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Kevin Stallings: Tennessee succeeds because of talent

Since the day that Rick Pitino sold his soul and took over for the Filthy Cards, he hasn’t had hardly anything bad to say about his former employer down I-64.  The same goes for Tubby Smith and Billy Gillispie, who both have never really had anything negative to say publicly about Pitino.  However, things seem to be a little different down south as a little rivalry might be brewing between Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl and Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings.  The latest instance of “Is he insulting me?” between the two occurred at SEC Media Day where Stallings said that the reason that the Vols have been successful the past few seasons are because of talent and not coaching – an opinion that might be shared by Billy Donovan. 

I might just be reading a little too much into this, but it seems as though the over-the-top nature of Pearl and the accolades given to the Vols since he took over the program seems to be eating at Stallings and his similarily improving team, which seems to fly under the radar.  Is Stallings jealous of the attention given to Pearl or is he partially correct?  I don’t know, but if he intended this as it sounds, it comes across as pretty immature.  And even more awesome than when he was the Kool-Aid man.

On a somewhat related note, in that same article, Bruce Pearl said Billy Donovan is the best coach in the SEC, which brings me much pain.  I still firmly believe that Billy Donovan is an incredibly overrated coach and the fact that he captured lighting in a bottle and won one – let alone two – championships blows my mind.  Just in case you were wondering about that today.

Article written by Thomas Beisner