4 ideal candidates for the UT job

Almost every time a big name coaching gig becomes open, the first two names that come out of people’s mouths is Gregg Marshall of Wichita State and Shaka Smart of VCU.

And while most people (actually most UT fans on social media) believe the two aforementioned names would be great for Tennessee basketball program,  you have to have a backup plan if you can’t get the hot name in the coaching world.

So I decided to come up with my four ideal candidates for the Tennessee job.

Donnie Tyndall, Southern Miss

The skinny:The world was introduced to Tyndall in 2012 when his Morehead State Eagles defeated the Louisville Cardinals in the NCAA Tournament. After the departure of Larry Eustachy to Colorado State,  Tyndall would be tapped as the Golden Eagles’ head man. In 2014, Southern Miss won its second Conference USA regular season title and a school record 29 wins.

Why he’s on this list: Southern Miss is one of the worst jobs in all of college basketball (crappy arena, little fan support, etc) and for a coach to eke out 29 wins at a school like Southern Miss is nothing short of a miracle. Plus Tyndall’s salary is $500,000, with a buyout of the same amount.

Chris Mack, Xavier

The Skinny: One of my favorite coaches in all of college basketball, Mack has led his alma mater to two Sweet 16s and two additional Big Dance trips.

Why hes on the list: Unlike Martin,Mack has a personality that could win over Vol fans. And if you don’t believe me, check out his Twitter feed.

 Ben Howland

The Skinny: Howland took UCLA to three straight Final Fours, which included a berth in the national title game in 2006. While the last few seasons in Westwood weren’t kind to him,  Howland also rebuilt the Pittsburgh program, where he took the Panthers to a Sweet 16 appearance and two regular season Big East title.

Why he’s on this list: Howland prior to his time in Pittsburgh had never coached outside the West Coast. Despite that red mark, he made basketball matter at Pittsburgh and the seeds he planted 15 years ago can be seen today with Jamie Dixon.

Michael White,  Louisiana Tech

The Skinny: The son of Duke athletic director Kevin White,  the younger White led Louisiana Tech to a share of the Conference USA regular season championship in 2014 as well as back-to-back 20-win seasons.

Why he’s on this list: A former player and assistant at Ole Miss, White understands the SEC. More importantly, during his time as an assistant with the Rebels, a stretch that saw the Rebels reach the NIT Final Four twice as well as four 20-win seasons and a litany of top recruiting classes, the 37 year-old would be a perfect fit for the Vols.




Since the inception of social media, there has been sports based arguments back and forth on just about every outlet imaginable.  “Smack” being tossed around and loving to hate one another’s biggest rival. Fans jump at the chance to take a shot at their enemy.

This led Sean Mcmickin, (Co-Founder), and I to the idea creating the Bulldogs & Rebels “LAY THE SMACKDOWN” rivalry page on Facebook.  It all started as a “like” page, created for mainly friends of ours.  We decided to turn it into a group page and expand it a little further.

As of today, we are pushing well over 1,000 members and very little leg work has been done, except for word of mouth, to advertise our page. We recently began to push the page a little harder, with the much appreciated help of the Make It Rain guys.

We are hopeful our page continues to grow and become even more entertaining, if that’s even possible. We already have a pretty entertaining group.

If you are not familiar with our page, allow me to set the back drop for an average day on the Smack Page.

At times it gets pretty heated, but nothing that gets out of hand. Our administrators do a fine job at keeping the trouble down.  Sure there’s going to be arguments and debates, but for the most part, it’s mostly entertainment and loads of fun.

When asked his thoughts about the page and how it is operated, Make it Rain Sports Jake Wimberly says, “I think the page is a great outlet for people that want to express their opinions on their team and their rivals. Obviously when you put rival fan bases in the same place, things can get out of hand, but the admins have done a good job keeping things relatively peaceful.”

Wimberly continued, “ I do scratch my head sometimes at some people. Like all message boards, pages and such, there are a few extremists that probably need to take a break or find a hobby. But that’s fandamonium for you.”

His counter part at Make it Rain Sports, Acey Roberts adds, “I don’t have any issues with moderators.  I see people complain sometimes but that’s probably because they get their feelings hurt.  It’s a fine line you have to walk to keep people a little stirred up but not run them off.  Y’all have more traffic than any other page on Facebook, so you must be doing something right”.

