In just two years...

#1

zjcvols

GROWN ASS MAN
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#1
We went from being the worst program in the SEC East to the third best program in the SEC East.

Other than maybe Kentucky, Tennessee is clearly in better shape than everyone else besides Georgia and Florida.

Now, in the grand scheme of things, this isn’t really impressive. It’s basically the minimum of what Tennessee should. But for someone who was ready for Pruitt to be fired just two months ago, I think this point is very important of how far we’ve come in 24 months.

In 2017, we got blown out by both Missouri and Vanderbilt. They blew us out last year too. We lost to South Carolina and Kentucky. We dominated two of those teams this year (Vandy and USCe) and controlled the game against Missouri. Once JG came in against UK Tennessee was clearly the better team.

Are we a top program? No. Our the first two losses of the year still bad losses? Sure. But I think I’m more impressed the staff rallied to a solid season at 7-5 considering that just six weeks ago we were staring at the barrel of the worst season in program history. I think it’s better for the overall long term direction of the program that the 7-5 season is 5-3 in the SEC than 3-5.

So even if Pruitt doesn’t win titles, at the very least we are much improved from where we were two years ago to the day and have leapfrogged four other programs. Hell, maybe by next year we will have leapfrogged another one (Florida game is at Neyland next year 😉). And Pruitt took over a team that went 4-8 (0-8) and in two years went 7-5 (5-3). That’s solid improvement. That’s being in the right direction. It’s nice to say the program is trending upwards.
 
#5

VolPack22

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#5
In most places, it takes 3-5 years to become championship caliber. Hopefully we will fit into that time frame. We lose a few seniors that are hard to replace but I think the young guys are starting to figure everything out. Next year we should expect no blowout losses and if we lose games they will come down to the wire. 7-5 should be the floor with 9-3 being a reasonable ceiling. I think we get to 8 wins in the regular season with the hope of getting to 9 if we can upset one of OK, FL, AL, or GA.
 
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#6

TommyJoe

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Sep 21, 2019
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#6
We went from being the worst program in the SEC East to the third best program in the SEC East.

Other than maybe Kentucky, Tennessee is clearly in better shape than everyone else besides Georgia and Florida.

Now, in the grand scheme of things, this isn’t really impressive. It’s basically the minimum of what Tennessee should. But for someone who was ready for Pruitt to be fired just two months ago, I think this point is very important of how far we’ve come in 24 months.

In 2017, we got blown out by both Missouri and Vanderbilt. They blew us out last year too. We lost to South Carolina and Kentucky. We dominated two of those teams this year (Vandy and USCe) and controlled the game against Missouri. Once JG came in against UK Tennessee was clearly the better team.

Are we a top program? No. Our the first two losses of the year still bad losses? Sure. But I think I’m more impressed the staff rallied to a solid season at 7-5 considering that just six weeks ago we were staring at the barrel of the worst season in program history. I think it’s better for the overall long term direction of the program that the 7-5 season is 5-3 in the SEC than 3-5.

So even if Pruitt doesn’t win titles, at the very least we are much improved from where we were two years ago to the day and have leapfrogged four other programs. Hell, maybe by next year we will have leapfrogged another one (Florida game is at Neyland next year 😉). And Pruitt took over a team that went 4-8 (0-8) and in two years went 7-5 (5-3). That’s solid improvement. That’s being in the right direction. It’s nice to say the program is trending upwards.
"Butch Gets It". Everytime I read something like this I'm reminded of the 25,000 to 50,000 that three word sentence was put on this board. Dude. It's way too early. If we beat just one of the following three teams next year then I am with you. Georgia, Florida, Alabama. Okay. Until we can beat just ONE...ONE...of the three, then we don't have no winning damn coach. Okay?
 
#7

Sea Ray

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#7
The team is headed in the right direction. It appears that the guys are getting coached up and they're responding. They finished 5-3 with a mediocre SEC schedule. They (the players and coaches) deserve a lot of credit for bouncing back after the horrible first half of the yr. Given that this is year two, we can not expect anything more than that.

Now they do have to continue to improve next year and they HAVE to get better QB play next year. I think that's the most important thing. There will be plenty of candidates. It's up to CJP to properly sort this out and manage this.
 
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#8
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#8
"Butch Gets It". Everytime I read something like this I'm reminded of the 25,000 to 50,000 that three word sentence was put on this board. Dude. It's way too early. If we beat just one of the following three teams next year then I am with you. Georgia, Florida, Alabama. Okay. Until we can beat just ONE...ONE...of the three, then we don't have no winning damn coach. Okay?
Lol, hell no its not okay. Okay?
 
