Archive for the ‘Great Games’ Category

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The Great Games |

Buy Celebrex Without Prescription, Last year, during the off-season, I began a series on the Great Games played by the Tennessee Volunteers football team over the many years as seen through my eyes.  As I am wont to do, I seem to have lost my focus and have not exactly done a capital job of keep that series going.  Imagine that.

Since the off-season is once again upon us—paired with the fact that I have been coming up pretty spare in terms of ideas lately—I’ve decided it is time to once again take a walk down memory lane and re-live some of the greatest games in Tennessee history.  For those of you who missed the 2008 installments of this series, here are the ones I’ve covered thus far:

In addition to my list, Will, one of the sages over at RTT has been counting down the top-50 games of the Phillip Fulmer era in grand style.  Predictably, some of his favorites are on my list as well.  Trust me, his list is worth a look (and is far better researched, far more thoughtful, far better written, and … well … just far better than my little foray into the ghosts of games past).  Since I don’t want to be accused of stealing his thunder, I will be citing to his accounts of his favorite games liberally.

In fairness, it might be best to just skip this article altogether and just go read his work.  Lord knows I would but for the fact that I have to write it…

22 November 1997

Tennessee Football vs. Kentucky Football

(5) Tennessee 59 •    Kentucky 31

Commonwealth Stadium  •  Lexington, Kentucky

Some folks might think I am crazy for including the 22 November 1997 contest between Tennessee and the Kentucky Wildcats on my list of great games.  I can understand why they might question my thoughts on this (or my sanity).  This game was anything but a flawless game for the Vols and was hardly the Tennessee defense’s finest hour.  In fact, Celebrex samples, the game as a whole was pretty darn sloppy, Celebrex no rx, as was the weather.  Still, for reasons which I will attempt to explain (a feat I will likely fail utterly to accomplish), this game still ranks as one of the great games in Tennessee football history.  The short answer as to why can be summed up in two words:

Peyton Manning

I make no bones about it.  I am a huge fan of the guy  who wore No, Celebrex forum. 16 for the Vols from 1994 to 1998.  As many have pointed out, Buy Celebrex no prescription, both Andy Kelly (1989-91) and Heath Shuler (1991-93) could—in their own right—claim to be the greatest Vol quarterback in the history of the program during the time they wore an orange shirt.  Then, starting only a few snaps into the 1994 game against the UCLA Bruins in the Rose Bowl, everyone in Orange Nation began the process of forgetting everything they ever knew about quarterbacks at Tennessee, Celebrex dose, as true freshman Peyton Manning took the reins from senior Jerry Colquitt, Cheap Celebrex, who quite tragically (and downright depressingly) suffered a career-ending injury in the first series of his first start at quarterback.

The rest, as they say, is history…

Part of the reason I am such a huge Manning fan, Celebrex australia, uk, us, usa, I suppose, Online buy Celebrex without a prescription, owes to the fact that his first game was my first game as a student at UT.  That sort of direct connection makes it easy for me to identify with his career in a way which surpasses most—if not all—other Vol footballers.  I guess those were my four years too.  Of course there is no mention in the official record of the games those four seasons mentioning this fact.  I suppose that was just an oversight by Tennessee’s capable staff of statisticians.  Go figure…

At any rate, by 1997, Manning was a senior and had already achieved legendary status in the minds of many of the Big Orange faithful through his exploits both on and off the field, buy cheap Celebrex no rx, which included breaking almost every single record worth keeping track of and turning down a big paycheck from the NFL in the interest of returning to Neyland Stadium for his senior year.

Video: Vol Network Tribute to Peyton Manning (1997)

By the time time that the Kentucky game rolled around, Buy cheap Celebrex, the No. 5-ranked Vols were 8–1 and—despite having suffered an abysmal 33-20 loss to the Florida Gators—still had a chance to finish the year with an SEC-Eastern Division title (thanks in no small part to the Georgia Bulldogs’ and LSU Tigers’ victories over the Gators).  In other words, the Vols were in control of their own destiny.

With only Kentucky and the Vanderbilt Commodores remaining on the regular season schedule, rx free Celebrex, most Vol fans—myself included—naively assumed that the deal was already done.  The Vols would collect their final two victories and advance to the SEC Championship game without much difficulty.  Well, Celebrex mg, friends and neighbors, we were wrong.

Each of the last two games that season were down-to-the-wire events which left many a well-wrung hand in Big Orange Country and no doubt took years off of the lives of many.

[caption id="attachment_3333" align="alignright" width="128" caption="Hal Mumme's hair taunts you..."]Hal Mumme's hair taunts you...[/caption]

In 1997, the Kentucky Wildcats were coached by Hal Mumme.  For those of you who don’t remember Mumme (or were not around, Celebrex no prescription, paying attention, Celebrex class, or sober enough to be able to remember him) Mumme was a bit of a sensation in this era.  His new-look “Air Raid”  offense (which is now the trademark of coaches like Mike Leach) had turned the SEC on its head with its seemingly ridiculous effectiveness.  Furthermore, Mumme’s trademark was his willingness to take huge gambles which flew in the face of conventional football wisdom.  Of course, you kind of have to give Mumme a pass on that one.  I mean, purchase Celebrex online, it was Kentucky…

Early in his time at Kentucky, What is Celebrex, some felt that Mumme’s style of play was little more than smoke and mirrors which, when tested, would lead to complete collapse.  As Mike DuBose and the Alabama Crimson Tide, where to buy Celebrex, among others, Celebrex without prescription, learned that was not always the case.  Sometimes it worked … sometimes.  Kentucky under Mumme was a no-holds-barred offensive machine with a remarkably simple philosophy: outscore your opponent.  To Hal Mumme, defense was a neat idea, but scoring was the key to winning.  And score they did.

Led by gun slinging phenom Tim Couch, buy Celebrex online cod, the Wildcats put up gaudy offensive numbers against their opponents.  On the other hand—while the record book leaves this somewhat open to debate—they apparently fielded no defense of any kind whatsoever.  Still, Where can i find Celebrex online, they won more games than most probably expected them to, and obviously believed that they had a chance to beat the Vols in the “Border Battle” for the first time in 13 years and re-claim the, now sadly bygone, buy Celebrex without prescription, Beer Barrel Trophy.  At 5-5, Celebrex images, this game was going to be Kentucky’s bowl game.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="227" caption="The Beer Barrel Trophy, now sadly a thing of the past"]Beer-Barrel-Trophy[/caption]

Still, most of the Vol fans that rolled into Commonwealth Stadium on that November Saturday in 1997 had no idea what they were in for…

By that point in time, Celebrex over the counter, I had come to expect three absolute certainties from Tennessee / Kentucky match-ups:

  • It is always freezing cold;

  • Some form of precipitation always falls at some point during the game; and

  • Tennessee always beats Kentucky handily in a semi-lackluster display which really leaves you wishing you had watched the game on television rather than freezing yourself to death for four hours.

