Tennessee Volunteers 2014 Prediction

Well folks it is that time of year again. I have read a lot of different opinions on where Tennessee will finish at the end of the season and I am ready to give you my opinion on this. Starting with the non-conference opponents, I think we will finish with a 3-1 non-conference record with the one loss being Oklahoma. The other three opponents are no push over, but because all three of them are at Neyland Stadium, and two of the three are at the beginning of the season, I feel confident that we will beat them. Tennessee fans have been begging for something to be excited about and now that they have that, the stadium will be rocking every single time that orange and white takes the field. That alone will rattle the opponents and is one of the main reasons I feel so strongly about stating Tennessee will be 3-1 in non-conference matchup’s this season. Once again, Tennessee has one of the toughest schedules out there this year. The first conference game of the year is between the hedges against the bulldogs. With Todd Gurley returning after handing it to us last year with 130 yards and 3 scores, I see this as being a tough game. Tennessee has a tough defense and with A.J. Johnson returning, things could play out differently. This is a tough game to pick and it will depend on how Tennessee’s defense holds up against Gurley. I am claiming a loss on this one because it is in Athens, but this game could go either way especially because of how this game ended last year. Florida is coming to Knoxville this year and I could see a young Tennessee team sending the Gators home with their first loss of the season. After facing a non-conference team and getting a break in the tough schedule, Tennessee will travel to Oxford to face the Rebels of Ole Miss. I see this game being a shoot out and because of the inexperience at QB for Tennessee, expect a mistake late on an attempt to make a big play that ends up costing Tennessee this game. Heading home with their heads hung, Tennessee will have to stare Alabama in the face, but they will have their home town crowd there to back them up. Alabama, starting a QB who hasn’t played a down in the SEC, will learn quick that the fans in Knoxville make it hard on QB’s no matter how good they are. Colin Cowherd picked this game as his preseason SEC upset special and I am very close to agreeing with him. Tennessee could be a little banged up at this point physically and emotionally as they will have dealt with a few close calls against Georgia and Ole Miss. If they can shake that off and focus on this game, I think Tennessee can beat Alabama because of the inexperience at QB for Alabama. If Tennessee forces Bama to throw the ball by shutting down T.J., expect this game to be closer then many may think. South Carolina is out for revenge and this game is in Columbia, loss. After taking a well deserved week off, the Wildcats of Kentucky come to town and get right back on the bus with a loss. Missouri comes to town after a wild overtime thriller in the last meeting with Tennessee. Tennessee’s defense is roughed up at this point so a loss here is expected. The final game of the regular season is Vanderbilt and many think Tennessee will leave Nashville with a loss as Vandy is fighting for a bowl game and must win to get in. I don’t think so. Vandy is working with a new coach and a new system after the departure of Franklin and I don’t think they beat Butch Jones in his second year as head coach for the Vols. Tennessee finishes the conference schedule with a impressive 3-5 record. I say impressive because of how close Tennessee will battle in their losses. I expect for Tennessee to play Georgia, Ole Miss, and Alabama close and possibly win one or two of those. The Vols overall record in my opinion will be 6-6.

 

Lebron will never surpass Jordan in the “Who’s Better” debate.

That’s right I said it, King James can’t win. He will never be considered better then Michael Jordan with out controversy. Why do I say that? The answer is quite simple. We have made it impossible for him. We have made it known that in order to be better then the best, you need more championships. We have also made it known that he has to do that while remaining true to his team. To this day, Lebron has not won as many championships as Michael AND he left Cleveland to join forces with D-Wade and Bosh. Many state he wouldn’t have won any titles had he stayed in Cleveland. I find myself agreeing with those people. I agree with them not because I doubt Lebron’s ability to win, but I doubt Cleveland’s ability to get the appropriate pieces around Lebron to win. MJ had Pippen and Rodman….oh yea and that coach by the name of Phil Jackson. Lebron would have never had half of that if he stayed in Cleveland. In order to win a championship, he had to join forces with two other players that were star quality players….MJ didn’t. Sure Lebron has already passed Jordan in his playoff numbers and he is only 30 years old. That doesn’t matter. What matters is this, we have put Lebron between a rock and a hard place. We have made it nearly impossible for Lebron to be known as THE BEST. If Lebron wins more titles, he will be criticized for not being able to stay with one team to do so. He will also be criticized for joining forces with players like Wade and Bosh. Had Lebron stayed with Cleveland to be the loyal player MJ was, Lebron wouldn’t have won enough titles as MJ did because Cleveland would not have surrounded him with the players and coaches necessary to win. Bottom line, we as sports fans have already put Lebron in the same category as Jordan…but Lebron will never be number one in that category. He will always be looking up at Jordan in the conversation of “who is the best”.

