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Talking Points: Kiffin Chimera turns attention to recruiting

  • With the regular season behind them and the bowl location and opponent yet to be determined, the Kiffin Chimera is focused on winning the next competition: recruiting. Lane blew off the Knoxville QB Club (and somehow roped Bruce Pearl into filling in for him) so that he could recruit, and it's a good thing, too. According to Scout, Tennessee's recruiting class is currently ranked 6th, which sounds great until you realize that five of the top ten teams are in the SEC. Four of them Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, and Alabama) are annual opponents. As it stands right now, Tennessee is just behind Alabama and LSU and just ahead of Florida and Georgia. The Rivals rankings are similar except that Auburn also cracks the top ten and Florida is above Tennessee. The competition for recruits in the SEC appears to be even tighter than the competition on the field was this year, so it should be interesting to see how Kiffin and his staff do with a full season under their belts.
  • Here's some good news for Vol fans lamenting the loss of the offensive line and Hardesty for next year: Florida and Alabama are losing even more key contributors than Tennessee. For Florida: seniors Tim Tebow, Brandon Spikes, Riley Cooper, and Brandon James (bye!) are graduating. Juniors Carlos Dunlap and Joe Haden are probably gone, and Aaron Hernandez and the Pouncey twins could decide to leave early. For Alabama, seniors Javier Arenas, Terrence Cody (so long!), and four other starters on defense are graduating, and junior Roland McClain is most likely headed to the NFL.
  • Wes Rucker observes that The Hole on Hardesty's game-winning touchdown run against Kentucky was so well-created that fullback Kevin Cooper had no one to block and simply ran to the end zone with Hardesty.
  • Eric Berry is a Lott Trophy Finalist. Montario Hardesty is the SEC co-offensive player of the week (with Tim Tebow).
  • If the BCS commits to taking two SEC teams today on its teleconference, the SEC bowl invites could be issued today. The Outback, Cotton, and possibly the Chik-Fil-Al are still in play for the Vols.
  • Receivers coach Frank Wilson is at the top of LSU's list of candidates to join the staff after the departure of assistant head coach Larry Porter.
  • After the loss to Purdue, the Volunteer basketball team has dropped to No. 11 in the AP poll and No. 12 in the USA Today poll. Pearl is after point guards Bobby Maze and Melvin Goins to increase their shooting percentage.
  • Later today at RTT: Tennessee football All-Decade QB