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Insider Mailing: SEC Tourney Edition

Butch Jones

SEC football coaches are in a no-holds-barred brawl, who walks out alive? – @RFuller66

Daniel: Bielema, Miles or Spurrier are my first instincts. Bielema would have the physical edge with his size/age combination. I think he has a bit of crazy in him too. But I just think Miles and Spurrier, despite having no physical advantage, would outfox everybody else and somehow be the last two standing, even without laying a finger on anybody else perhaps. I give Spurrier the wisdom/experience edge in that final battle, so he’s my choice.



Ok, thats not what Bret Bielema actually looks like….but it’s close:

Kevin: I agree with Daniel about the OBC and Hatter if we’re talking a Hunger Games type scenario, but if the SEC Coaches walk into an Anchorman style circle brawl (no touching the face still applies here) Kevin Sumlin and Bielema are the odds on favorites. Although you told me that Butch Jones shivved a few guys before all was said and done I wouldn’t be surprised.

Reed: Assuming we’re limiting this to head coaches…then I wish Coach O was still an SEC head coach. Because no one, I mean no one, could take him in a fight.

But if we’re only talking head coaches, Bielema definitely looks the part and would be the odds on favorite. I’m going wild card, though. Jim. McElwain. Why, you ask? Looks at those definitely fake chompers! Everyone would underestimate him but he’d be able to tear folks to shreds with those things.

Why do we expect the O-line to be that much better in 15? Same guys that finished last in SEC a few months ago. – @BitsysDad 

Daniel: I can give a few reasons for optimism:

– Improved cohesion as a unit
– Strength/skill development of guys like Jashon Robertson & Coleman Thomas especially
– Better overall depth
– The possibility of a newcomer or somebody like Dontavius Blair stepping up and helping
– Mike DeBord’s influence on the offense/offensive line

But I think it’s fair to question if this line will be that much better in 2015, as you say. I think a more realistic goal is just getting this unit to somewhere closer to the middle of the pack (8th-10th range in the SEC). If it can just be decent, with Tennessee’s potential at the skill positions and defense, this team can get better and win a lot of football games. Offensive line is still the biggest question in my mind though. Not ready to buy a huge jump until I see it.

Reed: This is, without a doubt, my biggest concern this season. With the same linemen, even with another year of strength and conditioning, in the starting five, I don’t think that group has a very high ceiling. They were basically forced to play guards and centers at tackle last year, and that’s not a recipe for long term success. Unless some true tackles step up (Blair, Jones, Richmond, Kendrick, etc) and win at least one of the starting jobs, I don’t have a ton of confidence in Tennessee’s offensive front. They’ll definitely be better, but I don’t know that they’ll be dramatically better.

If the SEC ever played the hoops tourney outside its geographic footprint (PAC-12 in Vegas) where would you want to see it? – @DesertVol

Daniel: Probably Charlotte or Raleigh. Charlotte makes sense with the SEC Network especially. Raleigh was nice when the Vols played there in the NCAA tourney last year. It could be in Siberia and it would still be overrun by Kentucky fans.

Houston: You said it. Vegas! Gambling on things you know nothing about, magic shows, the Hoover Dam, buffets, easily attainable meth…It’s a Kentucky fan’s DREAM!

Kevin: It would have to be a destination spot, and since most destination spots around here are within the geographical footprint of the SEC, I’ll go with Branson Missouri as a half cheating answer. It’s the Gatlinburg of the Mid-West and if we’re being honest the majority of SEC fans would love the food and food-based entertainment options available over there.

Reed: Charlotte would be the clear winner, but why not change it up and expose other parts of the nation to the beautiful product that is SEC hoops? Indianapolis would be a great spot. New York City would also be a blast. Neither of those spots will every happen due to impracticality, but they would help expand SEC reach.

Will Tennessee win a SEC Tourney Title before my grandchildren’s grandchildren die? – @Travis_Cabage

Reed: Odds are? Yes. Though the Vols haven’t won one in the modern SEC (their last SEC Tournament Championship came in 1979), and they’ve only played in two championship games since then, the Vols are among the winningest teams in the SEC Tournament. In fact, Tennessee is the second-winningest team in SEC Tournament history (by percentage – .558). So yes, the time is coming.

Kevin: Yes, if you can find a line on that, take it. Tennessee is still a good program waiting for the right coach to make it great. Whether that is Donnie Tyndall or not remains to be seen obviously, but Kentucky and Florida will both struggle to replace their hall-of-fame coaches when they leave. A window will open at some point and I think Tennessee will be able to capitalize.

                  What was your favorite TGIF show and why? – @chaz9908

Kevin: TGIF was at the peak of it’s dynasty in the 94′-95′ season; Family Matters,Boy Meets World, Step by Step, and Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper, in that order. I’ve watched pretty countless hours of those shows with the exception of Mr. Cooper, that’s slightly outside of my generational wheelhouse. Boy Meets World has the most staying power of those shows, and should be cherished, but at the time Step by Step was the epitome of a show about family where you sort of knew, even as a child, that the entire cast was doing cocaine just off the set. I’ll take Step by Step for 500 Chaz.





Could you please explain the difference between Barbeque-ing and Grilling for folks as it seems an increasing number of people no longer know. I am always hearing people talk about having a barbecue when they’re actually referring to Grilling out. Quite a few people here near Atlanta are transplants from the northeast which might explain the reason they don’t know. The difference is quite stark, yet some apparently think the words are synonymous. – Stan M.

Kevin: Grilling is for dogs and burgers, BBQ’s are for show cause penalties and fallen empires.

Houston: What Kevin said…

Reed: People mess this up ALL THE TIME. Guys, it’s fairly simple – grilling is the process of quickly cooking food, typically over gas or charcoal, with direct heat. You usually grill burgers, steaks, hot dogs, etc. Barbecue-ing is a much more involved process where you slowly cook food typically with indirect and low temp heat. I barbecue wings for around an hour at 225 then heat the egg up to 350 and finish them to get a crispy outside. People typically barbecue ribs, briskets, whole pork tenderloins, etc. Capeesh?

I like coach Tyndall and think he’d be great in time. He needs to bring in some quality talent in order to reach potential, but it’s hard to get those players in this climate. When do you think the NCAA report comes out, and do you have an opinion on if Dave Hart has a drop dead date for DT if the allegations aren’t received? – Mark V in Nashville

Reed: Along with most people closely following this, I expected a letter of allegations to come sometime in January or February. But it’s March and here we are. This thing will inevitably stretch into the summer which will really hurt Tyndall’s ability to recruit 2015 players this spring. But as long as a final verdict is reached before next season, which will allow Tyndall to bring in some killer 2016 prospects, then the Vols will be more than fine moving forward. I don’t think Hart has a “drop dead” date. He’s been very supportive of Tyndall thus far, and, unless something new surfaces, I don’t see that changing.

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