I want to make a comparison to prove my point regarding the fact that Lebron teamed up with two “stars” compared to what MJ had in Chicago. I am going to compare D-wade to Scotty Pippen and Chris Bosh to Dennis Rodman. Let me start by clarifying one solid point. I AM NOT saying Wade and Pippen are equals nor am I saying Bosh and Rodman are equals. I am comparing these players because Wade and Bosh are the two best players next to Lebron just like Pippen and Rodman were the best two players next to Jordan.

I will start with the Wade Pippen comparison. The numbers don’t lie, Wade is clearly producing more for Lebron then Pippen did for Jordan. Pippen, now retired, averaged 16.1 points per game. Wade averages 24.3 points per game and is still playing. Pippen averaged more rebounds then Wade currently does at 6.4 per game compared to 5.0 per game for Wade. Wade averages 6.0 assists per game and Pippen averaged 5.2 per game. Pippen’s field goal percentage is slightly lower at .473 with Wade’s at .492. Based on these numbers alone, Wade is clearly producing more to help Lebron then Pippen did for Jordan.

Now let’s look at the colorful numbers (see what I did there? Rodman had the colorful hair? Nevermind) of Rodman compared to Bosh. Rodman averaged 7.3 points per game and Bosh averages 19.2 points per game. Technically I could stop right there and prove my point, but because points aren’t all that matters I will continue. Rodman averaged 13.1 rebounds per game and Bosh averages 8.7 per game. Blocks per game for Rodman was .6 and for Bosh 1.1. Field goal percentage for Rodman was at .521 and for Bosh it is currently .498. This is clearly not an apples to oranges comparison, but I think you see where I am going with this.

Bottom line to this debate to me is simple. No one will ever convince me that Lebron is better then Jordan. Give me a reason to believe Lebron will go down in history as being better then Jordan and I can almost guarantee you I can find a reason why you are wrong. Lebron did what the fans and media said he needed to do in order to become better then Jordan and that is do whatever it takes to win rings. Now that Lebron is doing that, the fans and media are doubting his decision because he teamed up with two other stars in the league in order to win those rings and was not loyal to Cleveland. Sorry Lebron but your legacy has been paved. You could win more rings then Jordan and you would still be looking up to him when the conversation of “who’s better” comes up for debate.

Leave your comments. Prove me wrong. Lets debate. That’s what this blog is for. I want to hear your opinion so leave it below!

Pay to play in the NCAA?

