The mailbag is brought to you by Mid Tenn Ford. They are Middle Tennessee’s oldest Ford Dealer, and they offer a full line of Ford Trucks, Vans, SUVS and Crossovers. They have both a light and heavy duty Service Department to get you back on the road when needed. Call 1-888-409-0306 today for your no-obligation price quote from their sales department.
We answer your best questions about Tennessee athletics and anything else in our weekly mailbag, Insider Mailing.
“Why do we not use Byrd in the offense? Not sure why he’s not allowed to switch positions?” – Torrey
Nathanael: This is one of the more baffling things to me about this season. And that’s saying something considering how this season has gone. He’s one of the most talented players on this team, and he’s certainly one of the fastest. He should be playing, I don’t care what position it is. He needs to be on the field. He saw more playing time as a true freshman when there were more talented players ahead of him than this season. I truly do not understand it. He’s being misused worse than Kamara was.
Will: Great question. It’s time for him to switch to corner. Brandon Johnson won the job at slot with his big performance against UMass. But I think it’s time to move him outside and give Byrd the ball in the slot. I feel like a new head coach could turn Byrd into an All-SEC player next season if he decides not to transfer this offseason.
“What’s more likely for UT’s program at this point? Winning the east in the next 5 years or finishing last in the SEC East in the next 5 yrs?” – @jclowers5
Nathanael: Look, I know things are bad, but the Vols won’t finish in last place in the East over the next 5 years. They might be in serious danger of it this season, but I still don’t think they will. Missouri or Vandy will. It’s much more likely they win the East in the next 5 years than finish at the bottom. This roster, in the right hands, would be competitive this season. They certainly should next year as well.
Will: Solid question. I think it’s more likely to win the East because of how close we are to watching another coaching change unfold. A new coach will be able to compete right away with the talent UT already has. This program will be ok.
“If we lose to KY and they don’t fire CBJ, what do you expect attendance to be for the Southern Miss game?” – @volduckhunter
Nathanael: Abysmal. Back to Dooley era attendance.
Will: 70,000-80,000. Which means the announced crowd would be around 90,000.
“I have a theory that someone once split a good coach into three parts: a recruiter (Butch Jones), a game-manager (McElwain), and an offense developer (Lane Kiffin). Thoughts?” – Ike
Nathanael: Ike, you may be on to something there. If you combine all three aspects of those coaches (although I’d argue that McElwain isn’t the best example of a game manager) together into one coach, you would have a pretty legit coach.
Will: Stunning development. Combine those three guys and you’ve got a mega-coach.
“How are the tennis, golf, darts, spelling bee, needlepoint, basket weaving and sock darning teams expected to do this year?” – @neylandmafia
Nathanael: I can’t imagine they would be much worse than the football team, especially tennis and golf. Currie axed the tennis coach pretty early, right?
Will: The women’s tennis team is hosting a tournament on campus this weekend. Also, the UT cross country team competes in the SEC championship this Friday, and they’re better than they have been in years. I used to be a non-revenue athlete at this university. They deserve your support too.
“When will the misery end?” – @R33S33
Nathanael: I wish I had an answer for this. I’m sorry. Seems like it hasn’t been great for a decade at this rate. You have tiny flashes of good news, but that gets buried by the overwhelming negativity.
Will: Maybe the Vols won’t win a title until 2098 when it actually does feel like 98.