As it turns out, Australia, uk, us, usa, I got the first two right.  I was pretty far off though when it came to the last one.

It was—predictably—cold, rainy, and windy that afternoon in Lexington.  Hence, Celebrex pictures, after consuming my semi-edible “box ‘o lunch” I was not all that excited about getting off the bus and trudging into the stadium with the rest of the Pride of the Southland.  Part of this was due to my belief that the game would be the typical Tennessee / Kentucky snooze-fest after the first quarter.  The rest was due to the fact that I was sick as a dog.  I had caught a cold as a result of the frigid temperatures at the contest against the Arkansas Razorbacks the previous week in Little Rock (that one was played at War Memorial Stadium).  Over the week, Purchase Celebrex, I had done what any normal college student does—I completely ignored the fact that I was sick.  I would repeat this same routine during the week after the Kentucky game.  As a result, immediately after marching my final home game as a member of the Pride of the Southland the following week versus the Vanderbilt Commodores, I got to make a lovely visit to the emergency room where I was diagnosed with pneumonia.  I guess that is why I had such a hard time hitting the high notes in “March on Mighty Vols, Celebrex coupon,” or maybe I was just a really crappy trombone player.

I digress…

After kickoff, Celebrex interactions, Kentucky scored on their opening possession on a 37-yard pass from Tim Couch to Derek Homer, but the Vols responded with 17 unanswered points in the form of a field goal by Jeff Hall, and two passing touchdowns from Peyton Manning—the first to Marcus Nash and the second Andy McCullough.  Advantage to the Big Orange.

Then, Celebrex use, in the second quarter, Discount Celebrex, the Wildcats came battling back scoring two more touchdowns.  The first came in the form of a short pass from Tim Couch to Kio Sanford who proceeded to trot 87-yards to paydirt—then the second-longest play in Kentucky history.  The second was a rushing touchdown—that’s right, I said rushing touchdown—by Anthony White (of course it was only a 3-yard run, but hey, Celebrex wiki, that was a lot for them back then).  Meanwhile, Celebrex treatment, Tennessee only managed one, this time in the form of a 66-yard pass from Manning to Nash.  At halftime, the score was annoyingly close from my perspective with Tennessee leading 24-21.

Still, Celebrex trusted pharmacy reviews, in my oxygen deprived mind (See discussion of pneumonia above) I imagined that the Vols would come out and score quickly in the third quarter.  At that point I presumed things would follow their normal course: 35, Celebrex overnight, 000 Kentucky fans would unceremoniously leave the stadium about four minutes into the second half, and the Wildcats would start putting more serious effort into losing.  Mainly, I was beginning to question whether the Great Punkin had been drinking some of Mumme’s Kool Aid, where can i buy cheapest Celebrex online, opting not to field a defense.  While the offensive fireworks for the Vols had been impressive, Online Celebrex without a prescription, the defense had been less than outstanding.  More than anything, I just wanted the Vols to put the game away.

The Vols, in fact were apparently tired of all of this mucking about in the cold and finally decided to take charge.  Led by Peyton Manning (as if it would have been anyone else at that point in Tennessee history), Celebrex recreational, the Vols started running on all cylinders.  First, Comprar en línea Celebrex, comprar Celebrex baratos, Jamal Lewis snagged a short pass out of the backfield and went chooglin’ down a wide-open sideline 50 yards for a touchdown.  Hal Mumme, however was undeterred—that defense stuff was little more than a trifling thing.

After all, the score was only 31-21…for the moment.

Less than eight minutes later, doses Celebrex work, Lewis again scampered into the endzone on a one-yard run.  Tennessee 38, Buy Celebrex without a prescription, Kentucky 21.  Still, Mumme, his pretty hair, and his trademark towel around the neck laughed at the Vols and their silly win by having more points when time expired theory.  Thus, with just under 2:30 minutes to go in the quarter Manning fired a 31-yard pass to Marcus Nash who made a beautiful over the shoulder grab to give the Vols yet another score.  Tennessee’s 21 point onslaught in the third quarter was met with Kentucky’s lone field goal.

End of the third: Tennessee 45, Kentucky 24.

At that point, I figured the show was over and everyone would start settling back to ride out the clock.  Once again, I was wrong.

Tennessee would add two more touchdowns—both credited to Jamal Lewis—in the final period of the game, mainly—I believe—to give Kentucky the back of the hand after the Wildcats managed another trip into the endzone late in the game.  When the proverbial fat lady sang, the scoreboard spoke loudly:

Final score: Tennessee 59, Kentucky 31.

What the scoreboard could not convey, however, was the sense that at all times during the game, it seemed that Kentucky might just steal the game away—yes, including when Tennessee stretched the lead to 28 points.  There are “wide-open” games and then there are “free-for-alls.”  This game falls under the latter category.  For folks who like watching high-powered offenses do their thing, there could hardly have been a better game to watch.  For fans of the defensive game … well … I think there may have been a special on humpback whales on PBS that afternoon.

You don’t have to take my word for it, though, the stats speak volumes.

Peyton Manning threw for five touchdowns and 545 yards—an all-time record at Tennessee—while Tim Couch threw for 476 yards.  That is a total of 1,021 yards passing—which is simply unbelievable.  The most telling statistic, however, lies in the interceptions column: Manning 0, Couch 3.  Without those takeaways, Tennessee likely ends up in a much closer contest fighting down to the wire.  Especially considering that the Vols fumbled the ball twice.

Of course, Manning was not the only person with a banner day.  In fact, he was but one of many.  Marcus Nash had seven receptions for 195 yards (which still ranks in the top-10 single game performances) and three touchdowns, while Jamal Lewis had 21 carries for 128 yards (avg. of 6 yards per carry),  three receptions for 96 yards (avg. of 32 yards per reception) and scored four touchdowns.  Hell, even Jermaine Copeland had seven receptions for 72 yards.

In the end, about every offensive record possible was tested that day by the Vols.  The defensive side of the game—with the exception of the three interceptions and four sacks—however, was far less memorable.

Still, in the end, this game was an offensive clinic by both Tennessee and Kentucky.  The final score really does not do the game justice.  It was anything but the “typical” Kentucky game and—all things considered—made sitting through a detestably cold rain with a burgeoning case of the plague worth it, at least for me.

