FreakNotes: Lane Kiffin, Gruden thread, Hoops projections

It’s been a minute since I’ve written “FreakNotes” and I’m not sure whether it’s something I’ll continue or not, but let’s just say that, with all of the Grumors and coaching talk as of late, I decided to roll one out. So let’s get it started, and be sure to leave a comment at the bottom. I love the feedback/discussion.

  • If you can stomach it, be sure to enter the *****Official Pick the Score Contest: Alabama. As always, the winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card.
  • First up for discussion today is Lane Kiffin. I know, I know. People either love him or hate him, but I found Chris Low’s comments yesterday to be in the spirit of this pre-coaching search. When asked if Kiffin would take the Tennessee job, Low said, “Given the chance, I think Lane would crawl back to Knoxville. I think he would in a heartbeat. He’s told me in the past he would.” Discussion: Lane Kiffin (Merged)
  • Furthermore, Kiffin is stirring the pot, like he always does, tweeting about Tennessee.

  • The top thread from yesterday is the “Official Jon Gruden Thread XIX.” Was there any doubt?
  • The preseason SEC basketball rankings are out, and they aren’t kind to Rick Barnes and Tennessee. 13th? Really? 13th? Surely we’ll finish better than that, right? Right? Somebody tell me I’m right. Here are a few photos from media day, if you’re interested.
  • Speaking of Vols’ basketball, Tennessee guard James Daniel made the SI list of top 10 transfers. They project 12.9 points per game for the redshirt senior transfer from Howard.
  • If you’re looking for actual content about Saturday’s matchup with Alabama, check out Vol Report: Third Saturday of October Approaching and FOOTBALL CENTRAL: Tennessee at #1 Alabama.
  • I debated on whether to bump it this year, but check out the thread that has become an annual VolNation tradition: “Why I hate the Alabama Crimson Tide.” I know, we stink, they’re great and all that. But we still hate them, don’t we? Might as well have fun with it.
  • The Tennessee football program has made monumental steps, Butch says. Monumental? “I think we have come monumental steps from where we came, if you look at just cleaning up the character part of the program and the academics.” … “Obviously, being 3-3 is not what we expect,” Jones said. “That’s not the expectation here at Tennessee. But we have to keep grinding.”
  • Here’s an interesting stat from The Sports Source: Tennessee’s kickoff return average is better than last year, even without Evan Berry. The Vols averaged 24.8 return yards last year versus 27.6 this season.
  • Radio host Russel W. Smith said yesterday that Butch Jones will be fired on Sunday and Phillip Fulmer will be named the interim coach. Do you buy it? It does coincide with the rumors that Butch and Tennessee have reached an agreement on a buyout. Not saying I believe either is/isn’t true, just throwing it out there.
  • Tennesse commitment Shocky Jacques-Louis told Bud Elliot that he’s looking around. “To be honest, I’m still committed to Tennessee, but I am definitely looking at other options due to, uh, certain situations at Tennessee,” Jacques-Louis said. “The situation” is head coach Butch Jones being squarely on the hot seat after a 3-3 start to the season. Jones is 14-21 in SEC play as Tennessee’s head coach. Coach [Butch] Jones, I love him to death, but I’d be a fool to go there and he’ll just end up missing, ya know?”
  • According to Jimmy Hyams, Tennessee ranks 98th in the country in TD red zone efficiency. The Vols have scored only 10 touchdowns in 19 trips inside the red zone. Also of note, running back John Kelly has six touches on the 24 plays inside the 10-yard-line. That’s, uh, not encouraging.
  • This is a pretty cool drawing of Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano. Well done.
  • Speaking of Guarantano, he’s trying really hard to say the right things: “I just loved the atmosphere here,” Guarantano said on the radio show. “I really see a big picture and a future, and I really think that the University of Tennessee is going to be on top soon. I felt very comfortable with Coach Jones. He’s like a second father to me, and I think the program is on its way up.”
  • Tennessee class of 2018 commit Dorian Gerald confirmed his official visit to Tennessee.



  • Thanks for the comments Freak. I would be very supportive of Fulmer being named interim head coach the rest of the way. Do not want Kiffin or Petrino under any circumstance.

    GO VOLS!

    • Me too. I believe having Fulmer step up would bring more excitement than the AD realizes. I hope Peyton comes in and helps out with the quarterback classes. They could use a great teacher.

