Friday, November 30, 2007

The Road to the Championship: A Story That Almost Wasn't

There's no doubt it's been a crazy year in Knoxville. But it also has been a great one. From stories of Fulmer seeing his last days on the hill to him getting a raise/extension, what a year!
But, as you look back on this season, many think LSU was "America's Destined Team", from last minute touchdowns and everything in between, but it's the team they will be playing that may just get that label.

Take a look at this:

We start at the South Carolina game. Week 8, the Vols are 4-3 and still amazingly have a shot at getting to the SEC Championship Game although highly doubtful. With Tennesse down 24-21, Arian Foster fumbled on what seemed to be the end the game. But, amazingly backup lineman Jacques McClendon to keep the drive alive. The Vols then went on to set up a 43 yard field goal try. Daniel Lincoln set up for it and was way wide left, but a false start sends it back 5 yards and another chance. Lincoln sinks it from 48 and the game is going to overtime. The Vols get the ball forst and can only get a field goal. Which is all they would need as South Carolina kicker Ryan Succop missed his field goal attempt. If that right there doesn't sound like a team destined let's look at the Vandy game. The Vols down 24-9 going into the fourth quarter are able to get 16 points and take a 25-24 point lead. As time is running out Vandy kicker Bryant Hahnfeldt misses his field goal to win it and the Vols are still alive. No, still don't believe me. Let's take a look at last weekend. The Vols surrender an early lead and Kentucky has a chance to beat Tennessee and send Georgia to the SEC Championship Game. The Wildcats can't get the touchdown in regular time to win so kick the tying field goal with 1 second left. Going to the second overtime where Erik Ainge throws a pick and all Kentucky has to do is kick the Field Goal to win. But, big Dan Williams gets his arm up and blocks the kick to send it to a third and eventual fourth overtime. The Vols then pulled it out after Antonio Reynolds was able to keep Andre Woodson from scoring the two point conversion. So a team of destiny or a team that found a way to win it when it mattered? That's your own opinion but I'm tired of listening to the Georgia really deserves to be there. No they don't does 35-14 have any relevance. The teams that are "supposed" to be there are there and the one I'll be cheering for on Saturday will be the one in the orange and white who hopefully once again are able to "find a way to win."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

SEC Championship Game Picks

You have your choice of who will win this year's SEC Championship Game. (Poll)
It's our turn now.
The game will be played on Saturday at 4:00 PM ET and can be seen live on CBS.
The staff of UT Vols Football brings you:

Sports Fan-

TennesseeFan07-

VolfanMike-

FINEVOL-

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

SEC CHAMPIONSHIP NEXT UP!!!!!



After starting the season struggling a bit, having off-field issues with Coker, the injury bug biting right in the crotch, few would have predicted this Volunteer squad would end up in Atlanta come December. I must admit, I was one of the doubters. I did pick us to win the East, preseason, and for LSU to win the West, but the loss to an Alabama team that I felt could not compete with us talent-wise had me doubting.

None-the-less, here we are, and after LSU loses to Kentucky ( a team they should have beat) and to an Arkansas team that gave us little trouble, adding in the fact that the game will be played in a neutral site, I am optimistic. I wouldn't put any money on the game and if you held me down and stuck your butt in my face, I'd be forced to pick the Tigers in this one, but I think we have as good a chance as anyone in the East would at knocking them off.

My one chagrin is that, now that LSU is out of the National Championship picture, we won't have the opportunity to return the favor that was dealt to us in 2002's SEC Championship game when Matt Mauk, and tailback Dominick Davis, both thrust into action due to injuries to starters, ended #2 Tennessee's National Title hopes.

But there still is that SEC Championship trophy on the line, and the Vols seem to play better with their backs against the wall and when the media gives them no chance.

Let the best team win. Geaux Vols.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

We Going to the 'Ship


I don't have the video but I do have Fulmer dancing. Good enough? I think so.

Friday, November 23, 2007

SEC Week 13 Picks

Rundown
Friday
12:30 Mississippi vs. Mississippi State- Lincoln Financial
2:30 Arkansas vs. LSU- CBS

Saturday
1:30 Tennessee vs. Kentucky- CBS
2:00 Wake Forest vs. Vanderbilt
3:30 Georgia vs. Georgia Tech-ABC
5:00 Florida St vs. Florida- CBS
7:00 Clemson vs. South Carolina- ESPN2
8:00 Alabama vs. Auburn- ESPN

SPORTS FAN'S PICKS
Mississippi State
LSU
Tennessee
Vanderbilt
Georgia
Florida
South Carolina
Auburn

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Dawgystyle: Do or Die

As I do most Thanksgiving holidays, I brought the wife and kids down to my old stomping ground - Atlanta. With me are my UGA grad brother Andy and UT grad brother Paul. Lucky for me, Paul doesn't give a crap about football. But after explaining why I'm pulling for Kentucky, he's more determined than ever that he should watch the game.