Exciting, it was, thus it’s one of my great games…

-- So it goes…About Lawvol

Hal Mumme Image Courtesy ofSmart Football

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The View From the Hill | Gate 21

The Story of the Season...In a Week

Buy Armour Without Prescription, Now that it's over and done with, I think it's time to take a look back at this past basketball season. As is with seasons in most sports, this year's Vols had quite a number of ups and downs and everything in between over the course of a long season stretching from November to mid-March.

But this year's ups and downs (more downs than ups really) seemed to be more prevalent this season, online buying Armour hcl, since this team showed a numerous occasions it's ability to be terribly inconsistent. Effects of Armour, At times you thought that this team might still be playing at this point of the season. Other times you wondered what the hell the Bruce and the players were thinking and why they looked like they didn't care and if they would even make it into the Tournament.

The last week of the season was the story of the season in a complete and total nutshell. A nutshell that interestingly enough was paired up with Tennessee's spring break and my trip to New York.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="219" caption="From promising thumpings of Alabama and Auburn..."][/caption]

Two Fridays ago: I'm sitting in the Detroit airport Friday evening on my three-hour layover between flights from Knoxville en route to Ithaca, japan, craiglist, ebay, overseas, paypal, NY, Armour samples, where my roommate's house is located (roommate's dad = Cornell alum). Reduced to "watching" the game on my phone's "internet" with a constantly refreshing updating play-by-play, the Vols roll Alabama 86-62, thanks to a 17-0 run to start the second half, Buy Armour Without Prescription. I noticed a high rate of "(Insert Vol player) makes two-point jumper/dunk shot/lay-up," so I assumed it went well.

Last Saturday: Fortunately the semifinal game with Auburn ended up being on ESPN2 instead of solely on RayCom, cheap Armour no rx, so I wasn't forced to listen to it online. Order Armour online c.o.d, Wayne Chism dominated inside-and-out and the Vols rolled Auburn to avenge the earlier last-second loss to the Tigers and punch their NIT tickets. Holy crap, Tennessee in the SEC Tournament final?

Last Sunday: So here's Tennessee, buy generic Armour, off two really well-played games, Herbal Armour, with a chance to win the SEC Tournament for the first time in 30 years. All the Vols have to do is beat a team that (a) they already beat, (b) is playing its fourth game in four days, purchase Armour online, (c) has one inside presence who's any good (and he's very good, Armour from canada, granted). Buy Armour Without Prescription, Simple enough, right?

And of course, the bad Tennessee rears its head. The Vols come out a little flatter, blow a bunch of lay-ups, Armour no rx, fail to put Mississippi State away early when Jarvis Varnado gets two fouls. Order Armour no prescription, The Bulldogs hang around and win it late thanks to Tennessee's late turnovers and Barry Stewart's three. I will also simply point out the odd stats from this game: State took 19 two-point shots, yet shot 32 free throws, Armour pictures. Tennessee shot over 40 two-pointers, Armour wiki, but under 20 free throws. Huh?

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="150" caption=" choking away an SEC Tournament title..."][/caption]

That was not the only Huh? moment of that day, Buy Armour Without Prescription. No, the other was during the Selection Show, my Armour experience, when Tennessee's name pops up in the bracket - with a freakin' 9 next to it. Armour canada, mexico, india, I still say last year's denial of a one-seed was a bigger screw-job, but how Tennessee got a 9 I'm not sure. I'm also not sure Oklahoma State or LSU deserved eight-seeds either, australia, uk, us, usa, to be honest. Comprar en línea Armour, comprar Armour baratos, For Tennessee to have its RPI and SOS numbers and get a 9 confounds me. What does the committee want?

Buy Armour Without Prescription, At the same time, I understood that 8-9 games - death warrants in terms of Sweet 16/second weekend hopes - are the home of inconsistent teams with good computer numbers...

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="174" caption="...yet a stop away from an NCAA Tournament win..."][/caption]

Fast-forward to Friday: After spending the early part of the week in New York City, the return to Ithaca meant a couple more days of relaxing - and the NCAA Tournament. Since Ithaca is about an hour from Syracuse and the Orange played Stephen F. Austin at the same time slot at UT-OSU, Armour description, I knew I would have to resort to watching the game via March Madness On Demand, Armour price, coupon, which I've done for the past two tournaments (for other games).

In their promotions for MMOD, they say it's live; that is a lie. It's actually like a possession behind, Armour natural. So say I look at the TV of the other game and catch the score of the game I'm watching online, Armour reviews, I'll see it before it happens. Fortunately, the SU-SFA game looked about as exciting as paint drying, so not looking up was rather easy.

I don't remember too many specific details about Friday's game, Buy Armour Without Prescription. I haven't watched any highlights of it and honestly I don't want to. The main ideas: Tennessee took lots of three, Armour street price, and hit alot of them too. Purchase Armour online no prescription, Oklahoma State made a number of mid-range jump shots and played a really good (they gave Pitt a great game as well - point is, OSU surprised me by how good they were). The game was back-and-forth and each team answered mini-runs made by the other - it might have been the best game of the tournament (until Friday night).

But as had happened countless times this year, Armour interactions, the good Tennessee - a team playing together, Online buying Armour, hitting shots, playing smart - and bad Tennessee - poor team defense, shooting too many three against a guard-oriented foe, about Armour, turnovers - clashed. Buy Armour Without Prescription, And like so many times this year when Tennessee had chances to put teams away or win games, they simply couldn't get it done.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="174" caption=" your season being toast - all in one week."][/caption]

Gonzaga. After Armour, Memphis. LSU. Auburn, ordering Armour online. Alabama. Mississippi State, Buy Armour Without Prescription. Cheap Armour, Oklahoma State. Call it a lack of toughness, poor coaching, Armour overnight, lack of players' effort (I'd argue that), Where can i buy Armour online, unlucky - whatever. It was the story of Tennessee's year. Tennessee played well enough to win the games I mentioned above and Friday, purchase Armour for sale, but couldn't do it.

The last two defensive possessions of Tennessee's season just put the whole thing simply. Buy Armour Without Prescription, Tied at 72, OSU ran your basic pick-and-roll play at the top of the key. Armour results, Byron Eaton went to his right, his defender went under the screen, and Eaton took two dribbles inside the arc and drilled the jumper - the same jumper OSU had been draining all game long.

