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Tuesday Live @ Wings Xpress
Posted: Tuesday, November 7th, 2017, 9:35 AM • Permalink
Welcome to Tuesday...Vols are a 10.5 point underdog and I think could win this weekend. How much fun would it be to see these guys scratch to a bowl berth?

Poll Question Today...

Would you like to see the 2017 Vols make a bowl game?

You can listen to the following Podcast using the player below.You can find all of our Podcasts here.

Listener Watch Party V: Listener Watch Party V is Saturday Night at Bearden Hill Fieldhouse! Come early and watch second half of Auburn vs. Georgia. Don't let Butch Jones ruin your football season. Get out and support what we do here and embrace the fellowship.

Butch Jones Is Doing Work As We Speak: He's promising the huge donors that if he gets another year in Knoxville he will completely change his offensive staff. He's also saying that he's going to make other changes to his approach as well. His pitch is that all the injuries plus his decisions on offense didn't work. He's gaining some momentum with these folks. Not a tremendous amount of momentum but some. Give the guy credit. He's still battling. Don't rule out John Currie going to bat for Butch Jones if the Vols upset Mizzou then beat LSU and Vanderbilt. Can you imagine what this town would do if it's presented to them that Butch Jones could return next year? As I write this today, he's in the game or at least battling to stay in the game. In Butch's defense you must admit that his team hasn't quit on him just yet. And he's fighting to the very end as well to get a 6th year here.

Does Butch Go With Loss To Mizzou? Maybe. Maybe Not. Currie might let it play out another week past this one to see if this team can finish 6-6 and get bowl eligible. Can you believe what you're reading? Because I can't believe what I'm writing, but I can only give this to you as it develops.

Something For G? Is Guarantano going to play Saturday? There's disagreement internally as to how this is going to go as the week unfolds. On one hand McBride runs better than Guarantano, so there's that.

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Ergenomics 101: Perhaps you're hearing the name Charlie Ergen among Vol fans. He's become a folk hero of sorts to Vol Nation. He's seen as one guy with deep enough pockets to challenge the House of Haslam. Before we address this today, let's talk about Charlie Ergen.

If you Google his net worth, you will see that he's worth 14.3 billion dollars. He's a native of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, who is a UT graduate. Mr Ergen made his fortune with Dish Network and in recent years has been transitioning into becoming a satellite provider with the company EchoStar Communications.

I was pleading in this space last week for Charlie Ergen to get involved here because I believe the HOH is showing real signs of weakness here. Plus the HOH is really bad at University of Tennessee business.

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Until recently, sources at UT tell me that Charlie Ergen hasn't even cracked the top 10 of UT boosters. Plus much of what he's given through the years is tied to his most appreciated participation in the Vol Network. I'm hearing he's involved there to the tune of 400k per year.

My friends, this is chump change in the world of the Haslams. That $370 million renovation John Currie was popping. Where do you think the first $30 million plus is coming from? The HOH. They pay so they can have the say.

Unless Charlie Ergen bellies up to the bar in a real way, he's not going to be the #1 uber booster at UT anytime soon. Now, does he have the financial wherewithal on paper to topple the HOH in a potential internal power struggle? Sure. He's worth 14.3 billion dollars on paper. But keep in mind that paper is paper.

People I talk to in business tell me that the HOH is much more liquid than anybody on the scene at UT (and this includes Ergen), especially with the pending sale of Pilot Flying J to a group lead by Warren Buffet. The truth is that there's a difference between paper worth and actual worth. The HOH is WOOOORTH a lot of dough.

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I don't blame Tennessee fans for concocting schemes where Charlie Ergen is the booster version of Jon Gruden. It makes complete sense to me. Because the truth is that if the HOH makes the next hire it's going to probably be a borderline disaster based on their recent handiwork at Tennessee. Plus as Nathaniel Rutherford of told me a couple of days ago, this season is shizzling drits. We need SOMETHING to occupy our time here and give us some hope. Why not live in some fantasy? It sure does beat reality.

