Mark Bradley blog 

Mark Bradley is a sports columnist and blogger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Live from Athens: Will UGA awake and vex the Vols?

  • 10:49 am Saturday, September 27th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
Clad in their traditional, er, gray, the Vols gather between the hedges. (M. Bradley)

Athens – Georgia should beat Tennessee. Let’s be clear about that. Still, this is one of those games that terrifies the man who’s coaching the favored team.

It’s at home, which means there’s a comfort factor (and not necessarily in a good way). Kickoff is early, which always makes for a late-arriving crowd and often a slow-starting home side. (The Bulldogs upset No. 6 Auburn in 2006 in a game that started before noon CST; Georgia lost here to Missouri last October in a noon game.)

And the Volunteers are talented enough to have played Oklahoma, which a lot of smart folks [More]

Tennessee’s going to upset somebody – but not UGA

  • 8:29 am Thursday, September 25th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
OU freshman Samaje Perine rushed for 67 yards against UT. (Sue Ogrocki/AP photo)

When you’re charged with compiling a preseason Top 25, you’re always on the prowl for Surprise Teams — if for no other reason than to ward off compiler’s boredom. (Most such listings, as I’m sure you know, are but a roundup of the usual suspects, and what self-respecting pseudo seer wants to be predictable?) I really wanted to pick Tennessee to do something big, for two reasons:

1. The Volunteers just had a major recruiting haul, Rivals ranking the 2014 class No. 5 nationally.

2. With Florida doomed to Muschamp mediocrity until Jeremy Foley finally sees the light, there seemed [More]

There’ll be no sudden rise for Jones’ fallen Vols

  • 4:26 pm Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
Butch Jones explains "the power of one." (Butch Dill/AP)

HOOVER, Ala. – Apparently Butch Jones is a persuasive guy. His Tennessee Volunteers compiled what Rivals rated the nation’s No. 5 recruiting class last winter, which is big deal for a  once-proud program that has had one winning season — and that only 7-6 — since 2007. Ordinarily you’d look at such a class as a signal that better days are ahead, and they might well be.

Just not yet.

Jones appeared here Tuesday at the elongated SEC Media Days and ramped up the quantity of coach-speak by a hundredfold. He expounded on his team’s slogan — “The power of one” [More]