Posts Tagged ‘NCAA Football’

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Headlines, Links & Lies | Gate 21


Tennessee Football Elavil For Sale, Okay, this pretty much sucks...


As the Vol Ambassador pointed out earlier today here on the Gate, according to the New York Times (which, as a general rule, avoids simply making stuff up), the NCAA is currently engaged in a wide-reaching investigation of recruiting at Tennessee under Lane Kiffin, with an emphasis on the use of the so-called "Vol Hostesses," (with particular attention being paid to Hostess Lacey Earps), who routinely accompany recruits on visits to campus.  This investigation was confirmed by Mike Hamilton, though he declined to comment on the substance , and the UTAD has since issued an official statement.


The real interest appears to be trips taken by some of the Vol Hostesses to watch potential recruits play as high schoolers.  These visits, especially if they result in direct communications related to the recruiting of the athlete are potentially barred under NCAA regulations.  Times reporters Pete Thamel and Thayer Evans noted instances where Vol Hostesses had traveled as distance up to 200 or more miles to see recruits play, and had occasionally exchanged text messages with potential recruits.


As official representatives of the UT Athletic Department, contact by these Hostesses could lead to secondary violations, even if the contact was not sanctioned by athletic department officials.



Of particular note, is the fact that the NCAA has been interviewing potential recruits who have not yet formally signed a letter of intent to play for the Vols, an unusual occurrence.  Typically, the NCAA only interviews recruits after they have committed.  The implication being that the investigation is a serious one and one which the NCAA is not taking lightly.


This is especially true considering the fact that Tennessee racked-up a minimum of six secondary violations since December of 2008.  In fact, as attorney and former NCAA investigator, Rick Evrard, told the Times, those secondary violations could have been the impetus leading to the investigation in the first instance.  Evard was stated:



Secondaries mean something to the NCAA.  It’s very telling if an institution continues to report secondaries particularly if they’re in the same category.  If you keep doing the same thing over and over and keep reporting it, that would trigger the N.C.A.A.’s enforcement staff to possibly go in and look at some of that activity.

HT Former NCAA Investigator Rick Evrard, speaking to the New York Times



It seems to me that a recruiting tool which pairs attractive young women with potential football stars who are approximately 18 years old for the sole purpose of convincing them to play for Tennessee is destined for disaster.  This is hardly a new realization for me --  I have felt this way since I was a student at Tennessee -- but this investigation makes it all the more apparent.  I do not believe that the athletic department has ever intentionally attempted to use the Vol Hostesses as the proverbial "bait," and I am not questioning the scruples or morals of these young ladies.  All I am saying is that, at that age and in those circumstances, things can happen.

The fact of the matter is that this could be a potentially far-reaching and very serious investigation.  On the other hand, it could end up being more smoke than fire.  Either way, I would imagine that the Athletic Department will be taking a long, hard, look at the use of Vol Hostesses as part of the recruiting process.

More on this as the web untangles...

-- So it goes Email lawvol No McAlisters



HT HT:  Go Vols Xtra

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No Pass Out Checks | Gate21



Buy Stromectol Without Prescription, Somewhere, in front of a chalkboard—his hands coated with chalk dust—Lane Kiffin is smiling…


For the past several months Tennessee fans and the general sports-watching public have heard a near endless discussion about the various secondary infractions which have occurred since Lane Kiffin (a/k/a “the Blackjack General”) took the reins as the head football coach for the Tennessee Volunteers.  Needless to say, some have taken every available opportunity to criticize the University of Tennessee, The UT Athletic Department, Smiling Mike Hamilton, and the Blackjack General himself.  Some of it has amounted to little more than sniping and smack-talk, while others have been decidedly more direct.


Rightly or wrongly, Tennessee has self-reported (or is in the process of investigating with with an eye toward reporting) six secondary violations of NCAA Rules, the most recent coming—as HSH reported just the other day—as a result of the Blackjack General’s recent appearance on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines,” where he discussed, imagine that, secondary infractions with ESPN’s Bob Ley.


