Joel Hollingsworth

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    Things may have gotten off slowly for new Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt in 2019 recruiting, but things certainly have picked up lately. The Vols received a huge pledge on Sunday, getting a commitment […]

  • Earlier this week we all went a few rounds on Tennessee’s non-conference scheduling habits; I argued if you don’t want to schedule the likes of Oklahoma but you don’t want to schedule the likes of Kansas, the Vols […]

    • To be a big boy, you gotta play the big boys.

      Overall, I think the non-conference schedule should be pretty much balanced. We should keep having a marquee game most years and one cupcake, hopefully with at least an ounce of respectability. You have to have the marquee to not only get respect around the country, but to appeal to the committee choosing the playoffs (I realize this is looking way ahead), and to test your own team.

      Finally a pair of middle-of-the-road types. Ones that the Vols should expect to beat most times as long as the Vols play a decent game. But enough threat that if the Vols play poorly they could definitely lose. Or that rare flukey game where the Vols play alright but the other team plays perfect and wins. That just right amount of a threat.

    • Personally I wouldn’t mind playing a Kansas, Oregon State or an Illinois instead of an FCS team every year. You get a second Power 5 non conference game with the difficulty of a mid major. Deceiving, but it would appear a lot better on paper.

  • On the surface, Wednesday’s decision by 4-star wide receiver Ramel Keyton to pick Tennessee over Auburn, Florida and others is big-time news. The nation’s No. 188-ranked overall player and the No. 31 receiver in […]

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    Tennessee first-year football coach Jeremy Pruitt told the media before his Big Orange Caravan stop in Chattanooga this past week that he expects the 27-30 players the Vols will infuse into the roster who […]

  • So John Adams lit the familiar off-season flame of non-conference scheduling today, arguing the Vols shouldn’t be scheduling the likes of Oklahoma in the future. The Sooners are back for a home-and-home in Norman […]

  • The Tennessee Vols got some anticipated excellent news on Friday night when Coosa, Georgia, tight end Sean Brown decided to end the recruiting process and commit.

    C O M M I T E D… 🍊 pi […]

  • In this year’s Gameday on Rocky Top preseason magazine, I wrote a narrative review of Jeremy Pruitt’s defenses at Florida State, Georgia, and Alabama. The numbers from Tallahassee and Tuscaloosa represent a […]

  • Every first-year regime is going to experience a recruiting kick from prospects enamored with the “newness” around the program. Jeremy Pruitt nabbing 4-stars J.J. Peterson, Jerome Carvin and Jeremy Banks were […]

  • Jason Witten is retiring after 15 years with the Dallas Cowboys. The former Vol will be neither gone or forgotten:

    Breaking: Jason Witten is retiring from the Cowboys and joining ESPN as an analyst for Monday […]

  • As much as I wanted to make an awful Boyz II Men reference in that headline, it would have buried the news on just how important 4-star offensive tackle Wanya Morris’s pledge to Tennessee was on Tuesday.

    After […]

    • You never have to apologize for a Boyz II Men reference.

      Also, that’s a 75% blue chip ratio among incoming freshman in 2019. Great start, no panic.

  • Any piece basketball coach Rick Barnes can add to his 2018-19 basketball team that will play critical minutes on a team that should make a deep run in the NCAA tournament is important. That’s why Monday night’s […]

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    Most of us are realists who realize that six wins in 2018 is going to be a chore. That doesn’t mean we’re going to be satisfied with it or even give coach Jeremy Pruitt a pass if he coaches the Vols to it, […]

    • Getting back to .500 is a tough putt. Sure wins: ETSU, UTEP, Charlotte. Sure losses: West VA, Florida (7), Georgia (10.5), Auburn (9), Bama (10.5), Sakerlina (7). Win Some/Lose Some: Kentucky (6), Missouri (6.5), Vandy (5).

      Vegas says 5.5 over/under for the Vols; the other SEC teams’ Over/Under wins are in ( ). But to me it feels like 4.5 wins is the number at this way-too-early, post-Spring Game juncture.

      https://247sports.com/ContentGallery/Vegas-releases-2018-win-total-for-every-SEC-team-117451338

    • I may be being too optimistic, but I think we can win WVU and I think if we’d had a pulse or even a smidge of ‘give a crap’, we’d have taken 2 of 3 of Vandy, Mizzou, UK and probably all three. I think we’ll be better this year…given everything Brad said comes true.

  • Our Tennessee Vols are not a good football team.

    That doesn’t mean they won’t be or they can’t be. But they were awful in 2017, as we all know. And they didn’t look a whole lot better on Saturday.

    They may […]

    • “But he’s proved before that he can identify talent, recruit it, and develop it.”

      Just because I’m in full-on editing mode, I have to say I was really glad to see your Oxford comma there. 🙂

    • The cupboard is fairly empty. We were 0-8 in the SEC because we had an intern coaching and developing players.

      For those expecting a bowl with a 6-6 record, I’d make a straight up bet against it. Doesn’t mean we can’t get to 500 – it just looks pretty dadgum unlikely.

      So, about basketball…

    • Well, from my perspective it was about as boring as most of the games last year. Nothing really exciting happened. Just some ho-hum football that left me wanting more (which don’t get me wrong – I will take for now – because I love football).

      As for Pruitt, hard to get a read on him but he was intense on the field!! Doesn’t seem to be one that excepts mediocrity or taking plays off. I saw him and other coaches light-a-fire under a couple of players and I trust this will serve us well in the future. Have to say, he seems to speak his mind – which I like.

      Looking forward to next season!!

