Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Speaking of Cowards...

How the mighty have fallen. Tennessee has represented the SEC East in more SEC title games than any team but Florida. They've won a national championship during their current students' lifetimes. They are only two or three years removed from their last SEC Championship Game. They used to not be afraid to schedule anybody. But not anymore. Tennessee just dropped a wad of cash to run away from the fierce competition of UNC. When you're running away, tail between the legs, from an ACC basketball powerhouse, well, I defer to this Spies Like Us quote:

Col. Rhombus: "Listen, it's my job to get you prepared to go out into the field for combat. Now, I must know right away what I have to work with. I have made my decision."
Fitz-Hume: "What's it say?"
Milbarge: "Pussy!"


What Colonel Rhombus wrote is exactly what Hamilton and Dooley-the-Lesser think about their players and program right now. Tennessee needs to put on their big girl panties and venture out from their stadium more than 4 times per year to play teams that could conceivably beat them, even if they are rebuilding. Tennessee just lost some North Carolina recruits today whether they want to admit it or not.

College football in general needs to stop worshiping at the altar of the BCS and start focusing on giving us the best product they can. I've waffled back and forth on support of things like playoffs or mandatory conference championships but one thing I will always support is 12 real games. Sometimes when you make the schedule so far in advance you end up with some lopsided games but there is absolutely no excuse for a school with a more-than-fair shot at the national title (fair as in clear pathway, not likelihood of walking that pathway) to run away from ANY team.

Even if they do lose, does it matter? Look at Georgia vs. Oklahoma State last year. Georgia loses to Okie State and finishes with one less loss than they would have if they had played a Tulane or UAB. So then instead of playing Clemson in a bowl game, they get slotted against the Aggies. Can you tell me with a straight face that Clemson + UAB is better than Oklahoma State + Texas A&M? I'll take the two good games over the one not-even-a-slam-dunk better game and a snoozefest.

4 comments:

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Didn't UAB take the Dawgs to the wire last time we played? Or was that UCF? One wonders how Idaho State ended up on our schedule this year.

But no one says crap to us, because we've barnstormed Tempe and Stillwater, and this year we'll be showing up in Boulder. Not to mention our future billing in Eugene and Louisville.

I don't think UT is doing this out of fear. They're Tennessee for cryin' out loud. Between the Notre Dame's, Cal's and UCLA's they've scheduled recently, I'm willing to give them a pass.

Not to mention this just may be another bad decision by their athletic director. Lord knows he's made a few of those recently. Hell, after the last year or two, their program is in such a state of disarray, I wouldn't blink if someone told me they forgot to schedule Alabama.

I think it has to do more with the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff in the ATL. They're trying to get into that game, and to do so, they might have to open up a place on their schedule that UNC currently occupies.

Not that I think it is a good idea to move UNC. That's a hell of a game to be played, and there is money and exposure to be gained by doing so. I just don't see this as a move made of fear.

Dante said...

I'd believe this wasn't out of fear if Hamilton would even pretend otherwise. Instead he throws out quotes like:

“The reality is we’re not back to where we want to be back yet.”

and

"Going into the season having two BCS non-conference opponents is problematic when you're trying to rebuild a team,. This is not a change in our scheduling philosophy, however."

They're running away from this fight. And it's hard for me to come to grips with that based on what they were. But the unfortunate reality is that what they are is cowards.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Well, it means that Hamilton is a coward, and a crappy AD for what he's done to that program.

I wonder when UT will get rid of him?

DADvocate said...

I'm still wondering if Tennessee, my beloved alma mater, is on the right track. I took my son to several one day senior day camps this summer. These are evaluation camps where coaches look at seniors to be to see if they might be interested in recruiting them.

Technically, Tennessee's camp wasn't a senior day camp but a lineman's camp. We went to camps at Tennessee, Middle Tennessee State, Western Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky, Ohio State, Cincinnati, Ohio University, and Illinois. Tennessee's camp was the worst one, hands down.

We'll see how the season goes, but I'm not sold on Dooley. The quarterback on my son's team is being looked at by several colleges. He's said he won't go to Tennessee. He thinks Dooley's a jerk.