On Friday night a friend from college called me up and informed me that he had an extra ticket to the Tennessee-Michigan State game and that I should come since I’m a Tennessee fan. Sound logic, I thought, so I went.
I’d never been to an NCAA Tournament game before and had never really planned on going, either. I’d rather spend my money on other sports, but I’m a sucker for my teams and I didn’t have to pay for the ticket so it was a win-win for me. I donned my orange and headed out.
I considered not posting about this until tomorrow. I had every intention of putting up the third Rookie Review tonight but then word came down that Lane Kiffin was bolting from Tennessee to Southern California.
I’m just shocked that this happened. Lane Kiffin had me believing that he actually cared about Tennessee and about Tennessee football. Obviously, he is a liar. He lied to recruits, he lied to their parents, he lied to fans, he lied to everyone. I hope he never wins another football game again. Ever.
I woke up this morning and went through my normal routine…get some cereal, check my email, check Power Mizzou, and check 3SIB. Usually that makes for a pretty pleasant morning before I head to work. Today, well, not so much. I was greeted with the news that three freshmen from the Vols, Nu’Keese Richardson, Janzen Jackson, and Mike Edwards, had been arrested in connection with an armed robbery at a gas station in Knoxville. Awesome.
Two of the three, Richardson and Jackson, happen to be the prized recruits who were swayed from Florida and LSU on Signing Day last year. This is also the first legal-related blemish on first-year head coach Lane Kiffin’s team record. Boy, it’s a big one.
Alright, I just made it home after Mizzou’s 52-12 destruction of the Furman Paladins. Again, Blaine Gabbert is really good, folks. Jump on his bandwagon now.
I was able to see Tennessee’s commendable effort against Florida. All that talk of Florida handing Tennessee their worst loss in history and being able to name their score was nonsense. The Vols’ defense is exceptional. Too bad Jonathan Crompton won’t let UT win games. The Gators will lose this game next year in Knoxville.
For the second year in a row USC has gone to the Northwest and lost. This time it was Washington’s 16-13 victory in Seattle that kills the Trojans’ title hopes. This is the same Washington team that went 0-12 last year. Ouch. How does USC ever lose?
We all know Weller is a Tennessee Volunteers fan. I’d say he spends 90% of his day talking about Tennessee with people who probably don’t care that much. His wardrobe is orange. He dreams in orange. His life is orange.
Finally, he got a chance to prove his love on a national stage. ESPN listened. This ensued.
As many of you know, Phillip Fulmer will not be returning as Head Coach at the University of Tennessee. For those of you who followed the situation closely, like us here at WaB (WaB?), this doesn’t exactly come as a surprise. The half-good folks over at 3rd Saturday in Blogtober have done an excellent job of covering this situation and I’m sure they’ll have much more in the coming weeks and months.
Now, on a personal level, I’m very sad about this. Since I’m only 23, Fulmer is really the only coach I’ve ever known at Tennessee. He’s a Tennessee graduate and loved this University as much as anyone could. He always seemed to conduct himself the right way, no matter what and you have to respect that. (No matter what Aladamnbama fans think, they cheated, he called them out. Tough.)
In my eyes Fulmer will go down as a legend. He was 150-51 in his tenure in Knoxville, with a few games to go, and was 45-5 between 1995-1998. Stop and think about that for a second and it’s mind blowing. Fulmer has been at the helm for some of the greatestmoments of my Tennessee-loving life and for that I can only think highly of him.
I do think that he fell behind the younger, higher intensity guys like Urban Meyer and Mark Richt. The change was necessary. Now Tennessee begins their search for a new head coach. I believe the search starts with Will Muschamp, Defensive Coordinator at Texas; Lane Kiffin, former Oakland Raiders Head Coach; Brian Kelly, Head Coach at Cincinnati; and Chris Peterson, Head Coach at Boise St.
Other names worth mentioning: Butch Davis, John Gruden, Bill Cowher, Gary Pinkel, Steve Spurrier, and Bronco Mendenhall. Obviously there are longshots on that list, but I like to mention them anyway.