UT columnist off target

Knoxville News Sentinel writer John Adams is at it again. For years during Vandy's long suffering football seasons he's taken pop shots at Vanderbilt's attendance and lack of success. Now the shoe is on the other foot and his own glorious Vols are suffering through hard times but he is continuing his longstanding tradition. Now he's blaming scheduling for Vandy's success.. and UT's demise.

You see, Adams is the chief therapist writer for hundreds of thousands of UT fans looking for some glimmer of hope for the future. These success starved fans were dancing in the streets when UT won a baseball series against the National Champion Commodores. Then their hopes were dashed when Tim Corbin's boys ended UT's season in the SEC tournament along with any hope of an NCAA berth.

In Adams' most recent article he says of Vandy's football 2014 schedule that "Mike Slive should find [it] embarrassing". Adams paints of picture in his commentary of the Vols playing mostly top 10 non-conference opponents while Vandy plays teams like the Florida School for the Blind and Slippery Rock. He goes on to say "Tennessee likely wouldn't be in the midst of a three-year bowl drought if it had scheduled with six victories in mind."

In scanning UT's schedules from the past three seasons, all of which were bowl-less, I see only one top 10 non-conference opponent out of the 12 non-conference opponents and that's Oregon. Maybe Cincinnati was in 2011 but they sure aren't a consistent top 10 team and I don't believe UT planned on them being as good as they were at the time. Last season, in addition to their game against the Ducks in Eugene, the Vols played Austin Peay, Western Kentucky, and South Alabama; that's far from juggernauts. In 2012 they opened with a win over N.C. State in Atlanta, a team Vandy would later dominate in the Music City Bowl. Powerhouses Georgia State, Akron and Troy were also on that 2012 Vol schedule.

The fact is these schedules are usually made out many years in advance. When Vanderbilt scheduled a long series with Wake Forest the Deacons had just played in a BCS Bowl the year before. Never mind that playing in a bowl of that stature is something that the Vols haven't done in quite a while but the point is Wake eventually fell on hard times and Vandy was the beneficiary, but it wasn't planned. You must also consider that Vanderbilt had games scheduled with Ohio State and Northwestern that had to be cancelled when scheduling conflicts arose after the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M to the league.

Tennessee dominated Vanderbilt for many years until 2012 when a 41-18 beat down by Vandy signaled a new age in the rivalry. The loss to the Commodores ended the Vol's season with a 5-7 record and no bowl. In 2013 Vandy won again, this time in front of 100,000 orange and white clad fans in Knoxville, and for the third straight season UT finished 5-7... and no bowl. My point is that instead of making excuses and complaining about other team's schedules maybe Adams should help the Vols figure out how to beat Vandy so they can make some kind of bowl. I also believe Slive was far more embarrassed by UT's 59-14 loss to Oregon than he was with any other non-conference game played by an SEC team. Yes, even the Georgia Southern win over Florida.

By the way, did I mention that it's been 136 weeks since Vandy has lost a football game to Tennessee?

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