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Rocky Top Talking Points: back in the saddle edition

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  • Aaaaaaaand we're back. Hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas. I am still off work for the next week. I'll be working quite a bit on the blogger awards, but posting on the Vols and such should begin to pick back up.

  • Vol fans are unsure when it comes to identifying a regular season most valuable defensive player. In the recent Rocky Top Talk poll, 21 percent voted for Jonathan Hefney. Not far behind, with 19% each, were Jonathan Wade and Jerod Mayo. Xavier Mitchell, Turk McBride, Ryan Karl, Marvin Mitchell, Inky Johnson, Justin Harrell, and Antwan Stewart also received votes.
  • The Volunteer football team has arrived in Tampa, and they started their local bowl practices yesterday. Jerod Mayo, who's been injured, practiced and will play in Monday's game, but it's looking like Rico McCoy may get the start. LaMarcus Coker has escaped the dog house and has returned to practice. Bret Smith had "flight difficulties," (he got bumped when trying to use a frequent flier voucher, according to the Tennessean), but is on his way. He's already submitted some additional class work to improve a D to a C so that he is eligible to play against Penn State.  The team will have a 20-play scrimmage today.
  • Inky Johnson's been released from the Mayo Clinic where he underwent reconstructive surgery on his shoulder. He's back in Atlanta now with his family, but is considering joining the team in Tampa for the bowl game.
  • Did you realize that this week's game will be Ainge in Orange's first bowl game? You will recall (with shudders) that the entire team was home last year after The Season of Which We Do Not Speak, but you might not have realized that Ainge stood on the sideline for the prior year's Cotton Bowl and watched Rick Clausen earn MVP of the game and ignite the QB controversy that factored into the ruin of the following year. Ainge is looking to debut well.
  • Robert Meachem is still talking about not talking about the NFL.
  • As of now, we have five players (me, TennVolChamp, Smitty, Corn from a Jar, and MapGameDay) for the Rocky Top Talk ESPN Bowl Pick 'Em game.  Currently, I'm barely ahead of TennVolChamp, but my possible points remaining is dwindling. Smitty's not far behind TennVolChamp, and Corn and MapGameDay are struggling but have the most possible points remaining.  There's a rolling lock on the games, so there's still time to participate. The final lock is when tomorrow's game starts (12/28/06 at 4:30 p.m.).