Tag Archives: Tennessee

Vinnie, Sal Sunseri ‘joke around’ about Alabama-Tennessee rivalry

Vinnie Sunseri doesn’t wear the same colors as his dad anymore, but that doesn’t change their relationship. Well, not too much.

Vinnie Sunseri

Sal Sunseri is now the defensive coordinator at Tennessee after coaching Tide linebackers for three seasons. They still talk all the time, but the younger Sunseri misses seeing his father on the practice field in Tuscaloosa.

When they talk, football comes up.

“He asks how practice goes,” said Vinnie Sunseri, a safety and rising sophomore with the Tide. “I ask how practice goes. I’m still his son and he’ still my dad. I just try to talk to him like that.”

So there’s no trash talking?

“No, we joke around,” Vinnie Sunseri said. “I’ll say he doesn’t look good in that orange and he’ll say I don’t look good in that crimson, just little jokes like that.”

Though Sal Sunseri took the Tennessee job back in January, his wife Roxann and youngest daughter still live in Tuscaloosa. So the comfort of family remains nearby for the young Alabama safety.

“I still have to go home and let her do my laundry and cook for me,” Vinnie Sunseri said with a smile.


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Dooley: Sunseri hire not intended to stir Alabama rivalry

Anytime a coach goes from Alabama to Tennessee or vica versa, people are going to talk. Though one sided recently, there’s still a rivalry there.

So Vol coach Derek Dooley was asked about the hire of Tide linebackers coach Sal Sunseri as defensive coordinator at a news conference this afternoon. Citing his friendship and previous work under Tide coach Nick Saban, Dooley said nobody should read too much into the hire.

“I didn’t view it as that, just because of the nature of the jump in title,” Dooley told reporters in Knoxville this afternoon. “I told Nick when I called him that it was a hard call because it isn’t a Tennessee-Alabama deal. It was such a good opportunity professionally for Sal, and I know Nick has always been proud of the coaches that go on to bigger and brighter things because of the time they spent with him.

“I’m appreciative of what he gave me as a coach and I know Sal is appreciate of what he has given him as a coach. I was really pleased at how professionally he handled it. We have a friendship too, and that will never be compromised. It wasn’t about Tennessee taking anything from Alabama. It was a guy that has had a track record of great coaching over the last two decades and an opportunity that I think he has been wanting for a couple of years.”

So, that’s that. Do you think there’s any gamesmanship here? Feel free to comment below.


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Tennessee hires Tide LB coach Sal Sunseri for defensive coordinator job

Alabama’s emotional linebackers coach is headed to one of its top rivals, the school confirmed Friday morning.

Sal Sunseri, father of freshman safety Vinnie Sunseri, will become the new defensive coordinator at Tennessee, GoVols247.com first reported Friday morning.

The elder Sunseri is the second coach to depart Alabama after winning its second national title in three seasons. Offensive coordinator Jim McElwain took over the Colorado State head job immediately following the 21-0 beating of LSU in Monday’s BCS title game.

Sunseri came to Alabama before the 2009 national title season from the Carolina Panthers. He coached the outside linebackers in his time in Tuscaloosa including potential first-round draft pick Courtney Upshaw.

At Tennessee, Sunseri will reunite with former Alabama reserve Darrington Sentimore. The defensive lineman signed with the Vols in December after leaving Alabama for a junior college over the summer.

Take a look at Sunseri’s style in practice with this video I put together after last season.

 

Stay tuned for any further details on this story as it develops.


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Which road trip sounds best from 2012 schedule?

The SEC scheduling patterns went out the window (mostly) when the 2012 season was planned. Alabama has a new destination on the list next fall. Does that change your travel plans?

 


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Predicting a winner: Tennessee at Alabama version

It’s that time of the week again. No, not t-shirt time. But it’s still a joyous occasion. Let’s pick a winner for this evening’s little game in Bryant-Denny Stadium between two friendly neighbors, Alabama and Tennessee. Here’s what I wrote in today’s GameDay section:

This version of a great rivalry lacks a bit of the luster from years past simply because of the apparent talent gap between Alabama and Tennessee. Major injuries to a starting quarterback and his top receiver didn’t help the Vols much, but don’t expect Alabama feels any sympathy for their predicament. Expect quite the opposite – attacking the replacements.

Yes, this one should get ugly like pretty much every Alabama game has been all season. The Tide averages 33-point wins every time it hits the field this season and has allowed just three touchdowns in Bryant-Denny Stadium all year. Don’t expect a still rebuilding Vol offense to do much better, rivalry or not.

Alabama 38, Tennessee 3

Here’s my track record through seven games.

Opp: prediction……actual … difference
Kent State: 45-7 ……….. 48-7 … 3 points
Penn State: 24-10……..27-11 … 4 points
North Texas: 52-3……..41-0 … 14 points
Arkansas: 27-17 ………..38-14 … 14 points
Florida: 27-20 …………..38-10 .. 21 points
Vanderbilt: 41-3 ……….34-0 ….10 points
Ole Miss: 38-3 …………..52-7 … 18 points
Tennessee: 38-3 ………??????


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Dooley: College football traditions in danger with realignment

Tennessee football coach Derek Dooley is about as SEC as they come given his bloodlines.

All the talk of reshuffling the deck with conference affiliation is starting to trouble the former Nick Saban assistant and son of Georgia coaching great Vince Dooley.

“It’s a little disappointing to see what’s happening with college football and I think we’re tampering with something that’s made college football so special,” Derek Dooley said. “That’s the fans, the traditions, the rivalries, the ability to go to road games, playing the same teams every year and you just develop a deep history that makes this game special.

