Big Orange Roundtable: Week 3

Check out the Roundtable Round-up with Joel's Thoughts on our efforts (or lack there of) for this week...

This Week’s Roundtable Host: Rocky Top Talk

Onward and Upward!

This week’s Big Orange Roundtable is hosted by Joel over at Rocky Top Talk.

At present the roundtable includes: 3rd Saturday in Blogtober, Fulmer’s Belly, Gate 21, Rocky Top Talk, Loser With Socks, the World According to MoonDog (a/k/a MoonDog Sports), The Power T, Your Mother Slept With Wilt Chamberlain, and the SouthEastern Sports Blog. If you’d like to join, feel free to let us know. If you want more information on how the roundtable works, you can check out Ghost of Neyland’s wonderful introduction over at 3SIB.

Anyway, here are my thoughts for the week:

Week 3

(Questions in Sort-o-Teal-like color)

1) For some inexplicable reason, Phillip Fulmer invites Urban Meyer, Mark Richt, Steve Spurrier, Nick Saban, Les Miles, and Tommy Tuberville over to his palatial estate for a dinner party. At 2:00 a.m. the next morning, The Papa discovers that Smokey IX has been murdered. Who did it, with what, and where? Think Clue. You know, Mr. Mustard in the parlor with the candlestick?

After dinner, Fulmer gave Smokey a few hot dogs from his private stash before heading upstairs with his bride, Vicky. After making it to the bedroom, Phillip decided that he wanted to grab a quick doughnut from his other private stash. While heading back toward the kitchen, he was confronted by the ghost of Bear Bryant who warned him that Smokey was in danger.

Shocked and frightened, Fulmer rushed downstairs to find Smokey lying on the floor, a half-eaten hot dog left lying by his side. Fulmer immediately called Lieutenant Columbo to investigate (after he ate the rest of the hot dog).

Once on the scene, Columbo began interviewing the others. Mark Richt claimed to be admiring himself in the mirror in his favorite bright red thong. Tubberville said he was adding another coat of shellac to his hair before retiring for the night. Saban claimed to be counting all the money he had fleeced from Alabama donors in his room. Meyer stated that he was siting with his legs crossed offering a burnt offering before his statue of Tim Tebow.  Les Miles had been carefully placing his hat in its protective case for the night. Finally, Spurrier claimed that he had been on the phone with a local sports-talk show under the pseudonym "Homer from Sequatchie County."

At first Columbo was stumped considering that all the alibis checked out. Then the case turned. Columbo discovered that Nick Saban had accidentally left his webcam running while counting his money on the bed. It had recorded sounds in the background which, at first seemed unrecognizable, but then when played at 300 times normal speed became understandable as a human speaking.

Columbo rushed downstairs, the others right on his heels, to find Ed Orgeron hiding in the bushes pretending to be a Maple tree. Fulmer grabbed Orgeron while Tubberville tied his hands, and Saban stole his wallet. Columbo put it to him straight.

"So, it looks like we caught you..."

"I say, I say, I say, it war an assidunt. I’s was a jest a’chomin heah to talk to dis heah fine group ah koaches whahn I come up-pon da little puppah. I’s was ah jest a talkin’ to heam and a scrahathin’ heahs eaahs whan alla-da-suddin’ heah just collapsas. I say, I say I dohn’t know whaht heppened!"

All of the sudden, Vicky Fulmer screamed... "Look!"

"Hey now, I wasn’t taking any money from anybody. I mean I was just standing here minding my own business..."

"Not you, Nick, look, Smokey’s back up and walking!" Vicky pointed to a dazed and groggy Smokey staggering from side to side.

"Hallelujah, Tim be praised!  The omnisicent Tebow has looked down on this animal's plight and blessed him. He has been raised from the dead!" Meyer exclaimed as he fell to his knees.

"I don’t think so sir. Exactly how long were you talking to the dog, sir?" Columbo asked

"Wheall, lessee... I’s ah’suhppose it was abaht fie-to-tenh mannutes. Yehsir." Orgeron replied.

"I think I’ve solved the case." Columbo nodded to himself. "Mr. Foghorn ... Orgeron here came to see about getting a job with these here coaches, but got distracted by the cute dog, and set upon lamenting his tale to the pooch. At first, Smokey was enjoying the attention, but then things started to get fuzzy and he collapsed. You see, all of the hot-air coming from Orgeron caused Smokey to temporarily lose consciousness from lack of oxygen. He wasn’t actually dead. His body just entered a state of suspended animation to avoid any more damage to his brain from what Ogeron was saying. There was no murder here..."

