Archive for September, 2012

There was 3:27 remaining on the clock in the 3rd quarter. The Tennessee Vols were up 20-13 on the Florida Gators. The crowd was into it. Florida had the ball 80 yards away from the end zone. Trey Burton would run right and then down the sidelines 80 yards for a touchdown to tie the game. It was Florida’s first touchdown in the second half and it all went downhill for UT from there as the Gators would go on to win for the 8th straight time 37-20. Florida scored the last 24 points of the game. They did this by capitalizing on major defensive miscues by the Vols.

On the play Trey Burton scored, there were multiple errors committed by the Vols defense. (Going into Jaws mode…first..cue up the YouTube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ehSrSdjYWo) Let’s look at the tape. The Gators were in the shotgun with the strong side of the formation on the left (2 wide receivers, 1 tight end to the left). The lone receiver on the weakside of the formation goes in motion towards the strong side. Here is the 1st key error. The defensive back checking the receiver in motion tells the free safety to check him as he takes the free safety’s spot. This idea is ok by the DB but when Trey Burton fakes the hand off and runs through the line, the DB (now playing the role of free safety) takes a horrible angle towards Burton to make the tackle. No way Burton should beat him to the sidelines.

How did Burton get through the line untouched you ask? Check out the weak side outside linebacker (UT plays a 3-4 scheme, 3 down linemen, 4 linebackers). He basically gets whipped. He saw the play moving initially away from him and did not pick-up the left guard pulling down the line for the trap block towards him. What he was supposed to do was to attack the pulling guard creating a pile up making it hard for the fullback to find a hole to lead Burton through. The fullback was untouched all the way to the second level! That is absolutely unacceptable! The 2 middle linebackers pretty much had no chance as you see the weak side middle linebacker trying to fight through 2 blockers to cover the gaping hole left for Burton to go through. *Play the YouTube video if you haven’t played it yet* Finally, the poor angle by the defensive back allows Burton to run down the sidelines for the score. This was one of many situations where Florida took advantage of errors made by the Tennessee Vols.

So what happens now for the UT Vols. Where do they go from here? Of course they will say that there are many more games left on the schedule to play and there is still plenty to play for. But talks of Dooley’s replacement have already begun and a date with their lovely friends from the south (#5 Georgia Bulldogs) is looming in 2 weeks. Things could get ugly quick if Dooley doesn’t right the ship fast. A dominating performance against 1-2 Akron is a must. Next is the locker room. Dooley cannot lose control of the locker room. Despite what everyone else is saying, if Dooley wins the locker room, he may win his job. After that, a 7-win season. While this won’t guarantee his job, a 6-win season will guarantee his firing. A win over a ranked opponent would be nice. Derek Dooley is 1-8 against SEC opponents and 0 for against ranked opponents.

Yes we’ve only played 3 games in the 2012 season. But like I said in my previous article, the Florida one was crucial. The fallout is already being felt in Knoxville. Dooley has put the blinders on and find a way to do what he has not been able to do since his arrival at UT. Win a big game. I imagine by Halloween we’ll know if Derek Dooley will be the Tennessee Vols coach next year.

Who is going to win the Super Bowl? The question that is asked at the beginning of every NFL football season. Everyone has an opinion and perhaps the 2nd week of the season isn’t exactly the best time to pick who will win the Super Bowl but its always a fun thing to do. And of course…..my pick is right.

I’ll start in the AFC first. After watching 1 week of regular season football, I am confident to say that here is how the top 6 will finish in the AFC.

1. Baltimore, 2. New England, 3. Denver, 4. Houston, 5. San Diego, 6. Pittsburgh. Business as usual huh. Here is how the Wild Card will go. In a rematch, Denver beats the Steelers in Denver & Houston beats San Diego. Next is the Divisional Playoff. And look what we have….Manning vs Brady 10 (or at least it seems like this will be the 10th time these 2 QB’s would have met in the Playoffs). In this edition of the rivalry, Manning goes into New England with his new team and his new defense and beats Brady and the Pats. The next game is Houston at Baltimore. Baltimore in a blowout. Houston is just happy to be there. Finally, we have the AFC Championship Game. Denver at Baltimore. Baltimore does not let last year repeat itself and on this year, they get the job done. Baltimore wins and represents the AFC.

Now comes the hard part….the NFC. The Saints, Giants, and Packers all lost in week 1. But here is how they will finish.

