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Insider Mailing: Post-SEC Media Days Edition

Butch Jones-6


Did Nick Saban push any Alabama fans to the ground in Wynfrey Hotel lobby, only for them to stand back up and cheer him? – Mark Nagi

Daniel: Yes, but then he blamed the NFL’s early draft evaluations for the incident and the Alabama fan understood and cheered for him.

Houston: Well, he certainly didn’t make eye-contact with any of them or sign their babies’ foreheads, so, perhaps that was how he handled the swarm of crimson that gathered in the lobby.

Reed: He definitely could have done so had he not been surrounded by a posse tasked with preventing such an encounter. When Saban arrived to the hotel lobby, it was absolutely packed with Alabama fans screaming his name. He not only didn’t stop to sign autographs – he didn’t even make eye contact with them. Can you image Vol twitter had Butch Jones pulled something similar?

Which college teams and states produce the most bandwagon fans? – Ricky Stanzey

Houston: Florida and Florida, and it isn’t even close. Next question.

Reed: I’m gonna go Ohio State right now given Urban’s record there. I’ve seen much more OSU gear around Knoxville lately. Now that LeBron is back in Cleveland,  I’ll add the whole state of Ohio. Love the “Cavs fans” trying to explain how long they’ve loved their “team” when, 13 months ago, they were decked head to toe in Heat gear.

Daniel: Not sure if this is what prompted your question or not, but there was an interesting study done on that recently for NFL teams. The Cardinals, interestingly, came out on top.

In terms of college teams, I agree with Reed on Ohio State. Alabama also certainly has a strong bandwagon built up from the past decade or so. Just going to use this space to warn everybody though, it’s coming in Tennessee. It’s going to be really cool to be a Vol fan if UT meets some of their rising expectations and I think you’ll see a ton of people – especially with the population boom in Nashville – starting to cheer for Tennessee who wouldn’t have three or four years ago.

How many Vols land on the post season all SEC team? – @FishVol

Daniel: If it goes three teams deep like it does in the preseason: Dobbs, Hurd, Maggitt, Barnett, Sutton, JRM, Robertson, Medley

Houston: Wow…this is tough. I’ll go with seven, but I won’t say who they’ll be. Although, Dobbs, Maggitt, Barnett, Sutton and JRM are locks.

Reed: Joshua Dobbs, Derek Barnett, Curt Maggitt, Cam Sutton, Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Jalen Hurd.

Is a jersey respectable for a Vol male to wear to a game? What could make it more respectable? – JBCVol

Houston: Hmmm. Jerseys to games – and ONLY games – are acceptable. Other than that, they better be hanging on the walls of your man-cave.

Reed: I see this debated often on Twitter and acceptable is the right answer. Do you, JBCVol? Do you?

Daniel: Think I hung them up about the time I realized some of the people I was cheering for were about my age. Not saying that’s a universal rule, but maybe a good guideline to consider if you’re still rocking them at that age.

Coke or Pepsi? – @TravisRussellTN

Daniel: Coke (Zero for the win).

Houston: Coke Zero – Diet Pepsi – Diet Coke – Pepsi – Coke…In that order. I know, weird.

Reed: If you don’t answer this with Coke, you’re a damned Communist.

Does Hoover Alabama have nudes of the SEC commish? WHY is it held there every year? Move it around for crying out loud. – @HippieH8er

Daniel: I would have no objection to something like a Birmingham, Atlanta, Charlotte and Nashville rotation. I will, however, point out that Birmingham is the closest city of significance to the SEC’s geographic midpoint and is home to the league’s office, so it does make a fair amount of sense. And really, the Bama-ness of it is overwhelming for that one day, but it’s well-run every year. I don’t think the system is broken.

Your theory about the nudes falls flat unless Hoover had them on Slive and has them on Sankey now.

Houston: If it’s going to be as hot as it is EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR. in Hoover, then why not move it to a location on the beach? That’s all I ask. (On second thought, the thought of SEC media members at the beach is absolutely terrifying.)

Reed: Every time I step out of the oppressive heat of the Hoover mall parking lot into the swarm of Bama fans/Bama media (they’re often interchangeable), I angrily question the location of media days. The SEC basketball tournament moves around. Why not make media days emulate it? Or, why not put it in Atlanta – home of the SEC Championship Game and SEC affiliated Peach Bowl? Why not an Atlanta – Charlotte (home of the SEC Network) – Nashville rotation? Surely the SEC will move in one of those directions soon.

What is your go-to cheese? – @zruble

Houston: Literally any of it, as cheese is probably my favorite food. I’m a huge Mozzarella fan though, but especially the real stuff (Italian buffalo milk). Versatility is key, and Mozzarella has it. Pizza, burgers, fried, in a salad…etc. It goes with everything.

Reed: If I had to pick one, I’m going with smoked cheddar. It’s great on burgers (a burger topped with smoked cheddar, bourbon bacon, grilled but still crispy onion cross section, with either BBQ sauce or horseradish mustard is a staple of my diet), in eggs, on sandwiches and with crackers.

Better fast food: Taco Bell or Arbys? I’m on a TB kick, but feel Arbys is criminally underrated. Is there a better parody account than @BigJohnJanitors ? – Tony Geist

Daniel: Both have some strong points, but I’d probably go Arbys. Underrated menu item there: the jamocha shake. The Janitor account reached a new level of greatness when Jancek himself acknowledge the nickname recently. That’s when you know you’ve made it. Definitely my favorite UT-inspired parody account.

Houston: Taco Bell for variety, but Arby’s for quality. If I HAD to pick just one, I’d lean towards TB. And no, BJJ is as good as it gets. The photoshops put him over the top.

Reed: Steve Spurrier eats at Arby’s and you should too. Their curly fries are phenomenal and their sandwiches are quality. As for the Janitor, of course not. That account has provided me with hours of laughter. I owe whoever runs it a drink or two.

What’s the worst case scenario for the 2015 season? I’m talking riot & panic in the streets level disaster. – Blake Tucker

Reed: With so many toss ups on the schedule, this seems fairly obvious. The Vols drop close games to Oklahoma, Florida, Georgia and Arkansas – putting them at 2-4. That’s not inconceivable. The combined point spread for those four games? Five total points (with the Vols favored). It doesn’t get tighter than that. If that were to happen, the “Butch can’t win a close game” crowd would be loud. And a young roster that hasn’t won much would likely have its confidence shaken. And things could snowball very, very quickly. If the Vols stumble to the bye week at 2-4, you’d have to think they lose at Bama to drop to 2-5. They could still theoretically close strong and finish with a 7-5 record given their schedule, but keeping morale high would be tough. They’d probably drop at least one to either South Carolina or Missouri in this scenario, which would ensure the Vols fail to take a step forward from a record standpoint. And that’s not ideal in year three. Still – barring a rash of injuries, I just can’t imagine this team with a worse record than 6-6. If we’re talking realistic worst case scenarios, that’s the one I’m going with.

Of course, an early injury to Dobbs and this team could easily stumble to 5-7 territory.

Daniel: I think the absolute worst-case scenario is a 2012-like year, except I think the offense is more likely to falter than the defense, which was the culprit for 2012. If everybody is healthy, I’d be stunned if this offense stalled that spectacularly. But literally just two injuries – Dobbs and Hurd – would put an inexperienced QB behind a questionable offensive line with no backs with significant SEC experience and a bunch of receivers that have had a hard time staying healthy and consistent. And it would be a new coordinator dealing with all of it. If that were to happen, I think a 5-7 or 6-6 year is very possible. I think, overall, fans would understand and be somewhat patient, but it would still be a very frustrating year.

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