Posted on: September 20, 2010 12:21 pm

Chick-fil-A Kickoff to be a doubleheader in 2012

Posted by Chip Patterson

Even though it's only three years old, the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game is ready to expand.  The annual opening-weekend show down between the SEC and the ACC in the Georgia Dome has been considered a success among fans so far, and the experience will only get bigger.

It was announced on Saturday that the kickoff game would be a kickoff doubleheader in 2012.  Auburn and Clemson will get to continue their renewed regular season rivalry in one half of the bill, while the other matchup will be between NC State and Tennessee.  There has been no announcement as to kick times or date, but it is assumed the games will continue to be televised on ESPN and/or ABC.

Atlanta makes for a perfect meeting spot for SEC and ACC fans, and every year each school has sold out their allotted 31,200 tickets.  The massive arrival of passionate college football fans with early season optimism makes for a great environment throughout Atlanta.  With the success of ticket sales thus far, I would imagine that the games would be held on Thursday and Saturday, or be separated by enough time to clear/refill the Dome.  

NC State-Tennessee could be a selection for a Thursday night game, the Wolfpack have played on the opening Thursday recently in 2008 and 2009 against South Carolina.  Still, all four fan bases meeting in Atlanta for opening weekend should make for an incredible college football atmosphere for all teams involved. 

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Posted on: September 18, 2010 7:10 pm

Gators win in Knoxville, 31-17

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Well after what was a rather lackluster first half in Knoxville, the action picked up a bit in the second half.  After the two teams combined to score only ten points and put up 164 yards of offense, things opened up a bit in the second half.

The turning point came in the third quarter when, with the score tied at 10-10, Florida lined up for a punt at their own 39-yard line.  They did not punt, however.  Instead Omarius Hines took a direct snap and took off for 36 yards for a first down.  Six plays later John Brantley found Frankie Hammond Jr. for a 7-yard touchdown and the Gators never relinquished the lead again.

Matt Simms was intercepted on Tennessee 's next drive by Jeremy Brown, and the Gators turned that into another seven points.

Things would get interesting in the fourth quarter when Simms found a wide open -- and I mean WIDE OPEN -- Justin Hunter for a 35-yard score to cut the lead to 24-17, but the Vols defense just couldn't keep the Gators out of the end zone on their next drive as Trey Burton would end the day's scoring with a 2-yard touchdown to make it 31-17.

Which is where this one would finish.  So Florida's now 3-0, and I think it's safe to say that this was their best performance of the season.

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Posted on: September 18, 2010 6:10 pm
Edited on: September 18, 2010 9:26 pm

Philip Fulmer rips Lane Kiffin: 'Glad he's gone'

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Philip Fulmer, the longtime Tennessee Volunteers coach who was ousted after a 5-7 season in 2008, appeared on CBS' College Football Today earlier today, and the subject of Lane Kiffin and his tenure at Tennessee came up. As you might expect, Fulmer had an opinion or two about Kiffin:

(On Lane Kiffin Leaving Tennessee after one year)

FULMER: Tennessee is a very proud program as we all know with great traditions and the people of Tennessee felt betrayed to be honest with you. They were embarrassed, felt jilted with all the cost of the change there was. Kiffin, he left Tennessee with basically his hat in his hand and a bunch of NCAA compliance questions. Many in our community are glad that he is gone. He never really embraced the traditions, the values of the program or the community for that matter. And often his arrogant attitude turned people off. The bigger question in my opinion is how does a guy like this end up with two jobs with historic football teams like Tennessee and USC…

(On college football being hurt by hiring of so called gun-slingers and rock-star coaches and really moving away from guys like Fulmer, Joe Paterno, Bobby Bowden and the like)

FULMER: You know we probably have been our own worst enemies in some cases because of the money. It’s become an entertainment industry if you will. I do think that we are missing some of the values that are out there, that the experience and the maturity older coaches can bring. But it’s changed and we have to change with the times.

Fulmer, of course, has a point; while the notion that "there's no such thing as bad publicity" has some merit to it, the point of college football isn't to win media cycles or stay in the headlines, it's to win football games, and there's little evidence to suggest that Kiffin has ever possessed the skill set to organize a winning program.

Posted on: September 18, 2010 5:11 pm
Edited on: September 18, 2010 5:13 pm

Gators lead the Vols 7-3 at halftime

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It's nice to have Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson back on the mothership this afternoon, but it'd be nicer if the Florida Gators and Tennessee Volunteers could provide a crisper game.  The teams head to the locker rooms with Florida holding a 7-3 advantage while both offenses struggle to get any real momentum going.

At times it looks like good defense is the reason for the low point total, but usually, it's been some sloppy offense.  The Gators have managed only 94 total yards in the first half -- with only 19 coming on the ground -- and while that seems to be a pretty low total, the Volunteers offense is doing even worse.  The Vols have 70 yards of offense, and only 17 rushing yards.

It's a miracle either team has managed to score ten points.

The Vols had a golden opportunity to take a lead in the second quarter when Janoris Jenkins muffed a punt, giving the Vols excellent field position.  Matt Simms hit Zach Rodgers with a pass for 33 yards on the very next play to set up a first and goal, but a few plays later Simms was throwing an interception in the end zone, foolishly thinking he could sneak a pass by Jonathan Bostic.

It'll be interesting to see which direction this game goes in the second half, but let's remember that the Vols hung with Oregon for a half last Saturday before Oregon's offense finally got in gear and exposed Tennessee's lack of depth on defense.  Derek Dooley needs to hope that's not the case again this week.

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Category: NCAAF
Posted on: September 18, 2010 11:30 am

Game day weather updates, Week 3

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Here's the weather outlook for all of today's important matchups. Will the heat affect teams' gameplans in the southeast? All times are Eastern.