When you visit our page you’ll notice that we have the haters.


We have the lovers.


We even have the Rebels who flip to the good guys at the first site of Dak Prescott.


But - mostly what we have is a family.  A group of people who can bring the smack one minute, then go out for supper together the next.  Sure many of them would love to strangle me at times but, that’s the fun of it and a role I love to play.  There’s not any member that I wouldn’t go to battle for outside the page.

Speaking of us becoming one big family, we have recently started a foundation with the goal of assisting with sick, disabled and needy children from Bulldog and Rebel families.  Our main goal is to help these children enjoy the Egg Bowl each year – giving them an opportunity to see a game they may not have been able to see previously.

It will be similar to the “KIDDS KIDS” event for those that are familiar with the Kidd Kraddick morning show. We are in the process of building a website with more information about the “Lay the Smack Down” (LTS) Foundation.

Our first set of plans include fundraisers for Chance Tetrick.  Chance is a young man that’s fighting leukemia.  Chance’s cancer has recently went into relapse and we are going to do everything in our power to help this family as much as we can.

Details about this fundraiser will be announced at a later date. Chance is a die hard Rebel. To learn more about Chance you can visit his website by clicking FinsUpForChance.com.

I would like to thank our entire admin staff as they do a fantastic job.

There is no way our Facebook page would be as successful as it is without them, and there is no way the Foundation will get off the ground without them as well.

They are simply amazing people and I think of them as family. We go through our tough times just like most families do but, we always come together in the end.

Please join us today for lots of fun and great entertainment and also to support the “LTS” Foundation. https://www.facebook.com/groups/dogsandrebssmackdown/


Cuonzo Martin=Ken Hatfield

Before Clemson won the ACC football championship in 2011, the last time the Tigers achieved that feat was in 1991.

That year, Clemson was coached by a guy named Ken Hatfield, who ironically coached Arkansas to its last conference title in football as they won the Southwest Conference title in 1989.Hatfield, who took the job at Clemson despite never visiting the campus, would enjoy success in his three seasons as Tigers coach, posting top 25 finishes in 1991 and 1993 and a 32-13-1 record in three seasons.

And while Hatfield had some success in Clemson, there was one problem.

He wasn’t his predecessor Danny Ford, the man who led Clemson to the national title in 1981 and arguably the greatest coach in program history.

So when the Rice job opened in late 1993, Hatfield bounced.

Other than Ray Mears, who was before my time, no coach in Tennessee basketball history was as popular as Bruce Pearl.

In his six seasons as coach, Pearl reached three Sweet Sixteens, led the program to its first #1 ranking and Elite Eight, and made Tennessee basketball matter.

Cuonzo Martin on the other hand, was more closed off than accessible, a coach that on the sideline had the expression of a rock, a departure from the extroverted Pearl.

And while that may seem fine at places like Missouri State, being stoic in Knoxville doesn’t fly well.

Cuonzo Martin was a great safe hire for Tennessee.

His story of overcoming cancer is inspiring.

But he never could escape the shadow of Bruce Pearl.


4.15.14 PODCAST

This week we sit down with former Bulldog Outfielder Brooks Brian, John Davis joins us as the new sports editor for the OxfordCitizen, a new weekly coming out in the Oxford and Lafayette County area affiliated with the DailyJournal and Brad Logan visits with us from MS Sports Magazine.

We rehash the “Spring Eggbowl” baseball series between State an Ole Miss and also wrap up Spring football around the SEC on MAKEITRAINSPORTS #turndownforwhat!?!

SHOW LINK –> http://t.co/NUgb0nVreR <–



THE #MIRS SEC PLAYOFF – Semi Final Round

ESPN recently did their version of an SEC playoff, in honor of the start of the 2014 college football playoff system.  ESPN showed how they thought the SEC might pan out – IF there was a playoff format.

We like to keep it fun and fresh so we decided to do our own version of an SEC playoff but, with a twist.  You get to vote on the games.

Over the next week, we will let this thing play out to see just how homerish you can be or not be.

So let the selecting begin for the semi finals.

Note:  Rankings compiled off of 2013 finish and returning starters.