    • I seem to recall a handful of stories about Kirby Smart being surprised at some cultural things in Athens in year one because he was used to Alabama/Saban.

    • HT replied 4 weeks ago

      Nebraska hired the coach that their entire fanbase unanimously wanted. Not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison. Regardless, we had the third-highest (announced) spring game attendance in the SEC, behind only the two teams that played in the National Championship Game. Ours was the fifth-highest in the country, ahead of programs like FSU, Clemson, and Ohio State. Complaining about the fans at this point is just silly.

      • It is bigger even than that. Nebraska hired their national championship winning hero who has ridden in to save the program. One of Frost’s strengths is selling himself. He is good at it and selling his program.

        Jeremy is simply not great with the media. He didn’t have to do interviews under Saban and he doesn’t like doing it so far as a head coach. Frankly Pruitt and the athletic department did a poor job advertising and trying to fill the stadium. As a first time head coach it is only natural he would have to grow into the role. Hopefully he improves in this area or wins so much much that no one cares.

        Frankly I didn’t get up in arms over Butch’s Butchisms so I am not going to worry too much over Pruitt’s shortcomings conveying his message with the media. Just give us a football team we can be proud of CJP, do it the right way. I don’t care about the rest.

  • If tomorrow’s game actually is a 1’s vs 1’s, 2’s vs 2’s situation, the release of the rosters today may tell us more about how Jeremy Pruitt’s first team will look than the actual Orange & White Game itself:
    🍊 OR […]

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    With temperatures expected to be beautiful under sunny skies and a lot of top-notch recruits heading to Knoxville to enjoy the festivities, the biggest focus needs to be on Shields-Watkins Field.

    The top […]

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    It’s kind of hard to have a full-tilt quarterback competition when only half of your quarterback arsenal is on campus.

    So, it isn’t [only] that Jeremy Pruitt has been stubborn with information so far this […]

  • Setting a reasonable expectation is never easy in college football, especially in a new coach’s first year. For Jeremy Pruitt, five wins would be a literal improvement; six and a bowl berth would probably earn a […]

    • Competitiveness without feeling like we let wins escape us. That’s a difference from the last regime I want as well. The teams were often competitive but absolutely collapsed late losing games they should have won (I’m looking at you OU and UF especially).

      If we’re competitive in most games and make a bowl game, I think that’s a successful season. No matter the result of the bowl game beyond competitive again.

      I’d be pretty happy if a 7-5 regular season mark was achieved. I don’t think that mark is impossible, but I recognize it won’t necessarily be easy

      • Some betting site just put out their SEC O/Us and had the Vols at 5.5, which feels…about right?

        We already know they’re sizable underdogs to WVU. Taking a loss there would require 3 SEC wins to get to a bowl game, and after going 0-8 in conference last year, it’s hard to look at any one game and say, “Oh, yeah, the Vols should absolutely win that.”

        I’d settle for a) seeing development from individual players who were around last year, b) feeling like there is a cohesive strategy on both sides of the ball, and c) not getting run off the field by teams with objectively less talent (Mizzou, Vandy).

        • 5 seems to be a reasonable number to me too. I look at the schedule and three frankly gimme games plus hopefully a couple of games from Vandy, Kentucky, Florida, South Carolina are about all I can reasonably hope for. It saddens me that I am honestly “hopeful” that we win 5 games but that is the state of the program.

          The good news for Pruitt is my expectations are the lowest they have ever been. They have all the room in the world to pleasantly surprise me. I am still looking forward to football season no matter what.

          • I think that’s an interesting question, and one that probably breaks down somewhat along generational lines…have you ever had less hope/fewer expectations for UT football than you do right now?

            I was born in 1986 and came of age during the crazy run in the 90s, so I’ve almost always had hope. 2013 is possibly the only other season where I had equally low expectations.

            • It helps that my overall expectations are higher than they could have been in the midst of the Schiano/Currie situation. I think the low points from both mid-2011 and the middle of last year, when it was just blatantly apparent that we weren’t very good (in part due to injury) were lower than preseason expectations are right now. But it might also become blatantly apparent that we’re not very good even earlier this fall.

              • You do bring up a good point. Taken in the context of how “the search” went it could have been worse. *shudders*

            • For me it is the low point. I was born in ’72 so I remember much of Majors and was really becoming a die hard fan when Fulmer was hired.

              I think what makes this the low point for me is the historic lows we hit last year. Not only did we lose to every SEC team on our schedule last year but we also have less returning production (combined offensive and defensive ) than every SEC team on our schedule.

              I think we will be better this year because of better coaching and hopefully less injuries. The question in my mind is how much. In light of the recent bad taste from the Kiffin/Dooley/Jones trifecta one more win than the worst season in UT history is all I am willing to hope for next year.

  • You’re a Tennessee fan, and you’re skeptical. The two things may as well be synonymous after what we’ve been through for the past decade-plus, especially after what our dysfunctional administration put us through […]

  • This past week might be more indicative of what we should expect from the Jeremy Pruitt regime, as the relationships he’s taken time to build manifested itself in a flurry of commitments.

    One common theme […]

    • Good article Brad. Very relevant too as far as the size of the team. NBA is moving to smaller, faster players and everybody wanted Oregon East with the change, but it would look the same as far as smaller, faster guys. The thing that makes the SEC stand out is size AND speed. I always tweaked the Big10 fans “you guys are just like us, just without the speed or talent”. “We’re smarter” was all they could come back with. 🙂

  • 2017-18 saw the deepest SEC of all-time, with eight NCAA Tournament teams breaking the old conference record of six. The championship banner Tennessee and Auburn will hang is the greatest testament to the quality […]

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