Insider Mailing: March Madness Edition

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    Butch Jones-1

    How would you cover a high school girls water polo assignment? Asking for a friend. – @Ryan_Wooden

    Houston: I wouldn’t…?

    Kevin: Do water polo matches work the same way as a swim meet, in that lots of kids are passing around fun dip and other various candies. If so, yes.

    Reed: Is that kinda like soccer while treading water? If so, just like a girls futbol match – something I’ve also never covered.

    Is Kentucky the worst 35-0 team ever? -@LoneNutVolFan 

    Daniel: No, Kentucky is the best 35-0 team ever, I think. I believe Wichita State (2013-14) is the only other team to actually have a 35-0 record at any point during a season and this Kentucky team is certainly better than that team.

    Houston: I wouldn’t say they are the worst ever, but I don’t think they are a particularly great team. I think Calipari’s Memphis team in 2008 would beat this Kentucky team. I also think that 2009-2010 and 2011-2012 Kentucky teams would beat this team. They are deep, but not crazy-talented/skilled. That doesn’t mean they can’t win it all this year, but I think they are getting way too much credit.

    Kevin: Nah, this year’s UK team would probably wipe the floor with last year’s Witchita State team, I think the Cats are pretty legit they just don’t win pretty. Steady guard play, legit bigs, and depth are both highly valuable and unique in today’s college basketball scene.

    How was the bachelor auction? – @chaz9908

    Houston: It was good. I had a really nice time and got to hang out with some great people. We raised money for a great cause (Friends of Literacy) and I get to take a nice young lady to see the Dixie Stampede in the near future – the date was chosen for me – so that should be a good time. I looked like a million bucks (give or take) and got to dance the night away at the after-party in Market Square. All in all, it was a fun experience that I’m glad I got to participate in.

    Anything more on Emmanuel Moseley’s auto accident? – @rcsolomon05

    Daniel: All I know is he and his family were in one about a week ago that looked pretty bad, but everybody walked away in good condition.

    Not sure if it’ll affect him in spring practice or anything. Glad everybody was spared serious harm.

    Reed: It’s unbelievable that no one was seriously harmed in that. Mercy, that car is destroyed. Happy everyone is safe. We should definitively know about his status next week when spring practice kicks off and will keep you updated.

    Is Alabama at Georgia possibly the early preseason best game in the SEC besides Tennessee’s games? Any others stick out? – Tanner Owens

    Daniel: You got me happy and sad all at the same time by asking about SEC football. Can’t wait, but still so far away. UGA-Bama is great. A few others that stick out to me right now outside of UT:

    UGA at Auburn
    Florida at Kentucky (interested to see where those two programs are early in the season)
    Arkansas at Bama

    Houston: I’d tend to agree with you on Bama @ UGA, but don’t sleep on that A&M/Arkansas game in Arlington. That was a great game last year and could help shape the West early on. Alabama hosting Arkansas the week after they travel to Georgia is an interesting one also…Not to mention Auburn @ LSU in week 3.

    Man, I can’t wait for football.


    Kevin: LSU has the potential to start 1-2, which would be interesting, the UT-Oklahoma game will draw a lot of attention, especially if the Vols win headed to Gainesville two weeks later. Kentucky at South Carolina will also be a litmus test for both squads.

    Reed: That LSU at Mississippi State game will be big for both teams. LSU will, again, have one of the most talented rosters in the league. The Tigers need to rebound from a disappointing 2014 season – The Mad Hatter is definitely on the hot seat and an early loss to the Bulldogs would jump start the rumor mill.

    Why does Reed hate Butch Jones? – Matt

    Houston: Reed hates everybody.

    Kevin: Butch Jones is fan friendly, writing about Butch Jones can be difficult because he’s so good at dealing with the press. Derek Dooley was a constant source of material.

    Reed: Ha! A common misconception, Matt. I’ve ardently defended Butch Jones in the press. After the Vols lost to the Gators 10-9 last season, I defended the offense and the play calling. When Dobbs burst onto the scene and fans questioned why he wasn’t played earlier in the year, I backed up Butch’s claim that Dobbs wasn’t even close to ready to start the season (video right here on the site also proved it). Even in 2013, shortly after a disappointing loss to Vanderbilt when fans were freaking out about his coaching and the direction of the program, I hammered out this piece with reasons why Vol fans should step back from the ledge and be thankful for Butch Jones. I wrote a similar piece last November. Of course there are things I would do differently than Butch Jones (like allow more access, make sure players aren’t just torn down but also built up, etc) but those few nitpicking critiques certainly don’t equate to hatred.