Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Sports Columns

February 28, 2013

ROCKY TOP BEAT: Only 267 days until Vanderbilt-Tennessee game

CROSSVILLE — It was nice to have Jim Butler back “in the game" again last week. I can’t imagine anyone being more devoted to the Commodores, no matter how misguided that loyalty turns out most of the time. Now, with one successful football campaign in the books, the stakes are sure to rise this fall in regards to that Big Orange rivalry. 

Only about 267 days until Vanderbilt visits Neyland Stadium with a one-game winning streak in this rivalry game. But then who is counting? At any rate, welcome back, Jim, and I look forward to our continued banter that on some occasions has resulted in you doing some humiliating stunts as a result of that November football game. Too bad you passed on a chance to end up on the right end of our friendly wagers last fall. 

With the start of spring practice only nine days away, the Big Orange will be without last year’s running back coach, Jay Graham, who has left the Vols for what he saw as greener pastures at Florida State. The Vol Nation wishes Coach Graham all the best. Meanwhile, Coach Jones has some big shoes to fill before the start of spring practice. 

The Vols still have high hopes for the post season, especially after their defeat of Florida Tuesday night. Although the win Tuesday night was great, the real news is how they have risen from the "post season dead" over the past few weeks. 

Coach Cuonzo Martin stayed the course, blended role players and starters into what is now the hottest team in the SEC. If the Vols can stay injury free, there is no reason they can’t make a deep run in the SEC Tournament later this month. But, there is still work to be done in the regular season. 

The Vols can enhance their season’s resume tomorrow in Athens, where they will be looking to avenge that Feb. 6 loss to the Georgia Bulldogs. The game is set for 12:30 p.m CST and can be seen on the SEC Network. They follow that up with another road game at Auburn next Wednesday night. The Vols will need to be “road warriors” to keep their current six-game winning streak alive. 

The Lady Vols took a two game lead and sole possession of first place in the SEC into last night’s game with Texas A&M. The final two regular season games this week will decide if the Lady Vols will have to share that SEC title.  Depending on last night’s outcome, it could all come to a head Sunday in Kentucky. Catch the action Sunday on ESPNU at 2:30 p.m. CST. 

Seniors Taber Spani and Kamiko Williams were honored last night before their last regular season game on Rocky Top. They have been a part of three SEC Tournament Championship teams and helped the Lady Vols win three regular season titles since arriving in 2009. 

March promises to be a crazy month for the Vol Nation with March Madness and spring training for the football team all in play. March is typically when fans should expect the unexpected while enjoying the highs and some how finding a way to deal with those inevitable lows. Go Vols and Lady Vols!

(Frank Gale is a Chronicle correspondent and is column appears regularly.)

Text Only
Sports Columns
  • 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

  • ROCKY TOP BEAT: Lady Vols, Vols' seasons concluded abruptly

    The basketball season ended rather abruptly last weekend for both the Lady Vols and the Vols; however, the way these two teams ended their seasons will leave entirely different lasting memories.

    April 3, 2014

  • Rocky Top Beat: Basketball has taken Big Orange Country by storm

    Basketball has taken Big Orange Country by storm. The Lady Vols are a fixture in the Sweet 16, but the Vols returning after a few years' hiatus was a pleasant surprise. There are plenty of accolades to be spread around Rocky Top, but basically it starts with the guards and ends with Jarnell Stokes and Jeronne Maymon dominating the paint.

    March 27, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel
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