Pearl's Vols, ranked No. 1 on Feb 25, dropped to No. 4 after a Feb. 26 loss to Vanderbilt.
Dan Patrick: Do you put on your résumé the days or hours that you're No. 1?
Bruce Pearl: You can make fun of it. (Laughs.) But if you're North Carolina, you're Duke, you're Pat Summit, you're there all the time. This is uncharted territory [for us]. So you be grateful, you enjoy it. And now let's see if we can get back there.
DP: Of all the SEC coaches, who's the first pick if you guys played each other in basketball?
BP: Billy Donovan is a good player. And Jeff Lebo was the top high school player in the country coming out.
DP: Would you get picked, Bruce?
BP: You've got to have somebody who's going to rebound. I'm not going to want a lot of shots. I'd get picked last, but I'd get picked.
DP: If you were going conference against conference, could you handle Krzyzewski?
BP: As a player and as a coach, Mike Krzyzewski's got it over me. I lost a really tough recruiting battle to Duke this year. I said to the young man, "On the one hand, you've got a chance to play for Coach K. He'll be coaching the Olympic team. Or you could come play for a guy that takes his shirt off and paints his chest orange. Which is it going to be?"
DP: [During the Memphis game], you can't be putting your hands on Erin Andrews at halftime, Coach.
BP: Erin is a terrific sideline reporter, she knows the game, but she's also very engaging. I actually called her and texted her back, and I apologized if in any way that was unprofessional.
DP: Is texting her an NCAA violation?
BP: No, she's not a prospect.
DP: Oh, yes, she is.
BP: She's way out of my league when it comes to that category.
DP: You're not even a midmajor?
BP: Absolutely not. I'm D-II.
DP: When is the last time you accidentally broke an NCAA rule?
BP: Probably sometime in this conversation.
THE FINE PRINT: If found guilty of perjury, Roger Clemens faces up to five years in jail. But apparently he'll be allowed to report three months late.
Go to DANPATRICK.COM for more from Bruce Pearl and other recent interviews, and to hear live audio of Dan's radio show, 9 a.m. to noon ET, Mon.-Fri.
Caption You'll Never See
AFTER A DIFFICULT off-season in which he was the subject of numerous trade rumors, Melky Cabrera was all smiles upon arriving at Yankees camp in Tampa until finding "Johan Santana" written inside his batting helmet.
The Packers mistakenly posted an already created web page announcing "Favre to Retire" last week. Here are more pages ready to post.
1 NICK SABAN DENIES INTEREST IN NFL
RollTide.com also has "Saban Bolts for NFL" prepped, just in case.
2 MARLINS SLASH PAYROLL
Programmed to post automatically every November on Florida fan sites.
3 ESPN APOLOGIZES FOR BOB KNIGHT'S COMMENTS
The network has prepared 142 variations of the page.
4 PATRIOTS RIDICULE '72 DOLPHINS
Included on the Pats' Perfect Season page are a series of hilarious quotes from coach Bill Belichick.
5 BRADY QUINN TO START FOR BROWNS
Clevelandbrowns.com has posted ... oh, no, wait, that's on Brady's personal website.
What Kept Me Awake Last Night
AS THE NFL draft approaches, we're going to hear over and over about legendary draft busts—you know, names like Akili Smith and Mike Mamula. Every year these guys get tarred and feathered. Why? Simply because they played well in college and had a good combine, and then some team spent 87 days in its "war room" and decided to spend a first pick on them? What was Akili supposed to do when the Bengals took him third overall in 1999, say, "Don't take me, I'm not that good?" Give these guys a break. The wrong people are taking the hit here.
JASON PARKHURST/US PRESSWIRE (PEARL)
JOHN SOMMERS II/ICON SMI (PEARL)
ILLUSTRATION BY KEITH WITMER
NOAH K. MURRAY/THE STAR-LEDGER/US PRESSWIRE (CABRERA)
TONY TOMSIC/US PRESSWIRE (QUINN)