The Vols done some good pickin’ with this new coach, y’all!

Wait!  What’s that coming out of the new coach of University Tennessee’s mouth? It’s… a Southern accent.  He says things like “PreeMaTour” and “Pickin” and “Britches” and “Y’all.”  It shouldn’t matter, but somehow I think it does after the hell Lane Kiffin put the program through the last couple of days.  Listening to him talk, you immediately get the feeling he belongs. 

Okay, he comes from the right part of the county, but is Derek Dooley the right fit for Tennessee?  I grew up dreading the Georgia/Tennessee game because his father, Vince Dooley, seemed to always find a way to beat the Vols. And Derek has the same slim build and sharp features his father has, so I get a little heartburn just looking at him.  That will go away as soon as he walks off the field with a Tennessee victory.

He’s been getting knocked around a little because of his record at Louisiana Tech.  In three years he amassed a record of 17-21.  I’m not that concerned about it.  Louisiana Tech does not have a storied tradition of football.  They have to compete with LSU for instate recruits, which means they get a lot of second tier talent from Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and Alabama.   His tutelage and friendships are what is most impressive about him.  His father is a legendary head coach, and he served under Nick Saban at LSU and Miami.  The man Tennessee really wanted for the job, Muschamp from Texas, recommended Dooley for the job.  In short, he’s got friends in college football, something the previous Tennessee coach seemed to lack.  Other than a couple of people on his staff, I get the sense that Lane is not that well-liked among the coaching fraternity.

I’m not ready to hang a picture of him on my wall, but as a Tennessee fan, I do welcome Derek Dooley and wish him well.  BTW – the number one search term for my blog the last couple of days has been “Mrs. Lane Kiffin.” I’m guessing it was a lot of young male USC fans trying to get a look at the new coach’s hot wife. I think that’s part of the problem with Coach Kiffin.  More people pay attention to the people he surrounds himself with than pay attention to him.     

And not for nothing, but Dr. Allison Dooley has got it going on… do people still say that.  I have got to start hanging out with cooler people.  There’s one picture of her on the web, and it’s her Facebook picture.  That would just be a little bit creepy for me to put that on my blog, and I don’t think we, as Tennessee fans, should focus on all the shiny things Coach Dooley brings to the table.  Let’s focus on how he actually coaches.

Go Vols!

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Back to the Future – WFMY Reporting that David Cutcliffe is the New Coach of the Vols!

Coach Cutcliffe with the Manning brothers, two Super Bowl winning quarterbacks he recruited and coached.

CBS affiliate WFMY in North Carolina is reporting  that David Cutcliffe has accepted the position of head coach of the University of Tennessee’s football program.  I’ve always liked Cutcliffe, and if this is true, I think it’s a good move.  Here’s a link to the story on WFMY’s website:  Duke’s Cutcliffe Headed to Tennessee

UPDATE: Now the reports are indicating that Cutcliffe has backed out.

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Genius, thy name is Peyton Manning.

The Genius!

At the risk of jinxing the guy, I have to say that I’ve been watching football for a couple of decades now, and I have never  before seen anyone master the position of quarterback like Peyton Manning.  I’ve always known he was good, elite even, but this is the first year I’ve thought he may actually be the greatest quarterback to ever play the game.  I know.  I know.  There are quarterbacks with more yards and more championships and greater athleticism.  I get it.  I’ve seen a lot of them play to.  Joe Montana was a gutsy player that won championships.  Terry Bradshaw was a gator fed Louisiana boy that could sling the ball a country mile.  John Elway (my favorite) had an arm and the uncanny ability to scramble his way into big plays.  Marino was the best pure passer that ever lived, and yes, Tom Brady is up there to.  The guy wins.  You can’t take that away from him.

But Manning isn’t just winning.  He isn’t just piling up the yards.  He isn’t just collecting touchdowns like stamps.  He’s dictating the tempo and pace of the game all by himself.  To all intents and purposes, he is the offensive coordinator of the Indianapolis Colts.  How good is Manning?  He made Belichick go for one of the most ill-advised 4th downs I have ever seen.  Why?  Because he was so afraid of giving the ball back to Manning, he made the decision he had nothing to lose by trying to get the first down.  Teams aren’t just making defensive calls to try and stop Manning.  They’re making offensive calls to try and keep the ball out his hands. 

This past Sunday Houston had a 17 point lead on the Colts, and I promise there wasn’t a person watching that game who thought that was a big enough lead to beat Manning, not even the Texans.  Everyone knew that he would make up the deficit.  The question was how many receivers he would use to get there, and how many touchdowns he would actually beat them by. 

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1000 Win! 100% Graduation Rate!

The Greatest!

The Greatest!

Mega congratulations to Pat Summit. She has 1,000 wins as a head basketball coach in the top division of NCAA women’s basketball. More impressive, she has a 100% graduation rate. Coach Summit is not just a great women’s coach. She’s a great coach period. If you can get a copy of CINDERELLA SEASON: THE LADY VOLS FIGHT BACK, it is well worth the viewing. Summit makes it easy to be a fan of the Tennessee athletic department.