A “secondary violation” is defined in the NCAA Manual as follows:


A secondary violation is a violation that is isolated or inadvertent in nature, provides or is intended to provide only a minimal recruiting, competitive or other advantage and does not include any significant recruiting inducement or extra benefit.  Multiple secondary violations by a member institution may collectively be considered as a major violation.

•  2008-09 NCAA Division 1 ManualPDF Document § 19.02.2.1 (emphasis added)


To put this in layman’s terms, secondary violations are the functional equivalent of talking in the NCAA’s rather large and particularly boring class.  Or, perhaps, in Lane Kiffin’s case, they amount to showing-off for all the girls (or in this case, recruits) in the back of class to impress them and passing notes reading:


I like you.  A Lot.


Do you like me, Stromectol results. Stromectol description,


Check One:  ___Yes  ___No  ___Maybe


— Lane



While this sort of thing—in both Mrs. Elliott’s 6th Period English Class and in the world of NCAA compliance—are annoying, effects of Stromectol, Online buying Stromectol, they are largely harmless.  While it is true (again, with both Mrs, doses Stromectol work. Herbal Stromectol, Elliott and the NCAA) that enough of these sorts of minor errors along the way can land you in the proverbial Principal’s office, as long as you say you are sorry after each instance (and UT has self-reported all such violations) and space the occurrences out by a day or two, Stromectol photos, Stromectol long term, usually there is little punishment to be meted out, aside from being made a spectacle in front of your peers…


… or by having to stay after class and write on the blackboard.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="487" caption="Kiffin at the Chalkboard"]Kiffin-Chalkboard[/caption]

Hence, order Stromectol from mexican pharmacy, Buy Stromectol from mexico, while Lane Kiffin and the UT Athletic Department are probably getting a little tired of having to deal with the issue of secondary violations, they have been merely a bump in the road thus far.


The Alabama Crimson Tide, buy no prescription Stromectol online, Stromectol from canadian pharmacy, on the other hand, is now facing a decidedly more serious situation…



Findings of the NCAA Committee on Infractions


As a result of what the NCAA described as “Impermissible benefits obtained by student-athletes through misuse of the institution's textbook distribution program.” the University of Alabama is staring a real violation dead in the face—the NCAA’s penalty summary leaves little question about this:


Penalty Summary: Public reprimand and censure; three years of probation; vacation of records for all wins in which any of the seven involved football student-athletes competed while ineligible during the 2005-06 and 2007-08 academic years, Stromectol pics. Further in the sports of men's tennis, men's track and women's track the records of the 15 involved student-athletes shall be vacated and team point totals shall be reconfigured accordingly; the institution shall pay a fine of $43,900; annual compliance reporting required.

•  via: NCAA Legislative Services Database (emphasis added)


This penalty came about as a result of Alabama’s violation of three NCAA regulations: § 15.2.3 (“Books”); § 16.11.2.1 ("General Rules on Extra Benefits"); and § 2.8.1 ("Responsibility of the Institution").  These rules, especially the two latter ones, are not merely fluff in the NCAA Manual, they are major rules, which is why Alabama was slapped—not on the wrist, but across the face—for its major violation of NCAA writ.


Major violations are broadly and somewhat cryptically defined as: “All violations other than secondary violations are major violations, specifically including those that provide an extensive recruiting or competitive advantage.”  (2008-09 NCAA Division 1 ManualPDF Document § 19.02.2.2)  I am quite sure that Alabama is familiar with this definition, since the athletic programs at Alabama have had five major NCAA violations—four of which occurred since 1995.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="140" caption="A little light reading for athletes."][/caption]

While the definition of a “major violation” does, admittedly, leave a little to be desired in terms of clarity, the language of the NCAA’s Infractions ReportPDF Document is far less difficult to understand.  The report cites the involvement of “201 student-student athletes who received impermissible benefits...” from 16 different sports.  That’s right, 201 athletes!  Of that number 22 athletes were cited as being “intentional wrongdoers”. In other words enough people to fill an entire string of both the offensive and defensive squads of a football team.^ (Report, p, Buy Stromectol Without Prescription. Buy Stromectol from canada, 1)


