee as we all know in 15 was just a team that lost really close games to the east champion and other teams that made the playoffs so that 15 game was two really good teams going at each other. But the other times in these games you know we’re seeing Felipe Franks and Austin Appleby in 2016. And the guy where they made the change in 14 right and brought the kid and off the bench that got the one touchdown drive for him after a turnover. What was a kid’s name Harris or something like
Joel: [00:20:42] I don’t remember.
Will: [00:20:44] But so like we haven’t we haven’t seen sterling quarterback play outside of Will Grier in 2015 from from Florida in this rivalry. So is that part has changed obviously significantly from from back in the day and from Tim Tebow. So I don’t know. I think that’s just the sort of recent history weighing on me of saying well we’ve already been beat by Felipe Franks once and you know beat by in 2014 by bad quarterback play and we’re down 21 to 3 to Austin Appleby in 2016. So you know that is maybe I got a little too much scarring for that but this is where I part of the thing about having a national championship defensive coordinator is your head coaches. I don’t have to worry about that. I trust Jeremy Pruitt’s smart enough to figure out what to do there.
Joel: [00:21:34] Yeah. All right. So we’re we’re sort of running a little late here but you get a little extra time.
Will: [00:21:42] Yeah sure.
Joel: [00:21:43] Ok. So I just wanted to run through the guessing game questions. Just real quick I know you probably haven’t seen these yet or unless you read. OK. So you can you can defer if you want or just answer quickly or as with as much detail as you want but I’m going to run through them quick. So first one is which is greater Tennessee’s rushing yards or Florida’s passing yards.
Will: [00:22:09] I feel like the answer to that has to be Florida’s passing yards. If the answer is our rushing yards it’s going to be a real good night. But I think as much as Tennessee has struggled to run the ball with consistency. I think Florida will find opportunities and enough opportunities in the passing game even if it’s Felipe Franks for for the Gators to be the answer on that one.
Joel: [00:22:34] Ok. Does it change your answer. If I told you that Charleston Southern ran for 222 on them.
Will: [00:22:42] No see I don’t know enough about . . . like Kentucky. I think Benny Snell is a better running back then than anybody that we have on our roster. And also Kentucky the way they run the football is just different than the way we seek to run the football in terms of philosophy different enough anyway. So like not knowing enough or anything about Charleston Southern, no it does not. That does not change my mind on that. But again if that is the answer I think things are going to go extraordinarily well for Tennessee.
Joel: [00:23:18] Ok. That is exceptional infallible logic and I’m going with Tennessee’s rushing yards. So. All right.
Will: [00:23:26] They’re your questions. Yeah.
Joel: [00:23:28] So who scores the first touchdown for the Vols. Ty Chandler, another running back. A wide receiver or somebody else.
Will: [00:23:39] Well somebody else would be fun if we’re talking about all that stuff. But I will go with a wide receiver. I think I think Marquez Callaway is great. I think they intentionally didn’t really go to him a lot against against UTEP. I think Jauan Jennings obviously is someone that has a lot of history and success in this rivalry. And I’ve been impressed with Josh Palmer. Brandon Johnson was good last year. I think there are a lot of options. Tyson Helton as we read about in the summer USC and at Western Kentucky he involves three and four guys almost every game. It was really diverse in terms of the number of receivers out there so I would not be surprised to see one. I think Callaway maybe, when Tennessee’s offense is on the field I think Callaway may be the best player on the field. No offense to Trey Smith but then 2, just some wrinkles and there again if you’re going to lean on Guarantano more are there ways to change them up and slip something in there to Jordan Murphy or you know those those kinds of things so I will I will go with a wide receiver on that one.
Joel: [00:24:45] All right. I’m going with another running back just the field against Ty Chandler I think it’s going to be a running touchdown first and I’m just going with the field versus Chandler and the somebody else, that’s basically a spot for Dominick Wood-Anderson. So.
