A polymath rambling about virtually anything

Posts Tagged ‘University of Tennessee’

Cal State Long Beach: 13th Best School In America!!!

Posted by Scott Holstad on September 7, 2019

I have been meaning to brag on an alma mater of mine for a week. Now I’m finally doing so. Money Magazine just published “The 25 Best Colleges in America” (via 19,000 Data Points). (https://bit.ly/2Zi6mlP) Some schools are definitely surprises and the schools you would expect to find in the Top 10, let alone Top 25, really aren’t there, or not as high as many would think, including their administrations and alumni! Out of 750 schools, the top school was UC Irvine! That is very surprising, because it’s not a bad school, but as part of the UC (University of California) system, it’s one of … 10? … great universities making the very best public academic system in the world. And as most people know, UC Berkeley is typically the top ranked one, followed immediately by UCLA. I’d say the next two most “elite” would be UC San Diego and UC San Francisco. At that point, there’s sort of a mishmash of the rest, including UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, UC Davis and UC Riverside. There may be another now, but that’s basically the system. So Irvine is a great school, hard to get into, excellent programs, but they don’t nearly have the reputation as the usual top two. So to find it ranked Number One in America INCLUDING both public AND private is frankly quite stunning. Kudos to them though. That’s awesome.


The 25 Best Colleges in America


However, the one I’m most excited about and most proud of is that my second alma mater, where I got my first graduate degree — California State University Long Beach (CSULB)is actually ranked #13 in the damn country — over Harvard, Cal Tech, Yale, Duke and other “elite” schools! You have no idea how big this is, because while CSULB has been ranked very high for years by Princeton Review, US News, etc., CSU schools have often been snubbed by “elite” UC schools. So it’s great to see TWO CSU schools make the list! With #13 Long Beach, CSU Fullerton is #22! Congrats! I loved my time at Long Beach State! It was great. I experienced many opportunities, worked and played hard, taught, researched, published and finished as top graduate at California’s largest university. I have always thought the education I received there was far superior to where I received my undergrad degree, the University of Tennessee. But try telling a UT admin, faculty member, student or alumnus that, and be prepared for a beat down. That’s the point — they don’t know any better.


#13 California State University Long Beach, my alma mater, is mentioned by name with #14 Harvard. Exclusive club… LOL!


Besides California, only one state had multiple schools: Massachusetts with three. All of the other states had one or none at all. Meanwhile, six of the top 12 schools are UC schools, dashing notions that some “elite” private schools are better. (Not naming schools, but you all know which ones…) So California (where my heart remains), has 10 (TEN!) universities in the top 25! (The six UC schools, two CSU schools, Stanford and Cal Tech.) Wonder where the best schools are now? I guess you don’t have to anymore. They’re sure not on the East Coast!!!

And if I can stretch some things here while still being honest, I actually did pretty good. While my second degree is from #13 CSULB, I also spent four years at #4 UCLA pursuing a different degree I wasn’t able to complete as I had to relocate for work. I also did post-grad work at #8 Michigan and briefly studied at #6  Stanford. FOUR Top 13 schools! AND, to stretch things even further, I presented and published several academic papers at conferences at #22 Cal State Fullerton, and I went to #1 UC Irvine to do extensive graduate level research at their research library. That’s six Top 25 schools I was/am affiliated with. Awesome.

And interestingly, the vaunted Ivy League is poorly represented, with only one school in the Top 10 (#3 Princeton) and only two more schools on the list, both behind Cal State Long Beach (#14 Harvard and #17 Yale)!!! Most others on the list would include schools you’d expect, but I was very surprised by #2 and #25, and slightly less by #24. In any event, I’m proud as hell of my graduate alma mater, Long Beach State University (California State University Long Beach). Number 13 in America, over Harvard, Yale, Vandy, Duke, etc. Way to go Beach!!!

(Incidentally, among the other schools I studied at or attended, none of them were mentioned including two schools I received degrees from: the University of Tennessee and Queens University of Charlotte…)


America’s Top 25 Colleges & Universities


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

This Is Why Tennessee Will Win the 2018-2019 Men’s Basketball National Championship!

Posted by Scott Holstad on February 8, 2019

This Is Why Tennessee Will Win the 2018-2019 Men’s Basketball National Championship!

Best Team in America, Best Players in America



The Admiral



Admiral Schofield vs (former) #1 Gonzaga (12/9/18)



Admiral Schofield, 6’6″ 245 lb Power Guard Pushes People Around




Grant Williams, 2017-18 SEC Player of the Year, Going 23 of 23 at the Line vs Vandy, Best in 60 years, 43 Points. Future 2018-2019 Wooden Award Winner, National Champion



Grant Williams, 2017-18 SEC Player of the Year



Williams with the Athletic Game Saving Block



6’7″ 245 lb Williams Can Use Big Frame to Clear Space and Slam it Home!