The offenses were first discovered by a university bookstore employee in October of 2007 and totaled approximately $ 40,000 in improperly obtained textbooks.  (Report, Stromectol dose, Discount Stromectol, pp. 3, where to buy Stromectol, Stromectol from mexico, 6)  The majority of the violations arose from athletes obtaining non-required textbooks for free, which they in-turn gave to friends and family, Stromectol price. Rx free Stromectol, (Report, p, Stromectol brand name. What is Stromectol, 5)


Gee, it’s easy to see how that one didn’t get caught earlier.  I mean, Stromectol pics, Online buying Stromectol, most defensive linemen need three copies of Sandler’s Compendium of Chemical, Biochemical, Stromectol street price, Stromectol maximum dosage, and Engineering Thermodynamics


Ignoring the fact that there was a documented 30% spike in textbook costs charged to the Athletic Department—a fact which somehow went unnoticed for almost 3 years—once bookstore officials made the administration aware of the problem, Alabama did self-report the violation.  (Report, real brand Stromectol online, Stromectol for sale, pp. Buy Stromectol Without Prescription, 1-2, 5-6)  The NCAA Infractions Report notes this and indicates that, in most circumstances, such violations can be adjudicated without a hearing, in Alabama’s case, however, that was not possible, “because of the institution’s status as a repeat violator.” On this point, the committee made itself abundantly clear:


Although the committee commends the institution for self-discovering, investigating and reporting the textbook violations, it remains troubled, nonetheless, by the scope of the violations in this instance and by the institution's recent history of infractions cases. In fact, Stromectol from canada, Buy cheap Stromectol, not only is the University of Alabama currently a "repeat violator," because of the 2002 case, Stromectol canada, mexico, india, Stromectol alternatives, it was also in a "repeat violator" status when that case was adjudicated and when a 1999 case was decided.


* * * * *


In fact, because of the institution's extensive recent history of infractions cases, herbal Stromectol, Stromectol dose, the committee strongly considered making a more serious finding of a lack of institutional control, rather than a failure to monitor.

•  NCAA Infractions ReportPDF Document, canada, mexico, india, Fast shipping Stromectol, p. 2 (emphasis added)


In other words: “Don’t even pretend you didn’t know better, about Stromectol, Buy cheap Stromectol no rx, and don’t complain about the penalty—you got lucky.”


In the end, the NCAA Committee on Infractions lowered the boom on Alabama and—though not mentioned—likely dodged the death penalty in football once again due to the fact that other sports were involved.

Meanwhile, Stromectol schedule, Stromectol without a prescription, back in Mr. Brand’s 3rd Period “Recruitin’, Footballin’ and You” Class


At the end of the day, I really take little joy in seeing Alabama hit with penalties.  Does it help Tennessee when recruiting against the Crimson Tide?  Sure it does, but it hurts the SEC as a whole when recruiting against other conferences.  Furthermore, the widespread perception that anything goes in the SEC is only bolstered by this most recent penalty—which increases the number of major violations committed by SEC member schools to a grand total of 49 (two of which belong to Tennessee) since 1953.  As much as I enjoy gigging the Tide for “cheatin’,” I have no desire re-live the whole “Fulmer Lied” fiasco of the decade.  While it would hardly surprise me to start hearing rumors that the Great Punkin was briefly employed as a bookstore cashier in Tuscalsoosa, it seems there is no one to blame but Alabama itself.  As I’ve said in the past, I am not exactly an Alabama hater—I'm not here to gloat over Alabama's shortcomings. Besides, I’d rather focus on what Tennessee does on the field than what the Tide does in the university bookstore.


On the other hand, given the frequency, severity, and seriousness of Alabama’s violations I do have one general question which bothers me.  Alabama has now had three major violations in less than a decade.  Alabama has been stripped of wins on multiple occasions in that time period.  Alabama has built a strong reputation of, at best, poor compliance and, at worst, cheating.


So why exactly is it that everyone keeps pointing their fingers at class-clown Tennessee?


