Yeah, cage fighting. It's later. But first:
Hoops. The rest of the world may have been surprised that the Tennessee team that had not yet won a road game beat a top 10 team riding a 19-game home winning streak, but Cuonzo Martin wasn't surprised, and in fact, he told the team before the game that Saturday was "the first time we're really ready to win a road game." The players just had that certain something that they'd been missing up until then:
When players walk with a certain type of swagger, a level of confidence — not cockiness, not arrogance — they can play, and they can compete.
Martin also said that the win was the first that the team had won on both ends. It also had some side benefits, the best of which was that it impressed Vol signee Derek Reese and the least of which is that it allowed Mike Strange to finish his work before he got off the plane just by apparently transcribing his taped conversations with fans in the airport. Another bonus is that it elicited this gem from Jarnell Stokes about his flagrant foul:
Basketball is a competitive game, and I wasn't going to let him score. But he's a big guy, and I'm surprised he fell like that.
Heh. Yet Life with Cuonzo means the celebration is short-lived (if not non-existent), and the team is already focusing on building the momentum Wednesday.
Football. VolQuest has a great article on what was happening during the hectic days leading up to National Signing Day for a coaching staff also dealing with staff changes. The staff gives props to AD Dave Hart for pulling out the stops and scrambling the private jets so that the reduced staff could get where they needed to go. Oh, and the chemistry between all of the new guys is coming along swimmingly, thank you.
Is this a joke? Does Tennessee's new training facility really have an MMA cage "so we can go in and fight and all that stuff"? If so, I want to see Dooley vs. Chaney.
Oh, I see. The "92" in this headline refers to the 92 yards to which Alabama's defense held then #1 LSU in the national championship game. It looks like this: (Oh, my drive chart program is broken. Fixing.)
How quaint. The News Sentinel is publishing Letters to the Editor. And Lady Vols fans are upset at the appearance of John Adams in their soup.
Self-reporting for fun and profit. Here's the latest edition of Adventures in Overregulation.
Vandy coach James Franklin thinks feet taste like Fritos. Dude is kinda sorta backtracking on post-NSD comments calling out de-commitments for a lack of honor and integrity. There's much more to be said on this, but here's a short version: The adults should know that the term "commitment" in the context of recruiting, while well-established, is a complete misnomer. Sure, we call them "commitments" and "de-commitments," whatever those are, but really, everything is just an "intent" until the guys sign their letters (ironically called "letters of intent"), at which point it becomes something closer to a true commitment. Up until then, you're just trading class rings and sharing letterman jackets. Changing your mind on what you're going to buy before you buy it is different than "breaking a commitment," and the adults show know better. Hey, I understand it's a tough world and recruiting is a hard sell game, and so you want to do whatever you can to close the deal before it can actually be formally closed, but when it doesn't work, let's recognize it for what it is. Perhaps we should just stop using the word "commitment" entirely?