After a incredible play by Tyler Smith, Armour online cod, Tennessee needed just one stop and my satisfaction level of the second round was there. Armour without prescription, I don't know if it was a miscommunication or what, but the two defenders left Eaton a wide-open lane and a great player made a tough play. Boom, discount Armour, season over.

Now many of you were probably pissed, Doses Armour work, disappointed, indifferent. But I was more just bummed out, Armour blogs. Losing obviously sucks, and losing when you have opportunities to win doesn't make it any better, Buy Armour Without Prescription. Now it's what could be an unbearably long wait until the next meaningful Tennessee event.

There's also quite a feeling of dissatisfaction for the season on the whole. Canada, mexico, india, I had said that winning a game in the tournament would be fine, and even winning the SEC Tournament would have taken care of it. But now, it's somewhat of an empty feeling of underachievement, really. This team was better than a first round loss. Buy Armour Without Prescription, I know it was supposed to be a rebuilding year considering the new pieces, but the team teased us all with some flashes of great basketball, then shattered hopes with no-shows and hard-to-watch basketball. What we've been wondering all year is why. We're still wondering...

And so, the focus for this program now focuses on Smith and Chism's NBA draft statuses and the potential loss of an assistant or two (Tony Jones). Daniel West and Kenny Hall come in next year and assuming both Smith and Chism stay and Cameron Tatum and Scotty Hopson continue to improve (they did at the end of the season), things are going to be just fine.

Welcome to football season, folks.

-- About Home Sweet Home... ... to me.

Images Courtesy of: Associated PressAmy-Smotherman Burgess / GVX

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The View From the Hill | Gate 21

Atenolol For Sale, For those of you that thought the tyrannical lawvol had kicked me out of the Gate, well, I'm sorry but I'm still here. Atenolol from canada, I haven't posted in a really long time, more or less because I haven't had much to say, Atenolol for sale. Order Atenolol online c.o.d, It's not that there has been nothing to write about - because there certainly has - but my already limited creativity was pretty low. The juices of my mind weren't flowing, Atenolol blogs. Online buying Atenolol hcl, At all. I also am taking a sports writing class in which two of our last three assignments have been of the column genre - or what I more or less view as a much more formal post I would do here, Atenolol For Sale. Lame I know...

And honesty, Atenolol price, coupon, Online buy Atenolol without a prescription, much of what I would have been posting about - Tennessee' basketball team - would have been a repeat of what I've said in the past. This team has the talent, purchase Atenolol for sale, Atenolol australia, uk, us, usa, they're just not playing together. They're just not playing with much heart, Atenolol blogs. My Atenolol experience, The defense is bad. They can't shoot Atenolol For Sale, . So on an so forth.

Yet what I saw Sunday afternoon on my TV as the Vols beat Florida was a team playing inspired and playing team basketball at both ends of the court, Atenolol no rx. Atenolol cost, It helps when you hit 10 three-pointers, yes, purchase Atenolol online, Buy Atenolol without a prescription, but it also helps when you're relatively open, as Tennessee has been in both meetings with the Gators this season, what is Atenolol. Where can i find Atenolol online, And even though there were the usual moments of defensive lapses, failures to rebound Florida's missed shots, Atenolol without a prescription, Atenolol interactions, and a little dicey from the free throw line at the end - you knew Tennessee wasn't going to lose.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="259" caption="The key to a March run for Tennessee. Might be Mr, Atenolol from canada. Hopson..."][/caption]

So now - after the embarrassing losses to Kentucky and the road debacles at Ole Miss and Auburn (who should thank us for jump-starting this run they're on) - the Vols play South Carolina basically for the East Division, Atenolol For Sale. Buy no prescription Atenolol online, No, it's not the overall SEC title, Atenolol natural, Atenolol recreational, but at least winning that will make up for the tougher moments this year. There's also seeding in the NCAA Tournament to play for, purchase Atenolol. Atenolol canada, mexico, india, A little win streak to close the season out could bump Tennessee to a five or six seed, where you can avoid meeting a two in the second round (or a top seed if you're in the 8-9 game).

Something else to keep in mind is SEC Tournament seeding/byes, Atenolol price, coupon. Cheap Atenolol, A win over the Chickens would all but secure a first round bye next week in Tampa (why they're playing the thing there I'll never know, but at least it's not in the Georgia Dome), buy Atenolol without prescription, After Atenolol, and the East's top seed would be Tennessee's with two wins and a loss by Kentucky (likely at Florida this Saturday). Getting that spot - or really the third spot in the East - would set up ideally for Tennessee.

Atenolol For Sale, That would the Vols on the opposite side of the bracket from LSU, or on the side with Auburn. A bye means the Vols would likely face either Vandy or one of the Mississippi schools in the quarters and either Auburn or Florida/Kentucky in the semis, get Atenolol. Atenolol use, Playing the first day isn't ideal, but it's the same general route, Atenolol class. Atenolol dangers, However, this is a selfish point of view, buy cheap Atenolol, Atenolol mg, because if there's one team I want to play for revenge purposes, it's Auburn.

Then again, online buying Atenolol, Atenolol long term, it's the SEC Tournament. If we didn't have to play in it at all, Atenolol australia, uk, us, usa, Atenolol from mexico, that would probably be best..

So can Tennessee put two solid games together on the road. Pssshhh, like any of us know which team's gonna show up tomorrow night, Atenolol For Sale. We've seen the good (Florida, canada, mexico, india, Marquette), the bad (the Meeks game, losing twice to Gonzaga, blowing the game LSU gave us), and the ugly (Oxford, Auburn, Lexington).

On a side note, I would like to say that we're now beginning my personal most favorite time of the year, possibly including football season (which depends on Tennessee's record...). The earliest of the conference tournaments began last night, and though it's a bunch of schools you probably didn't even know were Division I, the dynamic of eight, ten, twelve teams and their fans converging onto one particular site after two-plus months of beating each other up and playing for their seasons and just the mere opportunity to appear in the bracket intrigues me like almost nothing else.

I would venture to say it - Championship Week, as it's called (it's longer than a week) - is almost more fun than the NCAA Tournament itself. Most people have no clue there's actually 340+ Division I schools in basketball, and 200-something of them are playing for maybe 10 spots and just maybe a week of being in the spotlight. And who knows, some of these teams might be the ones the pull the upsets that ruin your brackets.

Just wanted to throw that out there. If you're interested, you would probably enjoy this site, which is one guy basically covering those other 200+ schools you've never heard of. It's actually pretty cool and the the writing is high-quality.

And finally, as I mentioned before, I'll be better about this whole posting-on-a-regular-basis thing - so once again, sorry if you thought you'd seen the last of me...

