Will Shelton

  • I believe Tennessee’s opponent today is patience.

  • 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.

  •  

    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 […]

    • 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 2 days 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 2 days 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.

  • Agreed. That would make for all kinds of fun in the rivalry.

  • I’m having a hard time finding people who think Schiano is a good idea. And I remain firmly in the camp of consistently good at Mississippi State = great.

  • Rejoice: I believe Purdue is a noon tipoff.

  •  

    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.

  • 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.

  • The “happy where expectations are low” thing might be real (like Cutcliffe at Duke), and if so that’s fine for him. But I think he would have significant success at Tennessee or Florida – I wrote about this a bunch today, but ask a Mississippi State fan how many good years he’s had. They would have a much better answer, and I think that would…[Read more]

  • I love Fuente, and though VT fans are concerned he can’t beat Georgia Tech, I don’t think he’s going anywhere. He is an excellent coach I’m glad we don’t have to compete with on fall Saturdays.

  • How do you judge a football team?

    Wins and losses are the best way to rank them, but there has to be more involved in the best way to rate them. Games are made up of more than 100 plays; the best rating systems […]

    • This is great analysis Will. It helps clarify a lot about the Jones era and why things were so frustrating. It also helps when considering which of the many potential candidates are the most promising. We can only wait and hope that Currie has a similarly systematic analysis of coaching potential.

    • So, how do we get Will on the search committee?

      • Yes we need Will on the search committee, and if we cant get him on the committee, then we need to send a link of this article to Currie.

    • I agree with Evan’s post, especially the part about the hoped-for “systematic analysis”, but that’d be a first in a long, long time. I fear politics and unfounded budgetary concerns will drive the search, the quintessential “Old Boy’s Club” approach.

      That’s served us well in the recent past, eh?

  • Kentucky was shaky, but Indiana had a major case of the oh-no’s in Archie Miller’s first game: blasted by Larry Legend’s alma mater 90-69.

  • The Vols are in one (1) of 43 preseason brackets in the matrix: http://www.bracketmatrix.com/

    Plenty of convincing to do, plenty of opportunity to do it. Of note: first matrix has 7 SEC teams in the field.

  •  

    Basketball season tips off tonight: the Vols host Presbyterian at 7 PM ET (available online via SEC Network+). Tennessee beat this team by 40 last year; Presbyterian enters the season 341 out of 351 in Ken […]

  • I’m fascinated by the complete lack of Les Miles in the conversation – not because I think he should be our first or second choice, but because people say they want a proven winner and lament an inability to get a power five guy, and then completely ignore Miles’ availability. To me, he’s a terrific basement for this search, and I think the list…[Read more]

  • I believe we’re going to hire a coach with a better resume than Kiffin, Dooley, or Butch Jones when they came here, even if that coach isn’t Gruden. That’s great news. I just also believe that coach could face a tougher challenge in getting to Atlanta than Butch did if the Gators also make a good hire. It’s very, very important for us to get this…[Read more]

  • Fifteen years ago, it was easy to talk yourself into the Vols taking over the SEC East. Tennessee won the division in 2001, beating Steve Spurrier on his way to the NFL. A heartbreaking loss in Atlanta only fueled […]

    • That was one of the more depressing sports articles I’ve read in a long while…. Thanks Will.

      • I believe we’re going to hire a coach with a better resume than Kiffin, Dooley, or Butch Jones when they came here, even if that coach isn’t Gruden. That’s great news. I just also believe that coach could face a tougher challenge in getting to Atlanta than Butch did if the Gators also make a good hire. It’s very, very important for us to get this one right.

        • Other than Gruden, who are your top two “resume” coaches, and then who are your top two up-and-comers?

          • I’m fascinated by the complete lack of Les Miles in the conversation – not because I think he should be our first or second choice, but because people say they want a proven winner and lament an inability to get a power five guy, and then completely ignore Miles’ availability. To me, he’s a terrific basement for this search, and I think the list of up-and-comers you’d want to hire before him isn’t very long.

            I always look for a good fit. I think Dan Mullen would be a good fit, though how much we’d pay him would be interesting in terms of where it would rank him nationally. I think Scott Frost is by far the best of the up-and-comers, and I think lots of people are going to agree with that. I’d be curious to know his long-term goals – does he want to coach in the NFL, would he stay in Knoxville if he won big – whereas with Mullen you might have a longer-term solution. To me, any of those would be the best hire we’ve made since Fulmer, and all three of them have more of a resume than he did in 1992.

    • “The Vols should be riding a four game winning streak over Florida and two straight SEC East titles.”

      I’ve been saying the same thing to friends, and a competent coach would have done this. It’s so frustrating to see what Butch Jones has squandered.

  • True, but still much healthier than what we were seeing at the end of Dooley’s time with 81k announced vs Troy and 89k vs Mizzou.

  • Load More