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Insider Mailing: Already Looking Forward to Football Edition

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“Explain how Tennessee WRs are not working 7 on 7s? How does this benefit a WR group that needs work? Who is starting on D?” – @BigOrangeButch 

Erik: Personally, I would like to see them do 7-on-7, but the theory behind it is keeping them healthy, and because the coaches get to work with them in the classroom over the summer, they can get their learning in that way. They don’t have to go figure it out on their own that way.

Daniel: I’ll take the second part of that question about the defense….my best guess at this point is Derek Barnett, Kahlil McKenzie, Shy Tuttle, Corey Vereen, JRM, Darrin Kirkland, Cam Sutton, Justin Martin, Malik Foreman, Rashaan Gaulden and Todd Kelly Jr.

“Is Dobbs a legitimate candidate for the Heisman? and, does Tennessee finally get over the hump against the Gators?” – @GrantMarcum

Daniel: I think Dobbs is UT’s best chance to win the Heisman this year, but I can’t call him legitimate at this point. It’s a pretty loaded field this year (Watson, Fournette, McCaffrey, Mayfield, etc). UT would need to be in the playoff hunt and Dobbs would likely need about 1,000 more passing yards than he had last year to be considered. In terms of Florida, if not this year, I don’t know when, but it’s still hard to pick the Vols until I see it.

Stephen: Unfortunately, there are just way too many other Heisman candidates that are more deserving. But honestly, I think that’s okay. Dobbs doesn’t need to win the Heisman in my opinion because that would mean the offense is taking an unnecessary left turn away from what it does best. And between Hurd and Kamara, you just can’t take away touches from them to somehow bump Dobbs into Heisman talks when you know the team can, and will win by letting them each get their fair share. As for beating Florida, yes. Tennessee beats Florida this year. End of story.

Nathanael: I would agree with what Daniel said about Dobbs. He’s Tennessee’s best chance to win the Heisman this year, but that doesn’t make him a real, legitimate candidate. The Vols would need to make the playoffs and Dobbs would have to have 45-plus combined touchdowns. I simply do not see the latter of those happening. And as for Florida: I’m holding off on answering that for now. I’m getting worn out on all the Florida talk right now.

“If UT wins the first six games, where do you think they’re ranked heading into the Bama game?” – @lexolive

Daniel: Tough to say, but I would guess around No. 5. I think they’ll go into the season around 10-12, it just depends who else loses in front of them.

Nathanael: Easily in the top 5 in my opinion. If they’re undefeated when they play Bama, that means wins over Florida, Georgia, and Texas A&M. That would put them at least at No. 5 but probably higher. A win over Bama at that point would vault them to No. 2 or No. 1 most likely. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.

Stephen: Well I guess it depends on how other top teams are doing. By week 6, everyone will have opened up conference play and anything is possible. Bama could lose to Ole Miss in week 3. Clemson might have a trap game against Louisville in week 4. Oklahoma and Ohio State face each other in week 3 as well so that’s a loss for one of those teams…I’d say if Tennessee is unbeaten heading in to the Bama game, they will be ranked fifth at minimum, possibly higher. And if Bama does lose to Ole Miss, it will be first time Tennessee is ranked higher than the Tide when they face off in a VERY long time.

“If you could compare the upcoming Vols football season to a Star Wars film, which would it be?” – @StormShoopers

Nathanael: Oooh, nice question. I instinctively want to say Empire Strikes Back because that’s my favorite film in the franchise, but I don’t think it fits the feeling/narrative of this season. So I’ll go with Return of the Jedi because I think Tennessee’s possible “return to glory” fits that story better.

Stephen: Nathanael and I love questions like this. We get to combine our two favorite things! Return of the Jedi is a good call, but I’m going with A New Hope. I ‘m not ready to call it the “Return” just yet because I do think Tennessee could take a slight dip in 2017 before they (wait for it) RETURN in 2018!

…Too much?

“Do you have any suggestions as to which TX HS FB game to attend the Friday night before A&M?” – Jonathan Moss

Daniel: Eight-time 6A champ Katy High School has a home game against Seven Lakes on Oct. 7. You’ll miss the new $61 million stadium by one year, but it’s still one of the best programs in the nation and should give you a great taste of Texas high school football.

“Will the Braves win 30 games?” – Aaron Jenness 

Daniel: They’re on pace for about 50 right now. They’ll be historically bad, but not that bad.

Nathanael: Boy, I sure hope so. I think they can even double that, Aaron. I think they get to 60. Unfortunately that still means 102 losses, which is still abysmal.

Stephen: The fact that this is even a legitimate question hurts this Braves fan’s heart. Is Bobby Cox still alive? Maybe he can save the team.

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