Jordan Bone, the Quickest, Best Point Guard in America



Bone, Dominating




Kyle Alexander, Tennessee’s 6’11” Talented Center. Can shoot outside, inside, hit free throws, assists, and yeah, he blocks shots!



Alexander Can Throw Down a Mean Slam Too!



Another Power Block by Kyle Alexander




Lamonte Turner, 2017-28 SEC 6th Man of the Year



Turner Plays Both Ends of the Floor




UT Guard Jordan Bowden with Possibly the Most Incredible Slam Dunk of the 2018-19 Season!



Jordan Bowden, Tennessee Guard, Awesome Slam vs Vandy, 1/23/19 [Language]



Yeah, Bowden Can Slam It




UT French Athletic Animal, Yves Pons



​Pons is Only 6’6,” But He Can Sky!​




​6’9″ Guard/Forward Sub, John Fulkerson




And if those videos don’t convince you, check out both the SEC and NCAA national team stats to see where this team is. I’ll list some of the highlights for you.



  • #1 in points per game: 86.0 ppg
  • #1 in assists per game: 20 apg
  • #1 in field goal %: 51.5%
  • #2 in free throw %: 76.6%
  • #4 in rebounds: 38.8 pg
  • #1 in blocks per game: 5.9 ppg


  • Points per game:
    • #1 Grant Williams. 20.1 ppg
    • #6 Admiral Scholfield. 16.6 ppg
    • #18 Jordan Bone. 13.5 ppg
  • Field Goal %:
    • #2 Grant Williams. 57.9%
    • #4 Admiral Scholfield. 48.6%
    • #7 Jordan Bone. 46.1%
  • Free Throw %:
    • #1 Jordan Bowden. 91.4%
    • #7 Grant Williams. 83.5%
    • #11 Jordan Bone. 81.4%
  • Assists:
    • #1 Jordan Bone. 146. 6.6 apg
    • #11 Grant Williams. 74. 3.4 apg.
  • Rebounds per game:
    • #5 Grant Williams. 7.4
    • #6 Kyle Alexander. 7.3
    • #13 Admiral Scholfield. 6.3
  • Blocks:
    • #6 Kyle Alexander. 42. 1.9 bpg
    • #7 Grant Williams. 35. 1.6 bpg




  • Points per game: #6
  • Assists per game: #1
  • Field goal %: #2
  • Free throw %: #12
  • Blocks: #3



Posted in Sports, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Tennessee Vols #1!!!

Posted by Scott Holstad on January 21, 2019

A rare college basketball sports post. My undergraduate alma mater, the University of Tennessee, has the #1 men’s basketball team in the country this week! This hasn’t happened in a decade, & it may not last long — things change quickly — but it sure feels good for the moment. It’s time for a UT National Championship. Go Vols!!! 

ESPN:  http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/25817310/tennessee-moves-no-1-ap-top-25-duke-drops-no-2 

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Tennessee ends Mercer’s NCAA run with romp

Posted by Scott Holstad on March 24, 2014

Mercer Bears vs. Tennessee Volunteers – NCAA Tournament Game – Recap – March 23, 2014 – ESPN.

UT put on a completely dominating performance to make it to the Sweet 16 for the first time in several years. Go Vols!

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

UT Lady Vols Lose WCWS To Oklahoma

Posted by Scott Holstad on June 5, 2013

Oklahoma Sooners win Women’s College World Series title – ESPN.

I’m deeply disappointed the UT Lady Vols lost to Oklahoma in the Women’s College World Series (in softball), but apparently Oklahoma was the heavy favorite and was so dominating, no one could beat them. Still, it’s a disappointment to make it to the finals and not win it all. This happened to us a few years ago when we had the best pitcher in college history, Monica Abbott, and we lost in the finals to, I think, Northwestern. It hurt. I thought we were the better team, but we couldn’t put it together. This year, we weren’t the better team and kudos to the Lady Vols for getting as far as they did. I think we’re losing some good players to graduation, so I don’t know when we’ll be back next. That’s why losing this one hurts so much. Still, way to go Lady Vols!!!

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

On UT’s New Football Coach

Posted by Scott Holstad on December 7, 2012

The University of Tennessee hired Cincinnati football coach Butch Jones to become UT’s new football coach today. A lot of people have a lot to say about that, including me.

First, I am a UT alumnus and a big football fan. I have been for decades. And if you follow college football at all, you’ll know I’ve been pretty depressed over the past few years with the state of Tennessee football. Coach Phil Fulmer won us a national championship in 1998 and he’ll forever be remembered fondly for that, but the program fell down a few levels at the end of his watch, resulting in two out of three losing seasons. After he was fired, the idiot AD hired the recently fired Oakland Raiders coach, Lane Kiffin, who had a losing record and who I immediately hated. All he did was come in, make enemies around college football, insult people, take us to a 7-6 record and leave after one season to go coach USC. Half the players left and the cupboard was bare. Three years ago, then, we hired Derrick Dooley, who I hated immediately. He came from Louisiana Tech, a WAC school, where he also had another losing record, 17-20. And here he was ready for the big time??? All he did was come in and lose. Three straight losing seasons. Humiliating losses. This year’s defense was the worst in the history of the school, dating back to the 1800s. He was a nice guy, but in way over his head. So Dooley got fired with one game left in the season.

