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Talking points: Alabama and Auburn decline to take the breathalyzer

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Five straight days at the state horse show in the sweltering Shelbyville heat, and I'm ludicrously behind. More on the horses below, but first the news:

Tennessee football

  • An answer to The Question. Finally. Sort of. How does Tennessee stack up with the other schools in the SEC with regard to secondary violations? FIRST! Kinda:
    UT, however, leads most SEC schools in football-related secondary violations since Lane Kiffin was hired as coach on Dec. 1, 2008, according to information obtained through Freedom of Information requests by the News Sentinel. Tennessee has had six. Ole Miss is next with five. Alabama and Auburn did not respond to the FOI requests and Vanderbilt, as a private school, is not subject to FOI requests.
    So Alabama and Auburn refused to incriminate themselves. Okay, then. Mike Griffith gives the behind the scenes on the running down of the info.
  • Program on the rebound desperately seeks QB for long-term commitment. No threesomes. Andrew Hendrix -- Tennessee's apparent Plan C Plan B  -- committed to Notre Dame last Thursday. Plan B Plan A Jesse Scroggins was wooed by Southern Cal and offered a scholarship last week as the winner of an eight-man competition for said scholarship. So with all those fragile eggs in the possession of Mr. Scroggins, we're gonna do everything we can to get him, right? I mean, all he wants is a scholarship for his cousin. Not gonna happen says Lane Kiffin, even if Bruce Pearl says he's learned his lesson. So we sit and wait and think happy thoughts about those eggs.
  • GVX's coach of the week: David Reaves, who is energetic and likeable. Well.
  • Jonathan Crompton is happy with summer workouts, especially the fact that the offensive linemen are participating.
  • Don't sleep on UCLA. Did you know that the Bruins were 116th in rushing offense, 111th in total offense, and 109th in scoring and passing efficiency last year? Sounds a lot like the Clawfense, huh? Except that the guy piloting their offense is Norm Chow, and Chow's 33 seasons of experience in college, three national championships, and three Heisman Trophy winners earns him more than one year to install his scheme. Hmm.
  • Head over to Gate 21 to marvel at the new digs, which are sure to rival Neyland Stadium's own face lift. The Jumbo Tron is on its way.
  • Tennessee basketball



    The horse show

    Me and mine were four of a group of 28 who just spent the last five straight days at the state horse show in Shelbyville. For those of you who don't know, Shelbyville is the home of the Tennessee Walking Horse, which is cool. What is not so cool is Shelbyville's complete and utter lack of any satisfactory accommodations.

    They have a Best Western, which in hindsight might have been the best choice. But no, we stayed at a hotel that shall remain nameless, not because anyone not familiar with Shelbyville would recognize the name, but because I don't care to admit I just gave them $400. If they gave ribbons to hotels, this one would get a "participation ribbon."

    Fortunately, my wife had been tipped off beforehand, and so she went to the dollar store and bought some sheets, pillows, and pillow cases, and the first thing we did was strip off the bed and cover up the unsightlies on the mattresses. We then super glued the do not disturb sign to the outside of the door for the duration of the stay out of a concern that the housekeeping folks would make off with our premium dollar sheets.

    That made getting clean towels a bit tricky especially in light of the fact that the bathroom was roughly the size of a port-a-potty and was missing a towel rack. Wait, that's not exactly right. It had a towel rack, but it was in three pieces on the back of the toilet.

    I don't know. Something about building a town around giant, skittish animals who poop when and where ever they please must mess with your hygienic expectations or something.

    Actually, though, we had a great time despite waking up at ungodly hours every day and baking ourselves in the Middle Tennessee sun at every opportunity. Except for the time we spent "backstage," which was shielded from the sun but was much like being inside a gerbil cage. Oh, and 13-year-old Freaktoe placed third in some jumping class (green oversaddle hunting dressage equitack?) and sixth in trail. Kudos to her and her little pony who looks like Billy Idol back in the day.