Have the last 10 years removed us from being a 'blue blood'

#27

GBOVFL88

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#27
Tennessee is a has "Blue Blood" DNA. That doesn't make us a blue blood program now by any means, but it means that we have the infrastructure to be a national power and make runs to the SEC Championship about once every 4 years. My reasons:
1. Biggest school in the state gives us the recruiting prowess to take the best in-state recruits if we decide to focus there.
2. The stadium is one of the largest in the country, and is being upgraded
3. Financial support from the AD and boosters says that we should always have state of the art facilities
4. Fan support will waiver at times, but will not falter (i.e. the way that fans have stayed behind UT for the last 15 years despite abysmal seasons and lack luster coaches and AD's)
5. History has shown that when the program is run the way that UT faithful expect, we are a powerhouse regardless who we play

There are ebbs and flows for all programs in sports. Granted we have been in a lull for far too long, the pieces are still there if we have the right coaches and staff to employ good decision making and the fearlessness that is needed to win or lose at a high level. I think that the current staff is doing business the right way, and I foresee that we will return to glory in the not too distant future (circa 4 years from this season) with flashes of brilliance on the way paired with some disappointment at times.
 
#28

wmcovol

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#28
Tennessee has one of the top "brands" in college football but its not "blue blood' status. And YES the last 10-12 years have tarnished that brand.

I travel often and meet people from other parts of the country. Some of the comments Ive heard recently are
1) Will Tennessee ever win again?
2) What happened to your program?
3) I really used to like watching Tennessee games on TV.
 
#29
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#29
Not a UT fan, but I still think so. IMO "blue blood" is based on history and tradition and UT is rich in both. College football is cyclical and UT will be contending for championships again at some point.
A huge part of being a "blue blood" is having some kind of mystique or reputation on a national level that goes back many decades. Schools like Michigan (although it is undeserved, but I digress), Ohio St, Alabama, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma have that. You can argue Texas, Nebraska, Penn St, and USC have that.

IMO, and I say this as a Tennessee fan, but Tennessee seems to fall right outside that category. Tennessee has a great brand - the Power T is recognized everywhere - but it doesn't quite seem to have that "aura" on a nationwide level that some of those other schools have.

You'll notice that those schools I just mentioned make up most of the schools at the top of the all-time wins list (all except the Ivy League schools). If it makes us feel better, the other schools right behind us in that list - Georgia, LSU, Auburn, etc., aren't blue bloods either. The top 8/9 in the all-time wins list seem to be in the "blue blood" category.
 
#30

GBOVFL88

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#30
A huge part of being a "blue blood" is having some kind of mystique or reputation on a national level that goes back many decades. Schools like Michigan (although it is undeserved, but I digress), Ohio St, Alabama, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma have that. You can argue Texas, Nebraska, Penn St, and USC have that.

IMO, and I say this as a Tennessee fan, but Tennessee seems to fall right outside that category. Tennessee has a great brand - the Power T is recognized everywhere - but it doesn't quite seem to have that "aura" on a nationwide level that some of those other schools have.

You'll notice that those schools I just mentioned make up most of the schools at the top of the all-time wins list (all except the Ivy League schools). If it makes us feel better, the other schools right behind us in that list - Georgia, LSU, Auburn, etc., aren't blue bloods either. The top 8/9 in the all-time wins list seem to be in the "blue blood" category.
Statistically speaking I have to say that UT is a blue blood program. In looking at the list of all time wins that you mentioned, UT is number 13. That puts UT right at the top 10% all time as it pertains to winning games. So if roughly 90% of power 5 teams are lower on that list I don't see how UT could be anything but a blue blood. I'll echo my previous post and say that we have been down for a while, but with that said, losing as much as we have over the last decade and still being as high on the all time win list reinforces that UT is a blue blood program and a sleeping giant.
 
#31
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#31
Statistically speaking I have to say that UT is a blue blood program. In looking at the list of all time wins that you mentioned, UT is number 13. That puts UT right at the top 10% all time as it pertains to winning games. So if roughly 90% of power 5 teams are lower on that list I don't see how UT could be anything but a blue blood. I'll echo my previous post and say that we have been down for a while, but with that said, losing as much as we have over the last decade and still being as high on the all time win list reinforces that UT is a blue blood program and a sleeping giant.
Correct, statistically speaking. Who is a blue blood and who isn't goes beyond just the stats though.

Tennessee is absolutely right around a number of schools I'd consider blue bloods in terms of all-time wins. The school immediately ahead of us on that list, USC, is probably a blue blood. They only have 1 more all-time win than Tennessee, but they also have 11 claimed national titles, 39 conference titles, 80 consensus All-Americans, and 6 Heisman winners (7 if you count Reggie Bush). They have significantly more of those than Tennessee does in all of those categories, plus are located in a much bigger media market. That kind of stuff, when done over a very long period of time, builds the "mystique" of a program that I'm talking about. Tennessee just doesn't quite have that to the level that a USC or Ohio St does. In the same ballpark, but just not quite to the same level.

