2020 Oklahoma: Most important game in Tennessee history?

#1
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#1
Rarely in life do you get a 2nd shot.

2015 Oklahoma was the most important game of Tennessee’s future. We were still figuring out who Butch Jones was. We had this recruiting class coming in full of talent that set out to restore Tennessee to greatness. We had a national power in Oklahoma coming to Knoxville with an unproven transfer QB leading their team. Checkerboard in Neyland. We all know what happened. Oklahoma won in stunning fashion. Baker Mayfield carried that momentum to go on to lead Oklahoma to the playoffs and won a Heisman. Trevor Lawrence and a host of other top talent was at that game and left Knoxville possibly deciding against Tennessee. Butch’s youthful recruits never really gelled and took the next step. 2016 was a year of promise that just resulted in the collapse that culminated in 2017 being the worst season in the history of Tennessee football and the firing of LARP band dork pretending to be an alpha SEC HC. (Restored band geek status by being a coffee boy at Bama).

Winston Churchill famously said: “Those who fail to acknowledge history are condemned to repeat it.”

Now, here we are going into the 2020 season with a similar situation. We have a team comprised of elite talent on the offensive line. Potentially the best offensive line in Tennessee history. Right there with the team in 2013(14?) with Tiny Richardson, Zach Fulton, etc. Gray has shown flashes of brilliance at RB. Our WR’s are definitely a question mark. Our defense has shown promise and development.

The biggest question mark—is QB play. I will flat out say it: Guarantano is not good. If he goes into this season as a starter and gets the reps, we will be repeating exactly what we did in 2015.

Guarantano is a great kid. But he’s not a talented QB. We want talent like Joe Burrow or Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields.

Just a reminder for you....Joe Burrow threw nearly twice as many TD passes this year (60) in 15 games as Guarantano has thrown (32) in his 3 seasons (34 games) at Tennessee. Add to that his running abilities which would’ve put considerably more pressure on Bama’s D, which is something that Guarantano doesn’t have the ability to do.....Burrow 768 yards and 12 tds rushing in 2 years at LSU....Guarantano -79 yards and 1 TD rushing in 3 years at Tennessee.

We’re going to experience another decade of irrelevance and misery if Guarantano is our starter, and Pruitt’s regime will come to an end as a failure. That’s not what I want to happen, it’s just what will happen. A disaster campaign for the 2020 season means Pruitt starts being on the hot seat. That makes it even harder to recruit. And then you just don’t have the talent to compete.

Mark my words: if Guarantano gets the reps, we have a ceiling as an 8-9 win team for the next 10 years again. If ANYONE other than Guarantano gets the reps last season—we’re a 10 win team.

Before you comment—go through and look at the play by play drives on ESPN for any of the games we lost. You’ll notice some serious problems with our offense. It wasn’t our defense’s fault at any point this season.

Go Vols.
 
#5

Rickyvol77

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#5
Rarely in life do you get a 2nd shot.

2015 Oklahoma was the most important game of Tennessee’s future. We were still figuring out who Butch Jones was. We had this recruiting class coming in full of talent that set out to restore Tennessee to greatness. We had a national power in Oklahoma coming to Knoxville with an unproven transfer QB leading their team. Checkerboard in Neyland. We all know what happened. Oklahoma won in stunning fashion. Baker Mayfield carried that momentum to go on to lead Oklahoma to the playoffs and won a Heisman. Trevor Lawrence and a host of other top talent was at that game and left Knoxville possibly deciding against Tennessee. Butch’s youthful recruits never really gelled and took the next step. 2016 was a year of promise that just resulted in the collapse that culminated in 2017 being the worst season in the history of Tennessee football and the firing of LARP band dork pretending to be an alpha SEC HC. (Restored band geek status by being a coffee boy at Bama).

Winston Churchill famously said: “Those who fail to acknowledge history are condemned to repeat it.”

Now, here we are going into the 2020 season with a similar situation. We have a team comprised of elite talent on the offensive line. Potentially the best offensive line in Tennessee history. Right there with the team in 2013(14?) with Tiny Richardson, Zach Fulton, etc. Gray has shown flashes of brilliance at RB. Our WR’s are definitely a question mark. Our defense has shown promise and development.

The biggest question mark—is QB play. I will flat out say it: Guarantano is not good. If he goes into this season as a starter and gets the reps, we will be repeating exactly what we did in 2015.

Guarantano is a great kid. But he’s not a talented QB. We want talent like Joe Burrow or Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields.

Just a reminder for you....Joe Burrow threw nearly twice as many TD passes this year (60) in 15 games as Guarantano has thrown (32) in his 3 seasons (34 games) at Tennessee. Add to that his running abilities which would’ve put considerably more pressure on Bama’s D, which is something that Guarantano doesn’t have the ability to do.....Burrow 768 yards and 12 tds rushing in 2 years at LSU....Guarantano -79 yards and 1 TD rushing in 3 years at Tennessee.

We’re going to experience another decade of irrelevance and misery if Guarantano is our starter, and Pruitt’s regime will come to an end as a failure. That’s not what I want to happen, it’s just what will happen. A disaster campaign for the 2020 season means Pruitt starts being on the hot seat. That makes it even harder to recruit. And then you just don’t have the talent to compete.

Mark my words: if Guarantano gets the reps, we have a ceiling as an 8-9 win team for the next 10 years again. If ANYONE other than Guarantano gets the reps last season—we’re a 10 win team.