-- About Home Sweet Home... ... to me.

Images Courtesy of: xx • xx • xx

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The View From the Hill | Gate 21

Weekend Recap and Such

Slimex (Obetrim) For Sale, First things first, it's snowing in Knoxville today. Although it's stopped (temporarily?) this might be the first time I've seen snow actually stick to the ground in my time here in Knoxville (almost three years). Slimex (Obetrim) results, I'm from Memphis, and it never snows there, so safe to say it's pretty cool, Slimex (Obetrim) over the counter. Also an interesting little tidbit, After Slimex (Obetrim), as I was walking from my class to TRECS (yes, I spend lots of time there), I saw Renaldo Woolridge and Emmanuel Negedu in a mini-snowball fight, what is Slimex (Obetrim). Those guys are from Nigeria and California (although Negedu did got to school in New Hampshire), Fast shipping Slimex (Obetrim), so snow's probably new to them too. Of course it's ridiculously cold yet again, but I guess that's how it's gotta be for snow...

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="310" caption="From my phone: Circle Park at 11 this morning..."][/caption]

Anyways, couple quick things:

First, the basketball team showing a glimpse of their potential, Slimex (Obetrim) For Sale. Let's be honest, as soon as I got to my seats Saturday night around 8:20, buy no prescription Slimex (Obetrim) online, I knew there was absolutely no way Tennessee was going to lose. Kjøpe Slimex (Obetrim) på nett, köpa Slimex (Obetrim) online, Why. For one, the crowd was there, Slimex (Obetrim) cost, it was lively, Buy Slimex (Obetrim) from canada, and everyone hates Florida and beating them at basketball is better than beating them at nothing (hey, you gotta take wins over the University of Tebow where you can get them, right?).

Secondly, Slimex (Obetrim) online cod, Bruce Pearl owns Billy Donovan something fierce. Slimex (Obetrim) australia, uk, us, usa, Much like Urban Meyer owns - well, Tennessee. Slimex (Obetrim) For Sale, I would say it's just Phil Fulmer, but I don't think anybody's expecting us to win down in Gainesville this coming September. That's six out of seven now for the Vols over the Gators, order Slimex (Obetrim) from mexican pharmacy, and the one loss was sans Chris Lofton. Slimex (Obetrim) wiki, The Vols' basketball ownage and Gators' football ownage are similar in their dominance - er, except for the fact Florida won two hoops titles...

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="166" caption="Outstanding performance Saturday night, Mr, Slimex (Obetrim) interactions. Smith"][/caption]

As painful as the four home losses in January were, Discount Slimex (Obetrim), I was always upbeat about the season, and Tennessee showed what they can do when playing at a high level Saturday night. The Gonzaga, Slimex (Obetrim) from canada, LSU and Memphis losses all easily could have gone the other (our way), Generic Slimex (Obetrim), and Kentucky Jodie Meeks played the game of his life. Yes, I'm a bit of a homer, but all the doom and gloom of the NIT, running Pearl off, and Scotty Hopson bashing was totally stupid.

Tennessee had 24 assists on 29 made field goals Saturday night, Slimex (Obetrim) For Sale. Combine that with the 12 threes by five different guys (none of which named Wayne Chism - who I saw at the IHOP on Kingston Pike after the game), and the Vols might have played their best game of the year, buy Slimex (Obetrim) without prescription. If the Kentucky loss was a defensive wake-up call, Get Slimex (Obetrim), was Saturday night the catalyst to a February run to the top of the SEC?

Look people, the SEC race is wide open. LSU may be the league's best team with their talent and guys like Tasmin Mitchell, Slimex (Obetrim) class, Garrett Temple (who still haunts J.J. Slimex (Obetrim) maximum dosage, Redick's dreams), Marcus Thornton (the SEC's scoring leader from last year) and Manute Bol Chris Johnson and his twelve-foot wingspan.

But Kentucky, Florida, Slimex (Obetrim) dose, South Carolina, Slimex (Obetrim) blogs, Mississippi State. Slimex (Obetrim) For Sale, All those teams, tied with Tennessee with two league losses apiece, don't scare me. The Wildcats are a two-man team (Meeks and Patrick Patterson) with a so-so coach. Nobody else on the team is even worth guarding, comprar en línea Slimex (Obetrim), comprar Slimex (Obetrim) baratos. Carolina is the same way, Online buying Slimex (Obetrim), with Devan Downey and Zam Frederick and a committee of solid-yet-unspectacular frontcourt. Florida has Nick Calathes and can be deadly if they are on from outside, but Dan Werner, Slimex (Obetrim) from mexico. Alex Tyus, Slimex (Obetrim) For Sale. It's not like Al Horford, Slimex (Obetrim) dangers, Joakim Noah and Chris Richard are clogging up the paint anymore. Honestly, I know little about Mississippi State outside of Jarvis Varnardo blocks lots of shots and Barry Stewart shoots threes, low dose Slimex (Obetrim). And they just lost to Ole Miss - who's without their three best players - at home.

These next four games should be Tennessee wins. Is Slimex (Obetrim) safe, Granted, Arkansas and Auburn are road games, but Arkansas is struggling mightily and Auburn is, where can i cheapest Slimex (Obetrim) online, well, Slimex (Obetrim) schedule, Auburn. Slimex (Obetrim) For Sale, Then Georgia and Vandy visit Knoxville. Taking care of business these next two weeks put Tennessee at 8-2 in the league before trips to Oxford, Lexington, Slimex (Obetrim) no rx, Gainesville and Columbia

As for football, Slimex (Obetrim) without prescription, at this point you can only commend the new staff on their recruiting efforts. Obviously it's all about waiting now, for Wednesday's signing day and the (hopefully) constant buzzing of my phone telling me of the players who will be in orange, Slimex (Obetrim) no prescription. Honestly, Slimex (Obetrim) duration, I'm not really sure what to expect. I am trying to keep my expectations slightly low, because I just have this feeling that Tennessee will be the bridesmaid of choice on Wednesday.

It is just a feeling, no prescription Slimex (Obetrim) online, and I hope I am pleasantly surprised. The staff did an amazing job with getting people on campus, but when you have to do what other programs have been able to do over a year's time - build relationships with these guys - in a month or so, you're fighting an uphill battle, Slimex (Obetrim) For Sale. Slimex (Obetrim) pictures, But the staff has been hard at work and they seem to know what they are looking for (and no, I'm not sure I totally agree with the timing of the Damian Thigpen issue), to which we fans can only say that we trust the coaching staff.

