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For my 3,000th post, I’d like to initiate discussion on 3 topics

  • 1. The state of UT Football
    2. Top HC candidates
    3. The 2012 govols247 poster of the year

    The state of UT Football

    I’m just gonna break this down the best way I know how and that’s offense, defense, special teams. I’m also going to make a view assumptions based on how I think this class will take shape, because it's fun to do that.

    QB: Worley, Peterman, Ferguson
    Average SEC QBs. I don't see anyone great but they seem competent. Butch has a good history with QBs, so I think he can work with this.

    RB: Neal, Lane
    They got better and better as the year progressed. Neal has an elite power/speed combination and Lane was running really well to close out the season. I like these guys a lot and expect them to combine for over 1,500 yards next season and that's a conservative number I think.

    WR: North, Harris
    WR: Croom, Blanc
    Slot: Pig, Bowles
    I like the looks of this a lot. I think Pig is going to go bananas in this offense. With North & Harris stretching the field and Pig working the slot, we should be able to move the ball; especially if we run the ball as well as we should.

    TE: Downs, Meredith
    Not world beaters, but they're alright. We do have two projected TEs commited and are working on a couple of JUCO guys.. so I think we'll be fine.

    OL: The best in the nation. We should dominate. No defense, including Bama's should be able to penetrate this offensive line. Whoever the QB is, they should have protection. Whoever the RB is, they should have running lanes.

    Overall, I think we have the makeup of what could be a ver good offense. We should be able to run the ball on anybody, at least somewhat effectively and we could have some dangerous weapons at WR. Here's to hoping one of the QBs is decent.

    DE: Lawson, Smith, Lewis
    DE: Williams, Bellamy, Miller
    DT: BigMac, Sentimore, Hood
    DT: Couch, Walls, O'Brien
    I know there are 2 big assumptions in this group, but that is one hellacious D-Line.

    OLB: Maggit, Vereen
    MLB: AJ, Bynum
    OLB: JRM, Sapp
    Three freshmen in the 2-deep at LB? Not good. Lot of pressure to put on a true freshman to start, so maybe Sapp starts ahead of JRM but I think JRM's playmaking ability will catch the coaches eye during the spring. Gotta love AJ and Maggit though. We should see some big plays from this group, but we may also give up som big plays thanks to inexperience.

    CB: Gray, Jones, Thomas
    CB: Coleman, Bonner, Sutton, Foreman
    Nickel: Gordon, Oliver
    I think Gray has the tools to be a good corner in this league adn so does Bonner.. but neither has proven that and Bonner might not even be on the team. We are in trouble here, and this is the position that I think will keep us from competing against elite SEC teams until it improves.

    S: Randolph, Johnson, Orta
    S: McNeil, Moore
    These boys are gonna be crackign helmets this fall. We need them to make some big plays and cause some turnovers in big games in order to win, and they have that ability.

    Special Teams
    I don't want to talk about it.. but ok. We lost our best kick returner and we don't have and SEC kicker, so... it's not looking good. This is also an area that I think will keep us from competing against elite SEC teams until it improves.

    So.. that leads me to this.. How many games will we win in 2013? I'm gonna go with 7. I think we'll beat Peay, WKU, South Alabama, Missouri, Auburn, Vanderbilt, and Kentucky. But hey.. with the best OL in the country, anything is possible. You never know, we could line up against Bama and run it down their throats, force a turnover thanks to pressure from Lawson, and boom.. there you go. But I'll stick with 7 wins.

    Top HC candidates
    One of my favorite things to do is pretend that I’m an AD. In this role, I’m always prepared for a coaching search. So here is my list of top HC candidates and I’m not going to include Gruden or Stoops, ok? I am however, going to break it down into what I consider “can’t miss” HCs and HCs “worth a look”. Keep in mind that the 2nd group is merely coaches that I’m intrigued by. They either have a history of doing more with less or they have star potential. For the sake of space, I won’t go into detail on each individual coach but I look forward to a discussion on some of these guys ITT.

