Posts Tagged ‘Atlanta’

It’s Official: Tennessee to the Chick-fil-A Bowl!


imageThe Tennessee Volunteers confirmed this evening that they will represent the SEC in the 2009-10 Chick-fil-A Bowl on New Year’s Eve at the Georgia Dome.   Tennessee will face the Virginia Tech Hokies, who will represent the ACC.

The game will begin at 7:30 0n New Year’s Eve in Atlanta.  Tickets for the game go on sale tonight at

The Vols most recent trips to the Chick-fil-A Bowl resulted in two disappointing losses to both the Maryland Terrapins and the Clemson Tigers.

Given that the Vols were sitting at home during bowl season last year, I have a feeling that they will be more than ready to face the Hokies, who they last played in the 1994 Gator Bowl, where the Vols upset the Hokies 45-23.

Looks like the Vols will be eating their Christmas “Turkey” on New Years…

– So it goes …Email lawvol No McAlisters

Image(s) Courtesy of:   the Chick-fil-A Bowl •   UT ||  Statement on Fair Use

2009 Big Orange Roundtable: Week 6

This Week’s Roundtable is hosted by:

Rocky Top Talk

This week’s Big Orange Roundtable is hosted by Rocky Top Talk and serves up another installment of questions burning in the minds of the orange-clad denizens who follow the Tennessee Volunteers.

In the interest of full disclosure, HSH sent me his responses to this week’s questions earlier in the week.  In theory, I was then supposed assemble a post including my answers along with his.  In theory, this sounds simple … in theory.  Reality is quite a different matter.  I have been woefully unreliable in terms of my posting of late due to my “real life,” and more specifically, my “real job.”

Thus, as a result of me being completely backed-up in preparation for an upcoming trial (a/k/a “evidence manipulation conference”) I am yet again forced to punt—at least for the moment.  This is particularly annoying considering how great the questions are this week.  Thus, for now the only answers I have to offer are those from HSH—which is probably a good thing considering that he actually knows what he’s talking about.  I will try to add in my responses later, if possible.  Until then, however, here are HSH’s thoughts for the week:

Week 6

1) Which newcomer do you expect to play the most total snaps for the Vols this fall?

bullet HSH: Well, by the looks of things, we know for sure it won’t be Bryce Brown, though he may be the best talent of the freshmen.

Though I have trouble remembering him actually being a freshman, it almost has to be Montori Hughes at defensive tackle, simply because of the lack of depth at defensive tackle and the sore, wobbly knees of senior end-turned-tackle Wes Brown.  With Brown’s knees, its almost more a question of when as opposed to if they’re going to take him out of action.  I have to take this moment to say his never-quit attitude and what he’s been saying about his situation has him rapidly climbing up my favorite 2009 Vols.

Back to Hughes, I said he doesn’t seem like a freshman because of three things: first, he’s obviously from the 2008 class out of Siegel High School in middle Tennessee, but didn’t qualify.  Secondly, he enrolled in January, so he was in for the spring, so it’s like he’s been at UT for longer than the other freshman.  Finally, it’s because he’s a very large man.  Either way, it’s clear he’s moved up to the third tackle spot, behind Williams and Brown and ahead of Victor Thomas, Rae Sykes and Marlon Walls.

But given the situation at defensive tackle behind Big Dan Williams, Hughes has to be the freshman who will see the most action.

As for the “true” freshman with the most impact, I’ll say receiver Marsalis Teague.  I went to last Thursday’s practice and last Saturday’s scrimmage, and Teague had some impressive plays.  I think Gerald Jones and Brandon Warren will be the top 2 wideouts, but Teague is my third (and Quintin Hancock fourth), given the injury to Denarius Moore.  Also, Teague seems like more a pure receiver than Nu’Keese Richardson in my opinion.

bullet Lawvol: (Long thoughtful pause followed by a longer, yet less thoughtful, sucking sound…)

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2009 SEC Preview: Ole Miss

2009 SEC Football Previews | Gate 21

I must admit, I was a little perplexed when Ole Miss hired Houston Nutt from Arkansas as their head coach after the 2007 season. While Nutt was an upgrade as a head coach from Ed Orgeron, Nutt didn’t exactly have incredible success while in Fayetteville. Sure, Nutt was a good coach, but how much success could he really have in Oxford?

Well, Nutt certainly made my thinking look foolish last year when Ole Miss burst onto the college football season after beating Florida in Gainesville. You almost forget it, but Ole Miss lost the game before – at home to Vanderbilt – the win in Gainesville and lost the two games after that – at home to South Carolina and at Alabama.

But the Rebels won the final six games of year in impressive fashion, including routs of LSU and Mississippi State and an upset win over “mighty” Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl (glad to see the Red Raiders won’t be terribly overrated again this year). Thus, you have the reason for the momentum and hype surrounding Ole Miss coming into this year.

While I still have my questions about Nutt’s recruiting ability (and his ability to do math when it comes to counting signees), he’s got a pretty stout team this year, he’s going to try to lead Ole Miss to its first-ever appearance in Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game in December.

