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Live Tuesday @ Wings Xpress
Posted: Tuesday, December 12th, 2017, 7:53 AM • Permalink
I want to start on this Tuesday by publicly acknowledging Beano, Brock, Philly & Sinco for a most entertaining Tony Basilio Radio Show yesterday. I've said repeatedly that I'm the only guy in America that can leave his radio show and it actually improves. That's quite a bench right there. Those guys make you laugh, think, smile and consider the possibilities all at once. Really fun stuff fellas. Thank you.

Poison Was Right. The old philosopher Bret Michaels out in front of Poison said it best. "Give me something to believe in." It's a great sentiment. When I saw people reach out to young Keaton and his family, it gave me wonderful feelings. There are people in this world that care. As far as what his mother is into or the actual veracity of their story, I can't speak to it. What I can speak to is that we live in a terrific community filled with people that truly care. Now that we're two weeks inside of Christmas, isn't this something to truly smile about?

I heard some of Jayson Swain's show yesterday on my way to the Dr. when GQF made an interesting call. He asked Swain what letter grade he would give the Pruitt hire at Tennessee. Jeek was all tore up because nobody on John Pennington's show gave the Pruitt hire an A. Well, I'm here to tell you that considering the other hires SEC schools made, the hiring of Pruitt was not only an A but perhaps an A+. Now, the proof is going to be in the pudding but on its face the Pruitt hire is a stroke of genius.

Firstly let's consider the other hires made by fellow SEC schools.

Florida: Dan Mullen: Exactly one week ago, I woke up thinking exactly two things. Firstly, why does UT have to be UT? This is to say a place where drama must live. Secondly, would Tennessee have easily landed Mullen if he didn't get in play at Florida or would the 'brain trust' of Currie/HOH have found a way to blow it? As it is with all things, Mullen will forever be linked to Tennessee's hire of Jeremy Pruitt. One of these guys is going to be left standing in five years. I'm betting on Pruitt, but it won't be easy. There's a reason Florida tried to hire both Chip Kelly and Scott Frost before settling on Mullen. I think he would've been very good in Knoxville, but will Mullen succeed in Gainesville?

I'm giving his hire a solid A.

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Texas A&M: Jimbo Fisher He's won a National Championship but did so at a place where you can win National Championships. Texas A&M is NOT ONE OF 18 SCHOOLS WHERE YOU CAN WIN A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP. I'm a big believer in Beano Jeff Henderson's adage that when hiring a coach, always get a guy that is taking the best job he's ever had at your place. Can Texas A&M say that with Jimbo Fisher? I don't think so. He's obviously looking for a soft but lucrative landing after things got choppy in Tallahassee. In retrospect, I spent time pondering why Tennessee didn't get involved with Fisher. Now I'm glad because Fisher was already at a place with all the bells and whistles.

Media's Grade On Fisher Hiring: A/A+ Tony Basilio Grade On Fisher Hiring: A-/B+

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Miss St: Joe Moorhead: At first blush this looked like a sneaky solid hire from Mississippi State. They had to know for some time that Mullen was bolting and they wasted very little time in tabbing Moorhead from James Franklin's staff. With all things SEC, these things come down to fit. How good of a fit will Moorhead be there? Furthermore, how will defensive coordinator Bob Shoop do at a place that has to rely on JUCO recruiting for its sustenance? Shoop's concepts seemed to work at Vandy and Penn State but never got off the ground in Knoxville. So, there's that. Moorhead has NEVER coached south of the Mason/Dixon Line. He played at Fordham, and coached at Pitt as a GA, Georgetown, Akron, Fordham and Penn State. Moorhead saved James Franklin's bacon at Penn State but he's going to have a tall task succeeding in Starkville. Then again, what is succeeding in Starkville?

Moorhead Media Grade B Tony Basilio Grade C+/B

Arkansas: Chad Morris This is a guy that Tennessee could've hired. He was on the radar of both Phillip Fulmer and John Currie. There's speculation the Fulmer may have met with him. Boy are we glad they didn't. Morris certainly would've been an upgrade over Butch Jones. Then again....Blood and guts didn't move the bar at Arkansas in the form of Bret Bielema. Perhaps finesse football will work there. Again, I'm glad Tennessee didn't hire Chad Morris.

National Grade: B- Tony Basilio Grade: C+

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Jeremy Pruitt: Tennessee Listening to Jayson Swain talk about him yesterday really got me thinking about the concept of fit. As I said earlier here regarding Joe Moorhead, fit matters. It has to. Culturally it would've been difficult for Tennessee to find a better fit than Pruitt. And believe me, I'm no coach worshiper but this guy seems perfect for this job. He's right in that early 40's sweet spot that seems to matter in new hires. Plus he's southern to the core. The only drawback is that he's a Bammer, but that's no drawback to me. My late great father Ray raised me with the belief that when you acquire players or coaches in sports, get winners. Pruitt has won EVERYWHERE he's been. Now granted, he's been at some gold standard programs but this guy has it all over him.

Pruitt reminds me of a cocky Phillip Fulmer. It's almost as if Fulmer was looking for himself when he made this hire. That's another great Beano point that I will steal after I use it one more time with attribution. Pruitt is hungry and he's getting a chance at a place where he woke up last Friday with the realization that he could win a Natty at Tennessee if he gets in done in a big time way.

National Media Grade Jeremy Pruitt Hire: B Tony Basilio's Grade: A

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Call me a sheep but it would've been nearly impossible to hire a guy with Pruitt's pedigree plus his skill set. This guy has homerun written all over him.