    Can’t Miss:
    Hugh Freese (43) – Ole Miss
    David Shaw (40) – Stanford
    Kevin Sumlin (48) – Texas A&M
    Larry Fedora (50) – North Carolina
    James Franklin (40) – Vanderbilt
    Charlie Strong (52) – Louisville

    Worth a look:
    Bryan Harsin (35) – Arkansas State
    Gary Andersen (48) – Utah State
    Mark Hudspeth (44) – UL Lafayette
    Paul Chryst (47) – Pittsburgh
    Bronco Mendenhall (46) – BYU
    Pat Fitzgerald (38) – Northwestern
    Kliff Kingsbury (33) – Texas Tech
    Ron Caragher (45) – San Jose State
    Paul Haynes (43) – Kent State

    I’ll also add 3 young DCs that I think will be good HCs: Manny Diaz (38), Kirby Smart (36), and Bob Diaco (39). I also like Narduzzi at Michigan State and Justin Wilcox, but they have more to prove before being considered as HC at a place like Tennessee.

    2012 govols247 poster of the year
    Don’t lie, you skipped 1 & 2 and went straight to this didn’t you? Smh. That’s ok, I’m over it. On with the presentation of this very prestigious award.

    There may have been others who were critical of Dooley early in his tenure, but none more vocal than hdrizzle21. Many of us, including myself, were critical of his criticism but as it turns out, he was right. One of the key attributes associated with this award is the ability to catalyze a healthy debate and no one has done that better than drizz. In fact, drizz is the first and only member of the govols247 20/20 club. Let me explain. He is the only poster in the history of the site that’s started a thread voted +20 AND started a thread voted -20. He has a +45, +20, -25, -17, and -16. I don’t care who you are, that’s impressive. Looking at his most DV’d threads (“Dooley did not manage well”, “In 2 years talent won’t be a problem… coaching will”, and “Dooley is the worst HC in the SEC”), he was pretty spot on and stuck to his guns despite getting hammered by the masses. Because of these things, hzrizzle21 is the winner for 2012 govols247 POY.

    Don’t be discouraged. There’s always next year.

  • Could you have put more thought into such an important post??

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  • The pressure is off- good job!

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  • I agree with most of what you said , and let me be first to saycheers to the DRIZ! Congrats! That was an awesome well thought out pick.... I'm a bit scared of the acceptance speech though...censored

  • +1 for a really good and obviously well thought out post. I tend to agree with your assessment of the team and the breakdown of the coaches was quite interesting also. I don't always agree with where drizz comes from with his posts but I will agree wholeheartedly with your evaluation.

    "Never take for granted what it means to be a Volunteer." Peyton Manning

  • Drizz's head won't fit through a double door after he reads it!

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  • Herman Melville called..he said your post is too long..

    but seriously, good post. And cant argue with the POTY award.

  • Not gonna lie, I skipped to the POY. Good analysis, and Congrats to hdrizzle21 thumbsup


  • Drizz is one of my favorite posters, this place never gets dull with him around. I kinda hate to admit it, but I find myself agreeing with him more and more.

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  • Good lord, this could have been like 8 different threads. My favorite part might be the optimism on Lawson, but I fear we are going to be in bridesmaid position.

    I'll focus more on the coaching list. Do you really think Freeze is can't miss already? Impressive early results, but feels too soon. Fedora proven enough yet? Shaw may never leave Stanford but certainly worthy. Strong probably ain't leaving Louisville for a while now. I admit - I'd be really curious to see how Franklin would do at a bigger program. It still boggles my mind that Maryland screwed that up.

    Gary Andersen took the Wisco job - I think he'll do well. Fitzgerald will never leave NW. Kingsbury has risen too fast in my book, but we'll see. Only his alma mater could have hired him so green. Not sure who I could add. I've been a Mike London fan, but admittedly, he didn't have a great year on the field this year.

    I don't think you have any current coordinators on your list. Intentional?

  • I'm a very modest person. The words are very kind from everybody, and I honestly just try to stir up healthy debate. I think because I don't live in Tennessee I am a little more objective. Thanks volfan28, good luck tonight to guys, I'll be cheering you guys on you're my only hope with Villanova sucking again...