Are the HOH ripe to be toppled? Sure they are!!! The Browns are the laughing stock of NFL football. Some are calling them the worst run franchise in the modern era of all things NFL. That fake trade complete with the rebate a few weeks back was comical. Who knew McCarron came with a rebate? Oh yeah...the rebate/FBI trial begins next week and it has the potential to get ugly for the HOH. Any time you go into a court of law, discovery could be a real bitch. And this is no different. Not to mention the fact that UT's resident Rock Star Jim Haslam (really great guy, has helped lots of folks through the years) is getting up there. He's turning 87 in December. Plus there's Bev Davenport bucking the HOH over that outsourcing deal.

How To Really Topple HOH: I think a few of the major boosters need to sit down with them and quietly encourage them to allow somebody else to make this call. The word internally is that Peyton Manning is going to have A LOT of say in who UT's next coach is. Manning is OVER this AWFUL FOOTBALL. Here's the rub though. Manning ultimately seems interested in being an executive at the NFL level. Those positions don't grow on trees. It's feasible that Manning could one day head a group that purchases the Titans. Until then he needs a foot in the door in the same way the Rooneys in Pittsburgh gave the Haslams a seat at the table when they purchased a fraction of the Steelers over a decade ago. Is Manning ultimately going to be allowed to make this call???

Click here to vote
Pick the next coach of the Vols (Pick and Rank Top 4)
1. Jon Gruden
2. Dan Mullen
3. James Franklin
4. Scott Frost
5. Chip Kelly
Total votes: 2748
 Click to show all
results for this poll

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Where Are Grumors Coming From: Look. I love Jayson Swain and I hope he's right when he said yesterday that Tennessee is closer than ever to landing Jon Gruden, but I just don't believe it. And here's why......JON GRUDEN.....That guy as Michael Bratton (aka SEC Mike) told me on Southeastern Sunday Night..... 'Gruden loves being talked about. He needs it.' Do I think Jayson Swain is making this stuff up? Absolutely not. No way. He's not like that. Jayson doesn't bullshit. It's not in his nature. What I believe is happening is that Gruden is cultivating through the VFL community that he's coming here. But he did EXACTLY the same thing the last time around. Just like he's done in the past with various openings. As SEC Mike told me, essentially Gruden has messed with a lot of fan bases in college football and the NFL.

Basilio...What IF You're Wrong & Ergen Gets Involved & Gruden Is Hired? I'll be the happiest garlic breath reformed Yankee in the history of sports. I'd love to see Tennessee behave as if they have a pulse. That said, I don't believe Gruden is a Nick Saban type of slam dunk, but it sure would be fun to see those entrusted with UT sports behave as if they have more than middling aspirations. This fan base deserves a tremendous break and should be rewarded for all the unconditional love they've shown.

Posted: Thu, Jan 11th, 1:31 PM
by Beano
Posted: Mon, Jan 15th, 11:03 PM
by Doink
National Champions!
Posted: Tue, Jan 9th, 12:24 AM
by Alison


NO MORE UNCONDITIONAL COACH BELIEF: As rampant speculation concerning Jones’s inevitable firing -and who his successor will be- escalates it is quite obvious there are few -if any- candidates who will immediately have large-scale buy-in from Big Orange Nation...








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Eric S now waxes poetically on "mental reps." He's kinda low-key pissed.

Eric S.
Click to Bearden Hill Field House!
'Tennessee is currently playing a Where is Waldo game with John Currie wondering when the AD (or anybody else at UT) is going to speak up and make an announcement or at least come out and give Jones the dreaded, “vote of confidence.” Instead, they’re more worried about …..stadium renovations.

Earlier this week, John Currie breathlessly broke the news of the thing he had been working hardest on, a $340 million dollar renovation to Neyland Stadium. Strange. A couple of Athletic Directors ago, Mike Hamilton put on his hard hat, did a photo-op at Neyland Stadium, and promised us the Mother Of All Stadium Renovation. Yet, Hamilton’s Folly didn’t rid us of the 60 year old trench urinals-which even Dr. Bill Bass cannot positively prove have ever actually been cleaned. But, THIS series of renovations could possibly make that a reality. (For the low low price of $340,000,000)

As we remember the glory days of Lord Hamilton’s reign, we can look fondly back upon the days when bowl eligibility was nearly a guarantee. Ah yes, the good old days when “8 was enough”. And so, it is that history repeats itself. Currie puts on the hardhat for a stadium renovation-just as Hamilton once did. Jones puts on the Chick-Fil-A leather helmet of doom in Atlanta, just as his predecessor before him.

As a quick aside, the king of bad headgear photo-ops, Mike Dukakis looks like Braddock from Missing in Action when he put on a helmet clowns like Currie and Hamilton in a hard hat. I opine, you decide.


By the way, that photo was in 1988 when Tennessee started the season 0-6. Does anybody else think that the 88 Vols would curb stomp the 2017 crew? Heck I’d even take the ‘88 Vols over the 2017 crew if they had Mike Dukakis as their head coach!

In the middle 2000’s, UT began a huge campaign to renovate the stadium and ignore the results on the field. Predictably, the stadium, looked great and the product on the field continued to decline. After completing our first decade of decline, it’s now time to launch the next glorious phase of renovation so that the destruction of UT football can be completed. Tennessee is no longer on the 8-win plateau though. Instead, this football program has slumped into the realm of scratching for a .500 record and bowl eligibility in late November, multiple losses to Kentucky and Vanderbilt. Championships hidden behind bricks under stairs. For the 5th time since 2010, Tennessee enters November under .500 and in danger of missing a bowl.

But take heart, Tennessee fans! The stadium will have its appearance improved by Botox extracted DIRECTLY from the rotting flesh of the football program that will play there. Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends! With bad plastic surgery and predictably bad results, it’s like a Dolly Parton kabuki theater played out in front of a hundred thousand fans. (For the low low price of $340 million dollars.) (And yes, Dolly has had about three too many surgeries.) The silence from the weasels at UT must be because they’re honestly calculating the balance; How much more money can we extract from the paying fan such that those who are alienated no longer matter? How much Botox can we extract from the patient’s buttocks without killing them? How much better can we make the façade look while not causing attendance to tank?

Of one thing you can be sure; UT administrators are incapable of doing more than one thing at a time. As long as they’re talking stadium renovations, they’re not going to have anything to do with the messy business of hiring and firing coaches.

In other news this week, Lane Kiffin said possibly the most adult thing I’ve ever heard him say-and perhaps the only complimentary thing I’ve ever heard him say since leaving Tennessee. On your show, he said that Tennessee has everything that Alabama has. Well. Yes. Thanks, we knew that when you were here in 2009. I submit that the only reason that Alabama has been so dominant in the last decade is because Tennessee has been so abysmally bad. The Tide have had no counterweight in the conference. Tennessee under Kiffin could have been that counterweight. But he’d have wound up like Hugh Freeze too. That ship has sailed and whatever maturity Lane Kiffin may have suddenly gained, it doesn’t offset his family effectively stealing $1M from UT. It doesn’t excuse the trouble that he got UT into. It doesn’t excuse his behavior while he was here. It doesn’t forgive the jerk he’s been to UT since he left.

Click to YMCA of East Tennessee!
Based on this interview and the national media’s tendency to troll Tennessee, Lane Kiffin now is being advanced as a legitimate candidate to be Coach 24. Fool me twice much? If Lane Kiffin is hired by Tennessee, then they deserve him, and they can have each other. If Lane Kiffin is hired by Tennessee, then I am done with Tennessee forever because there is no place for me there. I might be the only one that feels that way, but I’ve made up my mind and my heart on this. Because the thought has been expressed publicly, I am certain that someone at UT is giving this serious thought.

The script UT goes like this for nearly all recent hires I can think of:

· There will be a sure-thing, can’t-miss, alpha wolf, who might even bleed orange.

· There will be a long, inexplicable delay. This is where we are now. UT’s top administrators are sitting around giving each other Leadership Reps™ and going through their Mental Reps-practicing what they’ll say to Butch Jones when they fire him. I like to call this period, The Silence of the Weasels. (see movie poster attached)

· There might even be a random encouraging sign that the fan favorite known wolf is “still in the running”.

· A compromise candidate’s name will be floated. This is a troll to Tennessee Volunteers. Yes, someone local/orange/wolf was considered-and quickly dismissed.

· There will be a “national search”. This is primarily to disabuse Tennesseans of the notion that a native Tennessee born and bred candidate might be the best candidate for Tennessee. Strangely, the national search won’t get its arms around truly great candidates-just candidates that aren’t from here. Additionally, the national candidates will be complete strangers to anyone who cares about Tennessee. But in the hallowed halls of the college administrator and among their peers, the ignorance of the rubes about your chosen candidate is prima facia evidence that this candidate is a good one.