I suppose I should not be bothered by this, given the general tenor of discussions by both mainstream media outlets and New Media (a/k/a “the blogosphere”) providers.  Still, at some level the outcry over Lane Kiffin holding faux-news conferences, letting recruits run through the tunnel in Neyland Stadium “improperly”, for wanton use of  Twitter, and all the other recent oversights by Tennessee that have raised the ire of the NCAA seems a bit overblown in comparison to what has obviously been occurring at Alabama.


Of course, Lane Kiffin is probably feeling pretty good about it though.  Now, Alabama has gotten itself kicked out of class—sent to the principal’s office for cheating.  Meanwhile, there’s Lane, standing at the front of the classroom for being a cut-up—a seemingly forgivable sin.


Sure, he has had to make a few apologies.  Sure, he has had to suffer a bit of embarrassment.  Sure, he has had to endure a few barbs from here and there.


But standing up there at the front of the class—the focal point of every single kid in the class—might not be that bad.  Maybe he's not the best behaved, but he's not really cheating.  What's more, he's now getting all that attention from all those recruits sitting behind him.  Maybe that’s why he takes so much time to carefully copy his sentences on the chalkboard.  Slowly.  Deliberately.  Methodically.


Yes, Lane has chalk all over him.


That and a great big smile…


-- So it goes …Email lawvol No McAlisters



Image(s) Courtesy ofTextbooks.com ||  Statement on Fair Use

^ Note: The 22 “intentional wrongdoers” cited in the NCAA’s Infractions Report were not identified as being football players, and this is only used as an analogy.
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Toprol XL For Sale, In case you hadn’t heard, the United States Congress has been hard at work lately—tackling the hard-hitting issues that our country is facing.  Our representatives in the House have been addressing monumental concerns impacting the daily lives of all Americans far and wide.  What, you might ask, is the single most important question in the minds of Representatives Joe Barton (R-TX), Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) and Mike Simpson (R-ID)?


Whether the BCS / Bowl system for determining NCAA football championships needs to be replaced by a playoff system.


As a result, these congressmen introduced a House Resolution in April seeking to have the United States Congress and the United States Department of Justice investigate the Bowl Championship Series.  In particular, this obscenely overstated meaningful legislation resolves that the House of Representatives:


(1) rejects the BCS system as an illegal restraint of trade that violates the Sherman Anti-Trust Act;


(2) demands the United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division investigate and bring appropriate action to have the BCS system declared illegal and require a playoff to determine a national champion; and


(3) supports the establishment of an NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision Championship playoff system in the interest of fairness and to bring parity to all NCAA teams.


• 111th Congress, House Resolution 68


Heavy stuff, online buying Toprol XL, Toprol XL schedule, that…


As a result of the tireless grandstanding efforts of these shameless self-promoters champions of the common man, the Subcommittee on Commerce, where can i find Toprol XL online, Toprol XL gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release, Trade and Consumer Protection held hearings this past week to look into the actions of the BCS in hopes of determining whether something nefarious is afoot.  This included taking testimony from: John Swofford PDF Document (Commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference and Coordinator of the Bowl Championship Series), Craig Thompson PDF Document (Commissioner of the Mountain West Conference), Toprol XL from mexico, No prescription Toprol XL online, Derrick Fox PDF Document (President and CEO of the Valero Alamo Bowl), and Gene Bleymaier PDF Document (Athletic Director of Boise State University).


For those of you out there that hate yourselves, Toprol XL dosage, Toprol XL class, you can view a streaming video of the entire hearing through the committee websiteNote: Apparently the Congressional muckety-mucks are too busy to hire someone schooled in the basic art of video editing.  Thus, you will want to fast forward to approximately 19:45 to view the hearing (that is, buy Toprol XL without a prescription, Order Toprol XL online c.o.d, unless you just enjoy watching a blank screen for almost 20 minutes).


During the hearing, the Committee specifically looked into whether the BCS amounted to a monopoly, purchase Toprol XL online no prescription, Online buying Toprol XL hcl, running afoul of federal anti-trust provisions.  With the great all-encompassing seriousness that can only come from the stuffed shirts of Congress and with the aire of the Watergate hearings, the committee set about digging deep into the bowels of college football’s deep dark secret.  Having watched some of the video of the hearing, Toprol XL results, Where to buy Toprol XL, it was obvious, in the minds of some of the assembled officials, Toprol XL overnight, Generic Toprol XL, that they felt the very sanctity of our American Republic hung precariously in the balance.


