The Roundtable is back. Each week during the season, we select posters from our message board and/or Twitter followers to have a general discussion about Tennessee Football and (this week) celebrity sex tapes. Let's ride.
1 - What do you want to see out of this football team in order to feel very confident we're in the right hands (could obviously be more than just W/L record)
Underscore: I need to see a team where players know where to be and what to do on both sides of the ball. It's one thing to not have the talent, which isn't Butch's fault, it's another thing to have players under you for two years and only be able to run 10 plays on offense and a few coverages on defense b/c no one can do the right thing. I'm confident in Butch's ability to recruit talent, but I need to see his and his staff's ability to teach. IMO, this leads to less blowouts and with talent upgrades, gives me confidence we'll be at the top of the East very quickly.
MoD: This team, fan base, program, NEEDS a bowl game. A 5 win season is never acceptable, however if we are at least close in games like UF, UGA, and SCAR, but lose in typical VOLS fashion, I will have better feels going into next season than if we are blown out. We absolutely can not look silly if we only win 5 games. 7 wins and Im feeling good. 6 and Im on the fence leaning towards good feels. 5 wins or less and Im leaning bad feels.
BigJonNutz: I need to see our staff out-scheme another rival staff. I've made no secret of the fact that I'm unhappy with Butch's coordinator hires and I still think Janitors/Bajakian are VERY mediocre as a DC/OC combo, at least when compared to the others in the conference. I thought our defense played very well against Spurrier and South Carolina last year...I'm hoping to see more of that.
Don’t lose to Vandy
Don’t lose OOC
Play worth a crap at home
Win 8 games
Win (1) of UGA, Alabama, and Oklahoma
That’s what it would take for me to 100% believe we are in the right hands. Anything less and Butch is still “just another coach.”
The bottom line is we need something to happen that shifts the momentum on this rebuilding job. We’ve seen a momentum shift in recruiting, but until Butch shocks us on the field, I think there will still be doubters.
2 - Your 2014 pick to click on both sides of the ball - Why?
Underscore: Offense - Josh Malone is going to be a star. He's got it all and even with less than great QB play, having a guy of his size, speed and ability to catch the ball should make a big difference in what teams have to defend.
Offense: Worley - I think he will be slightly improved, but I think the better players around him will make him look better than he really is. He needs to be to us what Alex Smith is to the Kansas City Chiefs. 2-3 deep shots per game, mostly 10-15 yd passes, and if those routes are covered, dump off to whoever the safety valve is (Hurd, Lane Pig, etc...) Also for the love of God keep it on the option every once in a while.
Defense: Sutton- He looked good as a freshman, but Im expecting bigger things from him this year. Looking for him to be the leader of the secondary, especially with a few new QBs in the SEC.
Offense - Jalen Hurd - Boys....we've finally got an elite talent at the RB position again, and that talent will be evident from the opener. I expect Hurd to eventually overtake Lane for the starting position and to be one of the best freshman RB(s) in America next season. I think the interior OL combo of Jackson/Crowder/Kerbyson will be an effective run-blocking unit and I feel like defenses will have to respect our passing game more with the influx of talent at WR. The climate is right for a big year from JH.
Defense - Corey Vereen - It's been a long, long time since we had a true sack artist on campus and I think Vereen shows a lot of promise. I look for him to have a very productive season, statistically and to be our best defensive lineman.
AJ Johnson – It sounds ridiculous to pick a pre-season 1st Team All-American as a “pick to click”, but for whatever reason the “AJ is slow and overrated” group think is pervasive inside the UT fan base. This perception changes this year… turns out he is fast and rated appropriately. His play will be infallible in 2014.
The white guy at Center – I think we beat USC in his only start last year. He’ll be an asset we all notice in 2014.
3 - Who has the best celebrity sex tape out?
Underscore: Farrah Abraham. Yes she has a horseface, yes she has had a ton of surgery. But she did a2m.
MoD: My buddy tells me that Kim Kardashians booty has yet to be out done.
BigJonNutz: Jesus...they're all terrible. I'm going with Kardashian, though, for the dirty talk.
Bosgap: Miley Cyrus in 2016
4 - Give me some examples of what can be found on your pre game tailgate playlist
Underscore: Melissa Etheridge. Huge fan.