Schiano came REALLY close to happening in Knoxville. Thank God for CFO's and completed contracts. Check this out. Link

It's only apropos that Trey Smith would get snubbed after UT's disappearing season. Did the 2017 season even happen? Link

Smith might get some help up front if the Vols can land highly sought after JUCO Dwayne Wallace. Link

Jeremy Pruitt and staff are culling the list of commitments on the fly. This is all happening in real time. The list is one prospect lighter after Monday. Link

Sonny Dykes to SMU. That's a solid hire. Solid B.

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Final Thought comes courtesy of Chris Low on Twitter. "The last time Alabama didn't play in the College Football Playoff, BCS National Championship Game or a BCS/New Year's Six bowl game was 2010, and there's not a single SEC head coach from that season still coaching in his same job."

Final Thought II: Kim Jung Un of North Korea can control the weather? Who knew? Link

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Final Thought III: If Shea Patterson is eligible immediately and Michigan STILL can't win, what is the excuse going to be? Jim Harbaugh is entering year four there and still hasn't finished above third in his division.

Meanwhile Our own KJJ is having trouble finding another football coaching job. He has magical powers too!!

Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

A New Direction At Here at we’re creating a series of programming with little to mostly zero commercial sponsorship. In other words, you will be digesting the following programs in coming days with almost no interruption. This is unprecedented in the history of my business. Nobody has ever done this. Here are the offerings coming your way.

Our Family Of Offerings:

‘X-Cast: A Recruiting Podcast’: Featuring Tony Basilio & ‘X’ where we discuss the latest moves, behind the scenes machinations and all the intrigue from the world of recruiting. This will hopefully be offered twice monthly with lengths varying. If this takes off perhaps we can even do some live offerings of this show. THIS IS BEING OFFERED COMMERCIAL FREE!!!

Posted: Thu, Dec 7th, 11:49 PM
by Beano
The Solution
Posted: Mon, Dec 11th, 9:08 PM
by Alison
The Revolution That Saved Tennessee Football
Posted: Thu, Dec 7th, 7:58 PM
by Josh
Fifth Quarter Fan Reaction: Back for season 4. Sponsored by Marcos Garza. This year with NO OTHER SPONSORS. This will be pure content for you. I’m taking a chance here but I know you will reward me for not bombarding you with messages Vol Network style. This program will run for at least 3 hours following Tennessee Football Games. We will have new visual presentation of this feature as well that we’re investing in. Thanks to Jayson Swain for helping me with the technical side of our visual presentation.

Southeastern Sunday Night: 7p to 9p on Sunday Nights airing on Periscope/Facebook Live and other platforms including your Tony Basilio Show App. This will be a regional program that aims to keep it real. We will tell the truth on us, them and all with you. This could be a lot of fun if you help me spread the word across the region. This hopefully will turn into a free for all that is free for all. ZERO SPONSORS. COMMERCIAL FREE OFFERING.

Vol-Scars: A podcast featuring Vol Historian Tom Mattingly and Eric S where we go back in time and commemorate the painful losses in UT football history that left a mark. These shows are extremely time intensive to put together. I’ve worked all summer on these offerings and am really proud of what we’ve compiled thus far. I think you’ll really enjoy this. COMMERCIAL FREE.

Gate Twenty Won: A podcast Featuring Vol Historian Tom Mattingly where we celebrate the greatest wins in UT history in time capsule form. These are a breath of fresh air and the type of programming I’m aiming to bring to you . COMMERCIAL FREE

Chill Cast: Tell Me A Story: A podcast where I grab folks from the sports world and our community and allow them to share their stories with us. This will be done in the spirit of the recent re-launch programs that I did. We’ll aim to go deeper here. Stay tuned. COMMERCIAL FREE.

Tennessee Basketball Overtime: Back for year 5! Immediately following Tennessee Basketball Games. A Tennessee Basketball Call-In show featuring ONLY ONE SPONSOR…GARZA LAW FIRM. Therefore we keep the conversation going without bombarding you Vol Network style. What a concept!!!!

Garza On The Law: A Podcast dealing with the legal issues that invade the sports world featuring the great Marcos Garza. We will go deeper here. I promise that you will find this interesting. Presented by Garza Law Firm.

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FAQ's Asked Of Tony Per Our Relaunch Announcement:

Q: Tony, you didn't say anything about your daily show yesterday. Will you continue to do this?

A: Absolutely. I'm looking forward to year #24 with you.

Q: Tony, you used the word 'subscribe'. What Am I subscribing too?

A: Great question. 'Subscribe' is a misnomer. What you actually are doing if you choose to help us monthly (and we need this for budgeting reasons) is actually acting as a patron. The goal is to keep the content (ALL CONTENT, from postgame offerings to various podcasts) free for all.

Posted: Thu, Dec 7th, 11:49 PM
by Beano
The Solution
Posted: Mon, Dec 11th, 9:08 PM
by Alison
The Revolution That Saved Tennessee Football
Posted: Thu, Dec 7th, 7:58 PM
by Josh
Q: So, if I'm not subscribing and I'm already reading this, why give?

A: Because you value the content and our contribution to the market and you want to help us keep this stuff free for everybody.

Q: Are you going to beat us up for money all the time here?

A: Absolutely not. I will bring this up a few times heading into the football season as we attempt to meet our financial goals and create new programming. I'll also mention it in the post-game format as well as the regional programming. I will not however wear you out with this. Either you feel the need to help us or you don't. This is why I'm taking today to field some question I received after day one.

Q: What happens if this doesn't generate the revenue you're seeking?

A: We will scale back our online offerings accordingly. The blog itself could even disappear. I really don't want this to happen but will be forced to spend my time in the most profitable way necessary. That's why we're having the conversation. All my cards are on the table here.

Q: Where can I find these new podcasts, like that X-Cast?

A: Click on "Podcast" wherever you see it on the site, and it will take you to our Podcast page.

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