1. San Francisco, 2. New Orleans, 3. Dallas, 4. Green Bay, 5. NY Giants, 6. Atlanta. Where is Detroit you ask? Their division is just simply too tough for them to get out of there alive. Now the Wild Card…Dallas blows out Atlanta & Green Bay defeats the Giants in OT. The Divisional Round will end with Dallas going to New Orleans only to see Romo have his usual playoff bad game. Saints over Dallas. Green Bay is on a mission after getting revenge on the Giants. They travel to the Bay area and take care of business against the 49ers. NFC Championship Game: Green Bay vs New Orleans. I have to go with Green Bay here. Home field advantage this time does not help New Orleans and Rogers leads the Packers back to the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl: Baltimore vs Green Bay

Baltimore’s defense steps up its game and holds Rogers at bay while Joe Flacco gets the monkey off his back. Baltimroe Ravens are the Super Bowl Champions. Ray Lewis retires. haha

Gameday is coming to Knoxville and so are the Gators. Tennessee plays Florida on September 15 in their annual showdown Saturday. While this game will not be shown on CBS like normal, it still is as big as ever. The importance of the outcome of this game is biggest for Tennessee’s Head Coach, Derek Dooley.

Derek Dooley’s on the hot seat. For anyone living in the Volunteer state this isn’t new news. Everyone knows this is the third year of his deal and the year of no excuses. So far this year Dooley has past the “Third Year, What Have You Done For Me Now” test with flying colors. But now comes the game that is circled on the calendar every year. The game that folks in Knoxville haven’t celebrated afterwards since 2004. The game that can potentially be seen as the beginning of the end of the Derek Dooley era in Knoxville or be what solidifies him as Tennessee’s Head Coach for years to come.

Derek Dooley

If Derek Dooley beats Florida in Neyland Stadium, he will get a cotract extension. Look at the schedule. The win will make UT 3-0 with Akron coming to town, 4-0. Next is the meat & potatoes of the campaign. This portion includes a game at Georgia, at Mississippi State, home to Bama, and finally at South Carolina. Worse case scenario, UT is 4-4. But more than likely UT should come out of this stretch 5-3. The final leg is Troy, Missouri, at Vandy, and home to Kentucky. 3 of 4 wins here making the 2012 Tennessee Vols record 8-4. An 8-4 record with a win over Florida means Dooley’s back for a few more years. (Like it or not…..some in Knoxville still might not want him back)If Dooley loses Saturday, who knows what mayhem could come from this. A less than impressive Florida team coming into Knoxville lead by the un-predictable Jeff Driskel who has to constantly worry if Jacoby Brissett will replace at any point. Florida’s vulnerable and definitely beatable. They rank 107th in the nation in passing and 42nd in rushing. Their resume includes a 13 point victory over Bowling Green and a 3 point victory over a Texas A&M squad replacing NFL first round draft pick Ryan Tannehill at quarterback. Tennessee has the better athletes, the better players, the better team. But will they have the better coach? We’ll know a lot after Saturday.

La.-Monroe celebrating after beating Arkansas

On Saturday, September 8, 2012, Louisiana-Monroe commonly referred to as ULM defeated Arkansas in Little Rock 34-31 in overtime. The win has sent shock waves through the college football landscape. While the win appears on the surface as just a single upset victory & something to be forgotten about come seasons end (except for those living in the state of Arkansas). I submit this thought. How far can ULM go now?If you suit up for the ULM Warhawks on fall Saturday afternoons either to play the game on the field or to cheer for them in the stands, it is imperative, I repeat imperative, to take a moment and recognize the position you are sitting in right now. Yes Tyler Wilson didn’t play in the 2nd half but that won’t matter at the end of the day. The entire ULM family has to recognize that what happened last night has the potential to turn Louisiana-Monroe into the new Boise State.

Beating the #8 team in the country & adding to that fact that it was an SEC school can turn a program around if the opportunity is siezed. Next Saturday ULM travels to Auburn to play another SEC school. For ULM players, this Auburn game Sat. has to be the biggest moment in your sports life. After beating Arkansas, ULM should be ranked in the top 25. Now if they go on to beat Auburn, a top 15 ranking should be expected. Adding to this perfect storm is the solid belief that Arakansas will recover and do some major damage in the SEC West. So now Arkansas success becomes the ULM’s success.

Can you imagine if Tyler Wilson makes a full recovery & Arkansas beats Alabama at home while ULM travels to Auburn and wins there? How in the world would you rank that top 25?

After Auburn, there is Baylor, who like Auburn is starting a new QB. Even a loss to Baylor will not be detrimental if ULM beat Auburn.

This is a historic time for the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks football program. How many programs in the Sun Belt Conference can say they have a chance to play for the national championship game. And with the talent Arkansas has and the potential of what they can do with a healthy Tyler Wilson, ULM now can say that. Every player for the Warhawks needs to look himself in the mirror this week & ask himself if he’s ready to sacrifice in order to change history. The opportunity given to few is right there. ULM is on the doorstep of national respect. Are they ready to kick the door in? We’ll see.

ULM TD in OT