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Crown Dobbs!!!
Posted: Tuesday, October 28th, 2014, 9:38 AM
Orange Throat starts things off today.

Orange Throat
'Tony B:

While the issue of why Butch Jones and Mike Bajakian thought having Joshua Dobbs playing for us in 2017 instead of 2014 was a good idea, is a hugely intriguing one, I'll leave that for another day. Since Dobbs did his best EMT impersonation and applied the paddles to our flat lined offense Saturday night and, arguably our team, let's talk about the next four games and beyond:

PERSPECTIVE I: While Dobbs was remarkable against an outstanding defense in his first appearance of the season, he was far from perfect and we didn't win the game, even though the Bammers were already light-headed from chomping on their victory cigars at halftime.

PERSPECTIVE II: Having said that, Dobbs gave the offense and the entire team a good jolt. We had our best rushing total of the year against the Tide, which would have gotten you lottery-winning odds on a prop bet in Vegas. I don't think Lorenzo Ward is going to go for Butch's smokescreen that the QB job is wide open for Saturday night.

PERSPECTIVE III: Hold off on writing off Worley. Worley deserves our undying gratitude for persevering in a system not designed for him. He gave us our signature win vs. South Carolina last year and damn near got the Bulldogs too. His final chapter may not have been written yet. Should Dobbs be starting and playing now? Absolutely. If Worley can go down the road in November, we might need him to win a game if something happens to Dobbs.

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PERSPECTIVE IV: Lay off Nate Peterman. Who knows? College football is crazy. He could also play a role in getting us to a bowl game. You don't know who's going to get hurt and when. If Worley is truly done, we're down to two QBs ... period, and we need Dobbs to run to be effective. Think about it. I'd like to have him as part of our program next year. If he leaves in the spring, we have one QB on the roster thatís had any college FB experience. His coaches left him in to rot at Gainesville last year in the first half. I blame them.

Our success-starved fan base is going to overreact to the comeback Saturday night. Vegas is not convinced, as we are 8-point underdogs at Columbia to the Gamecocks, having their worst season in a while. Our odds will be better to accomplish the trifecta of Kentucky, Missouri and at Vandy.

Hope is what drives us as human beings. We got some Saturday night. Our goal of making a bowl game is still within our grasp. It's going to be very, very difficult but there's a nice new flicker of light to illuminate our path.

Orange Throat'

Borrowing from Pete Townshend and twisting a little bit I say Don't let go the Throat!! Link

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Pick your top 10 CFB teams this week

Love the Butch Jones production yesterday at that press conference. Comical is the term I used/use for it. Whatever gets him through the night. Don't get what purpose it serves to downplay the standing of Joshua Dobbs on the heels of Saturday's performance against Alabama. He's the new starting QB of this team. Why pretend? Vol fans know it (Link)!!

Tennessee has a legitimate offense with Dobbs at the helm. Presto says insidetennessee's Randy Moore. Link

Butch Jones sure does enjoy playing games within the game. And this is fine as long as he starts and plays the right guy the whole time on Saturday. Period. End of sentence.

Speaking of games within games, just exactly what was going on with the officials in Neyland Stadium? Don Mahoney shared at the QB Club yesterday that the officials were purposefully slowing Tennessee down on offense by not only allowing Alabama to substitute on defense with impunity but also literally telling Tennessee center Mac Crowder not to snap the football until they said so. This is curious since it's not the way its supposed to happen. Then again, Nick Saban is over on the other sideline. And if you'll recall, Saban was involved back in the summer holding personal referendum on the issue of teams playing too fast and how it is detrimental to college football. Link

So, Saturday night, Tennessee was not allowed to play at their high rate of speed during the spot where they had Alabama on the run. This is curious and on the heels of Mike Pereira's article is more than worth mentioning. Link

Did Nick Saban's presence cast a long shadow in the way that game was played? Let's face it, he's a modern day, living legend at this point and does swing a big stick in this league. Plus it's always been said that Alabama has always been the SEC darling.

The SEC wasted no time in responding to Pereira's explosive charges. Link

My question is who do you believe? When you hear Don Mahoney and others inside Tennessee's program discuss how the Vols failed to get a fair shake Saturday Night, it really makes you wonder. And just the fact that we have to wonder if really too bad. SEC football is a wonderful thing. It's not too much to ask that we should be able to enjoy this terrific product without wondering if what we are seeing is real.