Will: [00:25:02] Right. Or Jarrett Guarantano on a roll out keeper.
Joel: [00:25:06] That’ll work. Yeah. Ok third question who leads at half time the Vols the Gators or nobody
Will: [00:25:15] If the action is juiced toward nobody I mean if you’re giving me more points for nobody I
Joel: [00:25:20] Probably
Will: [00:25:20] May I may
Joel: [00:25:20] Am.
Will: [00:25:20] Actually yeah I may pick that and the actual contest but I’ll say Tennessee. I mean again if if were saying it’s 50/50, Tennessee’s at home and said as he had been better the last few years I would lean towards Tennessee.
Joel: [00:25:33] All right cool. You’re actually like you’re in the lead overall for the pick em contest this year is that right.
Will: [00:25:44] I am it’s very strange to me. I got again longtime listeners and readers will know I’m a gut person but I’m also like I pick teams that I like. I don’t like to be conflicted when I’m watching the games.
Joel: [00:25:59] Yeah.
Will: [00:25:59] I don’t like to think oh I really like this team to win but I picked this other team so one way I got ahead of a lot of people early is I had Virginia Tech over Florida State in week one
Joel: [00:26:08] Ok
Will: [00:26:08] And that’s a that’s a game where a lot of people I know put a lot of points on Willie Taggart and company down there
Joel: [00:26:16] Yeah.
Will: [00:26:17] And they should not have done that. So that’s not the Virginia Tech is my point Willie Taggart may turn out to be fine but that was a I’m back in my house now is about 20 miles from Lane Stadium. So I am I’m a little biased in that direction anyway but. That was that game had the total makings of a game that Virginia Tech wins which is what happened so I say all that to say I tend to do as well as Tennessee does
Joel: [00:26:45] Yeah.
Will: [00:26:45] In a given year in these things. So
Joel: [00:26:47] That’s what I was going to say if Tennessee ever wins the national championship you’re going to also win the pick em.
Will: [00:26:52] That’s right. Exactly yeah. So so far I am in first. But I had us to beat with Virginia. I’ve certainly got Tennessee not I don’t know know I think the confidence points on West Virginia I had like 3 I think I’ve got Tennessee at like 9 this week.
Joel: [00:27:10] That’s
Will: [00:27:10] So
Joel: [00:27:10] Pretty high for
Will: [00:27:11] You know
Joel: [00:27:11] A one point
Will: [00:27:12] It’s
Joel: [00:27:12] Game.
Will: [00:27:13] I’ve got some other some other things in there though that I’m interested in. And it makes me look so smart. But last week another reason I’m in front is I picked BYU to beat Wisconsin. You know why? It’s because we play BYU next year. And it’s better for us nationally if they’re good so.
Joel: [00:27:30] That was not infallible logic.
Will: [00:27:33] No. It’s like I said it’s my heart and my gut. I had I had it with like one confidence point but I bet lots people had Wisconsi at like 18 confidence points so
Joel: [00:27:43] Yeah, that was me.
Will: [00:27:44] Is that right.
Joel: [00:27:46] Yeah.
Will: [00:27:46] Yes. So I just pick those thing I pick that game because it’s of interest to Tennessee and because we play BYU next year. And I pick BYU to win because even joked about it on Twitter. It’s better for Tennessee if BYU is better next year and then we beat them. So you know I’m that’s I don’t think I have anything I’d have to look at it. I think I have anything really crazy this week. I had a real hard time like this is the weird world we live in where the two most interesting SEC games this Saturday are probably the best one is Mississippi State and Kentucky which I don’t know how that happened but like truly that’s the best SEC game this week and the hardest one to pick to me outside of Tennessee Florida is South Carolina Vanderbilt.
Joel: [00:28:33] Yeah yeah
Will: [00:28:34] Like
Joel: [00:28:34] I got Vandy
Will: [00:28:34] That’s
Joel: [00:28:35] In that one actually.
