Tennessee's top four all-time best head coaches

XknoxvolsX

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Facts get in the way of your rant:

--SEC Final standings 1985 show Gators and Vols were both 5-1 and the Gators won the head to head match up. UF was on probation but won on field

--SEC Final standing 1989 show a 3 way tie for first between UT, Bama, and Auburn.

--SEC Final standings 1990 show Gators 6-1, Vols were 5-1-1. Vols beat UF 45-3 but Johnny lost to a mediocre Alabama team in Knoxville by being way too conservative and choked away a huge 4th quarter lead at Auburn by being way trying to run out the clock for entire 4th quarter (typical Majors move). This while Fulmer was the OC.


Johnny claims 3 SEC titles but one was a 3 way tie and the other two are tainted and asterisk championships only. Fulmer has two outright SEC titles and two SEC east titles he backed into.

Fulmer is a first ballot Hall of Fame coach and Johnny's coaching record is not high enough to even qualify him for the HOF. This is due to Johnny building up three programs. It's not like he stepped into a power house like Fulmer did. Johnny built programs at every stop.

There is no comparison, Fulmer was a much better coach than Johnny. Fulmer rode his coattails. Then ran what Johnny built into the ground. Johnny was pretty good but he should have been fired after his first 3 or 4 seasons and again after the 1988 0-6 start. I agree with this 100%. In today's climate, he would have.
 
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KBVol

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I confess that it is a subjective measurement.

I quantify it by observing that Majors has taken 2 programs that were at a nadir and developed them into 1) National Champions at Pitt; 2) NC contenders at Tennessee.

Majors took a team of absolute nobodies and won the SEC in '85 at Tennessee....all while losing his starting QB in T. Rob. with Walt Harris at OC and Ken Donahue as DC.

Does anyone here actually believe that the '98 NC team could've won if we would've lost T Martin after the Bama game???

Majors did hire both Cut and Chief.... Fulmer hired spiderman..... slam dunk for Majors....

I like Fulmer a LOT! However, he NEVER had to build a program from nothing into champions.....
Both Majors and Dickey did.

CPF minus David Cutcliffe = disaster for UT football....

Majors was sub .500 after 4 years at Tennessee after a losing record in his 4th season at Tennessee....actually had a worse record his first 4 years than the last 4 seasons of Bill Battle that got him fired.

Majors was wildly inconsistent his first 13 years at Tennessee....he’d have 1 good season followed by one average to bad season, year after year. Actually started 0-6 in 1988, his 13th year as Tennessee head coach....nothing about that screams that he was a smarter coach than much any other average SEC coach, especially a HOF coach like Fulmer.

Majors did a great job at Pittsburgh, the first time, when he won a National title with Tony Dorset and the Panthers. Full marks for that, no doubt. But his second stint at Pittsburgh was a disaster....12-32 in 4 seasons.

Perhaps the best comparison about who was the “smarter coach” is 1992.....Majors was ill to begin the season so Fulmer was the interim....started the year 3-0, including a win vs Florida....Majors returned the next 8 games, went 5-3...Fulmer coached the last game and won it to finish 4-0 as the interim, compared to Majors who, with the same players and coaches, went 5-3. So, who was smarter that year?

As far as 1985, it was magical...TRob was awesome until the knee injury and the team rallied around Dickey. Majors did a great job that year as unheard of players like Chris White and Jeff Powell came out of nowhere to play great. Again, great job there by Majors.........but how was 1998 any less miraculous and how was the job done by Fulmer any less “smart”? They were predicted to finish 3rd in the East after losing Peyton and a slew of other top players to the NFL and went on to be the best team in the country.

And the point you wanted to make regarding TRob vs Tee? Please recall that the team had to overcome Tee’s play several times throughout the season....9-26 vs Syracuse, 64 yards passing vs Florida ...... 10-27 vs Arkansas after throwing 4 straight incompletions on what should’ve been the last drive of the game. Thank God for Billy Ratliffe, our OL and Travis Henry who went on to do something Tee couldn’t, which is win the game at the end.

So yeah, as much as I love Tee and recognize that he was clutch at times in 1988, there were also games like I mentioned where the team had to overcome Tee’s poor play. So, I do indeed believe the 1998 team could’ve won the games needed to win a NATIONAL TITLE, not just an SEC TITLE like in 1985, had we lost Tee at QB like the ‘85 team lost TRob.

Final point....Majors had the program in very good shape, partly with Fulmer’s help as his OC, when he was fired in 1992. But let’s recognize that Fulmer took it over and took it to a level far higher than Majors ever did in his 16 years. At the end of the day, Majors won 64.5% of his games at Tennessee and had his highest finish at #4 in the country....Fulmer won 74.3% of his games and his highest finish at #1 with a national title, something Tennessee hadn’t done since 1951.
 

kbear01

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1. Neyland: One of the greatest ever.
2. Fulmer: Inherited a very good/sometimes great program. Elevated it, and maintained it.
3. Dickey: Inherited a mess. Restored UT to relevance, and even dominance.
4. Majors: Inherited a huge mess. Restored UT to relevance. Maintained over 16 years.

One thing all of these coaches shared in common: No one was safe, when playing The Big Orange. We could beat anyone, anywhere, anytime. Just not every time. UT feared no one. I want that back.
 

kbear01

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I am glad we didn't fire Johnny Majors. I've called for his head more than anyone here, over the years. I think he went at the right time. The game had surpassed him. Coaches didn't want to work under him. He was a maniacal control freak. Especially late in games, that we seemingly had under control. His prevent defense was the bain of my existence!! But, I loved the Ol' VFL! He was a lovable old guy! Phil stepped in, and showed how to closeout games. With his foot on the damn gas!! If you go back, and look at the other SEC schools' worst SEC losses, you'll find that Fulmer's Vols are responsible for many of them. Fulmer did begin to get complacent, after the Natty. He let some really good talent, especially at QB and WR, slip through his fingers. His loyalty to Sanders was a dagger, as well as Mike Hamilton's inability to kick Phil in the pants, after a few subpar seasons. A few bad hires, and boom! He's toast.
 

XknoxvolsX

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I am glad we didn't fire Johnny Majors. I've called for his head more than anyone here, over the years. I think he went at the right time. The game had surpassed him. Coaches didn't want to work under him. He was a maniacal control freak. Especially late in games, that we seemingly had under control. His prevent defense was the bain of my existence!! But, I loved the Ol' VFL! He was a lovable old guy! Phil stepped in, and showed how to closeout games. With his foot on the damn gas!! If you go back, and look at the other SEC schools' worst SEC losses, you'll find that Fulmer's Vols are responsible for many of them. Fulmer did begin to get complacent, after the Natty. He let some really good talent, especially at QB and WR, slip through his fingers. His loyalty to Sanders was a dagger, as well as Mike Hamilton's inability to kick Phil in the pants, after a few subpar seasons. A few bad hires, and boom! He's toast.
I agree Bear. In the end, the Fulmer era was just like the Majors era. He began coaching not to lose instead of to win and the three and outs and punt. I specifically remember if it had not been for our punter, we would have lost one of those USCe games!
 

MikeVol44

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Majors was sub .500 after 4 years at Tennessee after a losing record in his 4th season at Tennessee....actually had a worse record his first 4 years than the last 4 seasons of Bill Battle that got him fired.

Majors was wildly inconsistent his first 13 years at Tennessee....he’d have 1 good season followed by one average to bad season, year after year. Actually started 0-6 in 1988, his 13th year as Tennessee head coach....nothing about that screams that he was a smarter coach than much any other average SEC coach, especially a HOF coach like Fulmer.

Majors did a great job at Pittsburgh, the first time, when he won a National title with Tony Dorset and the Panthers. Full marks for that, no doubt. But his second stint at Pittsburgh was a disaster....12-32 in 4 seasons.

Perhaps the best comparison about who was the “smarter coach” is 1992.....Majors was ill to begin the season so Fulmer was the interim....started the year 3-0, including a win vs Florida....Majors returned the next 8 games, went 5-3...Fulmer coached the last game and won it to finish 4-0 as the interim, compared to Majors who, with the same players and coaches, went 5-3. So, who was smarter that year?

As far as 1985, it was magical...TRob was awesome until the knee injury and the team rallied around Dickey. Majors did a great job that year as unheard of players like Chris White and Jeff Powell came out of nowhere to play great. Again, great job there by Majors.........but how was 1998 any less miraculous and how was the job done by Fulmer any less “smart”? They were predicted to finish 3rd in the East after losing Peyton and a slew of other top players to the NFL and went on to be the best team in the country.

And the point you wanted to make regarding TRob vs Tee? Please recall that the team had to overcome Tee’s play several times throughout the season....9-26 vs Syracuse, 64 yards passing vs Florida ...... 10-27 vs Arkansas after throwing 4 straight incompletions on what should’ve been the last drive of the game. Thank God for Billy Ratliffe, our OL and Travis Henry who went on to do something Tee couldn’t, which is win the game at the end.

So yeah, as much as I love Tee and recognize that he was clutch at times in 1988, there were also games like I mentioned where the team had to overcome Tee’s poor play. So, I do indeed believe the 1998 team could’ve won the games needed to win a NATIONAL TITLE, not just an SEC TITLE like in 1985, had we lost Tee at QB like the ‘85 team lost TRob.

