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Talking Points: Self-Aggrandizing, apologizing, and . . . accoladizing? Hmph.

Lunchtime linkage:

  • Andy's doing a bit of well-deserved gloating over at the FanHouse regarding his preseason prediction that the Vols could go to the SEC Championship game with two losses. 
  • Ghost of Neyland is apologizing to The Papa:

    As wacky as this season is, Fulmer has taken an imperfect team to a championship game in an imperfect manner to cap an imperfect season. Maybe it shouldn’t feel as rewarding as it does, but under this season’s circumstances, it seems more rewarding to me than any other except 1998.

    So, as Black Monday for college football coaches came and went — a day I firmly felt several weeks ago Fulmer could be part of — it was nice to sit back and coordinate my SEC Championship Game tickets. It was nice to have essentially an entire nation saying, "We were wrong," to Fulmer and my Vols.

    I thought it only fair I said a mea culpa of my own.

  • Accolades, accolades, accolades. Eric Berry is your SEC Freshman of the Week. Oh, and your Sporting News SEC Defensive Freshman of the Year. Aaaannnd your first-team Freshman All-American. Looks like we had him rated correctly. Also, Jerod Mayo is your SEC Defensive Player of the Week. Daniel Lincoln is a second-team All-American and got top placekicking honors from the Sporting News.
  • The Orange Nation is organizing an SEC Championship Sendoff for the Volunteer football team that will be held tomorrow from noon to 12:45 p.m. between Stokely Athletics Center and the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center. Don't go. Jerod Mayo wants you to think he's going to lose.
  • Drew Edwards has a fun, if somewhat premature, Best Play of the Season poll. I'm reserving my vote for later.
  • Is it me, or does it seem like we've been talking about Gerald Williams longer than we've been talking about General Neyland? Well, word is he might finally be on campus for real this summer.
  • This, from Basketball Road Trip, sounds like fun:
    The past two seasons have seen a sea of orange invade Georgia's Stegeman
    Coliseum for two exciting Tennessee victories.  This year, we invite you to
    become part of a growing tradition and join us for a trip to Athens while raising
    funds to fight leukemia and other blood cancers.

    The plan is simple:  we're leaving in the morning, heading down to UGA,
    taking over their place yet again, watching a big victory over the Dawgs,
    and making a happy trip back to Knoxville.
All for now.