UT's not ready for prime time

ESPN decided late last week to switch the tipoff of last night's Tennessee-Kentucky basketball game from 9 p.m. to 7 p.m. That's understandable. Clearly, the Vols aren't ready for prime time.

Buzz Peterson's bunch got one shot at big-time exposure this season but blew it, suffering a humiliating 88-63 loss to Vanderbilt on CBS.

In addition, Tennessee has shown up on ESPN three times this season without even coming close to winning. The Vols fell 94-81 to North Carolina, 85-62 to Louisville and 84-62 last night to Kentucky.

Amazingly, Tennessee has been almost as bad in its appearances on the lesser networks. The Big Orange stands 0-3 on Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS) -- bowing 69-68 at home to UT-Chattanooga, 77-58 at New Mexico and 62-61 at home to Nebraska. The Vols split two appearances on ESPN2 -- beating Stanford 69-57 but getting hammered 95-70 by Texas.

On a positive note, the Big Orange is unbeaten on both Fox Sports Network (nipping Xavier 71-69) and on Jefferson Pilot (edging Mississippi State 64-63). Still, Tennessee's record on the tube this season is an abysmal 3-8. By comparison, UT is 7-1 in non-televised games.

Bottom line: If the Vols were a TV series, they probably would be canceled.

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