I have to be honest. Even though I'm a realist, when it comes to football- deep down I'm an optimist. After our drubbing at the hands of the Vols, I was just HOPING that we could rebound enough for a bowl game. I mean, we were completely outplayed by you guys and at the time, it looked like we were exposed (like last year). But of course, I hoped that we could win every game after that. And as it turns out, that still may not be enough to win the East. And to be honest, it shouldn't. No one will admit that Tennessee turned it around, too. Do I still think Kentucky will be a tough test? Yes, but like I said before, I thought it would be Arkansas that had the best chance to beat you. I'm happy either way, really. A pretty decent New Year's Day bowl probably awaits us.

And we don't have to face Eric Ainge ever again.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. And if you hear that guy cheering for the Wildcats who sounds like he doesn't mean it, it's probably me............

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving HOT or NOT


It's the holiday, time for cheer and joy. When it comes to football some teams go along exactly with this, but some are feeling the complete opposite. Here's your rundown of teams that are going into the holiday feeling HOT or NOT.

HOT
LSU
The LSU Tigers are already in the SEC Championship Game. They also are considered by some the #1 team in the land. With a chance to make it to the National Championship the LSU Tigers are the SEC's hottest team.
NEXT OPPONENT: Arkansas
Tennessee
The Tennessee Volunteers have been an up and down team. After rumors of Fulmer's days pn the hill were over they now have a shot at the SEC Championship Game. The Vols have some made their way to the top of the SEC East after a 1-2 start. Take care of business Saturday and they will find themselves in Atlanta.
NEXT OPPONENT: Kentucky
Mississippi State
The Mississippi State Bulldogs have been the laughing stock of the SEC for a few years now. Fans were starting to disagree with the job Coach Croom was doing and looked like he would be gone after the season. But after wins over Kentucky and Alabama the Bulldogs are bowl bound and Croom looks to be safe for another year.
NEXT OPPONENT: Mississippi

NOT
Alabama
After bringing in Coach Saban the Crimson Tide had high hopes for this season. After a big win over Tennessee, Alabama seems to have fallen apart. The Crimson Tide have dropped out the Top 25 after losing 3 games in a row to LSU, Mississippi State, and the latest being Louisiana-Monroe. Alabama who is bowl eligible wants to up their status Saturday and get on the winning road. Not to mention Coach Saban's latest "motivation" in which he compared his team's challenges to those of Pearl Harbor and 9-11.
NEXT OPPONENT: Auburn
South Carolina
Another team with high hopes that is bowl eligible, but they wanted to outdue Alabama in losing 4 straight games. I don't see them as cold as Bama because of the teams they lost to which are Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Florida. A big game Saturday for the Gamecocks as they to hope to up their status for a bowl.
NEXT OPPONENT: Clemson
Mississippi
The Ole Miss Rebels however are not bowl eligible. Coach O is starting to feel the pressure and the SEC doesn't seem like the right conference for this team right now. They try to play the role of spoiler this Saturday before their season comes to a close. The Ole Miss SEC record of 0-7 is one no fan is proud of. The offseason provides hope for some that the Rebels will get rid of their head coach but we'll have to wait and see.
NEXT OPPONENT: Mississippi State

Friday, November 16, 2007

Week 12 SEC Picks


RUNDOWN
12:00 PM-Gameplan
Florida Atlantic
(12) Florida
12:30 PM-Gameplan
(23) Kentucky
(9) Georgia
2:00 PM
Mississippi St
Arkansas
2:00 PM-Gameplan
Vanderbilt
(20) Tennessee
2:30 PM
Louisiana-Monroe
Alabama
3:30 PM-CBS
(1) LSU
Mississippi

PICKS
Sports Fan's Picks
Florida
Georgia
Arkansas
Tennessee
Alabama
LSU

VolfanMike's Picks
Florida
Georgia
Arkansas
Tennessee
Alabama
LSU

Thursday, November 15, 2007

UT-Dores......Alot to gain/lose.

