Friday Follies - 2006 Season Preview

It is July in East Tennessee and college football fanatics are poring over the myriad pre-season guides and internet team previews. Each year seems to bring a new spate of expert prognosticators hawking their Pre-season Top 25 Polls. Vol fans want to know what changes have been made and are desperate to read the tea leaves for any clue as to the Big Orange fortunes for 2006. Who can you turn to?

Who can you trust?

With precision and accuracy in view, we turn to a world-recognized expert on predictions and advice who is certain to cut through all of the noise and to provide us with the insight we need.  Since 1946, the Magic 8-Ball® (Tyco) has been a steady source of reliable information for millions of Americans.  Rumored to be the basis for 83% of U. S. Supreme Court decisions and the "brains" behind many 1997 Heisman votes, the 8-Ball® is eminently qualified to answer our deepest Vol football questions.

We caught up with the 8-Ball® on vacation with his family in Myrtle Beach recently.  He was gracious enough to grant an exclusive interview.

KC:  Thank you for sitting down with us for a moment.  I am sure you are excited that another college football season is almost here.
8-Ball®:  Yes - definitely.


KC:  First off, the big question.  Are the Vols struggles of 2005 behind them?

8-Ball®:  Reply hazy, try again.


KC:   Well, I mean, for starters, will we see Tennessee fail to make a bowl game?

8-Ball®:  Very doubtful.


KC: So, will Tennessee be an elite team, in competition for the league title?

8-Ball®: My sources say no.


KC:  Is the return of David Cutcliffe enough to put the Vols offense back together again?

8-Ball®:  As I see it, yes.


KC:   What about Erik Ainge?  Do you expect a big year from him?

8-Ball®: Cannot predict now.


KC:  Well, do you think Ainge will be the starter all season?

8-Ball®: Signs point to yes.


KC:  The Vol defense will be replacing much of the front seven.  Can Chavis reload instead of rebuild?

8-Ball®: Outlook not so good.


KC:  Will we see any major changes in the Vol approach to special teams?

8-Ball®: Most likely.


KC:  Most people I have asked say their biggest question mark is the Vol offensive line.  Is that the way you see it Magic 8-ball?

8-Ball®:  It is decidedly so.


KC:  Some questions about Vol opponents.  Is Cal equal in talent to a top SEC team?

8-Ball®: Without a doubt.


KC:  What about Florida--big time recruiting class.  Is Urban Meyer building a dynasty in Gainesville?

8-Ball®:  Better not tell you now.


KC:  What about Richt?  Can we say he is one of the best coaches in America?

8-Ball®: It is certain.


KC:  How about Les Miles?  Is he at LSU for the long haul?

8-Ball®:  My reply is no.


KC:  Which team will be worse this season, Vanderbilt or Kentucky?

8-Ball®: Yes.


KC:  Steve Spurrier sure has the folks in South Carolina excited.  Can he compete for an SEC title anytime soon?

8-Ball®: Don't count on it.


KC:  OK, back to the Vols.  Will Tennessee be much better than they were in 2005?

8-Ball®: You may rely on it.


KC:  Will they win 9 games?

8-Ball®: Concentrate and ask again.


KC:  OK, then, umm, do you think they will win at least 8 games?

8-Ball®: Outlook good.


KC:  Fair enough.  Listen, you've been great, 8-ball.  I hope you have time for one final question.  How much longer do you foresee Phil Fulmer leading the Vols?

8-Ball®: Ask again later.

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