Final point....Majors had the program in very good shape, partly with Fulmer’s help as his OC, when he was fired in 1992. But let’s recognize that Fulmer took it over and took it to a level far higher than Majors ever did in his 16 years. At the end of the day, Majors won 64.5% of his games at Tennessee and had his highest finish at #4 in the country....Fulmer won 74.3% of his games and his highest finish at #1 with a national title, something Tennessee hadn’t done since 1951.
I KNOW that the entire discussion is subjective...and that Majors was an intolerable a.s.s. his last few years at UT....BUT...

1) The '85 team had a 5th yr Sr. backing up Robinson......the '98 team had Burney Veazey......
You'll NEVER convince anyone that the '98 team would've won the SEC with Burney Veazey. Or anyone who has any reasonable intelligence.
Your stated opinion on this point is extremely disappointing....and not rational.
That '98 team was special--but not good enough to overcome the loss of T. Martin.

2) You guys "cherry pick" your portrayal of the stats between Majors and Fulmer.
Majors' first 8 years were 55%.....his last years were just short of 71%...
I do not contest the overall win % between the coaches.
Nor do I contest the FACT you point out about Majors 1st 4 yrs were worse than Battle's last 4.
BUT PHIL'S LAST 4 WERE WORSE THAN BATTLE'S LAST 4.....more on that in a moment.

But you do MISS the overall point thru your cherry picking.....
MAJORS continued working and hired the right staff to improve recruiting and game performances.
MAJORS decisions took the program from a dismal state to winning 70% of the games over his last 8 years.
Unless they change record-keeping to attribute shares of W/L's to assistant coaches....
MAJORS gets the credit for both the W's and L's over those last 8 years.

FULMER took the team JOHNNY OVERSAW to new heights---no one would dispute that.
I am old enough to remember the sheer exhilaration about the program Fulmer brought.
And I am in NO WAY attempting to throw any shade at CPF.

However, he took the team from 70% to almost 85%....and then back DOWN again....
The program's status was BARELY above Battle's shambles when CPF left.

You guys rightly assert Majors' "quirky" years of '86 and '88.
But you fail to acknowledge Fulmer's 2005 and 2008.
Also...."CRICKETS" chirping concerning the inability of CPF to win anything without CUTCLIFF's presence.
Nor do you recognize MAJORS' superiority in evaluating and hiring coaches as a HC when compared to CPF.

Fulmer was 29-21 in his last 4 years---that's 58%--and puts his LAST 4 YEARS WORSE THAN BILL BATTLE'S!!!! (28-17-2= 59.6%)
So--while Fulmer's overall win % was better than Majors'----he managed to take the program back below Bill Battle's status.
WOW---I've never really done the research to actually quantify how bad CPF was in the end....I'm shocked at those numbers!
You know---they sent a moving van to Battle's house for being that bad.

Let those numbers just settle in for a moment.

3) Mentioning MAJORS' failure in his 2nd tenure at PITT is LAUGHABLE in an attempt to prove Fulmer's superiority to him.
To wit---CPF never had to build anything from scraps....And exactly how old was Johnny when he went back to Pitt?

4) The Pitt Panthers went on to 50-9 record in the 5 years after Majors left.
We already know the depth of the ditch into which CPF steered the program.

Finally---I'm not attempting to attack CPF....he has a NC and 2 SEC crowns as a HC.
Majors has a NC and 3 SEC crowns on his resume....and beat the SEC champion by 24 points to win his NC.

I'm just giving the EVIDENCE and an answer to the question you asked about how I quantify my statements.
I'm okay if you or anyone else is not convinced that my opinion is correct. It's only my opinion.
 

MikeVol44

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Facts get in the way of your rant:

--SEC Final standings 1985 show Gators and Vols were both 5-1 and the Gators won the head to head match up. UF was on probation but won on field
--SEC Final standing 1989 show a 3 way tie for first between UT, Bama, and Auburn.
--SEC Final standings 1990 show Gators 6-1, Vols were 5-1-1. Vols beat UF 45-3 but Johnny lost to a mediocre Alabama team in Knoxville by being way too conservative and choked away a huge 4th quarter lead at Auburn by being way trying to run out the clock for entire 4th quarter (typical Majors move).

Johnny claims 3 SEC titles but one was a 3 way tie and the other two are tainted and asterisk championships only.