Right…


Don’t get me wrong, I am not opposed to the idea of a college football playoff, Toprol XL price, Toprol XL street price, in fact I would gladly support such a system—so long as it is fair.  The disdain that is oozing from this article comes not from my opposition to the notion that college football needs a playoff, but rather from the nauseating belief by those in Congress that they are the answer to this problem.  Oh yeah, Toprol XL canada, mexico, india, Real brand Toprol XL online, there is also the minor fact that the entire nation is passed out from the H1N1 flu in the economic toilet of the world with chunks of last night’s General Motors and Wall Street flavored hot dog still clinging to its mouth while these clueless egomaniacs are wasting their time trying to determine how we end our football seasons.


I’d love to sit around in a fancy conference room with hospitality service and get paid to talk football all day as much as the next guy, there’s no denying that.  The thought that our Congressional leaders have nothing better to do than just that, Toprol XL samples, Toprol XL coupon, is more than a little bothersome.  The fact that they can do it with a straight face while purporting to represent the best interests of their constituents, makes me think of three words: “explosive projectile vomiting.”  I suppose that this sentiment is precisely what led CBS Sports.com’s Dennis Dodd to note that “Retching is common for these kinds of mundane Capitol Hill gatherings.”



To me, discount Toprol XL, Toprol XL without a prescription, how we crown our college football national champions football is an important question.  Of course, I’m a person who dedicates an inordinate amount of time, buying Toprol XL online over the counter, Toprol XL pictures, money, and effort into writing about college football, Toprol XL wiki, Toprol XL pics, so I’m not sure that really matters all that much.  The fact remains, however, comprar en línea Toprol XL, comprar Toprol XL baratos, Toprol XL images, that Congress has no business trying to legislate the fundamental structure of the college football season.  Now, as a lawyer, rx free Toprol XL, Toprol XL dangers, I am not saying they lack the Constitutional authority to do so (although some legal minds do question whether that is the case), but rather as a citizen of the United States and a football fan I am loudly declaring that they have no business trying to do so.


The reasons that Congress has no business interjecting itself into the BCS vs, Toprol XL interactions. Fast shipping Toprol XL, playoff debate is multi-faceted.  First, I don’t personally trust the Congress that was charged with safeguarding the American financial markets to have any clue how the college football season should or should not end.  This is especially true given the fact that one of its champions is none other than Representative Joe Barton who—based upon the video of the hearings—apparently cannot even learn to pronounce the names of the witnesses correctly despite the fact that they have their names printed—in letters the size of the Empire State Building—on a name card directly in front of them.  Barton, Toprol XL mg, Cheap Toprol XL, seething bolt of reform that he is (at least in his mind), however believes that he has the answer to the problem: make the BCS quit billing itself as the "National Championship" game.


Yep, after Toprol XL, What is Toprol XL, that’ll fix it.  We don’t need a playoff, we just need to change what we call the one we currently have.  This coming from a man who also stated that the BCS was “communist.”  I’m not so sure that Barton could even academically qualify to play sports with that kind of white-hot intellect.  What a typical Washington whitewash that would be: don’t solve the problem, Toprol XL over the counter, Toprol XL maximum dosage, just make it look a little different and smile for the cameras.  I guess this is to be expected, however, considering that this band of blowhards immortals in Congress didn’t even bother to include other current or former congressmen who might actually know a thing or two about college football such as former congressman Steve Largent (R-OK) or Representative (and former Tennessee Volunteer) Heath Shuler (D-NC) to name a few.


More fundamentally than their lack of ability, Congress has no business in this arena because—as I mentioned above—there are an alarming number of “real” issues facing our country at the moment, and it would be nice to know that the Congress is not asleep at the wheel like it was for the last … oh … 30-40 years.  God forbid that Congress actually do some real work on issues that might actually make the lives of regular Americans a little better, maybe even improving their economic situation a bit so that they don’t have to search night and day for a job just to make ends meet.  Maybe working towards the return of the day when folks can find a decent paycheck so they can afford to enjoy life a little bit by taking the weekend off to go see a real football game in person and, likely as not, catch the swine flu along with 80,000 other people due to some idiot in the box seats who “just thought it was a case of the sniffles.”