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The View From the Hill | Gate 21


That score has been rattling around in my head for the past year and four days. After bad Tennessee losses in the past, I’ve been mad, angry, frustrated, and those type emotions. As I was walking back to my car from Ben-Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville last September 15th, I felt totally embarrassed – and I left early, after Tim Tebow scored to make it 49-20 early in the 4th quarter.

Easily that weekend was the worst road trip I’ve probably ever taken. Here’s why:

  • It rained all Friday morning really, really hard. The first thing I did when I got back to class? Threw the clothes I was wearing in the dryer so I could wear them on the drive.
  • My friend and I got down to my car in the parking garage ready to leave, and it didn’t start (my 4Runner has a long history of battery issues…). We should have gone back upstairs at that point…
  • The drive took at least 2 and a half hours longer than we expected – over 10 hours down I-75. It rained no less than 7 of those hours, and it took us 2 and a half hours to go through about 50 miles on either side of Atlanta. The south Georgia construction – we’re talking 40 mile stretches here – was so annoying.
  • For those of you that went to UAB, you know how hot that was? Gainesville was at least 5 degrees hotter. Very few times were there clouds to help out, too. I hardly got any shade the whole afternoon. And the Swamp in the seats is as tight if not tighter. Sitting on the end, I was halfway in the aisle most of the afternoon.
  • 59-20
  • Brandon Spikes is right – Tennessee quit and you can’t tell me they didn’t. I know we should use the other things he said for motivation/bulletin board material, but that part about us quitting is true.

I should point out this trip did have a good part, and that was actually before the game. The two hours before we went into the stadium, the whole walking around Florida’s campus was pretty enjoyable, despite the heat. Despite what is often the thought, the campus is actually rather nice. It’s similar to our campus – it’s just much, much bigger, with no hills, and it’s always really hot. Not only that, but the I-75 exit we took was 387 – the same one that takes you to 17th Street/Cumberland Ave. (The Strip) off I-40 in Knoxville. We saw their version of The Strip (ours is better) and their University Center.

The Gator fans, you ask? Not as bad as I feared. Unlike my Athens trip in 2006, I did not get cussed out or almost get into any fights. Yes, they talked trash, did their little Gator Chomp at us, and yelled Gator Bait at us. Other than that, it wasn’t that bad. It was worse from the students – who take up half the stadium – as I was leaving.

I remember the last two Florida games - last year especially - like they were yesterday. Will tomorrow be more of the same? I BELIEVE it will not be.

What’s the point of me hashing all this out again? First, this post has been planned for awhile, going back to my days at my own site. Second, the pain and embarrassment from that weekend becomes much more relevant this particular week, this particular game. (NOTE: the SEC Title would have erased it all…)

This is my last home game against the Gators as a student and I don’t wanna go 0-fer against those punks. I still vividly remember the tough loss in 2006. I still vividly remember my experiences at the last two Florida – and it sucks. Point is, if the players and coaches are anywhere near as motivated and as personally ready to beat the living crap out of Florida tomorrow afternoon, then Florida better not be coming in as overconfident as their fans – and even most Vol fans – seem to have been this week.

Are Vol fans foolish for being down about this game? Not at all. Florida has more talent. Coach Fulmer has never been able to beat the Gators. They have Tim Tebow. They have Percy Harvin. Urban Meyer is 3-0 against Tennessee. Florida is in our heads. We lost to a team a Mountain West school beat 59-0. We scored just 35 on the worst defense in the country. Our longest running play against the Gators in those two games? Six yards. On paper, the odds are simply not in our favor.

Throw that paper out of the window – it doesn’t matter. Despite the somewhat somber mood surrounding this game this week, when that stadium gets filled it’s going to be loud. Really loud. It would be a total crime if it’s not. Tennessee has a better chance than we all think or want to admit. The mere fact this game is being played in Neyland Stadium makes me think it’s going to be close.

Honestly, I have no idea how we’re going to stop Florida’s speed. It’s been said a million times this week, Tennessee has to run the ball effectively to win this game. Can we do that against a stacked line?

To me, this is much like the Georgia game last year. It’s just setting up that way. Whether it ends up the same way, we’ll know about 30 hours from now. This game will easily determine where our season goes. Florida is easily one of the three teams that I can say I truly hate, along with Alabama and Georgia. Let me reiterate: I HATE FLORIDA, especially their tool of a coach. And I’ve been waiting a really long time now to get rid of those two images of losses to Florida these past two years…

I don’t know how we’re going to beat Florida and I don’t think we will, but with every bit of me I BELIEVE we can win tomorrow.


BasketVols Fall in SEC Tournament

2008 SEC Basketball TournamentWell, despite playing well down the stretch, the BasketVols fell to the Arkansas Razorbacks in a 92-91 contest before a crowd of only a couple hundred people at Alexander Memorial Coliseum in SEC Tournament play on Saturday. While this is hardly the end of the season for the Vols, this one stings a bit more than most.