Yes, where can i buy Slimex (Obetrim) online, I have followed recruiting more the past couple years than in years past, Real brand Slimex (Obetrim) online, but it's still foolish to get too overly worked-up about these kids' decisions. They still have to be developed and coached up, and hopefully Tennessee's new staff will be able to do that better than this previous staff did.

Having said that, Slimex (Obetrim) dosage, there are two guys who I really want - Marlon Brown and Marsalis Teague. They're both Tennessee guys, and I think they both are great players. Losing them to either Georgia, Florida, Alabama or possibly Ohio State would be disheartening, to say the least. And if David Oku picks Auburn over Tennessee, I might throw things too, and deface their campus when I head down there for friends and the basketball game this weekend. But as for the rest of the class and recruits, whatever happens happens

-- About Home Sweet Home... ... to me.

Images Courtesy of: Amy Smotherman Burgess / KNS

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Much Like Last Year…Almost

The View From the Hill | Gate 21

So yesterday's 54-52 loss to Memphis hurts. Sure, it's less the day after, but I won't lie - I needed a couple hours to chill out and relax after exerting quite a bit of energy and emotion. Things go on and Tennessee has two more HUGE home games coming up this week in the SEC.

I don't want to spend too much time of why Tennessee lost, because the answer's pretty short one. Missed opportunities aplenty and just some untimely plays. Memphis was 11-of-14 on free throws, Tennessee was 14-of-23 from the line. Tyler Smith shot 5-of-18 from the field, many of them decent - and contested - looks. Wayne Chism didn't get the ball enough down the stretch - he only had 7 field goal attempts the entire game.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="310" caption="Tyler had a tough day, Wayne did not get the rock enough, and the guards disappeared offensively"][/caption]

Then there were a couple of lapses - J.P. Prince fouling Antonio Anderson's desperation three at the shot clock buzzer, the inexplicable lack of defense on Anderson's three at the end of the half, some late lapses on guarding Tyreke Evans when it was clear the Tigers were putting the ball and game in his hands down the stretch, and not feeding Chism the ball more, as I said before.

And obviously Tennessee got nothing from the guards - Bobby Maze, Scotty Hopson and Cam Tatum all practically didn't show up offensively and Tennessee isn't gonna win if all three of those guys fail to make their presence felt in games. Tennessee's won with just one of them stepping up, but not otherwise.

I did see solid defense yesterday. Yes, at times the Vols left Willie Kemp or Doneal Mack open for threes and failed to communicate on an Evans drive or the backdoor cut he converted for a three-point play early in the second half. For the most part the Vols held Memphis to jump shots, and the Tigers are not a jump-shooting team. Tennessee just failed to capitalize on the other end when they had chances. Give credit to Memphis defensively - their length inside and athleticism gave Tennessee (Tyler in particular) issues all day.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="213" caption="I doubt this little gesture will be forgotten Tyreke..."][/caption]

That said, as I've been thinking about yesterday's game the last 24 hours or so, I've noticed how similar this year's game was to last year - just with obviously more opposites. Tennessee got up 4-0 last year, Memphis scored the first two baskets this year.

While there wasn't a fast-paced, back-and-forth type first ten minutes of last year's game, both were fights to the end: tough, physical, grind-it-out games. It reached the 60s last year, but stayed in the 50s this year.

Memphis led by one at the half last year, and Tennessee undoubtedly was happy to only be down by just that after Memphis got a ridiculously hot start from outside. Yesterday, Memphis, with their best player in Evans out of the game after just 7 minutes with two fouls, got a stop when Tennessee looked to be on the verge of creating some space up 19-14 with the ball and the Anderson three and found themselves trailing - by just a point.

Last year, Tennessee made a second half run to take a lead, sparked by six straight from Prince. This year, Memphis started the second half on a 14-5 run, including a three-point play from Evans and a three from Mack.

Last year it was a freshman guard - Derrick Rose - that scored 23 on Memphis and was the Tigers' offense down the stretch. Yesterday, it another freshman guard - Tyreke Evans, who scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half, had the daggers to counter Tennessee runs and hit a clutch free throw at the end.

Rose led a run that put Memphis ahead late last year. For the trailing Vols, Chism rose to the occasion, scoring Tennessee's final 11 points, including a three that put the Vols behind by one at 51-50 with under four minutes to go.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="174" caption="Tyler vs. Dozier Part II - not as good for the Vols"][/caption]

And just like last year, the game came down to one possession, one shot: Tyler Smith vs. Robert Dozier. Of course, Smith converted over Dozier last year. Yesterday, Dozier wasn't going to let it happen, forcing a much longer shot that Tyler couldn't get to fall.

Fortunately for me, I won't be going to Memphis anytime soon, so my having to put up with the certain arrogance that Tigers fans are going to be showing will be limited. To those of you Vols that are less fortunate, you have my pity. I know your plight. Just remember this: we're still Tennessee, and they're still Memphis.

As for the team, there's no time to sulk over losing to Memphis. Though me and many of you wanted yesterday worse than anything else, the bottom line is that there's still bigger fish to fry. I know I'll be coming off as a homer and you might think I'm high or something, but Tennessee's still 3-1 in the league, with two of the top contenders in the league coming into Knoxville.

Without a doubt, both games are must-wins for the Vols.

-- About Home Sweet Home... ... to me.

Images Courtesy of: Amy Smotherman Burgess / Knoxville-News Sentinel

The Sweetness

The View From the Hill | Gate 21

To many of you and to many Vols fans, Saturday afternoon is just another basketball game. Sure it's a big one: national TV, against a cross-state rival who's reloading after nearly winning a national title last season with a coach who's easy to dislike. But for me, it's different. It's the Memphis game. Probably the single game I want to win this season.

So why is Saturday afternoon not just another Tennessee basketball game, you ask? What is the big deal with Memphis? Well for one, as you may know I'm from the great city of Memphis. I grew up in the Memphis/Shelby County area and have been around that university and athletic program and their fans my entire life. That's the easy answer.

But it's more than that. Sure, I could now go into my reasons for really really not liking the Tigers (and almost did), but they don't get a post like Alabama did. You see, Memphis (the university) and I have a history. We go way back. To 1996...

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="224" caption="The first time I saw Tennessee lose a game in person..."][/caption]

...on a cold gray day, my family and I sat in Liberty Bowl Stadium, me watching halfway in horror and halfway not really sure what was going on as it happened. Memphis scored a late TD to go up on Tennessee and Peyton Manning. Peyton tried to mount a saving drive, but ran out of time, and I stood there, watching throngs of blue pour onto the Liberty Bowl Stadium turf and swallowing up both goalposts.

I don't vividly remember crying, but I might have been, as I asked whoever would listen, "Can they do that?" I was a mere eight years old, and it was the first time I had seen Tennessee lose a game in person. That loss in no way scars me like some losses - LSU '01, Auburn '04, Vandy '05, Florida/Bama '07 - but it was simply the beginning.

While Memphis has only beaten Tennessee that one time (they have come close), the basketball rivalry is much diffrent. Honestly, I barely remember much of the games from the late 90s and early 2000s. I know there was minor scuffle in a game Tennessee won in Knoxville, and I remember Ron Slay nearly winning a game at the Pyramid himself. And to be honest, I'm not sure how much of a rivalry it really even was.

Until John Calipari and Bruce Pearl became coaches at each school and Tennessee threatened to stop playing the Tigers in football. However, these two are primarily responsible for knocking the Memphis-Tennessee feelings of dislike up a notch or two. The constant verbal sparring in the media - over if to play it, where to play, and the games themselves - has been a huge part of it, and there's no way the two like each other. I'm sure there's different arenas of thought as to why, but that's not for here.

I did go to the first game in the series between these two back in January 2006, when I was a senior in high school. In a week similar to this one Tennessee was about to embark on, the Vols were coming off a loss at LSU and hosting Florida - sandwiching a trip to Memphis.

Enter Dane Bradshaw. A Memphis native, he might have hiked up the anger of the Memphis faithful himself. In the Memphis paper, he was quoted as saying that he was more afraid of "a Memphis gangbanger in the stands than an LSU frat boy" or something to that effect. The game before, Dane had been the target of the LSU students' ridicule (when Bruce checked him late in the game, he walked the scorers' table and raised his arm like he won a boxing match), as he was everywhere - remember Florida's students and their pictures of Dane's sister?

Well most of the Memphis fans and students took it as a shot to them, and that he was calling them gang bangers. Boy, did those students have it out for Dane. The hate was pretty strong, most of the signs were directed at Dane, the "Memphis reject" chants loud and proud, and he was booed every time he touched the ball.

Truth is, Dane played at White Station High School in Memphis. His quote was seriously misinterpreted, as he played at a number of high schools in Memphis that were pretty rough - especially for a white boy. I know I'd probably have been scared playing there too, not gonna lie.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Making him angry is so much fun!"][/caption]

That was just the beginning of the Tennessee hate, and my first real experience with the growing Tennessee hatred. I had one guy turn around and stare me down after each time I cheered for my Vols. There was a verbal spar near the end of the game.. Seriously, the non-Memphis Tennessee fans might be the only ones who know how much Memphis fans on the whole (not everyone obviously) hate UT, the orange, Bruce Pearl, Memphians playing for the Vols (J.P.), Knoxville, and so on.

Maybe I was too young or naive, but I can't remember it being this way prior to that game or prior to Bruce Pearl's arrival. But it's a part of it now. I don't know if it stems from Calipari's public and obvious disdain and disliking of Tennessee, or what. But the animosity in the matchup is much more severe from the side in blue. Tennessee fans? On the whole don't care for or about Memphis. It's just the "little brother" school on down I-40 a ways.

Not for the Memphis fans. Not for me. You see, basketball is their sport. Their support and fervor for the team is incredible - boy, do they love their Tigers. And there might be the answer to the reason for the hate question: Tennessee, the football school, has beaten the Tigers at their sport two straight years. And they weren't your typical wins.

The game in Knoxville two years ago was Chris Lofton's coming-out party. He absolutely schooled Memphis that night, and I'm near convinced it's because the team came down my aisle that December night. I touched Chris' hand, and he scored 34. None of the Tigers could guard him. You're welcome.

As fun as that was, it couldn't touch last season. I had the privilege of going to the game to cover it for the UT student radio station (WUTK), as I was on the staff for the sports show that was on every weeknight. I got to sit on press row, go to the media room, free food, drinks - all in a fresh-looking suit. There was just one problem: as a member of the media, I had to be professional. I had to be an objective observer.

Honestly, I did better than I thought I would. But damn, was it hard. That game was, without an inkling of doubt, was the best, most electric, most heaated atmosphere for a basketball game that I've ever been to - by far. Yes, better than the big homes game in Knoxville. Keeping contained during the fast first 10 minutes was impossible.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="350" caption="The phone picture from my press row seat last February"][/caption]

Was it the beautiful FedEx Forum? Was it the #2 vs. #1 matchup? ESPN GameDay in the house? Peyton and Priscilla there too? Yes, all of that. But the kicker to me was the angst and absolute desire from the Memphis fans for their guys to beat the ever-living crap out of the visitors in orange. The Vols? Bruce and the team had said it all week leading up to the game, and I know they meant it: winning the SEC was the main and primary goal.

After Chris Douglas-Roberts scored on a transition lay-up with a couple minutes left, the Tiger fans could feel it. It hadn't been pretty, but they had sent their hated visitors back home. Or so they had thought. But then Tyler Smith scored. And Memphis couldn't capitalize on three offensive rebounds. Robert Dozier and Joey Dorsey fought themselves to the ground over a rebound - that's a travel. Tyler scored again over Dozier for the lead. Antonio Anderson was off on a driving shot in the lane.

And then the kicker: J.P. Prince, one of their own, a Memphian, from the same high school as Dane, the guy who had single-handedly led a spurt that put the Vols on top midway through the second half, amidst trash talk from Dorsey, hit two free throws. A 40% shooter with a bum shoulder. I was sitting with a couple Tennessee-affiliated guys on press row. None of thought he'd even make one.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="350" caption="J.P. punked his hometown team last year"][/caption]

You know the rest. That place got real real quiet. From so much excitement to sheer silence. Me, trying to contain myself, found one of my roommates in the stands below me and smiled at him as he was leaving in the sea of blue. As the team ran to and through the tunnel to the locker room below me, I could only raise a fist in the air with a huge grin on my face.

The hate's probably at a whole other level now.

I know they went on and had even more heartbreak with the title game with the free throw fails, not fouling when up three and Mario Chalmers (thank you Mario, by the way), but what was their only other loss? Tennessee. Don't think for a second the Memphis fans, players and coach don't remember that February night.

So why do I want to win so much more Saturday afternoon? Why is beating Memphis at their game so much sweeter for me than the majority of Vols fans?

Simple. I know how much it kills them to lose to Tennessee. I know how much they'll hate it when I fly my orange T flags when I go home. Don't lie - it's fun being hated. Besides, if you're hated, you must be doing something right...

