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Rocky Top Talking Points: a faint whiff of football edition

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Hey, people are starting to talk about football. A small sampling:

  • The FanHouse's Ryan Ferguson recently completed a three-part series on the best QBs in the SEC. Ainge in Orange came in at No. 3, which is fine, especially when you consider that Ryan seems to be accounting for his entire college career. But it's pretty hard to hold the LSU and Arkansas losses against Ainge when he played only a handful of snaps injured against the former and not at all against the latter.

    But then you see that Tim Tebow is No. 2 despite the fact that his entire college career consists of only one season. To his credit, though, Ryan makes a decent case that that one season (and Tebow's showing in the spring game) is all you really need to know. Still, until we see Tebow manage an entire game for a few games in a row, I'm going with Ainge over Tebow. Kentucky's Andre Woodson, by the way, is No. 1, which is a real credit to former Vol offensive coordinator Randy Sanders.

  • Coach Fulmer's optimistic about Ainge this season. He's excited about the depth at linebacker. He likes the team attitude. The defensive tackles? Not so much.
  • David Cutcliffe says that he mismanaged the running game last season. Should we expect better from Foster, Coker, and Hardesty this year? Probably, yeah.
  • Don't get too excited about the new receivers, says Mike Strange. History shows that with the exception of Kelly Washington, first year receivers don't generally set the field on fire. Maybe so, but have we ever been so desperate at that position than this year?
  • The Vols have three games on's Mark Schlabach's list of marquee match ups for each weekend this season. Cal, Alabama, and Vanderbilt as an "upset alert." Yikes.
  • Tennessee has "tweaked" Bruce Pearl's contract. It's for six years and is worth $1.3M next season. He gets $100k raises annually through the 2012-13 season and longevity bonuses of $500k after 2009-10 and after the 2012-13 season. The best part? Pearl didn't even negotiate the thing. Hamilton just made it better for Pearl (and arguably for UT as well), and Pearl essentially said, "Cool. Thanks," and went back to work.
  • Travis-Stephens-esque Dennis Rogan has been admitted. Everybody's on the bus now.

Until later, then.