So here we are. UT’s new AD looked around for a prominent winner and nobody wanted anything to do with us. Why has UT football fallen so low? How did this happen? We have one of the largest stadiums in the country, seating over 102,000, the best facilities, a rabid fan base, etc., et al, but no one wants to come coach us. WTF? First, we allegedly went after Jon Gruden, who won the Super Bowl, but didn’t seem likely to leave Monday Night Football to coach a college team. I thought that was wishful thinking. Then we talked about FSU’s Jimbo Fisher, but that was just talk. Meanwhile, other schools — including three SEC schools — were hiring coaches like crazy! Why were we taking so long? Make a freakin’ hire, and make a good one!

Apparently, we talked to a number of coaches and offered the job to Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy, who turned us down, and more recently, to Louisville’s Charlie Strong, who also turned us down. WTF? Who turns down a major SEC school to stay at their schools, especially one in the Big East like Louisville? I thought TCU’s Gary Patterson might be an interesting hire, but no one talked to him. I also like the job the Boise State coach has done, but apparently he wasn’t considered either. So one day after Charlie Strong turned us down, the news is released that UT has hired Butch Jones away from Cincy. To say there’s a mixed reaction amongst the fan base is mild. It’s pretty hot on the Knoxville News-Sentinel sports boards right now. Here’s my take.

The pros:

  • He’s a winner. He has a 54-27 record as a head coach at the college level.
  • He wins championships. Out of his six years of coaching, he’s won his conference championship (or tied for the win) four times. That’s a pretty good track record.
  • He took Cincy to some good bowl games and won 19 games over the past two years, beating some solid Big East teams.
  • He’s young and following in the footsteps of Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly, who coached before him at Central Michigan and then at Cincinnati, before leaving to coach the Irish. Maybe he can emulate his track record, who knows?
  • He was West Virginia’s offensive coordinator when they won 10 games two years in a row and threw up lots of points in a spread offense. Exciting.

The cons:

  • He was UT’s fifth choice, behind Gruden, Oklahoma State, Louisville & North Carolina’s head coaches. That’s worse than Dooley, who was our fourth choice several years ago.
  • The Big East is no longer a power conference, and is basically a joke as a conference now that most of the good schools have left it for the ACC or Big 12. The level of competition he’s faced won’t come close to what he’ll face in the SEC. Pitt & Syracuse? Please! Try Florida and Georgia back to back, mixed in with a little Alabama and LSU. We also have to play South Carolina and the rest. He’s not battle tested in a real power conference.
  • The word is he can maintain good levels of play, but can he rebuild? He’s never had to, following Kelly the whole time. Can he recruit at the SEC level? Can he rebuild a once proud school into the type of football team people are clamoring for? Only time will tell.
  • This is the one that really annoys me, and if you read what people are writing online, this gets a lot of UT fans: Dooley beat the hell out of him head to head in 2011. That was Dooley’s only victory over a ranked opponent and Cincy was embarrassed by middling SEC talent. That’s truly worrisome, since Dooley couldn’t beat anyone else worth a darn.

I guess when it comes down to it, I’m cautiously excited. I think it’s a much better hire than Kiffiin or Dooley were. He’s a proven winner. I think he has potential. He wins championships. But he hasn’t won against consistent top 25 talent like he’ll face in the SEC, so my enthusiasm is tempered by that a bit. It also worries me that he was UT’s fifth choice. He was actually going to leave for one win Colorado yesterday before UT came calling. He clearly wants to move up in the conferences and he’s capable. He was signed to a six year deal. Our three best offensive players are all juniors and word is they’re all leaving for the NFL draft this year. That’s horrible. If he can talk them into staying, UT could field a winning team next year, provided he hires a solid defensive coordinator. If they leave, we’ll have another losing year next year, but I’d expect about 7 wins in two years and 8 or 9 in three, followed by our formerly expected double digit win seasons at Year Four. Those are my expectations. I want to make it back to a bowl game in two years, and to a good one in three. A BCS-type bowl in no less than four. If he hasn’t been able to do that in four years, never mind his six year contract — it’ll be time to find someone else. Hell, Auburn just fired their coach who only won them a national championship two short years ago. It’s win now or else, and keep winning. That’s pressure. But that’s what the big bucks buy. My take for three years has been if Florida, Bama, LSU & South Carolina can all hire high profile, national championship winning coaches, why can’t UT??? Maybe this guy can do it for us. I sure hope so. As always, Go Vols!!!

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

%d bloggers like this: