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TIME TO RAISE MY OWN WHITE FLAG
BOWLS AND HOOPS
Posted: Thursday, January 4th, 2018, 3:23 PM
by Beano
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FREE THOUGHT FRIDAY

BOWL TAKEAWAYS


Wish I had realized how bad the PAC-12 sucked this year before picking a bunch of itís members in several bowl pools. If there was a good team in the entire league it didnít show.

Apparently, the officiating in that league matches the memberís ineptitude. The Music City Bowl may have been the worst officiated game I have ever seen.

Try this test next bowl season. If you see a game being over-officiated to Barney Fife levels you can bet it is a PAC-12 or SEC crew.

Iím also never going to win a bowl pool in a postseason that sees the Big-12 go 8-1. You can bet with few exceptions Iíll be on the other side of their games.

It seemed the layoff teams had leading up to their bowl games effected special teams play more than any other phase. Whether it was returners muffing punts or catching them inside their 5-yard line; bad squibs, inaccurate FG kickers or some other malady there appeared to be numerous gaffes.

One great thing about all-inclusive SEC Bowl play on New Years Day; no SEC officiating crews wearing out mics and rotator cuffs calling penalties.

Though it was much higher scoring than I prefer it would be hard to find a more entertaining game in the playoff era than Georgia-Oklahoma. If you didnít care who won it was enjoyable from start-to-finish

Great to see both Army and Navy win a bowl game. Those kind of results deter me from complaining about there being too many bowl games.

The Big-10 and PAC-12ís exclusion from the playoffs -along with being locked out of the Rose bowl- and the SEC having two teams playing for the National Championship will almost certainly hasten an expansion to 8-teams. That may be the only redeeming feature of a Georgia-Alabama final.

DEEP BREATH; TIME FOR OTHERS TO SHARE THE BAMA BURDEN:
I never dreamed I would think it -let alone write it- but barring only counting games against division members to determine the East and West winners itís time to move away from the Vols facing Alabama as a permanent opponent. As much as I hate for another of the great traditional annual rivalries to disappear Tennessee is just at too great a competitive disadvantage to look at it any other way.

First, the SEC must go to a 9-game schedule. Not only would I not settle for Tennessee playing Alabama only twice every 10 years or so -regardless of what it did to our SEC Championship chances- but a 14-team league playing only 8 games to determine champions is ludicrous. Not to mention how infrequently many non-division games are played. I propose playing everyone in your division and three non-division rotators that would stay on the schedule for two years (home-and-home) before rotating three more for the following two seasons. That would mean anyone completing four years of eligibility would have faced every league opponent and visited every stadium but one. Under this plan Tennessee would still -except on rare occasions- face Alabama three times every five seasons. That would satisfy my old-school desire to play the Tide regularly while Georgia and Florida could take their turn trying to slow down the Red Elephants as well.

VOL HOOPS:

Canít believe how sick the Arkansas game made me feel. I thought going in that was a no-lose contest. Instead the way we folded down the stretch -after making a habit of it in 2016-17- made it feel like two losses

Not sure thereís a teaching point to the loss to the Hogs. There wasnít one area you could pinpoint to improve upon. It was a complete meltdown that appeared more mental than physical. Rick Barnes could certainly be a better recruiter and late-game coach. He canít however be the team shrink as well.

Both Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield must do a better job of staying out of foul trouble on the road. The home-whistle most everyone in the league receives makes it more difficult for visiting big men but you have to understand it and eliminate the stupid reaching and attempted charge drawing gimmees that get you in trouble every trip.

Jordan Bone is becoming the one guard we have that I feel confident will be strong enough with the ball to be on the floor late in games.

John Fulkerson is simply not physically ready to do the dirty-work expected of him. He needs a healthy offseason in the weight room if he is ever to become a solid SEC-level contributor.

I can take most anything from my team except half-ass; mail-it-in; standing-around basketball and thatís what we got from most of the Vols against Auburn. This team will rarely have a talent or size advantage so they have to play with greater effort, energy and intellect than their opponent. The Vols were a woeful 0-for-3 in those areas Tuesday.

I hope Iím proven wrong but I fear that this roster doesnít have enough guys that hate to lose. And that sadly includes Little Rickey from "Hickry".

Surrendering 20+ offensive rebounds to a smaller team like Auburn is inexcusable. That is simply a disgraceful level of want-to.


FINAL FRIDAY THOUGHT: Though it got off to a rocky start with Tennesseeís abysmal basketball ďeffortĒ Tuesday Iíve got to believe brighter days are ahead for Vol Menís sports in 2018. Happy New Year everyone.


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