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The oracle is missing: Big Orange Roundtable

This week's Big Orange Roundtable is brought to you by Gate 21. Pay these prices and please pay no more.

1) Thus far we’ve made a number of predictions for the 2008 Vols.  Now, let’s take the next step: What are your pre-season predictions for each of Tennessee’s regular season games this year (along with any explanations you feel are needed)?



(Home Games in Bold)

Win or Loss


1 Sept




The Great Unveiling, for both teams. Nobody knows what to expect on offense. Could go either way, but I think the Vols pull it out.

13 Sept



Easy win. Hopefully.

20 Sept



No blowout this year, but still no win for the good guys.

27 Sept



Yikes. Two really tough games in a row. These guys seem to always have the guys to run over, around, and through us. Until there's some evidence to suggest otherwise, I think you have to give them the edge, especially down there.

4 Oct

Northern Illinois


Easy win.

11 Oct



Yikes again. I'm not afraid of these guys based on the last two years, and that scares me to death. Still, until there's some evidence to suggest otherwise, you have to pick the Vols.

18 Oct

Mississippi State


Croom's good, he's got a good team, and he could get us, but I don't think he/they will.

25 Oct



The Tide is rising, but it is still far from its high water mark. And anyway: payback.

1 Nov

South Carolina


This could go either way, too. I would not be surprised in the least if Spurrier wins this one, but at this point, I'm picking the Vols.

8 Nov



Easy win.

22 Nov



Too close last year. They're not bad again this year. Still, we win.

29 Nov



Waaay too close last year. Vols win and avoid the drama this time.

2) Gameday routines, we all have them.  What are your gameday rituals, especially those that are completely irrational, grounded in baseless superstition, or otherwise defy explanation?

1. Get apples. 2. Approach the cow pasture behind the house and bray to summon the oracle, otherwise known around these parts as Jackson the Mule.. 3. Exchange apples and assistance with bodypaint for game prediction.

Yeah . . . that's what I do. Or just order a pizza, timed perfectly to be delivered just prior to kickoff. That's certain to change this year because I'm now  out of the delivery zone, thank you, due to the fact that gas costs more per gallon than Jackson's Fujis and body paint. Dang pizza chains. If they could drive seven miles last year, why can't they just tack on another fifty cents and drive seven miles this year? I'll have to ask Jackson about that.

3) Crompton vs. Tebow?   Discuss…

Well, what exactly do you mean, counselor? Should I just assume that we're talking about quarterbacking, or should we heed Kaplan's recommendations about identifying and relying on assumptions?

Perhaps you mean "with sharp implements," in which case my first inclination is to trust Tebow over Crompton because Crompton, being a more rural-type guy is probably more used to wethering goats than preparing young men for, well, lives as young men. Then again, you could view Crompton as more "thorough" in that regard, so perhaps he's got the edge. Heh. Edge.

Perhaps you mean "in tights and a headband, shirtless," in which case I hereby resign from the Roundtable and unsubscribe from your newsletter.

But maybe you do mean quarterbacking, in which case I say, "Woo, Crompton!" but "Whoa, Tebow." Crompton may have some Tebow in him, and if so, good. But we'll just have to wait and see.

4) Will the Vols manage to make it to the SEC Championship Game again this season — either outright, or through the backdoor?  Why or why not?

I don't think so. I think we lose to Florida and Auburn and that Florida doesn't lose more than two SEC games. That gives the Gators the tiebreaker. It really sucks that the season that we get better, they get better, too.

5) Of all the coaches in the SEC who do you currently consider to be the best?  Why?

You know, this is really hard. Spurrier, Fulmer, Saban, Meyer, and Miles have all won national championships, but, to my surprise (is this really right?), none of them have won more than one. For some reason, I thought Spurrier had won more than that. And with all the talk about Saban, you'd think he'd won more than that. And Miles? Surely he's been lucky enough for two. But no. Unless I've missed something. Which is entirely possible, because Jackson is nowhere to be found, dangit.

Anyway, I'm going to have to go with Spurrier. He won at Duke. He completely changed the landscape of the SEC. He was (and is) a particularly loathsome and therefore exceedingly entertaining adversary to hate.

Excuse me. I must wash.

Keep an eye on Gate 21 for the roundup Friday-ish.