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Talking points: guns, drugs, and money . . . oh, crap

Tennessee football

  • Another bit of info on Brent Vinson being interviewed about that shooting and Ramar Smith being arrested for that home invasion: Smith was charged with stealing guns, a half pound of pot, and $6,000 in cash. So let's recap, Smith allegedly steals guns, drugs, and money. Less than two days later, some guy gets shot multiple times and Brent Vinson just happens to be there to witness the whole thing. Despite a denial of knowledge that the two incidents are related, the article about the shooting just happens to mention the earlier home invasion (probably because the law enforcement spokesperson just happened to mention them at the same time). John Pennington asks the pertinent questions: (1) "What type of person has that in his house to steal?" and (2) what exactly was Brent Vinson doing at the scene of the second crime? Good questions that reporters are likely running down now. I do not like where this is going.
  • The Sporting News' Matt Hayes lists four teams on the rise and four teams on the decline. On the rise are Notre Dame (aren't they always?), Oklahoma State, North Carolina, and Miami. On the decline? Louisville, Texas A&M, West Virginia, and, yes, Tennessee:
    A decline with an asterisk: The Vols have serious personnel issues, and it's going to take more than one big recruiting class to fix it. Given time -- and a ton of patience -- new coach Lane Kiffin will bring championship-caliber talent to Knoxville. You can't win big games in the SEC without an elite quarterback or a team full of experience protecting a quarterback who doesn't make mistakes. Right now, Tennessee isn't close to either.

    This fall won't be much better than last year, and the Vols likely will start a true freshman at quarterback in 2010. Again, not a good sign in the meat-grinder conference. By 2011, we'll know if Tennessee will make the turn under Kiffin.

  • Former Tennessee receiver Tyler Maples has committed to Furman. Best of luck to Mr. Maples.


  • ESPN has made the opening weekend match up between projected top-10 preseason Alabama and Virginia Tech (September 5) its prime time (8:00 EST) ABC national broadcast.