Top College Football Traditions: Smokey and the Tennessee Volunteers

tennessee_volunteers_smokeySmokey has Been Part of the Tennessee Football Tradition for 60 years
The Tennessee Volunteers mascot, Smokey, is a Bluetick Coonhound.   Smokey has been a staple in Rocky Top since “Blue Smokey” in 1953. Wikipedia tells that The University of Tennessee chose their mascot based on a student poll conducted that year.  The results of the vote indicated the student body wanted a coon hound that was a Tennessee native.

A Contest was Held
During halftime of Tennessee’s home game against Mississippi State during the ’53 season, a number of hounds were introduced to the Tennessee Pep Club for voting. The last dog to audition, known as “Blue Smokey” howled loudly as he was introduced.  The Vols faithful found the outburst endearing, therefore Blue Smokey was selected to be the official mascot of the Tennessee Volunteers.

Smokey IX Will Be On The Tennessee Sideline This Weekend
In the six decades that have followed, eight other Bluetick Coonhounds have carried on the Smokey name.  “Smokey IX” holds the current honors, having been introduced in 2004.  Other than Uga, Smokey is my favorite mascot in college football.  I love dogs and the Dawgs equally.

The video below offers a more personal view of Smokey the Tennessee mascot.

In Defense of Mike Bobo…UGA’s Text Book Two Minute Drive: Georgia-Mississippi State 2011

mike bobo joe cox

Team or coaching or both? 2009...Mr. Cox, meet Mr. go run that offense fella.

It is all the rage to cast derision towards University of Georgia Offensive Coordinator Mike Bobo, and there were Dawg fans that (predictably) took issue with UGA’s decision to be aggressive on offense prior to halftime of the 2011 Georgia-Ole Miss game.  As I wrote in the linked article, I believed (and still do) that the experience factor made the decision to play uptempo against Ole Miss before halftime a good one.

Witness a week flashed forward, and Georgia, led by Aaron Murray and Isaiah Crowell, executed a pitch perfect two minute drill in scoring UGA’s third touchdown at the 1:03 mark of the second quarter (maybe they scored too fast? nah.).  I will admit that the results of Mike Bobo’s play calling can be less than heartening, but recent years have featured UGA offenses prone to penalties, fumbles, disclipline-issued tailbacks, stars leaving early, injuries up and down the offensive line…

The University of Georgia has had little problem scoring points this year (and oh does Isaiah Crowell take one’s breath away).  Maybe we just need to let the Dawgs play and lay off Mr. Bobo for a little while.