It’s Official, I’m a Blowhard!
All of the Roundtable bloggers agreed on this one point in their answers to this week's questions as posed by yours truly. What’d they expect from a lawyer?
Anyway, aside from that revelation, here’s what Ye Mystic Knights of the Roundtable had to say in response to my ridiculous inquiries:
1) Thus far we’ve made a number of predictions for the 2008 Vols. Now, let’s take the next step: What are your pre-season predictions for each of Tennessee’s regular season games this year (along with any explanations you feel are needed)?
Fulmer’s Belly with acronym madness, Loser With Socks (with the exception of calling Auburn a tossup), and the SouthEastern Sports Blog took the hard line by making it clear that they cannot pick against Tennessee. I can completely relate with this and fully concur in Will thoughts:
For one, I think the vast majority of us in Vol Nation still believe that Tennessee is good enough to win every game they play.
* * * * *
The phrase I’ve used most often in the two-plus years of this blog’s existence is some form of "The SEC is good enough that anybody can beat everybody. And Tennessee is still good enough to beat anybody every single week."
* * * * *
... so what you’re most likely to get from me every week is something like "How the Vols can win this week" instead of "Will the Vols win this week?" throughout the year.
I like that kind of optimism, and in reality that is exactly what I will be doing each week. That said, the rest of the Roundtablers generally agreed that the Vols would go 10-2 this season (with the exception of YMSWWC who picked the Vols to go 9-3) generally agreed on the games where Tennessee was most likely to fall a bit short, here’s how they fell:
So, there you have it. Hopefully, Will, Jai, and Jon are right, and Tennessee does go undefeated...
2) Gameday routines, we all have them. What are your gameday rituals, especially those that are completely irrational, grounded in baseless superstition, or otherwise defy explanation?
Well, the answers here were as varied as they were interesting.
Will from SouthEastern Sports Blog bemoaned one of my least favorite parts of gamedays at Tennessee -- traffic. Despite his angst, however, he waxed sentimental on us all as he talked of anticipating Bobby Denton’s proclamation of "It’s Football Time in Tennessee!!!" before watching pre-game warm-ups. More disturbingly, he mentioned something about having a hog’s head stowed somewhere in his parent’s basement. Yuck!
Doug at the Power T apparently spends his gamedays working as both a chef and a maid -- tying every act on a gameday to either cooking or laundry. The All-knowing MoonDog watches objectively, but shows clear signs of inner turmoil in his admission that "after a Vols’ win, I’m less inclined to take a trip to the Memphis Zoo and work over the baby seals."
For Thomas over at YMSWWC, gamedays take on a religious connotation, and his invocation of the football gods includes true ritual:
For home games I get up at 3:30 AM and slash the tires of my neighbors’ car since they are Bama fans. If it’s a road game then I want good karma that day so I only scratch the fender of the car. Then I retire back to bed. Around 7:00 AM I get back up a sacrifice a live cow on the alter of Smokey.
Meanwhile, Joel at RTT, told the tale of "summoning the oracle" known as Jackson the Mule -- widely known for his sports prognosticating skill -- through the clever use of apples, body paint, and pizza. I thought that sort of thing was illegal in Tennessee?
I live deep in the heart of Dixie, where the temps range upwards in 80s during the fall. I typically like to mow my lawn on College Football Saturdays but I do it a bit differently. As I mow, weedeat and edge, I wear a full Tennessee Football Uniform (home or away Jersey depending on the schedule), replete with a helmet (with a ‘T’), shoulder pads,receiver gloves black cleats and a tinted Oakley face shield. ... This way I can become one with the current players and the Ghosts of Tennessee past that have had a hand in the rise of the mighty Vols to gridiron glory.
3) Crompton vs. Tebow? Discuss…
Apparently, I just missed the boat on this one. My goal with this question was to compare the two running quarterbacks and get thoughts on how they stack up against one another.