    A little OT: But some of you may enjoy this... Nova Head Coach Jay Wright knocked up a Villanova soccer player, she was only 20. Barring a tournament appearance he will be fired at the end of the year. There are articles online saying it's false, but it's widely known to be true around campus. Starting to get crazy at Villanova

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by hdrizzle21 15 months ago

  • I need pics of said soccer player before I judge Wright, and have we had a Wednesday with Drizz yet? Im sure a lot of people would love to drill him with questions.

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  • Drizz just points out everything negative, even when he says something positive, so of course he would be correct eventually on some things. He starts good conversations for everyone though. There are other posters on here that are overly positive and were just as accurate as the negative posters only in different ways. But everyone has different ideas of what entertains them on the board. I look for anyone with some inside tips that are accurate and knowledgeable past players and current or former coaches to explain on field decisions and what may be going on behind the scenes. I played for quite a few years and know that decisions on the field don't always make sense to people watching so I don't judge unless something is obviously wrong, so those types of posters who always have the answers after the game or play don't appeal to me. It's fun to discuss, but no one really knows anymore than the next person.

    Now that I'm done with my little rant on the posters, I enjoyed your breakdown of the team and agree with most of it. Although I believe our LBs are a big question mark after AJ. Even Maggit may be playing a lot with his hand in the ground. It looks like another year of a good offense with a questionable D. I can't wait to see who steps up this Spring.

  • I love me some Freeze. He did a great job at Lambuth and at Ark State before taking over at Ole Miss.. He took a 2-win team and make them a 6-win team and went toe-to-toe with A&M and LSU, but what really seals it for me is the way he is recruiting. This was Dan Mullen's state a year ago. The hiring of Freeze didn't send shockwaves through the state. Everyone was just like "whatever", but he has taken over in-state recruiting and he's done without the benefit of being a "splash" hire. He's just likeable and he's proving that he can go toe-to-toe in an on-field chess match with anyone.. dangerous combo. Who'd of thought that Ole Miss would sign the #1 JUCO DT, #1 S, #1 DE, and the top 2 JUCO ATHs in the country? WTH is happening?!? I tell you what's happening, Hugh Freeze is killin' it. Nothing wrong with letting him prove himself another year though, I can appreciate that stance.

    I've been on the Fedora waggon since he was at Southern Miss beause I live in MS, so perhaps I'm a little biased. I just think he has a quality that players are attracted to and he is an offensive genius. Again, nothing wrong with letting him prove himself another year.

    You're prolly right about Shaw and Strong but I'd still call. Forgot about Andersen taking the Wisconsin job. Kingsbury and Harsin are both very very young and unproven, but I'll be watching them out of the corner of my eye. Mike London was on this list up until last week. After the year he had, I had to kick him off. Fitzgerald was more of an honorable mention than anything else.

    I do have some coordinators on my list that I left off. I mentioned Smart , Diaco, and Diaz.. but I don't think I could pull the trigger on hiring them at UT. If however, they get a shot a smaller college and do well in their first year.. I'd jump all over them. I can't think of any OCs to keep an eye on now that Harsin has the Ark State job.

    Interesting note about Sumlin is that he's only making $2M/year according to Wiki, but like Kingsbury.. I want to see him succeed against top competition without the benefit of having an unstoppable QB.

  • I dont think Fitz would ever leave Northwestern, but if I was an athletic director he's definitely near the top tier of my list. The guy has done an incredible job, I cant give you his exact class ranks, but I'm assuming he doesn't get a whole lot more than 3* athletes. He's just a good coach plain and simple.

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  • Interesting stuff, volfan. +1

    I especially agree with you about Mr. Freeze, who escaped the world of Batman to take over the Ole Miss debacle. Who would have known that the same people dumb enough to fire David Cutcliffe could hire themselves a diamond in the rough? I prefer to think they just got lucky.

    BTW, ol Drizz is OK. I wish more random outlanders would adopt our Vols. We used to get that all the time, back in Peyton's day. Now we have a hard time making new fans in Nashville and Chattanooga. This Bama love has got to end. Reminds me of beastility.

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  • Great thought out post Volfan28. +1 Your not so bad yourself at sparking up some good debate.

    This post was edited by ol dad 15 months ago