Atlanta native, UGA fan of 40-plus years. Mountaineering enthusiast, hence "Mountain Dog".
I’m a little late to this piece, but the comments sure seem to reinforce Matt’s “thin-skinned” comment. And rather than addressing the very valid points he raises, we read more vitriol and blue-sky “All it will take is . . .” commentary. As if the past 22 years didn’t really happen - literally, a full generation of SEC futility - and can be brushed away with a few simple steps based on reputation. I’m not surprised, though. I posted some of these same points last week and was roasted by the Vols on this site. Faith is a helluva motivator, but those orange glasses many UT fans filter the world through can also be a handicap. And I still can’t believe the UT administration publicly served up a potential loss-of-institutional-control charge to the NCAA on a silver platter. Of all the Three Stooges-esque antics that have graced the past dozen years in Knoxville, this has got to be the dumbest. Did you learn nothing from Mizzou? Did that not teach you that the NCAA is still smarting from NC and Miami laughing in their faces, and that they’re eagerly looking for targets to take their frustration out on? Un-freaking-believable.
I have been posting for years that the SEC and the East badly need UT to regain some semblance of it’s former self. But I usually include some hard truths that need to be addressed and overcome for that to happen, and that seems to infuriate many Vols on this site who have their heads buried in the sand. I’m not even sure yesterday’s circus will be a wake-up call for some of them. At this point, whatever. I take no joy in UT’s distress, but it really is fascinating to watch. Like a massive 50-car pileup in crystal clear weather. How the hell did THAT happen? With heavy scholarship and recruiting sanctions likely coming and the program’s reputation in shreds, UT has two options: a slow, excruciating rebuild to restore some degree of ongoing credibility and respect, or one more bad hire away from tumbling into the abyss. The road to Atlanta or beyond is not just over the horizon, like many Vols want to believe. You need a good map app and a lot of patience to just find that road.
Are you saying there’s a chance Mizzou could actually fill that G5-capacity stadium for a game? Sixty thousand? Maybe? And that’s supposed to intimidate teams that regularly play in front of 80,000-100,000? I seriously can’t believe you said that - even for you, it’s over the top. And you need to get in line for that magical hire that is the key to all this. The train’s leaving the station.
In just one conference. Not counting seniors. Or season opt-outs. It seems like there’s been an explosion of kids “preparing for the draft” this season, but still only 64 picks with guaranteed contracts. Gonna be a lot of buyer’s remorse come summer, but agents are making a killing.
UT’s history with head coaches the past 15 years is enough of a reason for a guy with serious career aspirations to pause and think hard, but this impending NCAA investigation adds way more doubt to the next HC’s prospects to have any type of success. If the usual Level I sanctions come down, the lifeblood of the program - recruiting - will be seriously handicapped. In the most ruthless recruiting conference in the game, that’s a big mountain to climb. What flabbergasts me is that, with the NCAA not yet deep into their investigation, the UT administration called a press conference to publicly announce that their own findings showed that the football program was essentially guilty of lack of institutional control. No worse four words exist in the NCAA lexicon, and UT handed it to them on a silver platter. WTF?!?! Did you really want Pruitt gone without a buyout so badly that you might have just torpedoed your program SMU style? OK, not that bad (the NCAA learned it’s lesson about the wisdom of the Death Penalty, we hope), but you just teed up an easy 300-yard drive down the fairway for the suits in Indy if they want to exercise a little frustration relief at how NC and Miami gamed them. As Lewis Grizzard famously quipped, “I dunno if I’d’ve told that one . . .”
See above for my explanation of why a tire fire as a better analogy.
I bet that former UGA coach was at Mark Richt’s house the night Pruitt showed up in his front yard, yelling at him to come out and fight ;-)
I think of the past few years as more of a tire fire in Knoxville. You can put an end to a dumpster fire with enough effort - flaming tires, you really just have to let it burn itself out. God’s honest truth - some tire fires have smoldered for a decade or longer. Sound familiar?
Ohhell, put WAY more popcorn in the popper! Lots of extra butter, too.
Greg Sankey begs to differ.
Yep - huge potential roadblock there. I’m not sure Sankey would like the optics. Freeze embarrassed the conference badly, and that’s usually not the solution to resolving another embarrassment. I would hope the UT administration is thinking the same way. This is not about a losing 2020 now, it’s about trying to restore credibility and reputation.
Tennessee’s investigation into Jeremy Pruitt’s program reportedly discovered multiple Level I violations
My thoughts exactly. There are going to be punishments handed down that will handcuff the next HC for several years to come. Scholarship reductions are pretty much a given, along with additional restrictions on recruiting visits, contacts, etc. With multiple Level I violations, a postseason ban for a couple of years is very possible. If this was indeed a concocted storm to get rid of Pruitt without paying a buyout, I’m not sure they thought it all the way through. This will hurt for several more years - it will take one helluva determined HC to walk into this mess with eyes open and a Right Stuff attitude.
The SEC was a bit distorted this year with no OOC play and four teams dominated the win column. Once the bowls began, though, the SEC beat a record number of ranked teams, including squads that would not have made a bowl in a normal season due to their losing records in all-SEC play. Florida and Auburn’s post-season eggs do not define the conference for 2020.
I’ve been hearing that his family wanted him closer to home. He would have likely had a starting role this year at UGA, but it is what it is. Next man up and hope the D-line can hold serve till this young secondary gets their feet wet.