Beano has always told me that Alabama gets a nefarious shake from the officials in the SEC. To quote Butch and Roger Waters, Saturday night in Neyland was Another Brick In The Wall for the SEC conspiracy theorists. Link

Your thoughts as always will be welcome today as we will no doubt discuss this.

Eric S further unpacks the SEC conspiracy wagon.

'I've wrestled over whether to send this or not. It's almost too much grassy knoll-black helicopter. Probably too long to blog. But everything that I think about Slive, the refs, the SEC, and the NCAA is pretty much wrapped up here.



Dan Wetzel borders on intelligence!

Are we on the cusp of a turning of the age in college athletics?

I think there was such a change in the last 10-15 years and at least since Slive came to the SEC. His mission was to get all SEC schools off probation. Which is not to say, let's get everybody into compliance. I could drive for decades without getting a speeding ticket. Does that mean I always drive the speed limit?

Slive, I think had a strong focus on doing the things necessary to manage compliance so as to stay off the NCAA radar and thereby keep SEC schools in championship contention. That's all fine and good, but the collective nature of his vision is what galls me. Tennessee didn't need any special effort from Slive or help in the area of compliance because in general, Tennessee ran a pretty clean ship.

UT always understood that they needed to stay out of sanctions and scholarship reductions because there is not this vast pool of in-state talent or endless dollars from megaboosters. We simply canít afford to have that happen and still expect to be competitive nationally. In practical terms, this meant that Tennessee traditionally self-reported the small stuff on a regular basis, were generally honest, and avoided receiving The Hammer in case anything big was ever found. Furthermore, I think UT expected that our peers would do likewise and that the NCAA would to enforce the rules evenly and penalize those who did not. Pity us for being so naÔve.

When Slive came along, his model was that we win or lose as a conference. Your individual program is not as important as the whole conference. What's good for the conference is good for all conference members. You're supposed to cheer for Alabama when your team is sitting at home in the dump enduring misery heaped upon misery because it's good for the conference. Under Slive's model, you have to get rid of this concept of self-reporting the small stuff and worrying about your individual (one university) honesty and integrity so that you can instead focus on corporate (conference) integrity that is uniform among all schools. With a uniform standard among all schools, you largely keep the NCAA at bay by simply saying that if you want to go after one school, you have to go after all of us since we're on the same standard. Itís almost like the ďAre You In or OutĒ scene from Jerry Maguire.

Thus, a school like Tennessee-who has made their name as a bunch that does not give a damn about how you do it in Gainesville or Tuscaloosa or Nashville is suddenly the nail sticking up and therefore destined to be hammered down. By the conference. By the collective of teams that are ďIn.Ē And ultimately by the NCAA who will be only too happy to investigate if a sufficiently large and powerful collective complains to them and tells them to do so. No child left behind is another way of saying that no child gets ahead. That's sort of what this collective is with Slive's SEC. In such an environment, the level of excellence that your individual school is achieves is largely determined by what the collective allows your school to have. They choose the winners and losers. You can choose to be happy with what you get, or complain and be the nail that sticks up.

Now has UT made some crappy personnel decisions in the last decade or so? Absolutely. That is a strong driver for UTís declining results over the same period. But has the league office gone out of their way to magnify UT's troubles? Absolutely. Fulmer's $10k fine in 2004, Bruce Pearl's unprecedented suspension, the Outback bowl repeatedly passing over Tennessee in favor of Florida while the league said nary a word, the change in the seeding of the SEC basketball tournament only AFTER Tennessee got stuck with a 4 seed even though they had a better record than every team in the SEC West. One might also point out the league's scheduling of late where UT always seems to be stuck playing the peaking team du jour from the SEC West as their rotating foe while the SEC East powers seem to catch those same teams on the decline.

In such an environment, the members of the collective will be rewarded while those outside will get hammered. The conga-line of SEC teams to dance into and out of the top five, the SEC Championship game, and the BCS Championship have been nearly endless. And God help any team that gets in the way of a top five BCS matchup in the SEC Championship. How it must have enraged Mike Slive to have Tennessee sitting on top in the SEC East in 2007 ahead of a surging Georgia team that needed only for UT to stumble to have a shot at the conference and national titles. How it must have infuriated the little man to have Tennessee clinging to a lead against LSU late in that 2007 SEC Championship game trying to claw out the ultimate payback win, claim the SEC title, and crush LSU's BCS Championship hopes just 6 years after LSU did it to Tennessee.