MoD: For the 5am 2 hour drive to Knoxville it is a mix of classic country and some John Prine type stuff. Once the sun comes up it turns to bluegrass and the Pride of the Southland. Tailgating is a mix of anything and everything, including a special 10 hour long playlist of nothing but Rocky Top, with each version being different.
BigJonNutz: A strict and somewhat unorthodox hip-hop/country combo. Joe Nichols to Jason DeRulo.
Bosgap: I’m sure you could dig through the 50 “tailgate planning” threads on FL98 and get some suggestions, but none of those have ever made a tailgate playlist. I’ll be surprised if you get an answer on this question from anyone else as no one on the website has ever executed a tailgate plan…. Sounds shocking considering who we are dealing with, I know.
If you show up at Area 51 before 1:00 PM, you’ll hear bosgap’s indie selections. After that it’s whatever rap is on The Beast Wrangler’s spotify account.
5 - What is your favorite pre game tradition?
Underscore: The way the Pride enters the field with one snare drum and methodically marches to mid field, you just can't beat that. For me, that's when the season starts.
MoD: There are tons of great traditions obviously, but nothing touches the Prides pre-game. Yea, theyre down lately, but pre-game is one thing that is usually pretty strong, and there is no feeling better than the T opening for a big game.
BigJonNutz: The BJN beer chug and hugging as many people as I can get my dick beaters on.
Bosgap: The Volunteer Wave – The first one of the year during the pre-game band routine sends chills every single time. On a lesser note, the drum roll that is played seconds before the band takes the field for the pre-game routine when the stadium is quiet is cool.
6 - Maximum amount of times we can wear the smokey grays and you not be out on Butch?
Underscore: As long as they keep recruits buzzing and players happy and feeling good about themselves leading to a good attitude, we can wear them every game for all I care. I want wins. I don't care if we wear purple.
MoD: 1 if we lose
2 if we win both, cant split them
BigJonNutz: GESB has turned me against the smokey blues. I'm not going to be out on Butch due to jersey choices, but we don't need to wear those things more than once a season.
Bosgap: If we wear them in two consecutive home games or (3) games in one year I am done. I am already submitting that (2) is just a given this year if Senior Day goes the same way.
7 - The team(s) Tennessee upsets this year (if any) is? Why?
Underscore: If we're just talking about games we are underdogs in as of today, I think we're ripe to beat Florida and I think Missouri is very winnable.
MoD: USC -We beat them last year and theyre worse (outside of running back).
I want to say UF, but until it happens Im not predicting it.
BigJonNutz: Ole Miss....b/c I will never, ever pencil a game against Ole Miss as an auto-loss and I don't think beating Florida at home would even be considered an upset.
Bosgap: I don’t think we are going to upset anyone. I think we’ll go 5-7 and FL98 will be split in three groups.
Blind Sheep for Butch – 25% (I was in this group for Dooley).
Happy with recruiting, let’s wait and see – 25%
FAHRIZAZZ – 50%
8 - Who is this years fall camp David Yancey?
Underscore: I'm gonna go with Josh Smith. He must be a beast in practice b/c they love to go to him. I'd say he has a great fall camp but in the end North, Malone, Pearson and Howard are just more consistent on Saturdays and will really limit his chances to play.
MoD: One of the Berrys. One of them will make a big play or have a great scrimmage and people will be buzzing. Truth is they both need a little more time, they arent on Eric's level yet.
BigJonNutz: I'm gonna go with Jordan Williams. I could see Hubbs and Co. talking him up and then him not doing a damn thing this season.
Bosgap: Full Disclosure: I had to google David Yancey. He had very pathetic stats and was a Nuclear Engineering major so I’ll go with “Josh Dobbs.”
Editor Note: Get your shit together, Bosgap. Embarrassing
9 - Come up with one new cliche that you predict Butch will begin drilling into our heads this year.
Underscore: "Learning to finish the process and getting over the hump”.
MoD: It could be a tough year. If things turn south, look for some kind of "Stand tall" or "Persevere" type stuff. Ill go with "Stand Your Ground”.
BigJonNutz: "Growth through experience" re: all the freshmen he's going to play. He'll need some sort of go-to for all the growing pains.
Bosgap: We’re going to see a HUGE uptick in “eye discipline” with the amount of freshmen in contributing roles. Monday press conferences are the only area we have regressed since Dooley.