CBS play-by-play man Verne Lundquist usually draws the harsh criticism of SEC fans, but his booth partner Gary Danielson may be feeling some heat from a certain orange-clad fan base soon enough.
The veteran color commentator recently gave an interview to Gridiron Now’s Tony Barnhart, and some of the content found within that Q&A may upset some Vols fans.
Though Tennessee is considered the clear favorite to win the SEC East by odds makers and media types alike, Danielson poured a little cold water on the preseason hype party.
Per Barnhart’s interview, Danielson delivered a strong take on the Vols’ chances of winning the SEC in 2016:
“If Tennessee doesn’t win (the SEC East), it will be really tough to swallow for Tennessee. I think they will win the East, but in order to do it, they will have to win a couple of tight games, which is something they had trouble with a year ago. They will probably show up in Atlanta (for the SEC championship game) and be outmanned (by the West Division champ).
Don’t get me wrong. Tennessee is very physical and they are a really good football team. But right now they are the least ready to win the tight games. That includes their fans, their players and their coaching staff. That is a big hurdle. They will have to win more than one of those tight games.”
Not only did he say the Vols would be “outmanned” by the SEC West champion in a potential SEC championship game appearance, but he also took down the fans, coaches and players alike with his comments on the program’s readiness to win tight games.
That’s a criticism of the Vols that likely stems from close losses to Oklahoma, Florida, Arkansas and Alabama last season.
To be fair, Danielson did say later in the interview with Barnhart that he just doesn’t seen anyone else in the SEC East pushing for the division title, citing quarterback questions for both Florida and Georgia.