#9

Notorious B.E.N

Make 'Em Say Uhh!
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#9
"Butch Gets It". Everytime I read something like this I'm reminded of the 25,000 to 50,000 that three word sentence was put on this board. Dude. It's way too early. If we beat just one of the following three teams next year then I am with you. Georgia, Florida, Alabama. Okay. Until we can beat just ONE...ONE...of the three, then we don't have no winning damn coach. Okay?
So what you're saying is we do have a winning coach?

Also what constitutes a winning coach? We won more than we lost, is that not winning?
 
#10

RockyTopTexas

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#10
This has been a fantastic turn around but let’s not forget that there will still be major changes on this staff by the time next year rolls around. Our recruiting class isn’t good enough and we need to recruit better point blank. We have missed a lot. We are headed in the right direction tho. Let’s keep it up !
 
#11

RockyTop140

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#11
In most places, it takes 3-5 years to become championship caliber. Hopefully we will fit into that time frame. We lose a few seniors that are hard to replace but I think the young guys are starting to figure everything out. Next year we should expect no blowout losses and if we lose games they will come down to the wire. 7-5 should be the floor with 9-3 being a reasonable ceiling. I think we get to 8 wins in the regular season with the hope of getting to 9 if we can upset one of OK, FL, AL, or GA.
We have a tougher schedule, but I think it’s important in year 3 for the team to make an improvement in the win column. Not saying we win the east, but I’m hoping we go at least 8-4, with the 4 losses against Georgia, Florida, Oklahoma, and Bama. That should be the floor, and if we win any one of those 4 games, it’s an excellent season that sets us up nicely for the next year.
 
#13

MikeVol44

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#13
We went from being the worst program in the SEC East to the third best program in the SEC East.

Other than maybe Kentucky, Tennessee is clearly in better shape than everyone else besides Georgia and Florida.

Now, in the grand scheme of things, this isn’t really impressive. It’s basically the minimum of what Tennessee should. But for someone who was ready for Pruitt to be fired just two months ago, I think this point is very important of how far we’ve come in 24 months....
I liked the post....

However, there's ONE MAJOR problem in thinking that seems to be common in the post....and I'm not trying to be argumentative...just trying to provide some info for thought and perspective on where we are.

"...In the grand scheme of things, this isn't really impressive...It's basically the minimum of what Tennessee should (be).."

When you say "what Tennessee should be"....you're referencing our SEC history.

We've lost to VANDY for 3 straight years before this year---when's the last time that happened to the VOLS? 1920s pre-Neyland???
So--this program has been led by 2 prior ADs and CDD and Lyle to a place it hasn't been in over 90 years before CJP took over.
That ought to wake some people up to how bad of shape the program was in before Fulmer took over and hired CJP.

1. CJP tried to explain that in his presser after the Vandy game...We ain't reloading---we're rebuilding from the ashes of a program that has sank to levels unseen before in at least 90 years!

Therefore, I conclude--in the grand scheme of things---it is EXTREMELY IMPRESSIVE to go from an 0-8 team with no SEC OL talent to 2-6 in year 1 (with wins over 2 ranked teams) to 5-3 in the SEC in year 2 of a new coach trying to rebuild the program.
Once again---THIS AIN'T the Tennessee we grew up watching in the late '80s or the 90's when we always had good OLs and just had to reload some key positions on offense and defense.

We lost to #4 UGA, #7 Florida, and #9 Bama in the SEC....And beat everyone else we played from the SEC to finish 5-3--and we had to win 2 of those games on the road against teams who had more upperclassmen on the field than us.

Ask Miss. State, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Michigan, USC, UCLA, Texas, etc...etc....just how difficult it is to accomplish.

2. It took Majors 8 years to get us from pathetic in '77 thru some very bad games in 1980-82....to winning the SEC in '85 when Florida was on probation from obvious cheating that occurred under Pell-----8 YEARS! And Majors could sign enough players each year to get his roster back up to full capacity of 100 scholarship players. If he lost down to 70 scholarship players...he could sign 30 more players for the next year to replenish the roster.

3. The current limit of 85 players was gradually implemented between 1992 to 1995.
And now every team is limited to signing a maximum of 25 new players each recruiting year for the next year's active roster.

Therefore, CJP and crew face a much more difficult recruiting task in order to rebuild the program.
They did an excellent job signing last year's class to replace some very important spots on the OL...and still managed to get some excellent LBs and Gray at RB....great dividends earned this year on the field from recruiting in spite of the early losses.