Will: [00:28:35] I’ve got Vandy too. And it’s so weird like I don’t know how many times I’ve said the phrase I’ve got Vandy in that one in my life let alone against the team that was going to be the second best team in this division.
Joel: [00:28:47] Yeah.
Will: [00:28:48] And I think it’s in Nashville and Vandy may even be favored like it.
Joel: [00:28:51] No they’re
Will: [00:28:51] I
Joel: [00:28:52] Not.
Will: [00:28:52] Think
Joel: [00:28:52] But it’s close. I think is like two
Will: [00:28:53] It’s like two
Joel: [00:28:53] And a half
Will: [00:28:54] And a half. Yeah. So I don’t know man this is this is weird but no joke I mean I feel bad for Alabama and Texas A&M is the 330 game and all that but Bama sis till at 27 and a half point favorite in that
Joel: [00:29:09] Yeah
Will: [00:29:10] Game. The
Joel: [00:29:10] Yeah.
Will: [00:29:10] Best game this week like that is in a totally fair world. Mississippi State and Kentucky is the 330 CBS game this week. But instead I’m sure it’s like ESPNU or something like that.
Joel: [00:29:25] So if you’re looking for a way to win the pick em you just have to change your strategy and figure out some way to go with Will’s gut. That’s basically the lesson I’m learning from this
Will: [00:29:36] Through the first
Joel: [00:29:36] Sir.
Will: [00:29:36] Three weeks yeah.
Joel: [00:29:38] All right. Quickly last question because I wanted to get to this if we if we still had time. You’re the basketball guy. So do you have anything to say about the hoops team landing five star point guard Josiah James.
Will: [00:29:53] Well you know I think everyone who you just can’t assume about things everyone assumed things about Rick Barnes over the course of X number of years he’s kind of doing what he did at Texas which is build the program his way establish his culture and then here comes the big money recruit. I mean again this is lots people have said this on Twitter I tweeted this to in the history of recruiting rankings this is the third highest commit to ever sign with Tennessee. Only Tobias Harris and Scotty Hopson have have been higher. So you know this is a big time player like Tobias Harris may only be around here for one year. But I think Barnes also learned with all those guys at Texas which led to a bunch of earlier exits in the NCAA tournament than than they were seeded for. You know it shows me that he’s not afraid to still go after the very best players that we’re not trying to be Virginia or no offense to Virginia. They were incredible last year in the regular season. We’re not trying to be South Carolina in our conference who we’re going to do it our way or we’re going to recruit kids and only play our way like it. Barnes is still more than happy to take a five star kid if he fits what we’re doing and we’ve been in on other five star kids as well. So now it’s I me will be interesting to see as we go from here how many more of these one and done ish players is Barnes going to go after and try to get.
Will: [00:31:28] But I think you got to feel so good about the culture at Tennessee right now and where you know we’re in a year where You know you’re going to lose Admiral. Grant’s a junior. You might lose him, you might lose Kyle Alexander. When you were trying to figure out OK is next season is 2019 20 going to be a rebuilding year. Well no. Now it’s going to be. We might have an NBA lottery pick on our team. So you know that’s that was a great thing. I think for Tennessee’s future so just goes to show you man all the things that all the things in terms of on court success that I thought Tennessee lost when Bruce Pearl left and I wasn’t sure if they would ever get back. Barnes, still got to get to the Sweet 16 or the elite eight with Tennessee, but Barnes has Tennessee competing and recruiting at those same levels right now. And that’s that’s an incredible testament to him so we can’t get back the shirtless painted chests whatever. But we also we also can’t get back or should want to get back lying to the NCAA. So you know it’s. It is. As a long suffering Tennessee basketball fan I am thrilled that it certainly appears that what we’re seeing right now isn’t just oh man we’ve got a really good mix of players and we’re going to be really good for two years and we’ll see that you know Barness is setting this thing up to keep Tennessee at the table for a long time and I think that’s tremendous.
