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Rocky Top Talking Points: Thursday

  • Basketball coach Bruce Pearl has dismissed Major Wingate from the program.  The "violation of team rules" was reportedly another failed drug test.  Even with the highly touted recruiting class joining the team this fall, the Vols will have only two players taller than 6-7 (Wayne Chism and returning sophomore Ryan Childress).  Dane Bradshaw will be the lone senior on the team this year.  Wingate is taking it like a man ($) and says that he will begin drug counseling soon.
  • The Vols' apparent improvement is in part due to the friendly rivalry between offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe and defensive coordinator John Chavis.
  • There's a nice piece on GoVolsXtra about linebacker Jerod Mayo, who had all of UT's three sacks against Cal.  Mayo apparently gave all of the bowl gifts he received from the 2005 Cotton Bowl to his family.  "I'm always looking to the future," Mayo said. "Gifts I get, stuff like that, those material type things, those things fade away. I try to give them away. The memories I make here, they'll last a lifetime. That's what I focus my energy on."
  • Coach Fulmer sent an email thanking fans and UT supporters for their support at Neyland Stadium on Saturday against Cal.  An exerpt:
    I scanned the gigantic stadium full of orange and white clad fans and the Orange Nation with their pompoms moving in unison to show their support, the checkerboard end zones, the cheerleaders, the majorettes.  Did I mention all the orange and white? Then there was the Pride of the Southland Band -- the most powerful and absolutely dominating band in America, forming the T to lead us to battle. Wow! What a scene! It was incredible, the energy in that stadium as they supported and encouraged the Vols to victory. I believe it was the loudest I've ever heard Neyland Stadium.
  • Freshman Chase Nelson is moving to tackle to improve depth in the middle of the defensive line.
  • Corn from a Jar is crossing his fingers, hoping that the Vols can stay fired up and focused against Air Force this weekend after their big win over Cal last weekend.
  • Erik Ainge has been recognized as the National Player of the Week after his 11 of 18, four touchdown performance against Cal.  It's well deserved.  Ainge's pass efficiency rating of 259.1 ($)  was the second highest in the nation.  LSU's JaMarcus Russell's 259.7 was first.
  • College Football News predicts a 27-point victory for the Vols against Air Force this weekend "in the biggest of sandwich games."