"Well that’s a relief, I had just assumed it was some of my players, and was trying to think up a lie to tell the media." Spurrier chimed in.

"Well, how do you explain the ghost of Bear Bryant that I saw upstairs?" Fulmer asked.

"That was no ghost, that was Johnny Majors. He’d polished off a bottle of bourbon and was -- well, overcome by a multitude of circumstances -- which led him to think he was Bear Bryant. I’ve seen it before. Likely as not, he was just looking for some eggs to throw on your car." they all nodded to themselves knowing this to be true.

"Well, I suppose that wraps up my business here. You folks have a nice evening." Columbo said as he shut his notebook.

"Thank you so much Lieutenant, is there anything we can do to repay you?" asked Vicky Fulmer.

"Just one thing ma’am -- tell your husband to leave a few in the racks next time he and the coaching staff hit Krispy Kreme. The beat officers would appreciate it..."

2) Who between Eric Berry for the defense and Gerald Jones for the Clawfense will have the biggest impact for the Vols in 2008?

Well, it is hard to say on this one at present, mainly because Gerald Jones is still somewhat of an unknown in terms of his ability to perform over an entire season. Be that as it may, Jones impact will definitely be felt as the season progresses, especially with Jonathan Crompton running the offense. I expect great things from these two on the "Clawfensive" side of the ball. By the end of the season, it would not surprise me for the phrase "Crompton to Jones" to take on the same character as "Manning to Kent," "Martin to Price," or "Clausen to the Sidelines" (okay, maybe not the last one...).

All that said, I still think that Eric Berry has the potential to be the single most significant contributor on the 2008 Tennessee Volunteers Football squad. Berry is a holy terror on the defensive side of the ball, and I simply don’t think there is anyone with more talent than he across the board. I could try and explain why I feel this way, but the fact is that Will over at SESB has already done a much better job than I could.

Suffice it to say, I agree with him wholeheartedly ...

3) You devise a way to harness the Lost island’s temporal displacement properties. The island will allow you to change one thing, but one thing only, in the history of the Tennessee Volunteer football program. What do you change? By the way, Ben warns that if you try to say "2005" or any other entire season, the mysterious clicking black smoke will sound its wailing siren, shoot from the earth, grab you by the ankles, and pound you to a pulp against a palm tree. So change only one thing. Unless, of course, you like that sort of thing.?

Well, I hate to be a bum and flame a bit, but my "do-over" selection would be easy. Four words:

Randy Sanders, Offensive Coordinator...

Now I don’t mean to imply that I wish Sanders had never been affiliated with the program because he was a longtime quarterbacks coach, and was as loyal as anyone when it came to the Tennessee Football program -- I wish him nothing but the best in his current endeavors.

That said -- in my opinion -- the biggest mistake ever made by the Great Punkin was promoting Col. Dandy Sanders to offensive coordinator. Therein lay the genesis of all of the problems of the early-to-middle part of this decade. While I appreciate and respect Coach Fulmer’s desire to "dance with the one who brung ya" and promote from within -- rewarding those who have stood beside you, when David Cutcliffe left to take over the Ole Miss Rebels in 1998, he should have let Sanders coach the National Championship game, and then started looking for a new coordinator outside the program.

Col. Dandy Sanders

It took Cutcliffe the better part of two years to begin re-building the offense after Sanders left. Considering the hiring of Dave Clawson, it appears that Fulmer has learned from the mistake.

4) What about the future? What is your worst fear for this upcoming season, the turn of events that would send you into a blind rage?

Injuries, plain and simple...

While Tennessee has some great potential this season, there are a few key positions where an injury could spell disaster. Most notably at quarterback and defensive tackle. The quickest way for the Vols to go from hopefuls to hopeless would be injuries in these key positions, where there is remarkably little depth.

Thus, I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed and hope for the best...

The Rest of the Roundtable:

Having wasted your time on my largely meaningless and insignificant thoughts for this week, go check out what the other roundtablers (who actually know what they are talking about) have to say (in no particular order):

Yeah, yeah, I know -- Don’t quit my day job...

-- Go Figure …Email lawvol


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