Once again---I'm not trying to be argumentative, but just offering some perspective concerning how far this program was down on its back and one breath away from imminent death.

CJP has revived us and nursed us out of the ICU to the point where we are ready to go to rehab (enduring some setbacks that hurt like h*&^ this year) and get our strength back in order to resume our rightful place in the SEC.

GO VOLS!
 
#15
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#15
My biggest concern right now is recruiting. This staff is simply not yet recruiting at a level that will put us in a position to legitimately compete for SEC championships. We seem to finally be in a position to beat the teams we should be beating on a yearly basis. However that only gets us approximately to 8 wins. Georgia, Florida, LSU, and Alabama. That's our measuring stick. Recruiting has simply got to pick up if we hope to compete with those programs. I'm not sure that our upward trajectory is sustainable otherwise.
 
#16
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
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#16
I liked the post....

However, there's ONE MAJOR problem in thinking that seems to be common in the post....and I'm not trying to be argumentative...just trying to provide some info for thought and perspective on where we are.

"...In the grand scheme of things, this isn't really impressive...It's basically the minimum of what Tennessee should (be).."

When you say "what Tennessee should be"....you're referencing our SEC history.

We've lost to VANDY for 3 straight years before this year---when's the last time that happened to the VOLS? 1920s pre-Neyland???
So--this program has been led by 2 prior ADs and CDD and Lyle to a place it hasn't been in over 90 years before CJP took over.
That ought to wake some people up to how bad of shape the program was in before Fulmer took over and hired CJP.

1. CJP tried to explain that in his presser after the Vandy game...We ain't reloading---we're rebuilding from the ashes of a program that has sank to levels unseen before in at least 90 years!

Therefore, I conclude--in the grand scheme of things---it is EXTREMELY IMPRESSIVE to go from an 0-8 team with no SEC OL talent to 2-6 in year 1 (with wins over 2 ranked teams) to 5-3 in the SEC in year 2 of a new coach trying to rebuild the program.
Once again---THIS AIN'T the Tennessee we grew up watching in the late '80s or the 90's when we always had good OLs and just had to reload some key positions on offense and defense.

We lost to #4 UGA, #7 Florida, and #9 Bama in the SEC....And beat everyone else we played from the SEC to finish 5-3--and we had to win 2 of those games on the road against teams who had more upperclassmen on the field than us.

Ask Miss. State, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Michigan, USC, UCLA, Texas, etc...etc....just how difficult it is to accomplish.

2. It took Majors 8 years to get us from pathetic in '77 thru some very bad games in 1980-82....to winning the SEC in '85 when Florida was on probation from obvious cheating that occurred under Pell-----8 YEARS! And Majors could sign enough players each year to get his roster back up to full capacity of 100 scholarship players. If he lost down to 70 scholarship players...he could sign 30 more players for the next year to replenish the roster.

3. The current limit of 85 players was gradually implemented between 1992 to 1995.
And now every team is limited to signing a maximum of 25 new players each recruiting year for the next year's active roster.

Therefore, CJP and crew face a much more difficult recruiting task in order to rebuild the program.
They did an excellent job signing last year's class to replace some very important spots on the OL...and still managed to get some excellent LBs and Gray at RB....great dividends earned this year on the field from recruiting in spite of the early losses.

Once again---I'm not trying to be argumentative, but just offering some perspective concerning how far this program was down on its back and one breath away from imminent death.

CJP has revived us and nursed us out of the ICU to the point where we are ready to go to rehab (enduring some setbacks that hurt like h*&^ this year) and get our strength back in order to resume our rightful place in the SEC.

GO VOLS!
I like where your coming from, as I have argued the same point: for those bashing us for "settling" and being "OK" with 7 or 8 wins, we don't "accept" being a bottom dweller. We accept the FACT that UT IS a bottom dweller.
It's ridiculous to expect instant results and being able to bring in top recruits and coaches at out pleasure simply because (as they pump up their chests) "we're Tennessee". No, sorry, they're not coming because the program is in shambles. Vandy had a 3 game winning streak with freaking Derek garbage Mason running the show because the program is in shambles. Will it take less time than many other places? Sure. But the comparisons we keep seeing to Florida or Smart at Georgia or even how Saban started off borders on insanity.
 