Tennessee seems to be at a cutoff point in that list. I think everyone ahead of Tennessee is a blue blood, or you can make an easy argument they are a blue blood. Everyone from Tennessee and behind (the schools immediately behind us are Georgia, LSU, Auburn, West Virginia, Clemson) are programs that have been good over a number of years, some better than others, but aren't blue bloods.
 
#33

Remy

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#33
If we ever were...we certainly aren’t now.

I hate it, but this is accurate. We can recapture it, but there's a whole generation of people out there where Tennessee football is just "meh." There was a run in Bama football not to long ago when PF owned Bama where they were "meh" nationally as well. We can return to prominence but it takes winning not jaw jacking.
 
#34
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#34
I hate it, but this is accurate. We can recapture it, but there's a whole generation of people out there where Tennessee football is just "meh." There was a run in Bama football not to long ago when PF owned Bama where they were "meh" nationally as well. We can return to prominence but it takes winning not jaw jacking.
Fulmer owning Bama was about the least embarrassing bad thing that happened to them during those days. Fulmer owned a lot of people in those days, except Spurrier. Alabama football from 1997-2007 was an even more embarrassing run than Tennessee is having, although ours has lasted longer now.

I remember when they hired Shula and especially Saban, a lot of folks (including a bunch of Tennessee fans) were telling them to give it up, the Bear has been dead 25 years, the game is different and has passed Alabama by, Alabama doesn't have the same place in the sport it used to and can't expect to be really good ever again, etc.

Winning has a way of creating a knew it all along effect or a "they've always been good" effect in people, especially if the program in question has a successful past. Today, people say things like "Well yeah, we all knew Alabama would be really good again eventually, they are a traditional power." Well, most certainly not everybody figured that at the time.
 
#36

Boca Vol

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#36
Fulmer owning Bama was about the least embarrassing bad thing that happened to them during those days. Fulmer owned a lot of people in those days, except Spurrier. Alabama football from 1997-2007 was an even more embarrassing run than Tennessee is having, although ours has lasted longer now.

I remember when they hired Shula and especially Saban, a lot of folks (including a bunch of Tennessee fans) were telling them to give it up, the Bear has been dead 25 years, the game is different and has passed Alabama by, Alabama doesn't have the same place in the sport it used to and can't expect to be really good ever again, etc.

Winning has a way of creating a knew it all along effect or a "they've always been good" effect in people, especially if the program in question has a successful past. Today, people say things like "Well yeah, we all knew Alabama would be really good again eventually, they are a traditional power." Well, most certainly not everybody figured that at the time.
Bama, at least, had an SEC title in 1999. Franchione leaving set them back (hiring Shula) until Saban got there.
 
#37

05_never_again

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#37
Bama, at least, had an SEC title in 1999. Franchione leaving set them back (hiring Shula) until Saban got there.
True, although that title could be "cancelled out" by multiple postseason bans/NCAA trouble and having to fire a coach before he even coached a game because he ran up a bar tab with strippers on a UA credit card. The depths they hit were pretty low, certainly as low as anything Tennessee has experienced, and probably worse.
 
#38

GBOVFL88

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#38
Correct, statistically speaking. Who is a blue blood and who isn't goes beyond just the stats though.

Tennessee is absolutely right around a number of schools I'd consider blue bloods in terms of all-time wins. The school immediately ahead of us on that list, USC, is probably a blue blood. They only have 1 more all-time win than Tennessee, but they also have 11 claimed national titles, 39 conference titles, 80 consensus All-Americans, and 6 Heisman winners (7 if you count Reggie Bush). They have significantly more of those than Tennessee does in all of those categories, plus are located in a much bigger media market. That kind of stuff, when done over a very long period of time, builds the "mystique" of a program that I'm talking about. Tennessee just doesn't quite have that to the level that a USC or Ohio St does. In the same ballpark, but just not quite to the same level.

Tennessee seems to be at a cutoff point in that list. I think everyone ahead of Tennessee is a blue blood, or you can make an easy argument they are a blue blood. Everyone from Tennessee and behind (the schools immediately behind us are Georgia, LSU, Auburn, West Virginia, Clemson) are programs that have been good over a number of years, some better than others, but aren't blue bloods.
I wouldn't argue against USC being a blue blood, and that is clear based on the statistics that you listed. But there are some contributing factors that you have to look at when comparing these two teams. First, USC plays in the PAC 12 which is a far inferior conference when compared to the SEC. That is not something that anyone with any college football knowledge would argue against. That is not the only thing that matters, but it explains the disparity between conference championships and an argument could even be made that they have historically had an easier road to the Natty based on their scheduled opponents and in conference competition. Now, they clearly have a more proven history regarding All-Americans and Heisman winners, which is the reason that they have so many wins and are also a blue blood.

You make a good point and I can see why you would look a little more closely at Tennessee as a blue blood, but IMO if Tennessee had not been such a dumpster fire over the last few years we wouldn't be having this conversation. Based on recent years many might say that Clemson is a blue blood program, but that is based more on recent success rather than history. Throughout history Tennessee has risen and fallen in the ranks, but more often UT has been considered among the biggest programs, while not necessarily considered one of the all time best.
 