· In the end, weasels hire weasels. The leaders then count on UT’s fans to slip into cognitive dissonance. “This guy could be a good hire in time.” The administrators hope that their weasel will have a couple of early successes to make fans forget that a guy who absolutely would have been a great hire from day 1 was completely bypassed.

Now when the here’s a great story; Is John Currie dealing with Jimmy Sexton to find Butch Jones a “landing spot” and thereby reduce the buyout amount? Isn’t your heart warmed by these Leadership Reps™? UT could be acting as an outplacement employment counselor for Lyle Allen Jones, Jr. Don’t you feel better as a Volunteer knowing that our administration is trying and help ease Butch’s pain, while doing nothing for our suffering? Wouldn’t you be glad to know that UT is more concerned about Butch than they are about the football program? Wouldn’t you be glad to know that UT is going to treat Butch better than they did two coaches who had 4 SEC Championship rings and 2 National Championship rings between them? (and would be future Hall of Fame inductees as coaches). Wouldn’t that make you feel like a Life Champion?

Perhaps the outplacement search is going slow. (Unexpectedly!™) It’s like the rest of the nation can see that Jones is a failed coach who speaks clichés instead of football, who has no real knowledge or feel for the game, no solid staff around him, who can’t handle tough times, and who makes enemies all around as times get tougher. To put it another way, if Jones was any good as a coach, he wouldn’t be getting fired. Why in the world UT might be doing Jimmy Sexton’s job for him is beyond me. But as a bonus, Tennessee could be getting “serviced” by an agent who may choose to shop one of his “available” coaches to Tennessee for his own enrichment.

Posted: Thu, Jan 11th, 1:31 PM
by Beano
Posted: Mon, Jan 15th, 11:03 PM
by Doink
National Champions!
Posted: Tue, Jan 9th, 12:24 AM
by Alison
Whatever he’s doing, I’m sure that John Currie is getting in “mental reps”, just as the idiotic announcers said Saturday night.

Trillions for stadium renovations, but not a penny for a decent coach. Mental Reps. Leadership Reps. Lower extremity injuries. Empty calories and junk football, but never the meat of a solid football team that can pound the bottom half of the conference and compete with the top half.

Perhaps they can outplace Jones as a smoothie stand operator. (For reference, Smoothie King does not have a shop in Saugatuck, Michigan.)

Well at any rate, there is another road trip coming up this week. Another jet flight for the team. Another SEC opponent preparing to hit their peak against us and hand us an epic beat down. Another chance to hand Jones a backpack full of his buyout money and a parachute so that he can exit the plane before it gets back to Knoxville. I’m partial to seeing Jones go Full DB Cooper because it would mean that he was never heard from again.

Last thought: Do you remember Checker Neyland? The first one. It was borne out of a fan’s idea that got picked up by 100,000 people and it was a thing of beauty. The imagery was amazing. And terrifying. The Axis of Weasels had to recognize that if they didn’t take control of this themselves, then fans could recognize the power that they had. Checker Neyland and Empty Neyland are just different sides of the same coin. The passion is still there. It’s just a matter of which direction it’s aimed. The Axis of Weasels might do well to remember that.

E for Exile.'

Tomorrow at Tennessee in College Football's Transcendent Twenty? We'll discuss this Wednesday on the blog and on the Tony Basilio show with you.

Final Thought: Happy Day 950 to Rick Barnes and his staff on failing to sign a consensus top 100 player at Tennessee. Great work guys!!! Go out and celebrate at S&S with a free coffee on me!! Maybe even Skype Mike DeBord during the occasion.


A New Direction At Here at we’re creating a series of programming with little to mostly zero commercial sponsorship. In other words, you will be digesting the following programs in coming days with almost no interruption. This is unprecedented in the history of my business. Nobody has ever done this. Here are the offerings coming your way.

Our Family Of Offerings:

‘X-Cast: A Recruiting Podcast’: Featuring Tony Basilio & ‘X’ where we discuss the latest moves, behind the scenes machinations and all the intrigue from the world of recruiting. This will hopefully be offered twice monthly with lengths varying. If this takes off perhaps we can even do some live offerings of this show. THIS IS BEING OFFERED COMMERCIAL FREE!!!

