Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Sports Columns

November 22, 2013

All in the Game: Vandy-Vol match got here in a hurry

CROSSVILLE — It's hard to believe that it is already time for the big Vanderbilt and Tennessee encounter on the gridiron. Remember when it was just a small speck on the Volunteers' radar because this victory was assured and was in the bag?

Thank goodness that it isn't that way anymore. This is a must win for Smokey's bunch and Mr. Gale. A 50-50 regular season will certainly not please a lot of Vol fans, but they have to hope for that now.

I realize that Tennessee is favored and I know how hard it is to beat the Volunteers at home, especially it seems for Vandy. However, it is far from impossible for Coach James Franklin and his scrappy bunch. I fondly remember 2005 when Jay Cutler and Earl Bennett went to Knoxville and came away with the first Commodore win in umpteen years. Then, of course, there was last year when the 'Dores dominated. I surely don't expect that dominance this year, but I'll be rooting hard as my team number something takes on number 117.

Vanderbilt will have to play much better than they did against the Kentucky Wildcats to have a chance. Hopefully they were just overlooking the blue for the orange. Still they came away with a win and I couldn't be prouder. Jordan Matthews had another big game and if we get Jonathan Krause back that will be a plus. Matthews appears certain to wrest the number of receptions crown away from none other than the aforementioned Earl Bennett.

I've had some comments from Vol fans about Coach Jones and there appear to be some doubts now. Come on Volunteer folks, you can give him more than one season before becoming discouraged. Supposedly he has recruited well and that should be some solace.

I don't think much about ex-Vols, but there are a couple that I admire. Of course, there's always Jane Way's favorite, Peyton Manning. His character and talent make it hard not to like him and he seems to be better than ever in leading the Denver Broncos. The other former Volunteer that is doing good things is David Cutcliffe. He left the pressure cooker in Knoxville and is doing really good things at Duke. Their convincing win over Miami has to be one of the biggest wins ever for that academically gifted bunch.

Coach Mark Richt must feel like he's snakebitten. Did you see the fluke play that cost him the Auburn game? It is much like what has happened to Vanderbilt on so many occasions.

Well, here we go. I'm too excited to sit here and pound on this keyboard anymore. Have a great week and a really good Thanksgiving holiday. Of course, I want my team to beat yours but if they don't I'll still be thankful for the many more important things, good health and freedom being among them.

Go Jets! Go Panthers! Go USA!

(Jim Butler is a Chronicle correspondent and his column appears regularly.)

Text Only
Sports Columns
  • Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    Cheating has been part of college athletics probably for as long as people have bothered to keep score.

    July 24, 2014

  • Rocky Top Beat: Vols begin preparations for season opener in eight days

    The start of fall practice is only a mere eight days away. Coach Butch Jones has to be ready to get Team #118 on the field and to start preparations for Utah State.

    July 24, 2014

  • Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Even when Tiger Woods finished just a few strokes from last place at the British Open, he was one of the  featured topics in stories coming out of Royal Liverpool Golf Club.

    July 23, 2014

  • Rocky Top Beat: Vols focused on Utah

    The SEC media days have come and gone with no real news being generated. A successful media days appearance is usually defined as leaving Hoover, AL without giving a future opponent bulletin board material. Using that criteria, Tennessee left without any major gaffs.

    July 17, 2014

  • Oh Good Greif: Good things must come to an end

    The Dr. Pepper Classic, a long-time tradition at McKenzie Arena, affectively-known as the Round House, will seize, as a couple of teams dropped out, leaving the university in a "lurch," according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press Tuesday morning. Teams wanted a cash guarantee to play, which couldn't be provided (at this time).

    July 10, 2014

  • Rocky Top Beat: Majors Invitational tees off Sunday at Lake Tansi

    It is the second weekend in July and that means Johnny Majors is at Lake Tansi this weekend to host his annual golf tournament. It is always a treat for the local UT fans to interact with those that have been a part of the Vol football program. They come to the plateau each year to renew old acquaintances and share the stories of gridiron prowess from past years. By the way, the stories sure seem to get better with time.

    July 10, 2014

  • Oh Good Greif: 'Dores make history with CWS win

    History was made at the College World Series in Omaha, NE, this week, as the Vanderbilt Commodores baseball team won the school's  first national championship in any sport since the Vandy women's bowling team won the 2007 national crown.

    June 26, 2014

  • Rocky Top Beat: Tyndall hire closes the book on Martin era

    The University of Tennessee was able to close the books on the Cuonzo Martin era of Vol basketball earlier this week when they hired Donnie Tyndall to lead their program. Athletic Director Dave Hart, who conducted the search and the hiring on his own, appears to have found the right coach for this team at the right time.

    April 24, 2014

  • ROCKY TOP BEAT: You never know what will happen next with TN sports

    When you cover UT sports, you never know what is going to happen next. The past two weeks were no exception as they were filled with "the good, the bad and the ugly."

    April 17, 2014

  • Oh Good Greif: Spring in full swing with Masters under way

    With "March Madness" over and the Masters golf tournament under way in Augusta, GA, you know spring has sprung.

    April 10, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014