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Insider Mailing: Freezing in Missouri Week Edition

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“Are you able to envision the Vols ever winning a national (or even SEC) football championship under CBJ?” – Kenny Martin

Daniel: I definitely get the skepticism and wouldn’t say I would bet on it per se, but I can certainly see him getting an SEC title at some point if he has a long tenure at Tennessee. I think it’ll be extremely challenging as long as Nick Saban is at Alabama and Florida could make things really difficult in the East for awhile if it continues on its trajectory, but when it’s all said and done this year, there’s a chance if things don’t unravel against Missouri and Vanderbilt that the Vols might finish the season just a snap or two away from having won the East this year. National title? Hard to see that at this point honestly, but that’s true of most coaches in the nation not named Meyer, Saban and just a select few others right now.

There’s still a lot to be written in Butch’s tenure at UT. It could certainly go a number of directions.

John: I wrote this before the 2014 season: As much as I love what Butch Jones has done, it’s too early to anoint him as a great coach. Much of his legacy is yet to be written. But it is safe to say that the worst case scenario for Jones as it pertains to Tennessee Football is that he’ll go down as one of its most important coaches. And I stand by that. Even if he flames out, he’ll go down as one of the most important coaches because of what he’s done with recruiting. The program was hemorrhaging upon his arrival, and he’s stabilized the situation by stockpiling talent. That was task number one, and by no means an easy task to achieve. Delivering UT back to competitive relevancy.

But will he win an SEC title? (I’m not even gonna type na…) Dunno. My gut tells me he’s got the science of football down, but he’s got a ways to go when it comes to the art part. Art happens when big-boy calls are made in the heat of the moment. Ones you just gotta make with conviction and be willing to live with regardless of how they go. Calls that come from your football soul, not a chart. Science is huge, but he’ll need to add art to accomplish some of the loftier achievements everyone is hoping for. And I’m not sure if I can envision that version of Butch or not.

Bob:  An SEC title?  I think that could legitimately happen next season, at least with Tennessee playing for a conference title.  As for a national title, that is such an alignment of the stars for that to happen…even for the best coaches.  All that means is that there are many variables in play when you’re climbing that ladder to the College Football Playoffs and ultimately the Championship, and it takes a special coach to manage all of those variables and convert it all into the most important of wins.  So with the criteria I just outlined in mind,  I’m not sure I have a lot of confidence in CBJ’s ability to handle a stage that big.  Not yet.  That’s been proven time and again this season, and the road to reversing that paradigm next season is hopefully being paved right now.

“Is Marcus Jackson still around the program?? Never see him on the sideline. Do u think a two-QB system for this team is nuts?” – Brandon Bassham 

Daniel: First part: Jackson is still around, I’ve seen him in the facility as recently as a week or two ago. I’m not sure if he’s been on the sidelines for games. I don’t remember seeing him, but haven’t really been looking for him either. Second part: I don’t think it’s nuts necessarily, but I also don’t think that’s the direction Butch Jones will go though anytime soon. I maintain that Joshua Dobbs, as long as he’s healthy enough to be a serviceable option running the football, is the best option at quarterback for the time being. No, his performance isn’t always pretty, but he makes a lot of things look better on that offense than they really are in my opinion.

Bob:  All I can think of when you mention a two QB system Brandon is when Spurrier ran that game plan against UT years ago with the sassy Jesse Palmer, and Doug Johnson I believe.  Didn’t work for the Gators then, and I’m not a fan of it for the Vols now.  As frustrating as he’s been the past few weeks, Josh Dobbs is still the right choice to lead the UT offense.  I believe that’s certainly open for review as we enter next season, but no need to disrupt things right now.

“Were the Beverly Hillbillies from Missouri or Tennessee? There’s conflicting information out there on the interwebs.” – @LoneNutVolFan

Daniel: I always thought Tennessee, but looks like we got some clarity on this from Twitter:

John: NEITHER. They’re from West Virginia. Or so I assume. Because that’s where Lou Holtz is from and we all know that Lou Holtz IS Granny.

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Bob:  I don’t care where they came from!  All I know is that the Hillbillies rank to this day as my all-time favorite sitcom of my youth…slightly ahead of Andy Griffith and Hogan’s Heroes.  And forget about Ellie May….give me that vixen Ms. Hathaway…..lord have mercy!

“Rumors of the game being moved to Moss Wright Park in Goodlettsville, can you confirm?” – @BucketHead 

Daniel: I can confirm I’d like it to be moved somewhere else other than Columbia. It’s going to be cold. 

“Will @EASPORTS bring back the NCAA Football series? @TheCoonskinCap has to be near death at this point.” – Logan Craig 

Daniel: This is a good excerpt from Vice Sports about what need to happen for it to return:

1.EA Sports has to want to bring the game back, even if it costs more for them to license player name, image and likeness (NIL) rights.
2.The NCAA has to drop—voluntarily or otherwise— its ban on paying players.
3.Players themselves need to license out their (NIL) rights.

I, for one, mastered the skill of signing decent veterans for league-minimum, cap-friendly contracts on Madden last offseason, so I’m fine to keep simulating underpaying football players under that model.

“What’s the reasoning for Jordan Bone & John Fulkerson not being 4 stars? Both guys can flat out ball.” – Colin Linville 

Daniel: I like them too. In fairness, though, neither really has a four-star type offer list. I think this is a really good foundational class for Barnes, though he’ll need to add some difference-makers in the next year or two to get UT back to perennial tournament contention, in my opinion.

Daniel: Well played. And yes, that seems quite possible at this point, it looks like it will be somewhere in the 20s around kickoff.

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