“Nobody is worried about what I think and there’s not much we can do about it. I hope we don’t end some of these great traditions and rivalries, but I’m afraid if we keep going down this path, that’s what’s going to happen.”

Any thoughts on the topic? Leave a comment below.


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UPDATED: Tide athletics No. 2 man Dave Hart takes Tennessee AD job

The news out of Knoxville says Alabama athletics second-in-command is climbing ole rocky top.

Dave Hart, the executive director of athletics at Alabama, reportedly accepted the vacant athletics director job at Tennessee today. The rumors have swirled for the past few days, but now it’s apparently official.

Click here for the story from the Knoxville News-Sentinel on the hiring of Hart.

He came to Alabama in 2008 after serving as athletics director at Florida State from 1995-2007. He was widely considered the No. 2 man in the athletics department behind AD Mal Moore.

Update 5:04 p.m.: Mal Moore just released a statement confirming Hart’s departure for Tennessee.

“When we hired Dave three years ago, we anticipated the possibility that he would eventually have opportunities such as this one. When this opportunity came along I had mixed feelings, just as I do now. While I am very proud and pleased for Dave and his wife, Pam, for the opportunity they have been given, I also hate to lose him. He’s a gifted administrator who has done an excellent job for our athletic department and our university. I know I speak for all of us in Alabama Athletics in wishing Dave all the best at Tennessee.”


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Former Decatur, Bama player Pickett mentioned in UT allegations

The NCAA released its notice of allegations for the Tennessee basketball program and it included a few questionable phone calls to a former Alabama player.

Rico Pickett, a Decatur High graduate, was looking to transfer from Miami Dade Community College when Bruce Pearl came calling.  He made four calls too many to Pickett in February of 2009. Here’s what the report looks like:

To be clear, the report said Pickett did nothing wrong. He was on the receiving end of the impermissible phone calls. To read the complete report, click here.

The extra phone calls didn’t pay off for Pearl since Pickett chose Manhattan College instead of Tennessee.

Pickett then left Manhattan after one season to turn pro. He wasn’t taken in the NBA draft but went in the fourth round of the NBDL draft. He was then released by the Dakota Wizards in November.

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Does Cameron Clear commit to Alabama?

Cameron Clear, an offensive lineman from Memphis just made his decision public at a news conference, and according to the Commercial Appeal twitter feed, his commitment is in.

He’ll be a Tennessee Volunteer next season. So no, he won’t commit to Alabama.

The highly regarded prospect was reportedly deciding between the Tide, Tennessee, Duke and Memphis.

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Issues to consider on Christmas Eve

Twas the day before signing day …

Quiet as a mouse? Hardly. There is a truckload of chatter out there on the day before faxes roll into coaches offices.

Before we talk about tomorrow, it looks like Alabama could secure another commitment this afternoon when Memphis offensive lineman Cameron Clear decides between the Tide, the Vols, Duke and the hometown Tigers at a 1 p.m. news conference.

If he commits, that would make 22 new members of the team next fall with only a few departing. Thus, the oversigning issue comes into play.

Per request of loyal blog reader Mike Finney, why not examine the topic?

There is actually a website dedicated entirely to football programs offering too many scholarships. According to Oversigning.com, Alabama is tied with USC as second worst offender out there since it has 10 more commitments than departures. Only Ole Miss (14) is worse. LSU (sorry Mike) follows Alabama with nine and Arkansas has eight more commitments than availabilities.

This opens a whole new can of worms. How these teams slim down to 85 scholarship players can get controversial. Read this story from the USA Today that addresses shortcomings in the rule book.

I hope to dive deeper into this topic later on, but it’s always something to consider when a small senior class cycles through. More updates to come.

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VIDEO: A look into bye week practice

Here is a quick peek into Tuesday afternoon’s practice — the first for the Alabama football team since beating Tennessee on Saturday.

Notice right tackle D.J. Fluker moving much better than he did last week with the injured groin.

And in case you’ve never driven from Decatur to Tuscaloosa (or even if you have) check out this little time lapse video I made by propping my phone on my dashboard.

Derek Dooley and the Germans

In case you missed Tennessee coach Derek Dooley’s confusing comparison between the Tennessee football team and the WWII German army, enjoy this video.

Julio (not) SEC player of the week

The offensive honor went to Auburn QB Cam Newton instead who ran for 217 yards against LSU. Julio Jones was the runner up for the SEC offensive player of the week for piling up a school-record 221 receiving yards against Tennessee on Saturday.

Alabama left tackle James Carpenter picked up SEC offensive lineman of the week after receiving the top grading on the O-line.

Other than that, there’s not a whole lot going on this Monday of the bye week. There is no Monday news conference so that update will not be coming later in the day.

If news breaks, though, you know where to find it.

Updated polls, rankings and photos

It’s Sunday evening, so it’s time to digest the latest versions of our favorite polls. To find the most recent versions, see our Top 25 page.

Check back later this evening for the BCS standings when they’re released.

Now check out a few updated photo galleries after Saturday’s 41-10 Alabama win over Tennessee.

Panoramic photos updated Oct. 24
Alabama football 2010

Tide smokes Vols, cigars

Here is the lead from my game story I wrote after Alabama’s 41-10 win on Rocky Top. After reading and digesting, vote on the poll below.

KNOXVILLE ― A foreign smell filled the hallway outside the Alabama locker room Saturday night

When the door swung open, the smoke burned from the end of a few cigars as the Crimson Tide walked to the bus through a mob of cheering fans and flashing cameras.

Who said this rivalry lost its flare this fall?

Before lighting up the stogies, Alabama smoked Tennessee with a huge second half to win its fourth straight over the Vols, 41-10 in front of a once-packed Neyland Stadium.

Now vote.