Before you comment—go through and look at the play by play drives on ESPN for any of the games we lost. You’ll notice some serious problems with our offense. It wasn’t our defense’s fault at any point this season.

Go Vols.
It’s important going forward but nowhere close to most important in Tennessee history
 
#7
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#7
It’s important going forward but nowhere close to most important in Tennessee history
I don’t know how you can say that. We just had the worst year in Tennessee history. We’re kinda at the bottom of our illustrious history.

People don’t even consider us a blue blood program anymore. This game changes that if we carry this momentum into a successful 2020 campaign.

I think we can beat Florida and Bama at home this year. I think we can surprise people, but we’re not doing any of that with Guarantano as QB1.
 
#11

Rickyvol77

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#11
I don’t know how you can say that. We just had the worst year in Tennessee history. We’re kinda at the bottom of our illustrious history.

People don’t even consider us a blue blood program anymore. This game changes that if we carry this momentum into a successful 2020 campaign.

I think we can beat Florida and Bama at home this year. I think we can surprise people, but we’re not doing any of that with Guarantano as QB1.
Well we are still Tennessee. Just because we had a .500 decade doesn’t mean we all of a sudden became Vandy. Yes we need to get back to winning but the most important games in our history were the ones that cemented our place as a top ten alltime program to begin win. Neyland’s upset wins vs Vandy, Bama, UNC. NC wins. Beating #1 LSU. The 56 classic against Ga Tech. Etc
 
#12

Matt2496

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#12
With competent coaching and Player Development, Tennessee likely closes out the 2015 Oklahoma game in the fourth quarter with a win.
All of the games we lost that year were within a touchdown. We even led Bama going into the 4th quarter. Just imagine if we could've won those games, we would've been in the playoff, and chances are, Butch Jones would still be our head coach.

Sigh...
 
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#13
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#13
Well we are still Tennessee. Just because we had a .500 decade doesn’t mean we all of a sudden became Vandy. Yes we need to get back to winning but the most important games in our history were the ones that cemented our place as a top ten alltime program to begin win. Neyland’s upset wins vs Vandy, Bama, UNC. NC wins. Beating #1 LSU. The 56 classic against Ga Tech. Etc
Good points.

However, without knocking any of the programs historic big wins, we’ve become somewhat of a laughing stock to the rest of the CFB universe.

Without getting back on track, and soon, we are approaching perpetual obscurity. It has been over 10 years of the worst period of Tennessee history. We’re not out of it either. That’s why I think this game is so important. Because a loss and a bad campaign this season means we might not ever get out of the quicksand/muck.
 
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#18

Rickyvol77

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#18
Good points.

However, without knocking any of the programs historic big wins, we’ve become somewhat of a laughing stock to the rest of the CFB universe.

Without getting back on track, and soon, we are approaching perpetual obscurity. It has been over 10 years of the worst period of Tennessee history. We’re not out of it either. That’s why I think this game is so important. Because a loss and a bad campaign this season means we might not ever get out of the quicksand/muck.
You’re paranoid. Laughing stock? Every program goes thru ups and downs. Bama, Florida, uga, LSU, Ohio State, Michigan, Texas, USC has had worst decades than we have. We have slipped but that was due to bad coaching and the fact our schedule usually has contained 5-6 top ten teams as well
 
#20

ptcarter

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#20
Sounds like another Guarantano bashing thread.
Take any quarterback in FBS football and compare him to Burrow and you are going to be able to make *almost* the same argument. Burrow's season was freakish. Most of those stats you quote set all time records. So it's not a great comparison. Having said that, the JG horse is beaten to death - He's so hot and cold - there have been times when I felt a little ashamed for being critical of him, he's done well in situations where previously he's sucked, and he's sucked in situations where he's previously done well. I'm a Dad, I have kids and if you take that last sentence and apply it to parenting, its about the same thing. Neighbors kids is valedectorian, straight A's, dates the head cheerleader and can do caclulus in his sleep. You are happy when your kid works his ass off and gets a B, but happy because you know he put the effort in. It's that kind of roller coaster ride with JG. Pretend he's your kid, and your wife just adopted Harrison Bailey. Now what?
 
#21
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#21
Agree. To even suggest that shows the OP needs to spend some time researching UT's football history.
I value history, and more than most—but do you consider Vanderbilt a football power? How about Army? Minnesota?

Neither do most people.

These programs had HUGE WINS and success in the past. And it stopped. And now they are generally bottom dwellers and assumed wins.

Things change. And we have been dwelling at the bottom for over 10 years. Were not even included in the discussions for all time great programs due to our recent woes.

We need this win and this season to get back on track for the sake of those historic Tennessee wins to have any sort of meaning in the future. Because as it stands right now, our entire history doesn’t matter to anyone that isn’t a Vols fan or alum.
 
#25

Seattle Hillbilly

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#25
I value history, and more than most—but do you consider Vanderbilt a football power? How about Army? Minnesota?

Neither do most people.

These programs had HUGE WINS and success in the past. And it stopped. And now they are generally bottom dwellers and assumed wins.

Things change. And we have been dwelling at the bottom for over 10 years. Were not even included in the discussions for all time great programs due to our recent woes.

We need this win and this season to get back on track for the sake of those historic Tennessee wins to have any sort of meaning in the future. Because as it stands right now, our entire history doesn’t matter to anyone that isn’t a Vols fan or alum.
Well, we just have to disagree on this one. History is not made or redefined in a short 10 year period and while the Oklahoma game would be a really nice win, in no way would it rate with historic wins of the past.
 

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