SEC Scheduling. Will has the main takeaway for Vols fans on the recent announcement about future SEC scheduling, namely that The Third Saturday in October is preserved. That's good to hear, as is the reported fact that Athletic Director Dave Hart and Chancellor Jimmy Cheek made it the absolute #1 priority, "regardless of any other outcomes." Pretty strong.
VolQuest's Brent Hubbs says that's nice and all, but what he really wants is for SEC Commissioner Mike Slive to focus on timing and making the SEC about the SEC in November when it matters the most:
In the SEC, the month of November should be about games deciding divisions and who's playing from the East and the West in Atlanta for the conference title. I understand every "marquee" SEC game can't be in November, but Slive must fix his Eastern Division scheduling problem and move non-conference games out of the last week of the season. Now, the Iron Bowl was a classic because of its finish, but it was also significant because a divisional title was on the line.
While the Tide and the Tigers were going at it, Florida was playing Florida State, Georgia was playing Georgia Tech, South Carolina was playing Clemson, and Vanderbilt was squared off against Wake Forest.
What if your final regular season weekend in the SEC East had Georgia playing South Carolina, Tennessee playing Florida. I think the last week of the SEC schedule should be divisional play with the East playing the East and the West playing the West.
Right on, Hubbs. Let's make it happen. Where are our petitioners?
New rule allows coaches to talk to players. Apparently, there's a new rule in college football that allows coaches to spend up to two hours each week during the offseason in player meetings rather than watching them out large windows and presumably sending encrypted messages by carrier pigeon and burner phones to players through strength and conditioning coaches, who used to be the only staff members allowed to interact with 100+ college boys in the offseason even though we expect them all to act like responsible adults while prohibiting any supervision of them whatsoever (and boy, did that sentence careen off into another issue). Anyway, coaches can now actually meet with players, but any time they spend with them counts toward the total of eight hours formerly reserved only for strength and conditioning. Butch Jones says it's going to be a balancing act, but you know somebody somewhere is already putting whiteboards, flat screens, and lecterns in front of the barbells and studying up on the art of multitasking.
Could we be as excited about the defense this fall as we were about the offense this spring? In case you missed it (ICYMI, for the cool kids), USA Today interviewed coach Jones, and you should read it. My favorite bit:
I thought that the 14 mid-year enrollees really changed the dynamics of our football team from a competitive standpoint. Most of those signees were on the offensive side of the ball, so you could see a completely different offense.
We have 18 more additions that will come in June, and most of those are on the defensive side of the ball. So I think you'll see an influx of talent on that side of the ball. But continuing to establish our culture, our mindset, but also a work capacity. Also having to get these 14 individuals ready to play as true freshmen as well.
Yeah, that's my favorite part, but there's a tie for my least favorite bit between (1) the aggravating pop up you have to kill before reading the interview, and (2) the fact that the article is itself a pop up that disappears if you don't read it fast enough so you have the "opportunity" to view the USA Today front page. At least that's what happened to me.
Etceteras. Did you know that Donnie Tyndall calls John Brady every year just before basketball season to thank him for his first opportunity as a D-1 coach? Sorta reminds me of Steve Spurrier's annual nod to Duke in the Top 25.
This article from GVX headlined "A unique defensive style might help Vols survive transition year" looks really interesting. Unfortunately, all I get is the weak lede and subscribe buttons that don't work. Did anyone actually subscribe to GVX when they decided to go subscription only the week before football season, aka, the week you get interested in their newspaper? Sorry, GVX, I'm feeling feisty this morning. If it's any consolation, you would have had me as a subscriber this morning if your buttons worked in Chrome.
Also ICYMI, look, it's a little Reveiz:
Awwwww. (It is helpful if you say that with Mandarin third tonality.)