This seems to be a hot button topic here lately and I feel it necessary to weigh in on it and hopefully spark a conversation on my blog regarding this topic. For these big time athletes who get full ride scholarships to these big time schools, this is a bogus argument. These guys get the works. They get to graduate (if they choose to) DEBT FREE. They get meals, tutoring, books, class time, and everything else the college has to offer….FREE. The one thing I have concern about is the school’s making money off of the players. Example, jersey sales. Teams like Texas A&M sale their jersey’s with the #2 on it and make tons of cash off of that jersey. Does this mean I think the players should get a cut of that money….NO! Why do I think this? Well it is simple, that jersey, that number, and everything else that jersey stands for belongs to the school. At any time, the school can pull that number off of those players back and refuse to let him/her wear it. So the argument of giving the players a cut of that money is bogus because keep in mind….your going to school FOR FREE. The average student who graduates from a 4 year college is walking into the real world of rent, bills, grocery store visits, doctor visits, and car payments, with around $30,000. If you are a student athlete on a full ride scholarship and will graduate with NO DEBT….then no you shouldn’t be arguing that you should be getting paid because guess what, YOU ARE GETTING PAID! Do you know the average cost of a 4 year degree? The cost of a 4 year in state degree is a little higher then $90,000…that means you are receiving approximately $22,500 a year and don’t have to pay a dime for rent, food, taxes, or bills. The cost of a 4 year out of state degree is close to $140,000….that means you are making approximately $35,000 a year and don’t have to pay a dime for rent, food, taxes, or bills. When students graduate from college, they make roughly $40,000 a year starting salary. You take away taxes, food, rent, bills, car payments, and everything else the real world has to offer, and they probably pocket about a quarter of that cost each year. I don’t want to get into the argument of health care and all of that non-sense because let’s face it, these college athletes don’t care about that. They care more about the cold hard cash in their pockets to buy things like clothes, cars, and whatever else kids buy these days. So I have no problem with the way it is right now with giving these kids an opportunity to make a name for them selves on and off the field without having to pay a dime for any of the necessities. I want to hear what you think. How about the student athletes who DON’T have a full ride? Should they get financial help? You willing to pay more for tickets when these athletes start getting paid? Sound off about this hot button topic and let’s discuss the issue.

CJ2K vs. Chris Johnson

I saw this video on twitter and watched it. I noticed a few things about this video. Some of those things I will miss, like CJ’s amazing ability in the open field. Some things have been missing for a long time, like the heart and desire to be on the field no matter what. That, my friends, is the difference in CJ2K and Chris Johnson. Don’t get me wrong, the Titans were better of with CJ then they are right now, and the running game might be a struggle this year in his absence. I believe that in the long run, the Titans will win and Chris Johnson will lose because the Titans are moving in the right direction, and Chris Johnson has moved to the Jets, who are a mess. Chris was scheduled to make $8 million this year….he is making $4 million next year with a team option for the second year where he could make $4 million if they pick up that option. Based on that alone, it is obvious that the Titans made the right move by parting ways with CJ. Mark my words, CJ’s reputation when his career is all said and done will be a disappointment. Yes, he has had 6 straight years with 1,000+ yards. Yes he almost broke the single season record. Don’t care. The way he has handled himself in the light and put himself on a pedestal plus his obvious lack of heart on and off the field is what is going to make his legacy one that left much to desire. He might have a few good years left in the tank, but I don’t see him having 1,000+ this year that’s for sure. CJ2K….I have missed you, Chris Johnson, I WON’T miss you. Good luck to you and the Jets….I can’t wait to show you both how better off we are without you when we meet again this season!

“CJ2K” compared to the top 10 highest paid RB’s in the NFL today.

I have been reading a lot lately about the possible divorce between the Titans and Chris Johnson and I want to put my thoughts on paper about it. Drafted 24th overall, he put up some decent numbers his rookie season, averaging 4.9 yards per carry and punching it in the end-zone 9 times. In 2009, he came up big, producing 2,006 yards, 14 touchdowns, and 5.6 yards per carry on the year with 358 attempts which is his most attempts in a single season this far in his career. Chris Johnson is the second highest paid running back in the NFL today behind the very deserving Adrian Peterson. Let’s compare career stats to make this easier, Adrian Peterson has 2,033 attempts, 10,115 yards, averages 5 yards per carry, and has 86 rushing touchdowns. Chris Johnson has 1,742 attempts, 7,965 yards, averages 4.6 yards per carry, and has 50 touchdowns. If Chris were to have the same amount of attempts as Adrian and kept his average at 4.6 yards per carry, that would put him at 9,303 total yards on his career. Peterson has been in the league for 1 year longer then Johnson has. The other running backs in the top 10 list of highest paid running backs that have been in the league for as long or longer then CJ are Marshawn Lynch, Maurice Jones-Drew, Frank Gore, Darren Sproles, and BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Out of all of these running backs, the only one’s that are producing better numbers in any of the categories mentioned above are Marshawn Lynch (58 TD’s), Maurice Jones-Drew(YD’s, ATT’s & TD’s), and Frank Gore(ATT’s, YD’s & TD’s). All three of those players have been in the league for at least one year longer then CJ. What does all of this mean? Well as much as I hate to say it, the numbers tell me that CJ is deserving of the money he is getting paid. What do my eyes tell me as a Titans fan? They tell me he doesn’t care enough to remain a Titan because he doesn’t seem to be leaving it all on the field. I think he has a lot more left in the tank that he is not showing and that concerns me. I would rather have a player that makes it obvious that he is giving it his all every Sunday. I don’t know that Chris does that. I want to hear from you! If you have read this, let me know what your opinion on “CJ2K” is.