#39

05_never_again

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#39
I wouldn't argue against USC being a blue blood, and that is clear based on the statistics that you listed. But there are some contributing factors that you have to look at when comparing these two teams. First, USC plays in the PAC 12 which is a far inferior conference when compared to the SEC. That is not something that anyone with any college football knowledge would argue against. That is not the only thing that matters, but it explains the disparity between conference championships and an argument could even be made that they have historically had an easier road to the Natty based on their scheduled opponents and in conference competition. Now, they clearly have a more proven history regarding All-Americans and Heisman winners, which is the reason that they have so many wins and are also a blue blood.

You make a good point and I can see why you would look a little more closely at Tennessee as a blue blood, but IMO if Tennessee had not been such a dumpster fire over the last few years we wouldn't be having this conversation. Based on recent years many might say that Clemson is a blue blood program, but that is based more on recent success rather than history. Throughout history Tennessee has risen and fallen in the ranks, but more often UT has been considered among the biggest programs, while not necessarily considered one of the all time best.
You make good points, but remember the Pac 12 is a far inferior conference today. College football has always been more popular in the southeastern United States than anywhere else, but the SEC hasn't always been the best conference. The dominance of the SEC is actually a fairly recent phenomenon in the history of college football, and the run the conference was on from 2006-2012 was unprecedented and probably won't be repeated. It hasn't always been that way. The SEC has gone through periods, particularly the 80s and 90s, where the conference just wasn't very good, or wasn't very deep, or was inconsistent.

Clemson is by no means a blue blood program, and neither is a school like Florida. They are very much "new money" programs. Tennessee isn't a "new money" program, but I'm not sure they are quite storied enough to be a blue blood. We're pretty close, basically right on that threshold between "historical power" and blue blood, IMO. Other SEC schools like LSU, Georgia, and Auburn are also right on that threshold, although I think Tennessee is closer to it than each of them.
 
#40

Vol_guy

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#40
Historically, yes. We are like Nebraska, a storied program that has hit hard times. Think Bama in the late 90s early 2000s. Still a storied program that hit hard times.

Now, if we stay where we are we may end up a Minnesota - a once highly respected program that slid into permanent mediocrity.

It’s gonna be interesting. And realistically, this may be our last shot over the next 5-7 years. We stay here, then hello Minnesota.
I couldn't agree more.
 
#41

GBOVFL88

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#41
You make good points, but remember the Pac 12 is a far inferior conference today. College football has always been more popular in the southeastern United States than anywhere else, but the SEC hasn't always been the best conference. The dominance of the SEC is actually a fairly recent phenomenon in the history of college football, and the run the conference was on from 2006-2012 was unprecedented and probably won't be repeated. It hasn't always been that way. The SEC has gone through periods, particularly the 80s and 90s, where the conference just wasn't very good, or wasn't very deep, or was inconsistent.

Clemson is by no means a blue blood program, and neither is a school like Florida. They are very much "new money" programs. Tennessee isn't a "new money" program, but I'm not sure they are quite storied enough to be a blue blood. We're pretty close, basically right on that threshold between "historical power" and blue blood, IMO. Other SEC schools like LSU, Georgia, and Auburn are also right on that threshold, although I think Tennessee is closer to it than each of them.
Fair enough. I can see your logic and I am admittedly not well versed in history beyond what would be considered pretty recent as it pertains to college football. But I'll say this, whether or not UT is a blue blood will not carry them through this season, and no matter how good or bad we have been historically we are in a state of disarray at the moment. If CJP can right the ship and help the team return to its former status of challenging for the SEC East with runs for the SEC Championship or more once every 5 years I would take that for our program over the next decade or so. I would obviously like to see the team established as a blue blood along with the likes of the all time best, but that will take some time no matter how you slice it.
 
#43

KBVol

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#43
If we're talking top 5 program all time then we never were.
Correct. Tennessee is top 10-12 all-time in D1 wins iirc, so we have great history and tradition. But Tennessee is not and has never been a top 5 blueblood type program. Perhaps when we went on our great 1990s run we inched into the top 10, but we’re certainly nowhere near that now given the last 10-12 seasons. We’re in that second tier historically behind the Alabamas, Oklahomas, Notre Dames, USCs, Michigans, Ohio States, etc. imo.
 
#49

RowdyTop

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#49
Maybe we never were a blue blood football program. I was just reading one of the basektball threads questioning whether or not the Bball progam could be a blue blood program after 20 years of great success (not likely). How about football? Were we ever a blue blood program? Folks like to think that we were at one time. Perhaps in the Neyland years? The late 80's to early 00's was probably the closest we came in the modern era but have the last 10-15 years completely destroyed our legacy? If I'm honest, I'm not sure we ever were a real blue blood program. Perhaps we were a tier below Bama, Ohio State, USC, Notre Dame etc. What think you all? With our facilities, resources, fanbase, money spent, etc., you would think we should be but over time the results just haven't been there.
Shut your mouth and don’t ever wear other Power T ever again
 

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