Three, four years down the road you’ll still be talking about that. “Remember when we actually beat Georgia that one year? My, my, those Kyles were something! I hope we can steak another one before the decade is out!”
Those who lived that period will recall that Mark Richt was widely considered a super-hot commodity during his first half dozen years with UGA. What is forgotten is that Richt’s coaching passion began to deteriorate after his wife was diagnosed with cervical cancer, and he really was never the same coach again. Being compared to CMR’s first half dozen years at UGA, though, is a challenge very few coaches can match. And, of course, having the GOAT standing in your way does count for something. In fact, it counts for a lot. If not for Saban, Kirby would already have one natty and possibly two. Richt would also likely have one - his squad would have demolished Notre Dame in 2012 just like Bama did.
2019 LSU beats 2020 Bama by a TD? 2019 LSU couldn’t beat 2019 Bama by a TD.
I second this motion.
I wish him well. He was an eager recruit but was just in a really tough spot with all the talent on UGA’s O-line. He should be a regular starter for somebody - MTSU got a good one.
He may be Miami’s long snapper by the time they get to Atlanta.
Also, I saw a list yesterday of FBS winning percentage in this century - since 2000. UGA was 6th, if I recall correctly. I had to scroll quite a bit to find UT - well into the 50s, and maybe further - and past some pretty lightly-regarded programs. I seem to recall that UT was right there with P5 powerhouses like Northwestern and Arizona State. I’ll take our situation any day. You would too, if you were being honest. But that wasn’t the point of my post - you just want to deflect. Whatever works for you.
That all you got? Has to be, cuz you sure don’t want to discuss UGA vs UT for past 15 years or so. And just so we’re clear, a single natty in the last century ain’t a whole lot to recommend itself in 2021.
Probably been a CFB fan longer than you - since 1970. What did I say that was incorrect? I know Vol fans don’t like it, but facts are facts. Do you know of a HS football prospect that’s ever seen anything but struggles at UT in their lifetime? That would be a trick. The last time UT even made a losing appearance in the SECCG was 2007. A HS junior right now would have been 3 years old. But that kid is old enough to remember UT’s last tire-fire of a coaching change, and this meltdown currently underway with the NCAA/Admin/Pruitt will be VERY fresh in their memory come commitment time.
If you were a really perceptive kid, someone in their early 30s might recall the Vols’ last SEC championship in 1998 with any degree of clarity. And that matters because there isn’t a high school kid alive who’s experienced/lived UT being a relevant force in CFB. While down periods for programs can be resuscitated after a few bad years, once you’ve lost an entire generation it can be extraordinarily tough to bring back the magic. There’s simply no street cred with the kids. Bama was almost at that point in 2007. This perennial national powerhouse had earned just 1 SEC championship in 15 years, and was given up for dead by many in the CFB world. Nick Saban changed that. And I suspect ONLY Nick Saban could have changed that. Tennessee’s suffering has gone on almost a decade longer than Bama’s did, creating even greater damage to it’s reputation and massively complicating a sustained recovery. While fans can and do take some degree of satisfaction from a rival’s problems, I think we are way past that point with UT. The SEC needs a consistently viable 3rd power in the East. Mizzou, Carolina and Kentucky have had brief runs as serious contenders while UT has been down, but sustaining the challenge has been the trick, and two of those three are still early in their new HC cycle. I’d like to be able to summon the saltiness to ask if Cade Mays found the grass greener in Knoxville, but I can’t even do that. Rather than living up to the promise that last year’s winning streak offered, it now seems like VolNation is once again in implosion/meltdown mode. This is just a sad, sad situation for the SEC and CFB.
It’s inevitable. Five proven backs already on the roster, with another blue-chip coming in. Barring injuries, not enough ball to go around - especially in a more balanced offense with only 30-35 running plays per game. You assume the rotation will be Zeus, Cook, and Milton. McIntosh and Edwards will see action, but again - not a ton of road-grading with JT and all these talented receivers. My guess is McIntosh may be the one most likely to seek more carries somewhere else, but we need to see how spring ball goes. Helluva nice problem.
All the B1G fans tuning out and going to bed at halftime.
This system gets lots of grief but it really is designed to be more accurate at season’s end. Throughout the season it relies on previous year data, which gradually lessens as the season wears on. The biggest take-away for me is the absence of all the G5 teams that littered the final AP and CNN polls. Some may not think that Auburn, for example, deserves a top-25 ranking, but I’d take Auburn any day over Ball State, San Jose State, or Liberty. Kentucky, Ole Miss, MSU all had disappointing seasons, but out-classed well-regarded teams from other conferences in their bowls.
As long as Dabo has a premium QB (and it appears he does) and the ACC remains wet-paper-sack weak, he is almost a shoo-in for the playoffs. Notre Dave gave him a challenge this season, but that was a one-year oddity. I’m not buying the rise of NC just yet, and FSU is a tire fire. Miami imploded in their bowl and is suspiciously unpredictable. Virginia Tech’s great years are a distant memory. Satterfield hasn’t figured out P5 ball yet and the Mendenhall hire in Charlottesville looks to have peaked. Take out Clemson and you’ve got a really good G5 conference. Fortunately, we’ll see a handful of UGA-Clemson matchups over the next dozen years, starting with next season’s kickoff.