Noon kickoffs

No. 12 Arkansas at Georgia, 12:00, Athens, GA: Lower 80s, clear, hot

Maryland at No. 21 West Virginia, 12:00, Morgantown, WV: Upper 60s, clear

Afternoon kickoffs

No. 8 Nebraska at Washington, 3:30, Seattle, WA: Mid 60s, cloudy, scattered showers

No. 18 USC at Minnesota, 3:30, Minneapolis, MN: Mid 50s, partly cloudy

No. 10 Florida at Tennessee, 3:30, Knoxville, TN: Mid 80s, clear, hot

Evening kickoffs

Clemson at No. 16 Auburn, 7:00, Auburn, AL: Mid 80s, cloudy, slight chance of showers

No. 6 Texas at Texas Tech, 8:00, Lubbock, TX: Mid 80s, partly cloudy, windy

Late kickoffs

No. 9 Iowa at No. 24 Arizona, 10:30, Tucson, AZ: Lower 90s, breezy, hot

No. 23 Houston at UCLA, 10:30, Pasadena, CA: Upper 60s, clear

Wake Forest at No. 19 Stanford, 11:15, Palo Alto, CA: Lower 60s, clear

Posted on: September 15, 2010 8:57 pm
Edited on: September 15, 2010 9:21 pm

UT fans make 'Time to Die' shirts for Gators game

Posted by Adam Jacobi

When it comes to smack talk between two rival schools, there are only two instances where a reference can be considered "too soon":

1. Someone has died very recently.

2. Just kidding, there is no #2.

And so with the Chris Rainey fiasco, Rainey only texted the victim that it was "time to die"; nobody actually lost their lives or was even attacked. Thus, Tennessee fans are on the ball with a quickness:

That's via FanHouse author (and gleeful UT partisan) Clay Travis. No word on where, precisely, the t-shirts are being sold; the university would probably like to know, seeing as how that's their logo being used in a hilariously inappropriate fashion. Nonetheless, expect to see them all over Knoxville this Saturday when Florida and Tennessee lock horns. If, y'know, gators and volunteers had horns.

Posted on: September 14, 2010 12:33 pm

Fulmer doesn't enjoy the Vols' struggles

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Phillip Fulmer has spent much of his adult life as a Tennessee Volunteer.  He first played for the Vols as a guard from 1968-1971 before joining the coaching staff as a student coach following his graduation.  Then, in 1980, he was named the team's offensive line coach.  He eventually worked his way up to head coach, taking over the job in 1992 and keeping it through 2008.  Now he spends his time as an analyst for our very own CBS College Sports Network, but just because he's no longer on the sideline in Knoxville doesn't mean he's stopped bleeding orange.

Based on his comments during a teleconference on Tuesday, after seeing his former team play this season, he's doing a lot more bleeding than he'd like to .

“It’s terrible,” Fulmer said. “It’s hard to watch something you’ve put most of your adult life into and had just played for the (SEC) championship (in 2007) and all of a sudden you’re watching what’s transpiring now through the program and an obvious attempt to change the culture of Tennessee football that failed.”

Actually, Phil, Lane Kiffin did change the culture a little bit.  He managed to make everyone in Knoxville incredibly angry, and brought the NCAA to town before taking off for USC.  So now Derek Dooley has a nice little mess to clean up, and Fulmer does feel that Dooley is doing a good job getting the process started.

“I think Derek’s doing a good job,” Fulmer said. “He’s doing what he has to do. He’s saying the right things, and when a coach has to talk about his team’s effort, that’s not a good sign. In the second half of the (Oregon) football game I think he thought his guys didn’t try as hard as a Tennessee football team is expected to try.

“He’s got some players. (Running back) Tauren Poole is obviously a guy that’s talented, but there’s a lot of work to be done, you know, at quarterback and defensively. There’s just a ton in the short term to be done and more importantly he’s looking at the big picture of the program long term, to recruit and get Tennessee back at the level that they’re expected to be at."

I can echo Fulmer's and Dooley's concerns about the Vols effort in the second half against Oregon .  While watching the game there were two distinct halves of football being played.  In the first half the Vols were flying all over the field and looking like a team capable of pulling off an upset, but the second the Ducks tied the game and then took the lead, it seemed as though the energy had been sucked out of Tennessee. 

Instead of battling back they looked like a team resigned to a loss.

Something Dooley definitely needs to take care of in Knoxville, and not a task I envy him having to complete.

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Posted on: September 11, 2010 10:43 pm
Edited on: September 11, 2010 11:40 pm

Matt Simms, Tennessee in full implosion

Posted by Adam Jacobi

It's hard to believe, but Tennessee led No. 7 Oregon 13-3 in the second quarter. And they looked good.

All that's long gone, though, because Oregon now leads 27-13 late in the third quarter, and Tennessee looks bad. Oregon had taken the lead on a sensational 73-yard run by LaMichael James , and Tennessee was driving to answer. Alas, Matt Simms uncorked a floater off of his back foot. and the throw was easily intercepted and taken to the house by Cliff Harris . Touchdown Oregon, and Neyland Stadium became Neyland Mausoleum.

Simms wasn't done, however, as he led the Tennessee offense backwards 13 yards on the very next drive, culminating in a 5-yard loss on a screen pass against a 3-man front. Tennessee may be only down by 14, but it's hard to imagine that this offense has 14 more points in them tonight.

UPDATE: We were right.  Tennessee didn't have 14 more points in them, in fact, they didn't even have one. Oregon had 21 more, though.  Final score: Oregon 48 Tennessee 13.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com