  • You can say what you want to about Kiffin, but one thing for sure he knows how to put an offense together that can score. Believe it or not he would be a great choice for TN. This weeks game score is Alabama 49, TN 10. That’s all folks….

    • Kiffin would be run out of town as soon as he lost to Florida or Georgia. With this nutty fan base, our next coach should demand a 20 million dollar buyout in his contract.

  • In all honesty I am confused as to what is the proper move right now. I will wait for the next 2 games to make up my mind..If Butch can find a way to beat Bama, I would have to seriously look at him staying. To me beating Bama is why we hired him. JMHO. the ‘Los

  • Please keep doing the Freak notes always love reading them, it keeps me up to date if I miss anything! At this point not seeing the hiring of Kiffin as a total failure.

  • I guess I am different than most folks. I really enjoyed Kiffin’s time here. It was something new, every time you turned around – as opposed to the boring status of the latter Fulmer years. If I held a grudge, it would be against Orgeron for trying to get recruits who were already on campus, to go to USC. That was about as low as you can get.

    If Kiffin has toned down his style, and would stay away from the NCAA doghouse, I would not be against his return – except, I think too many fans would continue to hold a grudge. It wouldn’t be fair to him, or the rest of us, to put us through those ramifications.

    As for Fulmer, I am not against him, but I generally think people need to quit living in the past. If he does become interim coach, are we going to have to fight over whether he should continue past year’s end? I don’t think we need that controversy right now.

    I even wonder if the whole Gruden phenomenon is living in the past. The guy hasn’t coached in how long? The only reason I am really for it, is the expectation of some #1 recruiting classes. Otherwise, I think there may be better coaches out there, like Scott Frost.

    Thanks for these updates. I really look forward to them.

  • Please keep writing these, it is the most intelligent thing on Volnation. I do not have time to check out the news and boards and you really are the only one that’s keep me informed. Bama is a tough game but anything is possible. If we get a new coach I want one that played football at UT. Basketball men’s team will be very good, 13th is a joke and the people who voted don’t know what we have this yr.
    Yes we still hate Bama, I do have a 5,000 dollar bet that they go undefeated and I hope I lose it this weekend. Go Vols. I want Tee Martin if Butch gets Fired, I don’t believe he should be fired, I know no one will agree with me but the class we got coming in and the fact we don’t have Alvin, Derek, Malone, etc… makes a difference, 2017 was always a rebuilding year with Dobbs leaving and the great draft the Vols had…. Score Tennessee 17 ala bama – 34. if JG plays like did on the last series vs SC , we will be tough the rest of the way out, Vols men basketball finish in top 6 and go to the ncaa’s. Thanks Freak, it will all work out and UT still goes to a bowl, I hope in Nash or Memphis so I can go. They will paly their hearts out on Sat, just not enough depth right now and offense shows they are new coaches, it’ll be OK.

  • Don’t see how Fulmer could be named as the interim coach. Hoke would seem to be the logical choice. If Fulmer is named, it’s not a good look for our current leadership. Everyone knows we’ve been in the dumper since Fulmer was fired. If this is the plan, might as well just let Butch finish the year and see what happens.

  • I love these notes. Thanks so much! I watched the game today. As a true Vols Fan its hard to watch. I wouldn’t mind seeing Fulmer back as long as it’s the Fulmer from the early years. I wouldn’t mind Tee Martin either! Kiffin however, NOPE! I actually know a division 2 coach personally who would fit perfectly! He is a tough coach that gets results, which is what we need!
    On another note, Gaulden….he should have had his uniform taken off and had to sit elsewhere after the “gestures” he made to the Bama fans. That’s uncalled for and very inappropriate! He has had several inappropriate penalties this year!

  • As a lot of you have already stated, great job Freak! If Butch is let go, I would go after an older, more experienced Lane Kiffin. Why, because I think he can compete with the Satans, of Bama. I don’t hold any ill will against the man for going back home when that job opened so soon. Now, I think he wants to go against Satan and Bama, also we all make mistakes. What he does from this day forward is how he will be defined. GBO!

    • Kiffin was given a chance. He blew it! He left us with violations to pay for. UT doesn’t give second chances very often. If they are going to, Fulmer should come in with Tee Martin by his side ready to eventually take over. Don’t let Kiffin basically laugh at us again!


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