This week has always been special to me for a couple of reason's, the main being that I was born and raised right outside of Nashville TN, I always seemed to get hounded by Vanderbilt fans. (Yes they do have fans) whenever I would wear my Orange. But, as always I got the last laugh as my beloved Vols went out and dismantled the bottom tier Commodores. In 2005 however that was far from the case, UT was finishing out a terrible terrible season and Vanderbilt came into Knoxville and beat the Volunteers to eliminate the chance of a post-season bowl game, and cap off a season that we all wish we could forget.

2007 has been a rollercoaster of a ride for SEC fans, especially Volunteers, imagine telling a Big Orange fan that UT would be in the position to win the East, but they will lose by 39 to the Gators and 24 to Alabama. They would laugh in your face, then probably sull up and cry (at least that's what I know I would do) but, that is exatly the case this year. TN has been destroyed in it's three losses this year to CAL, UF, and UA but these were all away from the friendly confines of Knoxville. In the past 4 weeks UT has arrived from the dead on Defense and is stopping everyone that attempts to takeover the Hill.

In comes Vandy. Vanderbilt is facing the tail-end of what many in the Nashville area hoped to be a special season. Vandy has not been to a bowl game in over twenty years, but they still have the chance this year to achieve that goal. First they have to come into Knoxville and knock off the Vols and ruin a Senior Day game, A SECE championship game appearance and a undefeated home schedule all in one game! The odds are against the dores, but they have the talent to takeover the hill if given the oppurtunity, Earl Bennet is going to be a big-time player on Sundays as a WR. Johnathon Goff will also have many scouts drooling for his hustle, attitude, leadership and ability to make the big play. These are not the only two players to consider, but just two that UT must account for at all times. In order for the Vols to win this game they need to come out and score early, last 4 games UT has outscored there opponents 91-3 in the first half. Vandy is the type of team if you hit them in the mouth early they will go away, but if given the oppurtunity to hang around, they will jump up and bite you. This in-state battle has alot to gain for both squads, but at the same time it has alot to lose as well!

Till Next Time.

GO VOLS!

Senior Day: Huge For Vols


I can hear it now. Erik Ainge sitting in his living room talking about his senior year when they went undefeated at Neyland. That's one of many things the Vols will be playing for this Saturday. It comes as the last home game for 23 seniors, but they leave with a chance to do something the Vols haven't done since 1999. That is have an undefeated record at home. To add to that, the Vols are playing to get into the SEC Championship game. We've all heard about Fulmer being on the "Hot Seat" this whole year, but he has a chance to silence his critics if he is able to get back to the SEC Championship game. LSU is already a shoe-in for the game and the Vols hope to join them and get back at them for the 2001 game. Not to mention the fact that they came into Neyland last year and scored a last second winning touchdown that took the air out of the Vols. But, we've got to take this one game at a time and right now it's all about the Vanderbilt game this Saturday, with Vol players remembering exactly what happened the last time the Commodores came into Neyland. Saturday look for the Vols to come out ready and I personally thank all the senoirs for their time at Tennessee and for what they did for the program.

The senoirs are as follows:
Erik Ainge, Chris Brown, Sinclair Cannon, Brad Cottam, Michael Crain, Dylan Dickey, Michael Frogg, Adam Gillem, Bo Hardegree, Jonathan Hefney, Inquoris Johnson, Steven Jones, Ryan Karl, J.T. Mapu, Cameron Mayo, Xavier Mitchell, Roy Olasimbo, Jarod Parrish, Antonio Reynolds, Kirk Swearingen, Ja’Kouri Williams, Casey Woods and Eric Young.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Dawgystyle - The Scenario

By now, you’ve no doubt heard the following possibility laid out by Georgia fans. Georgia wins out, ends up 10-2. The Vols win out and punch their ticket to Atlanta for the SEC Championship. LSU destroys Tennessee in that game, sending the Tigers to the National Championship game. Tennessee, now at 9-4, becomes an unattractive candidate for an at-large bid for the Sugar Bowl – so Georgia is taken instead.

Anybody really believe that’s what Georgia fans want?

Yeah, me neither. However, with fate out of our hands, we can only sit back and hope that your Vols will falter against Vandy or Kentucky. I would say that history is on your side, but history has meant very little this year in college football. But I must be honest in that I felt like Arkansas would be the best chance for UT to lose one more and we saw how that worked out. So I understand where the thinking of some Dawg fans comes from. Kind of win/win if we’re victorious in our final two games.