Posted: Thu, Jan 11th, 1:31 PM
by Beano
Posted: Mon, Jan 15th, 11:03 PM
by Doink
National Champions!
Posted: Tue, Jan 9th, 12:24 AM
by Alison
Fifth Quarter Fan Reaction: Back for season 4. Sponsored by Marcos Garza. This year with NO OTHER SPONSORS. This will be pure content for you. I’m taking a chance here but I know you will reward me for not bombarding you with messages Vol Network style. This program will run for at least 3 hours following Tennessee Football Games. We will have new visual presentation of this feature as well that we’re investing in. Thanks to Jayson Swain for helping me with the technical side of our visual presentation.

Southeastern Sunday Night: 7p to 9p on Sunday Nights airing on Periscope/Facebook Live and other platforms including your Tony Basilio Show App. This will be a regional program that aims to keep it real. We will tell the truth on us, them and all with you. This could be a lot of fun if you help me spread the word across the region. This hopefully will turn into a free for all that is free for all. ZERO SPONSORS. COMMERCIAL FREE OFFERING.

Vol-Scars: A podcast featuring Vol Historian Tom Mattingly and Eric S where we go back in time and commemorate the painful losses in UT football history that left a mark. These shows are extremely time intensive to put together. I’ve worked all summer on these offerings and am really proud of what we’ve compiled thus far. I think you’ll really enjoy this. COMMERCIAL FREE.

Gate Twenty Won: A podcast Featuring Vol Historian Tom Mattingly where we celebrate the greatest wins in UT history in time capsule form. These are a breath of fresh air and the type of programming I’m aiming to bring to you . COMMERCIAL FREE

Chill Cast: Tell Me A Story: A podcast where I grab folks from the sports world and our community and allow them to share their stories with us. This will be done in the spirit of the recent re-launch programs that I did. We’ll aim to go deeper here. Stay tuned. COMMERCIAL FREE.

Tennessee Basketball Overtime: Back for year 5! Immediately following Tennessee Basketball Games. A Tennessee Basketball Call-In show featuring ONLY ONE SPONSOR…GARZA LAW FIRM. Therefore we keep the conversation going without bombarding you Vol Network style. What a concept!!!!

Garza On The Law: A Podcast dealing with the legal issues that invade the sports world featuring the great Marcos Garza. We will go deeper here. I promise that you will find this interesting. Presented by Garza Law Firm.

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FAQ's Asked Of Tony Per Our Relaunch Announcement:

Q: Tony, you didn't say anything about your daily show yesterday. Will you continue to do this?

A: Absolutely. I'm looking forward to year #24 with you.

Q: Tony, you used the word 'subscribe'. What Am I subscribing too?

A: Great question. 'Subscribe' is a misnomer. What you actually are doing if you choose to help us monthly (and we need this for budgeting reasons) is actually acting as a patron. The goal is to keep the content (ALL CONTENT, from postgame offerings to various podcasts) free for all.

Posted: Thu, Jan 11th, 1:31 PM
by Beano
Posted: Mon, Jan 15th, 11:03 PM
by Doink
National Champions!
Posted: Tue, Jan 9th, 12:24 AM
by Alison
Q: So, if I'm not subscribing and I'm already reading this, why give?

A: Because you value the content and our contribution to the market and you want to help us keep this stuff free for everybody.

Q: Are you going to beat us up for money all the time here?

A: Absolutely not. I will bring this up a few times heading into the football season as we attempt to meet our financial goals and create new programming. I'll also mention it in the post-game format as well as the regional programming. I will not however wear you out with this. Either you feel the need to help us or you don't. This is why I'm taking today to field some question I received after day one.

Q: What happens if this doesn't generate the revenue you're seeking?

A: We will scale back our online offerings accordingly. The blog itself could even disappear. I really don't want this to happen but will be forced to spend my time in the most profitable way necessary. That's why we're having the conversation. All my cards are on the table here.

Q: Where can I find these new podcasts, like that X-Cast?

A: Click on "Podcast" wherever you see it on the site, and it will take you to our Podcast page.

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