Game day is special at UT

Southeastern Conference football fans already know there's no atmosphere like that surrounding an SEC game on a crisp fall Saturday. Well, it seems that at least one "outsider" has noticed this, too.

Dennis Dodd of, in a blog entitled "Top Fives: Scooping sponsors while highlighting the best," lists three SEC schools among his top five nationally in terms of game-day atmospheres. Not surprisingly, one of the three is Tennessee.

Here are Dodd's picks in alphabetical order:

Florida: Mr. Two Bits. The Chomp. It's ... great ... to be ... a Florida Gaaaa-tor. How could Ron Zook not win here? The House that Steve Built is back to its ear-shattering best under Urban Meyer.

LSU: Beano Cook once said daytime football at Tiger Stadium is nothing more than foreplay. The money shot is the circus that emerges under the cover of night at this football asylum.

Ohio State: The state comes together, 105,000 strong, for a day of drinking, debauchery and dotting the I. Between you and me: Just don't get too close to Tressel when he sings Carmen, Ohio. He's waaay off key.

Tennessee: There's nothing like the Volunteer Navy at sunrise on game day. Everyone is so hung over, you can hear the catfish jumping in the Tennessee River. The crazies then prove medical experts wrong by showing it is possible for humans to yell for three consecutive hours.

Texas A&M: Howdy! The friendliest fans on earth are also the quirkiest. Those yell leaders look like they're giving landing directions to UFOs. You haven't lived until you've felt the press box sway. Then you're looking for a parachute from about seven stories up.

Dodd's blog also includes his picks for the top five game-day coaches in college football. Again in alphabetical order, these are Jim Grobe (Wake Forest), Urban Meyer (Florida), Nick Saban (Alabama), Bob Stoops (Oklahoma) and Jim Tressel (Ohio State).

Dodd also lists his top five recruiters. None works for Tennessee at the present time but two of them – Rodney Garner (1996-97) and Kevin Steele (1982, 1987) used to. Garner now toils for Georgia, while Steele is employed by Alabama.

The other ace recruiters on Dodd's list are John Blake (North Carolina), Stan Drayton (Florida) and Todd McNair (Southern Cal).

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