But…………….what if UT actually beats LSU? To quote that lady on ‘Southpark’, Wha-wha-WHAAAAAT? Don’t tell me every Vol fan has forgotten about 2001. Not that it matters, but the roles were reversed and many Vol fans have told me they haven’t recovered from that SECCG loss to LSU. And it’s not like it’s inconceivable, right? Year in and year out, college football fans say that anything could happen on Saturdays in the fall. But this year THAT’S ACTUALLY BEEN TRUE. LSU is not exactly invincible, anyway. They have a ton of talent, but how many things have gone exactly their way? Plus you add in all this Miles to Michigan talk and you have an instant distraction.

So, if I’m not going to buy a ticket to Atlanta just yet, I’m certainly not going to make plans for the Sugar Bowl. And if I were LSU, I wouldn’t make plans for anything either. If I were the Vols, however, I would start doing whatever it takes to get motivated

Sorry, endzone celebrations and black jerseys have already been done.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Week 11 SEC Picks


Rundown:
12:30 PM
Alabama at Mississippi State- Lincoln Financial Sports
Arkansas at Tennessee-Lincoln Financial Sports
2:00 PM
Kentucky at Vanderbilt- ESPN Gameplan
3:30 PM
Auburn at Georgia-CBS
7:45 PM
Florida at South Carolina- ESPN
8:00 PM
Louisiana Tech at LSU- ESPN Gameplan

Sports Fan's Picks:
  • Alabama
  • Tennessee
  • Kentucky
  • Auburn
  • Florida
  • LSU

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Quick Hits with Fostermom

(thanks to MGHelmets for the background)
Huge thanks to Arian Foster's Mother for being so helpful. Also, to the Posters at VolTalk and SEC Talk who submitted question. Without further adieu:

TDFoster:All Vol fans appreciate your son's hard work and dedication despite some inappropriate things that have been said about him. I would like to know how Arian feels about coming back for his senior season, and how he thinks Crompton will do next year. Thanks TD for the support. It means a lot to Arian. We all know that no matter what negative we hear, there are still those who do support him and his teammates. As for coming back next year, we really haven't discussed it. Arian is fully focused on this season. As for Crompton, he has 100% confidence in Jon's abilities to be the QB next year and lead the team.

Fostermom: Thanks TD for the support. It means a lot to Arian. We all know that no matter what negative we hear, there are still those who do support him and his teammates. As for coming back next year, we really haven't discussed it. Arian is fully focused on this season. As for Crompton, he has 100% confidence in Jon's abilities to be the QB next year and lead the team.

Ole Smokey: I would like to know what affect this eason has had on him. Is it making him want to work even harder and come back for his senior year?With all the grumblings about the staff, what affect would a new staff make on his decision to return?Why does it seem that no matter what position that Coach Trooper coaches they are always a bright spot on the team?

Fostermom: They all have to work hard in order to maintain their strength and stamina. No decisions have been made about the end of the season. It is a bit distracting for the guys to hear the talk of firing their coaches but they do very well blocking it all out. What it does is push them closer together and creates an "us against the world" mentality that could prove to help them. As for Coach Troop, he is a great coach, knows his X's and O's and loves the kids. He is a "player's" coach which means he will fight for them and they will run through a wall for him. He's just that kind of man, on and off the field.

BillyBlaze: How does the speculation about a coach's future affects players, specifically concentration and morale?

Fostermom: It's hard for them. They hear and see media reports about how everyone wants the coaches gone. It affects them as they sometimes feel that what happens to a coach's job could be their fault. But they have no other option but to work hard and continue to try to do the things that will help them win. Their morale is good. They are used to playing with pain and fighting through adversity.

Docfarmer: What is your favorite Tennessee moment of all time? What part of the recruiting aspect did you enjoy/dislike the most?Which coaches have you and your son bonded with the most?What aspects of Knoxville/Tennessee do you and your son enjoy the most? How many games have you been able to attend?

Fostermom: My favorite UT moment so far was the first time I took my mom to a game in Neyland. When they ran through the "T", she was so overcome with emotion that she had tears in her eyes. It was a powerful thing to watch her grandson do that. The recruiting thing was exciting at first but then became kind of tiring. That part gets old fast. The best part was just getting to know different staffs from different universities and seeing how they approach things. The coaches he and I have bonded the most with are Coach Troop and Coach Fulmer. Arian is pretty comfortable wherever he is and has been happy in Knoxville. I usually drive in from Nashville and in the fall when the leaves are changing, it's a gorgeous view. I've been to probably 9 or 10 home games since Arian first arrived, but this weekend against Arkansas will be my first this year.

SavageOrangeJug: What was the deciding factor in Arian choosing UT, and how soon in the recruiting process did he know?