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#18

feathersax

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Sep 20, 2008
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#18
"Butch Gets It". Everytime I read something like this I'm reminded of the 25,000 to 50,000 that three word sentence was put on this board. Dude. It's way too early. If we beat just one of the following three teams next year then I am with you. Georgia, Florida, Alabama. Okay. Until we can beat just ONE...ONE...of the three, then we don't have no winning damn coach. Okay?
Not okay. Now go kick the cat.
 
#19

VOLINVONORE

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#19
We went from being the worst program in the SEC East to the third best program in the SEC East.

Other than maybe Kentucky, Tennessee is clearly in better shape than everyone else besides Georgia and Florida.

Now, in the grand scheme of things, this isn’t really impressive. It’s basically the minimum of what Tennessee should. But for someone who was ready for Pruitt to be fired just two months ago, I think this point is very important of how far we’ve come in 24 months.

In 2017, we got blown out by both Missouri and Vanderbilt. They blew us out last year too. We lost to South Carolina and Kentucky. We dominated two of those teams this year (Vandy and USCe) and controlled the game against Missouri. Once JG came in against UK Tennessee was clearly the better team.

Are we a top program? No. Our the first two losses of the year still bad losses? Sure. But I think I’m more impressed the staff rallied to a solid season at 7-5 considering that just six weeks ago we were staring at the barrel of the worst season in program history. I think it’s better for the overall long term direction of the program that the 7-5 season is 5-3 in the SEC than 3-5.

So even if Pruitt doesn’t win titles, at the very least we are much improved from where we were two years ago to the day and have leapfrogged four other programs. Hell, maybe by next year we will have leapfrogged another one (Florida game is at Neyland next year 😉). And Pruitt took over a team that went 4-8 (0-8) and in two years went 7-5 (5-3). That’s solid improvement. That’s being in the right direction. It’s nice to say the program is trending upwards.
He will win titles if we are able to keep him. I hope he wins them at Tennessee rather than some other SEC team,.
 
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#20
Joined
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#20
My biggest concern right now is recruiting. This staff is simply not yet recruiting at a level that will put us in a position to legitimately compete for SEC championships. We seem to finally be in a position to beat the teams we should be beating on a yearly basis. However that only gets us approximately to 8 wins. Georgia, Florida, LSU, and Alabama. That's our measuring stick. Recruiting has simply got to pick up if we hope to compete with those programs. I'm not sure that our upward trajectory is sustainable otherwise.
Identify talent that fits your model, both in physical and mental make up. Recruit good kids who work hard and stay out of trouble, and do well in class, and bond well with their teammates.

Yes, we want the highest regarded recruits, but, as of now, I'll take kids that don't wash out, transfer, fail out, or can't stay out of trouble. Look at last years class, 2 "program" changing offensive lineman (who also fit being good kids and work hard), a "program" cornerstone MLB (who is the ideal mold of good kid and high character and work ethic), and then players like Crouch, Beasley, Grey, McColluogh, Harrison and a lesser known soon to be steady dlineman in Simmons. Another class like this will lead to more "highly" regarded players next year as the TEAM is better and deeper with solid contributers, not stars we all hope for, and that is fine, that will still win.

As stated before above, we, as of now, had a class that didn't miss and fit needs and want. Aside from injuries, this is the best case scenario for any class as the vast majority will play and contribute, and not have us looking back after 3 years saying where did these guys go to and end up after leaving.........
 
#21

golfballs

It’s Lieutenant Colonel Golfballs
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#21
This team could easily have 9 wins. Disappointing that we started so poorly but the football team is clearly in a much better state. In two years Pruitt has shown he can win a big game (last year @Auburn) and can win the games he should in the SEC. Next year needs to take another step forward and combine the two. Can we shoot for 6-2 in the SEC with 1 big win, maybe over Florida?
 
#22

willinhf

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#22
"Butch Gets It". Everytime I read something like this I'm reminded of the 25,000 to 50,000 that three word sentence was put on this board. Dude. It's way too early. If we beat just one of the following three teams next year then I am with you. Georgia, Florida, Alabama. Okay. Until we can beat just ONE...ONE...of the three, then we don't have no winning damn coach. Okay?
Would you also put Oklahoma at Oklahoma in that "one team to beat" list since they are a top ranked team, or are you just thinking SEC?
 
#23
Joined
Aug 24, 2010
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#23
Great post! The biggest plus for me has been player development. From some of the players already on the roster to the Freshman and new comers that have played major role this season, they have all improved at a fast pace. Coaching is definitely happening on the hill. I think the biggest improvement will be when finally have a full roster of sec talent. That is where the biggest gap still lies in my opinion. One thing is for sure, we trending up!
 

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