More impressive season than realized

#31

stolitonic

PHD in eye discipline
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#31
I thought getting to six wins would be a small miracle. Two things that really surprised me with this squad:

- the change in attitude…I never thought it possible to do this in year 1

- the development of some of our talent this year…people I doubted would ever meaningfully contribute

Tennessee football was fun to watch again.
That last sentence hit hard for me.

Yes, UT football was fun to watch this season.

We exceeded expectations of anyone who did not have a severe case of sunshine pumperitis.

More importantly, we are TCB against who we should be TCB against.

Just look at last night-admittedly weak opponent, but does anyone have a doubt that the game could have been a nail biter with Botch or Pruitt.

The team expected to win last night and you could see that from the beginning. They simply executed and put the game away early so everyone could have some fun.

That is the biggest difference to me this year. No fear. No fear from the players about screwing up, they just play as they have been coached. No fear from the coaches to take chances to offset some of our depth and talent issues. Lastly, and for the first time in a long time UT football is fun again. Hell, we lost vs Old Miss but I still had a 10 mile wide smile on my face after the game simply because it was a fun game to watch.
 
#32

Volizona

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#32
Realistically 9-3 with a W Saturday over Vandy. With Hooker at QB Tenn wins over Pitt & Uf.
I thought Hooker played most of the Florida game. We weren’t going to win that one. We played the way we always play against Florida and our mistakes we too much to overcome. We should have beaten Pitt and Ole Miss though.
 
#33
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#33
Put it into perspective. Considering we had a 1st year head coach combined will the tremendous of talent we lost in the offesason (and the effect it had on last year's recruiting class), the fact that we'll likely finish 7-5 and a possible bowl win is something to be proud of. Like I said, the future is bright.
I agree with you. Some People can’t differentiate between being pleased with a particular season without being content at where we’re at as a program.

Are we content with being a 7-5 program? No way! We want more and UT has a higher ceiling.

I’m not content but that does not mean I can’t be pleased with what we’ve done thus far given the context.

Yeah yeah I get it, you don’t get a trophy for moral victories and I agree……I’m not asking for one, just saying that I see progress with the context of this year’s “extra” challenges ……and in light of that, I’m pleased
 
#34

usagary

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#34
We have some truly miserable fans. In one sense, it’s understandable given the last 15 years. What’s irritating is that they want everyone else to be miserable with them, so they bring their sour attitudes and snide comments to threads that point to any progress.

A 6-7 win season isn’t satisfying to anyone who has followed Tennessee football in the 90’s and early 00’s. But this team indeed outperformed expectations. And there are some very positive things that we saw with this group and that we haven’t seen in years. As obvious as they are, some people would rather wallow in misery than acknowledge them.

There are people like that everywhere in life…not just sports fans.
Totally agree. It seems they’re unhappy all the time. I truly hope they try their hardest at something in life and someone yells in their face that it wasn’t good enough. They sure have it coming.
 
#35
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#35
They dominated other conference teams they have struggled to previously beat.
I think this is arguably the most important indicator of the team's improvement. We beat the teams we were supposed to beat decisively, such that those games were never in doubt. We haven't seen that since at least Kiffin.
 
#39

American_PitVol

....And Justice For All
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#39
I called 9-3. We should have beaten Pitt. And we should have beaten Ole Miss. I am damn proud of this team. They played their guts out. I didn’t have that sense of dread that I’ve had for the last 12 years. It was actually FUN to watch. I can’t wait to see what we can do with a full deck. GBO!!!
 
#40

wmcovol

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#40
I think this is arguably the most important indicator of the team's improvement. We beat the teams we were supposed to beat decisively, such that those games were never in doubt. We haven't seen that since at least Kiffin.
I’d say this season is better than Kiffin’s first year even thou the records are the same. Granted Kiffin played Alabama off its feet ( but only 3 seasons away from a Tennessee victory over Alabama) and beat two ranked teams at home (Sc & Ga). He also suffered disappointing loss at home to an average UCLA team and blowout losses to average Aub & Ole Miss. Finished off with a big blowout loss to Va Tech. Kiffin did all of this without losing any of Fulmers best returning players.
 
#43

vegasvolfan

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#43
Let’s always look at the glass as half empty, shall we?

This is the most encouraged I’ve been about this program in 15 or more years. Better season than expected and totally different vibe coming from the players.