I guess that would be a little too much to ask.


The fact that the reaction to these congressional antics have been so uniformly negative is hardly surprising.  This sort of media-whoring by elected officials is precisely why most Americans lack faith that the government will ever get anything right.  Not that Barton, Abercrombie and come-lately compatriot Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) are deterred—that just shows the underlying conspiracy. What do you expect from a pig, but a grunt?


Now, I am not meaning to impugn all elected officials in this tirade—there are some fine men and women who serve this country admirably as members of the government.  With those individuals—on both sides of the aisle—who follow their convictions and the good-sense that God gave them, I have no quarrel.  Just like it is with my chosen profession (shysters a/k/a “attorneys”), I suppose a few bad apples spoil the lot.


In the end, these are not political issues.  These are not Red or Blue (state) issues.  In the end, the game must right itself.  No amount of Congressional interference will correct things—it can only make things worse (although, in fairness, I would support having former Senator Fred Thompson as the commissioner of everything football related, just because he can make anything just sound so damn cool).  The perpetual camera-jockeying of the egos on Capitol Hill only complicate matters and take away from the beautiful agony that is college football.


All of these shenanigans really boil down to the reality that football needs to fix its problems before some idiot in Washington screws the whole thing up.


In the meantime, the Surgeon General needs to seriously consider putting a big warning on the foreheads of some members of Congress:


“Warning: excessive exposure may cause permanent and irreversible loss of lunch, bladder control, and the will to live…”


-- So it goes Email lawvol No McAlisters


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Headlines, Links & Lies: Post-UCLA Rundown

Headlines, Links & Lies | Gate 21

Here's what the world is saying about the Vols' disappointing loss to UCLA last night in the Rose Bowl.

Trust me, it isn't pretty...

Final Statistics: Tennessee vs. UCLA -- 01 September 2008

Holding Hands is Not Going to Help

Holding Hands is Not Going to Help...

From the Good Guys (Vol Bloggers):

From the Mercenaries (Mainstream Media):

More to come later in the day ...

-- Go Figure …Email lawvol Sam & Andy's Forever


Lead Image Courtesy of: ESPN.com / AP / Jeff Lewis

Tennessee vs. UCLA — Quick Postgame Thoughts

No Pass Out Checks | Gate21

Well, that is why they play them...

A heavily favored Tennessee squad walked into the Rose Bowl, and will be limping home trying to figure out what went wrong -- and make no mistake, something went terribly wrong.

On the whole, it was a tale of two halves -- the Vols owned the first-half, the Bruins the second.  Well, at least the Vols should have owned the first-half.  After grabbing 4 first-half interceptions, the Vols had a paltry 14 points at the end of the first half.

In the end, however, UCLA rallied the troops and fought down the stretch and managed to take the lead with only seconds left in the game.  The anemic Tennessee offense seemed down for the count, but Jonathan Crompton managed the team as well as he had all night, leading the Orange down the field for a Daniel Lincoln field goal to tie the game at 24 with 5 seconds on the clock.

Many in Big Orange Country felt they had just dodged a bullet -- given Tennessee's record in overtime games.  They were even more buoyed up with hope after the Tennessee defense -- which had flailed about unsuccessfully in the fourth-quarter -- allowed no yards in overtime.

But that is why they play them...

After gaining a net of 8 yards, Daniel Lincoln came on to attempt a 34-yard field goal attempt to send the game into a second overtime.  The kick sailed wide left, and with it went the Vols hopes of coming out strong to start the season.

Final Score:  UCLA 27  Tennessee 24

Obviously, once I've had a little time to think about the game, I am sure I'll have more thoughts for everyone out there to ignore.  That said, here are my initial thoughts.

Defense

Until the fourth-quarter, I would have given the defense excellent marks.  They played with more aggressive tenacity than I have seen any Tennessee team play with in the first game of the season in at least a decade.  They looked well prepared and well coached -- until late in the game I'd have given them an "A" for the game.

