Here's what you need to know about Tennessee: the Volunteers have gone 28-34 since the start of the 2008 seasson. In Knoxville, that's not good enough.
One can argue until you're orange in the face that Tennessee should not have parted ways with Phil Fulmer. That's history now. Lane Kiffin stuck around for one season and left for USC, then came Derek Dooley. He was asked to leave after going 15-21 in three seasons. That's all in the past. Butch Jones is the new coach, and the future is now.
Jones comes by way of Cincinnati and, before that, Central Michigan. He's a proven winner. While this year's team won't be great, Jones' history suggests he will have the Volunteers back among the SEC's best sooner rather than later.
Tennessee's posters feature linebacker A.J. Johnson, top, and receiver Justin Hunter. Johnson had 80 tackles in his freshman season. Hunter was a rising star until tearing a ligament in his left knee last season against Florida. Hunter said he feels "no tweaks or anything like that" and promises to be at full strength for the Aug. 31 opener against North Carolina State. The Volunteers will need him. Tennessee is 23-27 since 2008 and won only one game in Southeastern Conference play last season. That puts coach Derek Dooley, entering his third season, squarely on the hot seat.
Tennessee enters Year 2 of the Derek Dooley era with an eight-game home schedule. That alone should help the Volunteers rebound from last season's 6-7 record. Nonetheless, the rebuilding project is ongoing — roughly 70% of the roster are freshmen and sophomores — so expect Tennessee to make a move to elite status in 2012-13.
The Wiz of Odds is conducting a comprehensive study of bowl game expense reports. All of the data collected — expense reports for 56 teams and bowl surveys for 40 teams — are being posted on the site. Here is the latest installment. For an overview of the project, click here.
The Music City Bowl is owned and operated by the Nashville Sports Council, a private 501(c) nonprofit. The inaugural game was played in 1998.
2010 participants: North Carolina and Tennessee.
North Carolina expenses: The school reported 1,465 absorbed tickets at a cost of $93,260. Administrative costs were listed at $297,923. The team also reported an expenditure of $3,072, which covered the cost of laundry services (at bowl site — $1,811) and rental of hydraulic lifts to film practice ($1,261). Download North Carolina Expenses
Survey: The school did not provide The Wiz of Odds with a bowl survey.
Tennessee expenses: The school listed 1,927 absorbed tickets at a cost of $115,780. In addition to the form returned to the NCAA, Tennessee provided a more detailed breakdown of expenses to The Wiz of Odds. Those expenses are listed on page three of the pdf.
On that page, total costs were listed at $816,221. Included in the expanded breakdown were items such as player bowl gifts ($42,550), bowl media guides ($15,312) and practice officials ($945). Download Tennessee Expenses
Survey: Athletic director Mike Hamilton gave the bowl a "dissatisfied" rating when asked if bowl policies were clearly communicated.
"The only real issue we had with the bowl was the management from the Sports Information Side [sic]," Hamilton wrote. "The postgame media setup was not very well managed. We had communicate [sic] our needs and our issues, and they were seemingly ignored. Media management could be better with this bowl."
He also expressed frustration with VIP courtesy transportation.
"The biggest issue we had was with the logistics of the hotel and their valet parking," he wrote. "If you were not traveling with the team on buses, it was nearly impossible to get onto or out of the hotel property. With 1,800 rooms, two football teams and a cheerleading competition going, the hotel was hectic and neither team felt like they were the priority.
"Cheerleaders became the focal point. When it takes nearly 40 minutes to get into or out of the hotel that is too long. This needs to be addressed." Download Tennessee Survey
Are high-profile athletes treated differently at Tennessee? If you compare the cases of former Volunteer punter Britton Colquitt and Suzanne Glen, the answer is a resounding yes.
Colquitt, now a member of the Denver Broncos, was involved in at least four alcohol-related incidents while attending school in Knoxville. Three of the incidents came within a 12-day span in 2003 and one of those involved a DUI that was later dismissed. In Feburary 2008, Colquitt was arrested for DUI and pleaded guilty in July 2008.
Phil Fulmer, who was the Tennessee coach, disciplined Colquitt by having him sit out the first five games of the 2008 season. The player also had his scholarship revoked, but was allowed to return to the team and continue playing.
Glen, 60, completed work this past spring on a master's degree in social work. Officials then learned that she pleaded guilty last year to reckless driving in Alabama and suspended her indefinitely, meaning she doesn't get her degree and has had to forfeit some $13,000 in schooling costs from the spring semester.
Glen appealed, but Tennessee chancellor Jimmy Cheek upheld the suspension.
Bottom line: The university's move has put her life on hold and she can't get a job in social work without the graduate degree.