Joel: [00:33:03] I will forever maintain that Bruce Pearl didn’t get fired for lying to the NCAA. As much as he did for admitting it which is a shame because that’s what you should do when you do something wrong. You should admit it but all the people who just maintain their lie when everybody knows they’re lying. They always get a pass. I hate that
Will: [00:33:22] Yeah. Oh yeah I mean it’s Clay Travis. We mentioned him earlier as one of the first people I saw say hey this this whole thing with Pearl is like no one will ever come clean to the NCAA again I promise
Joel: [00:33:35] Yes.
Will: [00:33:36] You that because you get a 3 year show cause for it. So you know. Good good for Bruce. He’s again I’ve written about this Bruce is at Auburn, legally or illegally. I have no idea but he’s doing great things at Auburn and good for him. Cuonzo is at Missouri doing great things good for him like you know everybody can be Rick Barnes doesn’t need Cuonzo Martin to suck for him to be successful and thanks be to God we don’t have to have you know here’s Bruce Pearl cutting down nets and meanwhile we’re four and 14. Can you imagine if we hadn’t hired Barnes or if you know whatever had happened and we actually finished 13th last year and Pearl won the SEC . Can you imagine. I mean just it would have fit really well with the rest of the decade. But you know I am I am as bad as things have been in football to have had to have had as good as we had it with Pearl for six years and now two two have come back to a place where it feels like anything is possible with this basketball program. Again that’s an incredible thing. And if Tennessee does not play well Saturday night and they lose to the Gators. Chris Chris Pendley and I were talking about this earlier today that it may be the first time in the history of ever that Tennessee is quicker than Kentucky to say wait till basketball season baby but basketball season is coming. So that’s that’s good news on the back end.
Joel: [00:35:10] That’s Will Shelton and that’s going to be a wrap for episode 152 of the Gameday on Rocky Top Podcast. As always please subscribe rate and review bonus points if you use the phrase.
Joel: [00:35:25] “I’m going with Will’s gut” in the review. That’s the secret phrase for this.
Will: [00:35:32] Next week the secret praise will be I trusted Will’s gut and I shouldn’t have
Joel: [00:35:38] I’ll remember them or write that down.
Will: [00:35:39] Yeah.
Joel: [00:35:41] And so for Will Shelton I’m Joel Hollingsworth and this has been the Gameday on Rocky Top Podcast.
Joel: [00:35:49] Have you noticed that the robo-transcript always calls it the Gameday Iraqi. Actually I’ve been I’ve been
Will: [00:35:56] Not
Joel: [00:35:56] Correct
Will: [00:35:56] Saying
Joel: [00:35:56] In it.
Will: [00:35:57] That
Joel: [00:35:58] Gameday. Iraqi. Podcast. Iraqi Top.
Will: [00:36:03] Yeah there are real because that typically is how I hear the podcast that I’m not on is by reading the transcript on my lunch break or something like that and I have. There have been some real gems in there. So whatever whatever whatever service you’re using to translate it I would not change it because I really enjoy it.
Joel: [00:36:23] I’ve been actually correcting most of them but if they’re really good I’ll just leave them and make a note of what was the hilarious one from yesterday.
Will: [00:36:30] Like a standard woman rush or something
Joel: [00:36:32] Oh yeah
Will: [00:36:33] Like that
Joel: [00:36:33] It was.
Will: [00:36:33] Or
Joel: [00:36:34] He tried to say a four standard four man rush. Is that standard woman rush. Yeah that was
Will: [00:36:41] Yeah
Joel: [00:36:42] A good one.
Will: [00:36:42] You’ve got to watch out for that. Yeah.
Joel: [00:36:45] I know I was gonna say you said you know having him cut down the nets at Auburn while we’re 4 and 14 that would be kind of like if Saban retired they promoted Butch Jones and he hoisted the crystal trophy over there.
Will: [00:37:01] Seems unlikely.