We just need to recruit better. And this is not an indictment on the staff, because we can point yo reasons why we are at a recruiting disadvantage right now. But, the reality is that we need to improve in recruiting.
I can’t say I am more encouraged now than 5 years ago when we were 5-0 after beating Georgia in Georgia with a hail Mary and going 9-4 the previous year under Butch Jones. I really thought we had a chance to go all the way that year. Other than that, I think I was about this encouraged after Butch’s second season honestly when we went 7-6 and hammered Iowa in our bowl game. More encouraged his 3rd season when we went 9-4 and DESTROYED #12 Northwestern in a bowl game to improve our W column by two wins that year. I think a lot of people underestimate what Butch did during his first 4 years here. He just ran out of resources once his staff started falling apart and Hamilton apparently wasn’t willing to pay for a good S&C coordinator to replace the guy that we fired for some reason I still don’t know.

Anyways, I still have an asterisk next to the fact Huepel stuck with Milton so much in the beginning of the year and was forced to try another QB due to injury. Too many were scratching their head and believed Huepel was on his way to being Pruitt 2.0. Had that injury not happened, our season could look very different and it’s an injury, not a coaching decision that has so much to do with how things turned around with Hooker at the Helm.

All that said, I love what I am seeing. I haven’t been this excited to watch us play since those years (which seems like an eternity of hell ago), but the jury is still out for me. Especially without this season being fully in the books. Best we can do is 8-5. That will possibly leave me more optimistic than after Butch’s first year depending on what our roster looks like.

We are losing Velus and Cade for sure. But Tillman and Hooker, Evans and apparently Payton all may get looks. That’s 6 potential NFL players gone from just our offense on a hopefully 8-5 team. Also, will McGrath play again? He’s a 78% FG kicker and is a Senior.

What about on D? Is Butler going to stick around? Flowers? Jackson? Taylor? Not sure who among all of those guys has a shot to go pro, but all of them are seniors and they are among our leading tacklers. Do any Juniors on D leave early? That is a LOT of experience to lose from a defense that is already thin.

All that said, if most of those guys return, we get some good recruits or transfers and we finish this season strong, I will be as optimistic as I have ever been.
 
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#45

WoodsmanVol

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#45
AWWWW! Can't we all just get along???

Heck NO, this is VN, now and always. And we ain't boring, whatever else folks want to say about us. Never was, there isn't, and never will be a message board like hours ours. Thanks VN for an almost daily amusement, a grand pick me up any day of the week. Gotta love you guys.
 
#47
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#47
We have some truly miserable fans. In one sense, it’s understandable given the last 15 years. What’s irritating is that they want everyone else to be miserable with them, so they bring their sour attitudes and snide comments to threads that point to any progress.

A 6-7 win season isn’t satisfying to anyone who has followed Tennessee football in the 90’s and early 00’s. But this team indeed outperformed expectations. And there are some very positive things that we saw with this group and that we haven’t seen in years. As obvious as they are, some people would rather wallow in misery than acknowledge them.

There are people like that everywhere in life…not just sports fans.
True. I will say something that hasn’t gone together in 15 years or so, Tn Vols football was fun to watch. Fun to watch and Tn football have been separated for way too long. Thank you Coach Heupel.
 
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#49

tennesseeduke

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#49
Put it into perspective. Considering we had a 1st year head coach combined will the tremendous of talent we lost in the offesason (and the effect it had on last year's recruiting class), the fact that we'll likely finish 7-5 and a possible bowl win is something to be proud of. Like I said, the future is bright.
And an NCAA cloud hanging over
 
#50

Woodlawn VOL

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#50
Yay, moral victory national champs again.
Okay so what are you saying we aren't getting better??? Nobody is claiming moral victories, we should have beat Pitt that is on us. Still most and probably you said we would be lucky to win 6 this year. Well are a vandy butt kicking away from 7 and should have probably won 8 now looking back on things. No 7-5 every year won't cut it but from where we was at what in haiti were you picking us to win this year 9 or 10??? Anybody that knows football can tell we have improved greatly from last year. The eye test is all one needed that can see. Now can we build on it, and continue to improve that is the key. But please quit with your shallow minded moral victory blabber! The majority of fans are happy because they see improvement. Sorry your can't see it. GBO!!!!!
 
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