I can understand traditional conference powers like Alabama and Auburn getting it in gear and getting back on top. But how do you explain Vandy? Or Ole Miss? Or Kentucky (football)? Or Mississippi State? I've long stopped believing in coincidences. Isn't it something how the presumptive heir to Slive's throne is an MSU guy and that his alma mater is having such great success all the sudden? Isn't it something how that whole Cam Newton fiasco came out of nowhere and threatened both MSU and Auburn's program, then dried up and blew away almost as fast?

I'd love to think that this UNC deal could be the thing that turns the corner in college athletics. That UNC would get theirs. That we could get back to where a lack of compliance at a school actually has real and present consequences for that school instead of collective consequences that get redistributed to other members as a "make up" that only makes it worse.

I have debated on whether or not to even send this. I keep thinking, am I the only one seeing the black swan walk by!? Am I the only one who keeps seeing black swan after black swan after black swan appear on my school?

I can't help but wonder if the SEC's success under Slive is simply a bubble. Similar to the .com bubble, the tech bubble, the housing bubble, or the Quantitative Easing/government/financial money printing bubble we're living under now. It just seems too good to be true. Like a script. Like, The Narrativeô. But we see this scripted narrative happening in other parts of society-particularly in politics and the news cycle. Why is it such a stretch to think that itís happening within college athletics? Here's the thing, if thereís a narrative written for the winners (and there certainly seems to be), then there is most certainly a corresponding script written for the losers that would look very much like what UT has seen. Bubbles and Black Swans are just opposite sides of the same coin.

And then Mike Pereira writes his article. If he tried to list all the examples, it would turn into a book instead of a simple column.

ē 2014: Florida got a no-call for delay of game against UK and scored the tying touchdown on 4th down to go to overtime. Look, a black swan!

ē 2014: Florida got another no-call for delay of game against UT and scored the game winning field goal. Look, another one black swan!

ē 2014: MSU is suddenly relevant at the same time that an MSU grad is the presumptive heir apparent to Mike Slive? Oh look, another black swan!

ē 2014: Auburn doesn't get flagged for two players on the field with the same number on the last play of the game. Oh hey, another one!

ē 2009: Terrence Cody does not get flagged for ripping off his helmet to celebrate with time left on the clock-thus securing Alabama's win. Oh hey, another black swan!

ē 2009: Against MSU and Arkansas, Florida got game saving no-calls from the refs to preserve their high ranking and the BCS Championship play-in game also known as the SEC Championship. Itís a whole flock of black swans!

I'd love to think that his column might be an event that shakes things up and causes others at his level both inside and outside the SEC to ask the same questions. Iíd love to think that the UNC mess will shake things up as well.

However, the more likely case is that the next turning of college athletics could be a turn towards complete corruption and collapse of the old model. Perhaps the more likely case is that we just continue on the trend weíve been on embrace the business model, share the wealth with the players, and blow away all of the old models of compliance and rules from the NCAA so as to turn into NFL-lite.

Whatever you think of Slive's model, it has taken the SEC to the top of the heap and created a situation where other conferences are just trying to catch up. Which presents a choice. Those other conferences can either follow the same model and prosper in like manner-perpetuating the charade of the student athlete and amateur college athletics. Or they could choose to band together to fight the SEC and perhaps destroy the entire conference.

Already the endless praise is rolling for Mike Slive and his legacy, but I believe that the true lasting impact will be the backlash that the SEC gets in the near future once heís gone.

Eric S
UT Ď95'

Eric! Excellent job. Let's not forget the sacrificing of Bruce Pearl and Tennessee hoops to protect Auburn's National Title season. That happened right before our very eyes.

Young Gun Jon Reed is growing right before our very eyes!!!
Jon Reed
'Butch Jones understands what is at stake here.

He understands the tradition, the connection that former players still feel, and the passion of the fan base. Itís one of his most important qualities, and it immediately connected him to Volunteer fans.

However, I am not sure if he fully understands the pain that has surrounded the program over the last six or seven years. Itís the reason some fans have quickly fallen off of the ledge since the Florida game. Itís the reason that every move or decision that hasnít worked has been torn apart and dissected.

Posted: Thursday, October 23rd, 11:32 PM
by Beano
Josh Dobbs played well. WHY WASNíT HE PLAYING THE ENTIRE SEASON? The offensive line finally played a solid game. WHY HAVíN'T THOSE FIVE GUYS BEEN PLAYING ALL ALONG? Opting to play conservatively and never go for fourth and shorts. WHA------- Okay yeah that anger is warranted.

