Have you ever heard the classic country tune “red necks, white socks and blue ribbon beer?” I wish it was about by hometown White Sox. Cuz when I’m at games I certainly see lots of red necks, who’s taste in beer is blue ribbon or below. But nonetheless Knoxville, TN is a town with lots of blue collar jobs and love for country music.
But the Tennessee Volunteers play “white collar football.”
I figured since everyone calls run-oriented teams “blue-collar” (yes, it is an annoying cliche) I would call pass-oriented teams “white collar.” And the Volunteers were last in the SEC in rushing, and 8th in conference against the run. However, 30th in the nation at over 250 ypg passing, that’s white collar enough for me.
2010 was: a sub .500 year in conference, and overall. They did make a bowl, but lost and we saw certain players crying on camera because of it. On another note, allegedly, the Vols were using breasts to help recruiting in 2009 (see pic above and go here for more on that). Sounds like a winning strategy to me, I’m surprised they only went 6-7 with it.
BMOCs: QB Tyler Bray went 4-1 as a starter last season en route to setting a school freshman passing record. However, he had a terrible spring capped off by a miserable 5-30 passing in the spring game. Phil Simms’ kid makes for a decent backup/alternative option, RB Tauren Poole put up a grand last season, even though the running game was still terrible. WR Justin Hunter averaged almost 26 yards per reception last season. FS Prentiss Wagner could be all-conference.
2011 will be fruitful if: the OL steps up big time and plows open some running lanes. And Rocky Top needs to solve all their issues at LB. There’s question marks in the DL and secondary as well, but unlike in the linebacking corps, there’s also experience/potential at DB and D line.
2011 will be awful if: Bray remains too skinny for his frame and gets hit too much and knocked out of a lot of games. He also needs to grow into a play-maker working off more designed plays and reads generated from film study. That’s his weakness. He does have great football instincts; and he’s made a lot of plays already with those instincts.
Bottom Line: Getting to 7-5 or better with this schedule and in a very strong SEC might not happen. I still think they’ll get a bowl bid though. Rocky Top is a great song by the way.
UT Rankings: #37 Athlon, #52 Lindy’s, #40 Phil Steele
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Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports You can follow him on TwitterFollow paulmbanks