The Offseason and the Draft

The Coach

 

The Titans have made a long awaited move this offseason by firing their head coach and have brought in Ken Whisenhunt to take over the head coaching vacancy. I think we all can agree making changes at the coaching position was a must. However I get a feeling that some fans have mixed feelings about Whisenhunt. I think he is a good fit for Tennessee for a few reasons, but the most important reason for me is he is an offensive minded coach who isn’t afraid to make the unpopular call when the game is on the line. For as long as I can remember, this team has been conservative when it comes to the offensive play calling….that won’t fly with the new coach of the Titans.

 

The Draft

 

The new coaching staff that has been brought on board for the Titans has made my head spin trying to figure out which direction this team is going to go in the draft. There are many ways they can go on both sides of the ball. The more important needs, however, are on defense. Jevon “The Freak” Kearse was this teams last dominant defensive end other then Vanden Bosh and I think it’s about time to get another good one. The last dominant linebacker that comes to mind is Bullock and I would love to see this team draft a good inside backer to become a leader on defense. With Verner and Pollard becoming free agents, they will need to address the DB position as well. When it comes to the offense, running back is my big question mark. I don’t see any evidence suggesting that #28 will be back on the field in Titan blue next season and I hope that I am right on that. A running back in the draft for me is a must. The second concern other then an offensive tackle, is quarter back. Locker will be the starter this upcoming season, but what many fans don’t know is Locker has a $13million option in 2015. We have all seen that Locker has what it takes to win games with this team in the NFL, what we haven’t seen is if he can stay healthy long enough to play in those games in order to win them. Ultimately, I don’t think we will see Jake back after next season simply because I think he will get injured half way threw the season again. I don’t want that to happen because I believe in Jake, but that is what I see happening.

With all of this being said, I hope the Titans draft defense first, preferably LB, DE, S…then go to the offense and pick up a good OT, and a RB or QB in the late rounds. The best teams build threw the draft, I hope that with a new coach in town, the fans in Tennessee will have the patience to let him do just that.

It’s been while

So it has been about a month since I have posted because of the pressures of the last month of my college career….for now. Anyways, with graduation behind me and my career now waiting for that first job, I would like to pick up where I left off with the Titans. The first thing I want to discuss is how off I was at predicting this season’s success. Playoffs? I can’t believe I thought this team (with this coaching staff) would make the playoffs. To say this season is a disappointment is an understatement. The talent this team has is unbelievable and yet the coaching staff can’t use the players they have in a way that gives them the chance to succeed and win games. As I am sure you can already tell, I don’t feel as though this coaching staff needs to be here next season. I wouldn’t mind if they completely cleaned house with the coaches. Secondly is the quarterback position. Locker isn’t the guy for this team. Your main player has to be on the field, and Locker has proved he can’t stay healthy for an entire season. I am not to sure why we signed Tyler Wilson to a multi year deal. Maybe he develops into a good QB but I don’t know who he is going to develop behind. CJnoK needs to go. This was the worst contract offer I can remember in regards to pay vs. production because he hasn’t been worth a plum nickel. Part of that has to do with the coaches not knowing how to use him, but none the less…let him go. I think this team has a lot of off season work to be done, let’s just hope they make the right draft picks and cut the right coaches in order to move the franchise in the right direction because quite frankly, since the superbowl appearance the first year this team came to Tennessee, they have tanked since.