There is no question that all of the upheaval which occurred as a result of a tornado hitting the Georgia Dome on Friday night — forcing the remainder of the Tournament to be played on the Georgia Tech campus — had an impact on the Vols, but it had an equal impact on the Razorbacks. The only team which seemed to be immune to the confusion was the scrappy and focused Georgia Bulldogs squad which managed to beat both the Kentucky Wildcats and the Mississippi State Bulldogs on the same day to advance to the Tournament finals.

Everything about this tournament has been unorthodox. Throughout the tournament higher seeded teams have been falling like flies to under-manned and, apparently, under-rated teams. I would venture a guess that almost no one imagined a Tournament Championship match-up between the 22-10 Razorbacks and 16-18 Bulldogs, especially one at Alexander Memorial in front of fewer fans than most big high school games.

The fact that the top seeded teams have faired so poorly in the tournament shows two things quite clearly: The SEC is not as “down” as all the talking heads have said throughout the season, and (as I said after Tennessee fell to Kentucky at Rupp Arena earlier this season) when one team wants to win, and other team has to win, always bet on the latter.

2008 SEC ChampionsDespite being hugely disappointed at the BasketVols loss to the Razorbacks, the game was actually very exciting, and I have to give Arkansas credit for playing with great tenacity and intensity. Chris Lofton and Tyler Smith led the Vols in scoring with 25 and 24 points respectively. Tennessee’s point-guard play, however, was not what it could have been , and the inability of the Vols to show a killer instinct on defense really hurt them down the stretch.

I think the guys over at 3rd Saturday in Blogtober pretty much sum up my feelings on the loss. Be that as it may, tonight we will know where the BasketVols end up in the NCAA field — while a number 1 seed is not out of the question, Saturday’s loss makes it a tougher sell. Either way, I know that Bruce and the Barbarians will be ready to go when it is time to play in the Big Dance. In the end, I’d rather lose in the SEC Tournament, than in the NCAA Tournament. The Vols seemed a little out of sync since the start of the SEC Tournament, and maybe this loss will help them find that focus once again.

I firmly believe that, with Bruce Pearl at the helm, anything is possible for this team. the only question now is where will the next step take them? Fortunately, we find that out tonight…

– Go Figure …SIG%20-%20Lawvol%20(Small) McAlisters%20-%20Crossout

On Remote: The Big “Blow”

Well, this is the first time I’ve ever tried posting from my Motorola Handheld (a/k/a my phone), so we’ll see how this goes.

Needless to say there was some excitement at the SEC Tournament yesterday as a tornado hit the Georgia Dome in the middle of the game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Mississippi State Bulldogs — leading to an hour and five minute delay and the postponement of the game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Kentucky Wildcats . Ultimately Mississippi State held on to beat the Tide in overtime, but in the aftermath of the storm that hit Atlanta, the streets and the area around the Dome were wrecked.

Thus, today’s games will be held at Georgia Tech’s Alexander Coliseum — with limited attendance. Only player families, media, bands, and cheerleaders will be admitted. All ticketholders for the remaining games will be given refunds.

This is shaping up to be a truly bizarre SEC Tournament — one which will be remembered for years to come. Since the Kentucky / Georgia game will be held today at 12:00 noon today, the BasketVols game against Arkansas will be delayed until 6:00 pm. Then, the Kentucky / Georgia winner will take on the Arkansas Razorbacks who upset the Vanderbilt Commodores in Friday’s second game.

More on this later…


Here’s a little video of the Georgia Dome a’rockin in not so good a way, courtesy of Loser With Socks, who says this is clearly just a sign that God hates the Bammers:

YouTube Preview Image

For the first time in years, I’m actually glad I’m not at the Tournament…

– Go Figure …

Tennessee Gets Ready to Face South Carolina in SEC Basketball Tournament

SEC Basketball Tournamnet

Somewhat to my surprise, the South Carolina Gamecocks managed to Defeat the LSU Tigers 77 – 73 in the opening round of the SEC Tournament in Atlanta today. Despite getting absolutely hammered by the BasketVols just days ago, the Thunder Chickens managed to get it turned around and (at least by my estimation) upset the Tigers, and thus set the stage for a re-match with Tennessee.

South Carolina Gamecocks

South Carolina (13-17, 5-11 SEC) is, no doubt, just itching to get a little revenge against the Vols for the 89 – 56 pounding they took at the Tommy Bowl this past Sunday. There is no question that the men in Garnet will bring their game full-force to try and de-throne the SEC Champion Vols, and give South Carolina coach Dave Odom at least one more game as their skipper.

2008 SEC ChampionsBe that as it may, I predict the Vols still win by double-figures. After a brutal home-stretch to end the regular season, the BasketVols have had several days to rest and have plenty of reasons to give it their all — namely the chance at an SEC Tournament Championship, and the possibility of a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. I am quite sure that Bruce and the Barbarians will be raring to go, looking for their 29th win on the season.

The game is set to tipoff tomorrow (14 March 2008) at 1:00 pm on Raycom Sports. For those of you who — like me — live in ACC Country, or elsewhere, the Vol Network Broadcast will be available through and on XM Channel 199.

Until the game gets going, you can enjoy this video of Jenn Sterger, on the phenomenon that is the 2008 Tennessee BasketVols.

YouTube Preview Image

– Go Figure …

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