Cuonzo Is Gonzo: So Who's Next for the Vols?
Cuonzo Is Gonzo: So Who's Next for the Vols?
Cuonzo Is Gonzo: So Who's...

Cuonzo Is Gonzo: So Who's Next for the Vols?

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Featured Story

Cuonzo Is Gonzo: So Who's Next for the Vols?

Written by: Clay Travis

Cuonzo Martin and the Tennessee Vols were in the midst of an awkward divorce. Neither really wanted to be in a relationship with the other. Vol athletic director Dave Hart expected Martin to take the Marquette job, but at the last minute Martin told Marquette no. So just over ten days ago Tennessee released an unplanned commitment letter between Martin and the Vols. Clearly, that "commitment" is now no longer. Tennessee and Cuonzo both got their wish, the divorce is final.

So now the question becomes this -- what will Tennessee pay to hire a replacement coach? If the Vols are willing to pay in the neighborhood of $2.5 million a year then there are many top-tier candidates. That kind of salary would mean that Tennessee is paying top-ten college basketball coaching money.  There aren't many schools that can pay top-ten coaching money. Tennessee can. 

The men's basketball program has been right around the top five in the country for much of that last decade in total attendance. Three of the last four Tennessee coaches -- everyone except for the woeful Buzz Peterson -- has been to a Sweet 16. The Vols have been in the NCAA tournament for 11 of the past 16 seasons. This is without a doubt one of the top four basketball jobs in the SEC. Kentucky is the unquestioned number one job in the conference, but Bruce Pearl recently argued that Tennessee was number two. His argument was pretty simple, Billy Donovan makes Florida's program, not the other way around. (Pearl's top six SEC programs in order were Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida, Arkansas, Vanderbilt, and Missouri). That's a fair list. Given that Arkansas hasn't even been to the Sweet 16 since 1996, approaching an entire generation, it's hard to argue that Arkansas is superior to the Vols. I don't believe Vandy and Mizzou are either. 

As is, Cuonzo leaves behind a mediocre collection of talent, but Vol fans know this. Expectations will be realistic for a new coach. 

So who will that new coach be? It really depends on what Dave Hart can spend. The finances of Vol athletics have stabilized a great deal of late. Dooley's buyout is, mercifully, mostly gone. Butch Jones has the football team on the right track. Vol athletics has dug out of its buyout hole. 

Hell, Cal will actually be paying Tennessee over a million dollars for Cuonzo to leave.

Here's an early stab at a guess. 

Latest Articles

By Eric Taylor

When former SEC Commissioner Roy Kramer added Arkansas and South Carolina as the 11th and 12th team to the conference in 1990 so he could stage the first ever conference championship game, anyone would have bet the family pet that Alabama and Tennessee would meet in at least one championship game through 2011. 

Today I got my copy of Sports Illustrated in the mail.

The cover story is on Tyrann Mathieu, LSU's Honey Badger, who is presently sitting out the 2012 season after failing drug tests.

Mathieu's fall from Heisman contender to ineligible player has been well documented since July. Television cameras have even caught him sitting in the LSU student section this fall, rooting for the team he isn't allowed to represent. Now Sports Illustrated has put him on the cover of its magazine. The vast majority of the story is a rehash of the difficult background that Thayer Evans already wrote about last year for Fox Sports. That story was fabulous, an eye-opening account into an upbringing that most of us can't even imagine.

But that story ran nearly a year ago, amidst the swirl of media attention that surrounded the LSU-Alabama BCS title game.

I linked the Fox Sports story at the time and encouraged y'all to read it in the days surrounding the BCS title game.

I'd say the same thing today. Read it.

But now SI tells that same story, a year later, with insubstantial new news included.

Except for a couple of paragraphs about Mathieu's image potentially being used by a local Baton Rouge club.

The Five Stages of Southern Male Fall Wedding Grief

Written by: Hayley Frank

“We find a place for what we lose. Although we know that after such a loss the acute stage of mourning will subside, we also know that we shall remain inconsolable and will never find a substitute. No matter what may fill the gap, even if it be filled completely, it nevertheless remains something else.”
-Sigmund Freud

I used to think grief was what I felt when I was in Jr. High and my 12-week old Shih Tzu puppy died at home while we were away on vacation in San Antonio, TX. We had had a pesky mouse in the kitchen at the time so the exterminator put rat poison down in the pantry, except the mouse never found it.   Because Nugget Frank found it first.   Therefore, at the tender age of 14, I was able to form what I thought was a pretty acute definition of mourning.   However, this weekend I learned that my definition was wrong. Glaringly wrong. I now know that the definition of mourning is a lost Football Saturday in the south.

Linemaker Poll: Week of October 15

Written by: Todd Fuhrman

The BCS unveiled their rankings this past weekend but how does the first installment match up with the way Vegas ranks the field?

If I had a dollar for every time I heard a Tennessee fan say, “Let’s just pay Jon Gruden 7 million dollars,” I would have around 7 million dollars. I can remember thousands of outraged students chanting Jon Gruden outside Gate 21 on that fateful winter night when mattresses burned in the streets and Lane Kiffin miraculously escaped Knoxville alive.

Today Charles Barkley stopped by Roundtable Radio, the midday show on Birmingham's powerful WJOX station, to discuss the state of Auburn football.

And, not surprisingly, Barkley didn't pull many punches.

He began the segment with a comment about Auburn basketball, "Never thought you'd hear those words, can't wait for Auburn basketball."

Barkley discussed the upcoming Auburn-Alabama game, "I canceled my trip to the Iron Bowl. I'm not going down there to see that massacre."

Asked by host Lance Taylor if he would take Auburn +31?

"If they're giving Auburn 31, I've got Auburn in that game. Do you know what the money line on that game would be? I'd have to be really drunk to take the money line on that one."

Notwithstanding his decision not to go to the Iron Bowl, Barkley took issue with Pat Dye's comments that he didn't see Auburn having a chance to win upcoming games.

"I'm going to stick with Auburn no matter what, but I would never say we didn't have a chance."

By Cody Knight

An old coach once said, "you're never as good as you think you are." SEC fans, the media, and coaches could all learn something from that statement.

Ah, Gallette's in Tuscaloosa.

One of the best college bars in America.

The place where generations of Bama students have gotten together to drink beers, celebrate wins, and make college memories. 

I love Gallette's, every time I've ever been I've had a great time. At least for the times I can remember being there. 

You know the only way Gallette's could possibly be better?

If you're Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron, your team is ranked number one in the country, and you've just beaten the brains out of yet another SEC foe. 

What We Learned and What We Should Expect

Written by: Todd Fuhrman

When you haven't sorted out the aftermath of another crazy college football weekend, it's already time to start looking ahead. Gaining perspective on what unfolded the previous Saturday gives us a glimpse of what we can expect moving forward. This time of year the travel, scheduling situations, and letdown spots all play a role in impacting the landscape.

At some point during Saturday night's game, even the most ardent Tennessee Vol supporter had to laugh.

I mean, Dooley is coaching inside the press box because he has a broken hip and occasionally the camera catches him leaned back in his chair so all we can see is his hair? This really happened.

Then, of all people, Matt Millen, perhaps the least successsful NFL executive of all time, is sitting next to Dooley calling the game, only Millen's view is obscured by blinds.

They put up blinds between the coach's box and the television booth.

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