Perhaps I should have used more than four words to pose this question...
Anyway, the answers to this one were ... well ... interesting.
Joel, in trying to figure out what the question was even about, had this to say:
Perhaps you mean "with sharp implements," in which case my first inclination is to trust Tebow over Crompton because Crompton, being a more rural-type guy is probably more used to wethering goats than preparing young men for, well, lives as young men. Then again, you could view Crompton as more "thorough" in that regard, so perhaps he’s got the edge. Heh. Edge.
Perhaps you mean "in tights and a headband, shirtless," in which case I hereby resign from the Roundtable and unsubscribe from your newsletter.
Hmmmm... that last one is an image I could have lived my whole life without.
The rest were pretty much in the same vein -- including an impressive answer in song from Loser With Socks -- but all seemed to conclude that I was a moron for asking this question before we’ve even really had a chance to see Crompton play.
Mea culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa...
4) Will the Vols manage to make it to the SEC Championship Game again this season - either outright, or through the backdoor? Why or why not?
The real question is: will we be ahead of Florida? Sadly, I think because SO much weight is put on preseason polls, it will be hard to jump ahead of them, even though we have the harder schedule. So, no, I think we will be a few plays short of winning the East, and thusly, a few plays short of winning the SEC. The SEC East winner will undoubtedly win the entire SEC.
Fulmer’s Belly rode the fence saying:
As long as the team gels as a cohesive unit, the SECCG is within reach. Lose another one however, and fans will grumble like mofos.
On the other hand, SESB asked pointedly, "So really ... why not?" Cincy Vol agreed, based upon talent and the Vols’ "under the radar" pre-season rankings. Loser With Socks, however, takes the cake in explaining why the Vols will not only make it to the SEC Championship Game, but will win it:
The Vols in the Championship again, It’s because it’s what we love. It is who we were born to be. And here you sit, thinking. Well, Tennessee Football is not for thinkers. We are players and hitters. We are the doers. And that’s what we need to do. We don’t need to think. We need to win. We need speed. We need to go out there, and you need to run like hell. We need to fire it up. We need to grab a hold of that line between speed and chaos, and we need to wrestle it to the ground like a demon cobra! And then, when the fear rises up in our belly, we use it. And you know that fear is powerful, because it has been there for billions of years. And it is good. And we use it. And we ride it; we ride it like a skeleton horse through the gates of hell, and then we win...
I really don’t know what you say in response to that...
5) Of all the coaches in the SEC who do you currently consider to be the best? Why?
Well, I was in the definite minority on this one, picking Sly Croom of Mississippi State. I know that’s a surprise to everyone.
MoonDog took Mark Richt, due to the fact he has really turned the program around at Georgia, and has consistently found his way into BCS Bowls. Joel, despite feeling dirty for having done so, chose The "Ole’ Ball Coach," Steve Spurrier. Thomas the Terrible took Tommy Tubberville (what amazing alliteration)
I’m the Wes Mantooth to his Ron Burgundy. He just deserves respect, no matter how much I hate him. (And oh do I hate him) He pulled in a national championship and has put the beat on people in the SEC and around the country. The guy is good.
Jai Eugene, along with Jon at Fulmer’s Belly picked the Great Punkin. Jai noted "Fulmer’s masterful play calling, rock hard discipline policy, on the field demeanor, and grasp of the english language during press conferences," as being the deciding factors in his mind. While Jon as part of his acronym-ical approach to things had this to say:
This isn’t even an question for us. Of course it’s Fulmer. It doesn’t even compare. Just look at his accolades. The best winning percentage, the biggest coat size, the most desserts eaten. Little can take away from our coach’s awesomeness. Except stupid Urban and Steve of course.
So there you have it folks. We’ve learned that you should never pick against the home team, that demon cobras need wrestling, and that -- no matter what -- we all feel good about this season.
Oh yeah, we’ve also learned that I will never be given the chance to write the questions again...
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