The general consensus from people that have watched the quarterbacks throw since the spring is that Dobbs had not performed well enough to even warrant an opportunity. Itís not hard to believe as I saw with my own eyes all last year him be clearly the fourth string QB in practice.

With that being said, it is fair to point out that Dobbs was obviously the best match from a skill set position. The offensive line could have been helped with his allusiveness as it was against Alabama. Hypotheticalís fuel the sports world.

Butch Jones not going for it on a momentum-swinging fourth down seems to be a weekly topic of discussion. Generally, underdogs thrive when succeeding at taking risks. In the 2013 Georgia game, aggressive play-calling willed the Vols into a fourth quarter lead. If the coaches are selling in the locker that they arenít underdogs in these games, it would be admirable but naÔve.

Steve Spurrier rolled the dice all night against Auburn and kept that game closer than it should have been as the Gamecocks took Auburn down to the wire on the road. In their upset bid, South Carolina went a stellar five-for-six on fourth downs.

Taking the field goal to end the first half was frustrating to say the least. It cut the lead to 17 and kept some sort of momentum going into the locker room. Getting the touchdown would have been ideal, but failing to pick up the fourth down and going into the locker room down 20 and deflated would have been catastrophic. (If anything, question bringing in the middle linebacker to signal an obvious run out of a timeout when the offense had finally started clicking.)

The ultimate goal of making a bowl game is still on the table. Anything less than that is a failure; you can spin it how you want, but it is. Before the season, I believed that seven wins were a reasonable expectation. Granted, my thinking included the Florida game as a game the fans were going to expect to win, but, with the direction South Carolinaís season has taken, winning seven is salvageable. And reasonable.

From this point on, Tennesseeís defense should be the best unit on the field in the four remaining games. Dobbs provided a spark for the offense but faces the task of doing it on the road, and Tennessee hasnít won a road game against a team besides Vanderbilt or Kentucky since they knocked off Mississippi State in 2007.

Butch Jones knows how much it hurts the fans to lose. Itís time they win some games. Saturday is a perfect opportunity to start.

Follow @jon__reed on twitter and listen to Young Guns on the Tony Basilio Network on Fridayís from 3-5EST. Thank you to everyone that listened and called in last week; it was by far our best show yet!

Go Vols!!!
Jon Reed'

It seems Mid-State Heath is coming apart at the seams.

'I'm going to make a point many will find asinine.

I would take Josh Dobbs over Peyton Manning for this season.

That's right, I said it.

Before one retorts I'm an imbecile, hear me out.

I was in the Carrier Dome the in 1998 when on 3rd and 10, Tee Martin scrambled 55 yards in the fourth quarter. "Run with that football" John Ward said when the field opened up, and Martin ran on cue. On the last winning drive, I was sitting behind the post when Jeff Hall kicked the winning field goal, and the Vols won 34-33.

Had that been Peyton at the helm, and the play broke down because a receiver ran a wrong route or was covered, Peyton would have been sacked. In the NFL receivers don't run wrong routes as often as college kids. Peyton's game knowledge is more conducive to the pros. He is too smart for college. With our current O-Line, Peyton would get pancaked on his gangling ass.

Tony, as I persistently but lovingly pointed out in preseason and often this year, Dobbs is the most upside, and very similar to Tee Martin. It is without coincidence that Dobbs ran the most yards since that Syracuse game. (Martin was inconsistent throwing in that game going 9 for 26 and 143 yards, and a fumbled the ball with just over 5 minutes to play) Our mini Tee proud!

MidState Heath'

Skal Labissiere!!! Just wow!!! I heart college hoops recruiting. This is classic. Link

Last night's MNF show in Dallas last night is exhibit 1)A for why the NFL is gigantic. Colt McCoy was Washington's 3rd string QB coming into the season. His pro career was left for dead after washing out in Cleveland. He completely balled out in the building of the team he grew up watching with his father wearing a Redskins shirt for the first time in his life. Oh, and McCoy beat the QB (Brandon Weedon) Cleveland brought in to replace him. Just love the NFL for giving us story lines like this. It's why sports are great!

Redskins now have three wins on the year with three different QB's. Absurd.

Cleveland Browns media had some good clean fun with last night's chance meeting between their former QB's. I love that sports town! Link

Basilio Family contributor Jerry Colquitt will smile when he reads this today in Fema Quadrant X! Link

I have a new favorite elected official today. Link

Great Tuesday to you!

Go Royals!!!


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