And all of that, my friends, is why the sweetness of a win Saturday will be much more for me.

-- About Home Sweet Home... ... to me.

Images Courtesy of: Univ. of Memphis MagazineWade Payne / AP (Daylife)Bleacher Report

Signs of Improvement

The View From the Hill | Gate 21

Thanks Kentucky?

After the utter embarrassment of watching one guy score 54 points on you in your own arena - something that won't stop being talked about this year, so get used to it - Tennessee has made a bit of a bounce-back. Now beating South Carolina was pretty much expected. Last night though? Keep in mind last year's team - the best in school history - lost in Memorial Gym.

I know Vandy lost Shan Foster and they are lacking in athletes, but I never got the feeling watching the DVRed game (intramural hoops game at 10 pm...) late Tuesday night that the Vols were going to lose. Perhaps the Kentucky loss truly was the wake-up call that can get this team playing to its potential...

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="192" caption="No doubt Wayne loves playing Vandy"][/caption]

From the hot start courtesy of Wayne Chism to the constant answers to any signs of a run that Vandy made, that was a very solid win for Tennessee last night. Much was made of the players' only meeting following last week's loss to Kentucky during the ESPN telecast, and I think it's safe to say it's had some sort of effect on this team.

Now there have been moments of poor play. Many will point out nearly blowing a 15-point lead to South Carolina late. I don't get too caught up in games like that where one team dominates and the team trailing makes a late run to make it really close. If not for Teddy Valentine and Co., the Chickens probably aren't within 20 at half anyways. Wayne has as many points as I did, and I was in the student section.

Speaking of Wayne, Vanderbilt and softy A.J. Ogilvy are his biotches. 20 points, 7 boards, and a sweet T last night, and he was really the spark plug, even though he didn't start. Kudos to Bruce (yes, he can actually coach people) for realizing Wayne's recent history of early foul trouble in Nashville and not starting him. Brian Williams filled in nicely in both games, as Carolina had nobody big enough to keep him off the glass and Ogilvy might be softer than the softest of the softy big-men, Pau Gasol. Going back to Chism's technical, if Vandy was normal and put their benches on the sidelines like everyone else, I really highly doubt he gets T'ed up. Plus, he was just yelling in Kevin Stallings' face...Stallings deserves it...

Tyler Smith has had slow starts in each of his last two games, but has been dominant in the second half of the past two games. That's good to see from the team's leader - it was mentioned during the ESPN telecast that Tyler had made a point that he needed to watch his facial expressions/body language, aware of its effects on his teammates. I thought that was interesting and it's good to see.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="198" caption="More of this please, Mr. Hopson"][/caption]

The two biggest stories from these past two outings have undoubtedly been the improved defense and Scotty Hopson gaining some confidence. I believe Devan Downey had four points at half in that game, and most of Carolina's points came from the foul line (as I mentioned before, that was a poorly officiated game). Vandy couldn't throw it in the ocean from the beach last night, but Tennessee's defense had something to do with that.

You may have also noticed that Tennessee hardly pressed either Carolina or Vandy. I know it's a Bruce Pearl staple and all that, but given this group's past defensive issues, if not pressing continues to help improve the halfcourt defense, I'm not sure we'll see the press this year - at all.

I had said on numerous occasions that Hopson had been settling too many times for an outside shot and needed to attack and do what he's clearly the best at doing - getting to the rim. He has done that these past two games, and you can see him gaining some confidence offensively. His development is crucial in the ceiling of this team, so hopefully he can build on these past two performances going forward.

The Vols now get set for a big week - Memphis, LSU and Florida, all home games (which of course I love). The Memphis game is always one I personally circle every year - for reasons I'll explain tomorrow - and LSU is rolling, having won three SEC games in a row in routs, and Florida is Florida. Obviously these three games are all crucial, and they won't be easy. Hopefully, however, the glimpses of improvement the guys have shown the past two games will continue.

There's More!

Shame on me for neglecting the exciting things that have been going on with Tennessee football the past however long it's been since I posted about them last. Obviously the staff has now been completed, as you are very well aware of by now. I won't go too in-depth on each of the new coaches, but what can you say? Lane Kiffin told us to be patient - and he delivered.

Stealing Lance Thompson from Nick Saban and Alabama was quite the joy, because (a) he can recruit and (b) we stole him from Alabama. The recruiting ability of this staff is without a doubt just ridiculous. Whether or not these guys - outside of Monte - can actually coach is still to be seen, but I see absolutely no reason for any Tennessee to not be absolutely excited about the future of Tennessee football with this staff.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="330" caption="I saw him! I finally saw him!"][/caption]

The recruiting work these guys have put in in just a couple of weeks is something I have never seen before. And the scary and exciting thing is that they have been making waves as well - getting visits from committed prospects and getting in on players who had been unknowns under the previous staff. Give these guys a full year to do this? How can you not be pumped out of your mind about the future of Tennessee football?

On a bit of a side note, I did actually see Lane Kiffin at the South Carolina game - with the rest of the staff and the recruits as they paraded in during first half media timeout - and can confirm his existence. Prior to that I honestly wasn't even sure if the man existed, seeing as I had never seen the guy around campus or introduced at basketball game I attended - at all. Seriously, he could have been an imaginary puppet figure for all I knew. But hey, when he's busy traveling all over the country recruiting, I can take never seeing the guy.

These next two weekends of official visits will be just amazing. Quite possibly the two biggest weekends that I've remembered since I began following recruiting a few years ago. Hopefully the hoops guys can win and make the atmosphere leave an impression on these guys. They think the crowd is passionate about their basketball team? This is a football school after all...

All of that said, amidst the excitement, let's temper things a bit. I'm expecting at least a consensus top 15 class this year, and anything would be gravy, given the coaching change and getting in late with most/all of these prospects. As for next season, yes, I know the schedule's manageable: the four non-conference games should be gimmes, add in the annual November punching bags (Dores and Cats) and winnable home games against Auburn and South Carolina and you have 8 wins right there. Yes, I'm getting WAY ahead of myself...

Eight wins seem pretty doable, but we know we have a ways to go and that it's going to take time. Lane asked us to be patient in the hiring of his staff and he delivered. I suggest we be patient in letting Lane and Co. build this thing back to a championship level. Can they do it? I think they can and I certainly don't think I'm in the minority - but it's going to take time.

Let's just let them do their work, heaven knows they've been doing it tirelessly the past few weeks...


-- About Home Sweet Home... ... to me.

Images Courtesy of: Mark Humphrey / (AP) DaylifeAmy Smotherman Burgess / KNS
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