All for Tennessee Mailbag Edition from fans of Rocky Top

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 30: A fan of the University of Tennessee Volunteers cheers during the first half of a game against of the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl at Nissan Stadium on December 30, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 30: A fan of the University of Tennessee Volunteers cheers during the first half of a game against of the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl at Nissan Stadium on December 30, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) /

The 2018 Tennessee football season is only one day away, and we have some mailbag questions to get you ready for the big game.

I looked down at my watch earlier this morning, and it read 8/31/18. I was thrown back by the realization that Tennessee football is only one day away.

It seemed like yesterday we were all talking about, ‘is Greg Schiano really going to be the head coach of the Volunteers?’  Can you fathom how horrible that hire would have been for this football program? If Schiano was the head coach, over/under 10,000 fans, show up in Charlotte? I am taking the under.

Enough of that rubbish, the Vols have a real football coach in Jeremy Pruitt, and he has Volnation ready for an exciting season.

Speaking of the season, we want to run a mailbag, just like this one, for (you) the fans, every Friday. So, hop on board and send your questions to My goal is to get to as many of them as I possibly can. Let’s dive in.

 Spencer H. writes…What are your expectations for this season? What do you think the record will be? I think Tennessee wins maybe four or five games.

I think just four or five wins is a low number here. I know you can’t base everything off of last season, but the Vols should have beaten Florida and South Carolina with horrible play calling from the coaches. So boom, there is a six-win season.

And, I truly believe if the Vols would have beaten Florida and South Carolina, there is no way they lose to both Kentucky and Vanderbilt. So now we are up to seven wins.

Looking at this year’s schedule, there is no doubt getting to seven or eight wins is going to be difficult. However, I personally believe the Vols get to the seven-win mark. They will probably end up losing in some lame bowl game because Jeremy Pruitt doesn’t care unless it is a National Championship. So 7-6 overall. You can find the entire All for Tennessee staff’s game-by-game predictions here.

Joe M. writes…Who is your favorite fictional football character?

Joe coming out of left field with this question, but I like it. Keep these types of questions coming. Honestly, I could go on for days answering this question. There have been so many great fictional football characters in my lifetime. However, I am a tad bit younger than so the number of movies or TV shows I can choose from aren’t that many.

But, a few that come to mind are The Waterboy, Remember the Titans, Forrest Gump, Varsity Blues, and Friday Night Lights (TV). Bobby Boucher is a fan favorite but not for me. He was too much of a momma’s boy. Not hating on the momma’s boys out there because moms deserve love but at a certain point enough is enough.

I would go with Forrest Gump because what a character he was. Everyone one loves Forrest, right? The man was incredibly talented in everything he did, and I’m sure he could beat me in ping-pong with his eyes closed. However, he played for Alabama, so there is no way he is my favorite.

So, that leaves Remember the Titans, which is possibly one of the best movies of all time. However, I am going with Tim Riggins of the Dillion Panthers from Friday Night Lights (TV).

You can’t ever have too many Tim Riggins in the world. The kid was in high school and was a stud football player. He could drink beer for breakfast, skip school and still scored three touchdowns at the big game on Friday night.

Josh C. writes…Which areas do you believe Tennessee has the advantage against WVU?

It most certainly isn’t the West Virginia wide receivers vs. the Vols’ defensive backs. I do not hate on the Volunteers defensive backs. Alontae Taylor and Bryce Thompson will turn out to be stud players for Jeremy Pruitt’s defense. Bold prediction here, but I think both Taylor and Thompson turn out to be All-SEC talent by the start of next season.

I also think the running backs and the offensive line should control the game and line of scrimmage. Ty Chandler should have an outstanding game; I think over 100 yards rushing and a touchdown.

James T. writes… What is the one thing you’re most confident about for the Vols against West Virginia?

That they cover that 10-point spread with a lot of help from the running backs. It’s been noted on this site and many others that West Virginia’s defense wasn’t great last season. In fact, it wasn’t even okay. Actually, it sucked.

Anytime you give up over 300 yards rushing to the Kansas Jayhawks; you know you have some major problems.

And, of course, West Virginia fans came from all over to yell at me for saying Tennessee should run all over their defense because I was using last year’s numbers. However, each encounter, their fans failed to explain how their defense got any better this season.

At least I could fall back on the fact the Vols signed highly talented players in the secondary in Alontae Taylor and Bryce Thompson. Plus Tennessee is finally 100 percent healthy for the first time in what seems like forever.

But, back to the running backs, assuming Ty Chandler gets the start he should have the opportunity to have a 100-yard rushing day. With that, the Vols should keep it close.

Zac B. writes…The new coaching staff as a whole has a ton of high-level coaching under their belts. How soon do you think we will see the pedigree and experience of the new staff fully translate to on the field production?

I think we will see a difference in game one. Now, suggesting the Vols get to nine or ten years this season is unrealistic. However, I think within four years, Pruitt wins ten games at least once with an SEC Championship Game appearance. Maybe even next season with the way the schedule lines up.

This year you should see a team that plays hard and never gives up. I don’t foresee the Vols getting blown out in any game like they did last season.

Don H. writes…Can Jeremey Pruitt win SEC Coach of the Year in his first season as head coach?

Great question Don. Can he? Yes. Will he? I doubt it.

Too much has to go right for Pruitt to win that honor. However, coming off a 4-8 season only helps his case. Not to mention a 4-8 season without a conference win.

The last SEC Coach of the Year that didn’t have at least ten wins was way back in 2010 when Steve Spurrier when he coached the Gamecocks to a 9-5 record.

So let’s break it down. With expectations high for Alabama and Georiga both Kirby Smart and Nick Saban would have to go undefeated to win coach of the year. Maybe just one loss depending on the game.

After a 9-4 season with South Carolina, Will Muschamp is probably going to have to win the East or at least win ten games. No chance Matt Luke, Derek Mason, Barry Odom, Chad Morris, Ed Orgeron, and Mark Stoops can win.

So, that leaves Jimbo Fisher, Dan Mullen, Guz Malzahn, Joe Moorhead, and Jeremy Pruitt. Truthfully I think Dan Mullen has the best chance if Florida can win nine or ten games. But, yes Pruitt can win, I just don’t think he will.

dark. Next. Vols and Mountaineers keys to the game

Matthew S. writes…Do you hate West Virginia as much as I do? Why do they think they are so great? I hate their coach, their team, and most of all, their fans.


Thanks for sending in questions and comments. Oh, and thanks for reading. We plan on doing this weekly so go ahead and start sending in your questions for next week to