Fostermom: There were really two factors: 1) Neyland Stadium and 2) Coach Troop. When Arian first toured the campus, the practice facility, he was satisfied. But after they took him to Neyland, he called me on the phone and told me: "Mom, this is where I want to come. I want to play in that stadium!" UT was his fourth visit and he was scheduled to go to West Virginia the following weekend, but he called the coaches at WV and told them he wouldn't be coming. And Coach Troop and Arian have very similar backgrounds and upbringing. They hit it off immediately and remain close.

fernandomike: Was Arian bothered by the fact that he did not receive enough touches against Alabama? Thanks for your son's contribution to our team. He is a solid back and a really tough runner.

Fostermom: Bothered only because he felt like he could've helped the team win. But he trusts his coaches to make those decisions and stands by them.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Vols Win Big on Homecoming

Lousiana Ragin Cajuns went into Neyland Stadium hoping to ruin the greatest game of the yeaer for the seniors. They left empty handed. Neyland wasn't the usual 100 plus thousand people, but it was still one of the most packed stadiums on Saturday. A first quarter field goal was all the points we saw and Vol fans were maybe a little shaky. But the Vols broke out some more scoring in the second quarter and did not look back. The Vols were on route to a 59-7 victory. No case of looking ahead to D-Mac this week. Big plays could be seen all throughout the game including Antonio Reynolds' 70-yard interception return and a 20-yard blocked punt return by Antonio Wardlow. Another solid performance by Arian Foster who finished with 100 on the ground and a touchdown. Also, freshman Lennon Creer, took it to the checkerboards. Freshman Gerald Jones also scored after lining up at quarterback and running on the sneak. Not to mention Montario Hardesty who had 45 yards on nine runs. Ainge looked good through the air as well and backup Jonathon Crompton threw his first touchdown pass of the season. Daniel Lincoln added three with a field goal. The Vols can win out and still get to go to Atlanta for the SEC Championship. Keep it here for updates and stories. Email us at volsfootball5@yahoo.com with anything.

Friday, November 2, 2007

SEC Week 10 Picks


Rundown:
12:30 PM-Gameplan
Vanderbilt vs. Florida
1:00 PM
Troy vs. Georgia
2:00 PM
Northwestern St vs. Mississippi
2:30 PM
Tennessee Tech vs. Auburn
4:00 PM
Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Tennessee
5:00 PM- CBS
LSU vs. Alabama
8:00 PM-ESPN2
South Carolina vs. Arkansas

SPORTS FAN'S PICKS
Florida
Georgia
Mississippi
Auburn
Tennessee
LSU
South Carolina
TENNESSEEFAN07'S PICKS
Florida
Georgia
Mississippi
Auburn
Tennessee
LSU
South Carolina

Thursday, November 1, 2007

LAMARCUS GO TO REHAB...

We're trying to make him go to rehab but he says
Drug Test Results come back tomorrow.
Should he stay or should he go now?
Sorry seem to be in the music mood.

Dawgystyle: Winning The East, Losing The Coach?

Sorry it took so long to get this posted. The Dawgs had a busy weekend. Maybe you heard. And hey, if you want to take potshots at me for the celebration, I won’t be baited. Simply put, I LOVE the idea that the entire team rushed the field for unity. I HATED the taunting and the dancing. Nuff said.
What you REALLY want to talk about is how the Vols control their own destiny in the East. Does no one want to win this division? Truth is, there’s no easy road for anyone. The Vols must beat Arky, Kentucky and Vandy. Georgia would need to beat Auburn and Kentucky and hope for a Vol loss. Everyone else has to hope for a lot more. But let’s just say for argument’s sake that the Vols win out and take the East crown.
Does this change your opinion about Phil Fulmer? I’ve talked to a few people who have said regardless of what happens, Chavis must go. And that point may have been driven home on Saturday. Some people took offense that Fulmer was a little too gleeful after escaping with a win against the Gamecocks after blowing a three touchdown lead. I have to be honest in that every coach in the SEC knows one thing – wins are not a given anymore. Not against any team. So I give him a pass for not being gloomy and taking a “damn-we-almost-lost” attitude in the post game interviews.
But I’m sure most of you are concerned about the second half. I would be, too. But really, isn’t this the year of the “our defense is really young” statement in the SEC? If Cutcliffe keeps attacking, UT will be in a better position to win a shoot out (I would think).
And uh, I don’t mean to complain, but, uh, the timing of Coker’s suspension seems suspect. I began hearing about his failed drug test LAST week.

Getting to the Game

Whenever I need Tennessee Volunteers football tickets, I find myself at Front Row King, a great place for cheap college football tickets!