Nothing but football

Are the Vols Bowling this year? If so where? Answers to these and many other top questions about the state of UT football.

Independence Bowl Interested in Tennessee

The Independence Bowl in Shreveport might have an interesting decision to make next month.

The Indy Bowl has the sixth pick of an SEC team. It will choose ahead of the Music City Bowl in Nashville because last year, the SEC didn't have enough bowl-eligible teams to satisfy it's obligation to Shreveport. South Carolina elected not to play after the ugly fight at the end of the Clemson game. Thus, by contract, the Independence Bowl picks ahead of the Music City Bowl this year.

Pesky Hill, past chairman of the Independence Bowl who scouted the UT-South Carolina game, said his bowl is highly interested in the Vols. He mentioned UT's tradition and the fact the Vols have won a national championship within the past eight years. He also said his bowl would like to have an SEC East team for the first time in the 10-year tie-in with the SEC.

Hill also said his bowl is interested in 5-3 South Carolina. One more win makes the Gamecocks bowl eligible - they have Arkansas, Florida and Clemson left on the schedule -- and USC is likely to travel better than UT.

However, a possible Tennessee-Oklahoma matchup is intriguing to Hill.

Indy Bowl officials believe the top three West teams - Alabama, LSU and Auburn - will be gone before the No. 6 pick. They figure Georgia and Florida also could be gone, leaving Tennessee and South Carolina as the likely options.

UT To Honor WWII Veterans Within 2 Years

Tennessee has honored Peyton Manning and the family of Reggie White by retiring their numbers during ceremonies at games. Doug Atkins will be honored in similar fashion on Nov. 19.

What about the four World War II veterans whose numbers were retired when they lost their lives while fighting for our country?

Mike Hamilton, Tennessee athletic director, said those numbers and the family members will be honored next year or in 2007 when a new facade is erected in Neyland Stadium. Hamilton said the current displays are temporary.

Defensive Numbers

To give you an idea how good the SEC is defensively, consider this: Tennessee ranks sixth in the SEC in scoring defense and ninth in the nation. The Vols are fifth in the SEC in total defense and 12th in the nation.

The Vols are first in the SEC in run defense and fifth in the nation.

Individually, Parys Haralson is third in the SEC in sacks (5.5) while Jason Hall is fourth (5.0). Haralson is tied for third in tackles for loss with 10.5 while Hall is sixth at 9.5. Kevin Simon is fifth in the SEC in tackles at nine per game.

BCS Plus One Format Not The Cure

Roy Kramer has shattered my world - again.

First, the former SEC Commissioner devised the controversial Bowl Championship Series formula which stiff-armed a college football playoff. Then he informed me that the BCS Plus One format wouldn't work as I had envisioned because the Rose Bowl won't allow for seeding.

The Plus One only works if you can take the top four teams, seed them, have them play each other, then have the winners play the next week for the national championship.

Kramer said the Pac-10 and Big Ten would never agree to the arrangement because they don't want to chance losing the Pac-10 champion or Big Ten champion to another BCS bowl. Remember, the Rose Bowl thinks so highly of itself, it negotiated its own BCS deal with ABC, leaving Fox to take the other BCS bowls.

Penn State coach Joe Paterno recently said it would upset him if he won the Big Ten and didn't get to play in the Rose Bowl, which is the home of the national championship game this year.

Kramer did admit a Plus One format with seeding has merit, but he said it will never happen because of the Big Ten and Pac-10.

``If you push those conferences too far, they might pull out of the BCS altogether,'' Kramer said.

NOTES: No. 3 hasn't been a good number for the Vols this season. UT began the year No. 3 in the preseason polls, but the Vols have just three wins, need three wins to become bowl eligible, have lost three in a row under Fulmer for the first time and lost on a 3-pointer to South Carolina. . Jeff Jarnigan will replace Mike Hammond as the public address announcer for the UT men's basketball games. . For the second consecutive week, an opposing receiver had over 100 receiving yards - DJ Hall of Alabama last week and Sidney Rice of South Carolina on Saturday night. . UT's loss to South Carolina was its worst to a mediocre team since Memphis in 1996 and its worst at home since Arkansas in 1992. . USC outpassed UT 242-99 yards.


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