Four interceptions is always a nice statistic, but so was the 2 first downs that UCLA managed in the first-half.  The Vols were hard-hitting and focused.

Once UCLA managed to find its legs in the fourth-quarter, however, they started running roughshod over the Tennessee defense, with a workmanlike drive using short screen passes and a quick tempo.  At many times, the Vol defense seemed poorly schemed late in the game, rushing 4 and 5 on each play rather than trying to stop the screens.  That said, the biggest problem it appeared they were dealing with was fatigue due to the fact they had been on the field far longer than they should have been in the fourth.

Thus, I am not going to mark the squad down too much (since it was the first game and due to the offensive woes) -- the fact is that they gave a great effort.  The defense showed that they have what it takes to be a really excellent squad this year -- potentially one of the best in the SEC -- once they get a chance to gel and play together a little more.

In the end, I'm giving them a C+ / B-.

Offense

I'm not even going to try to breakdown all of the problems that the Vols had on offense...

I realize that Tennessee has a new quarterback and a new offensive scheme.  I expected there to be some growing pains.  I did not expect the Vols to rely upon their defense to win games -- by scoring all the points.

It was bad, it was very bad...

I am not ready to decide where I think the problem lies, but the Vols showed a real lack of ability to move the ball consistently.  Crompton had a horrible time throwing the ball when under pressure -- to the point of being completely ineffective.  Both Arian Foster and Montario Hardesty showed flashes of brilliance at times in the running game, but at other times were unable to make real gains.

At this early point after the game, all I can say is that there is much work to be done on offense.

At this point, I'm giving the offense a D.

Special Teams

Daniel Lincoln missed three field goal attempts, but only one of which he really should have hit -- unfortunately, that one was the one which really mattered.  The punt unit also gave up a block, which led to an immediate touchdown.  The kick return unit, however, showed some real fire and the potential for some big plays down the stretch.

This unit needs to work on some things, but they appear to, at least, be on the right track.

For now, I'm giving them a C-.

Final Thoughts

There is so much more to discuss and think about after this game -- which is always the case with a loss.  I am not going to try to do it tonight.

I will however, say one thing:

This is only the first game of the season -- don't give up on the Vols yet.  Despite the problems they had tonight, they never gave up.  They have earned the chance to redeem themselves...

I, along with Home Sweet Home, will have more on this game in the coming days, but in the meantime -- though I am disappointed -- all I can say is Go Vols!

More tomorrow...

-- Go Figure …Email lawvol


Brandon Warren Cleared to Play by the NCAA

Just a little sound bite of good news today courtesy of Curveballs for Jesus and the Snooze-Slantinel:  Brandon Warren has been cleared by the NCAA to play this fall for the Big Orange!

Now let's hope there aren't any other landmines in the road leading up to Warren suiting up for the Vols.

-- Go Figure …


I’d Like to Thank the Academy, and Bruce Almighty…

Wow! Once again, back when I started this little experiment back in November, I had no idea where it would go (learning WordPress, learning HTML, learning CSS, buying a hosting account, wasting countless hours designing graphics and colorful art to cover up the lack of substance on my blog, learning the rules of football ...). Now, Gate 21 has been graced with not just one, but two nominations for the 2007 College Football Blogger Awards. All I can say to those who voted for Gate 21 is a sincere "Thank You!" To be nominated for both Best New Blog and the Trev Alberts Award (Prettiest Blog) is so much more than I ever expected. On a much less sincere note, I'd like to thank the Academy for understanding that, when you graduated from Tennessee, there are limits on your ability to use large words, to assemble clever phrases, and to write in complete sentences. I am so appreciative that they considered the fact that I am only the second generation of my family to walk upright, and chose not to hold that against me. I'd also like to encourage everyone to vote over at EDSBS for their pick in the final balloting to determine the actual winners. I'm all choked up... I'd also like to thank the guy who made it all possible -- who pulls the strings that keeps the Basketball universe in order, and the guy who is going to pull some strings against the Florida Gators tonight ...

[singlepic=469,320,240,,]

In Bruce we Trust, now get after those Gators!

-- Go Figure …


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