Fulmer is a first ballot Hall of Fame coach and Johnny's coaching record is not high enough to even qualify him for the HOF. There is no comparison, Fulmer was a much better coach than Johnny. Johnny was pretty good but he should have been fired after his first 3 or 4 seasons and again after the 1988 0-6 start.
Let me type slowly.......Johnny has 2 outright SEC TITLES with no asterisks according to the SEC....and 1 shared SEC title.
 

smokey90

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Neyland, Majors, Fulmer and Dickey.

Neyland-Automatic
Majors-Build program up for Fulmer, won three SEC championships
Fulmer-Won a natty and two SEC championships, ran the program so far into the ground we are still trying to dig out a decade later
Dickey-Brought the program back to prominence, bolted for Florida but came back to have a highly successful tenure as AD
Dont understand this reasoning. Majors took so long to be competitive. 1986 was the worse year I've experienced as a UT fan. Also, if Dickey's return was so successful, then one must recognize that Dickey's big move was to replace Majors with Fulmer. Also , Majors SEC titles were not convincing. In 1985, Majors won first SEC title, but only because Florida was on probation. if not for that UF would have won SEC. Majors 2nd SEC title was a three way tie with Bama and Auburn. So 3 out of 10 teams claimed the SEC Championship that year. His 3rd SEC championship team was not ranked at the end of the regular season but creeped back into the top 25 after beating unranked Virginia. So, one would say that was an unusually down year for the sec. Major never won a SEC championship game, rather just won on record.

Fulmer's 97 and 98 teams were undeniably SEC champs , and then 2001, 2004 , and 2007 trips to SECCG were much more success than we have seen since firing Fulmer.
 
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XknoxvolsX

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I KNOW that the entire discussion is subjective...and that Majors was an intolerable a.s.s. his last few years at UT....BUT...

1) The '85 team had a 5th yr Sr. backing up Robinson......the '98 team had Burney Veazey......
You'll NEVER convince anyone that the '98 team would've won the SEC with Burney Veazey. Or anyone who has any reasonable intelligence.
Your stated opinion on this point is extremely disappointing....and not rational.
That '98 team was special--but not good enough to overcome the loss of T. Martin.

2) You guys "cherry pick" your portrayal of the stats between Majors and Fulmer.
Majors' first 8 years were 55%.....his last years were just short of 71%...
I do not contest the overall win % between the coaches.
Nor do I contest the FACT you point out about Majors 1st 4 yrs were worse than Battle's last 4.
BUT PHIL'S LAST 4 WERE WORSE THAN BATTLE'S LAST 4.....more on that in a moment.

But you do MISS the overall point thru your cherry picking.....
MAJORS continued working and hired the right staff to improve recruiting and game performances.
MAJORS decisions took the program from a dismal state to winning 70% of the games over his last 8 years.
Unless they change record-keeping to attribute shares of W/L's to assistant coaches....
MAJORS gets the credit for both the W's and L's over those last 8 years.

FULMER took the team JOHNNY OVERSAW to new heights---no one would dispute that.
I am old enough to remember the sheer exhilaration about the program Fulmer brought.
And I am in NO WAY attempting to throw any shade at CPF.

However, he took the team from 70% to almost 85%....and then back DOWN again....
The program's status was BARELY above Battle's shambles when CPF left.

You guys rightly assert Majors' "quirky" years of '86 and '88.
But you fail to acknowledge Fulmer's 2005 and 2008.
Also...."CRICKETS" chirping concerning the inability of CPF to win anything without CUTCLIFF's presence.
Nor do you recognize MAJORS' superiority in evaluating and hiring coaches as a HC when compared to CPF.

Fulmer was 29-21 in his last 4 years---that's 58%--and puts his LAST 4 YEARS WORSE THAN BILL BATTLE'S!!!! (28-17-2= 59.6%)
So--while Fulmer's overall win % was better than Majors'----he managed to take the program back below Bill Battle's status.
WOW---I've never really done the research to actually quantify how bad CPF was in the end....I'm shocked at those numbers!
You know---they sent a moving van to Battle's house for being that bad.

Let those numbers just settle in for a moment.

3) Mentioning MAJORS' failure in his 2nd tenure at PITT is LAUGHABLE in an attempt to prove Fulmer's superiority to him.
To wit---CPF never had to build anything from scraps....And exactly how old was Johnny when he went back to Pitt?

4) The Pitt Panthers went on to 50-9 record in the 5 years after Majors left.
We already know the depth of the ditch into which CPF steered the program.

Finally---I'm not attempting to attack CPF....he has a NC and 2 SEC crowns as a HC.
Majors has a NC and 3 SEC crowns on his resume....and beat the SEC champion by 24 points to win his NC.

I'm just giving the EVIDENCE and an answer to the question you asked about how I quantify my statements.
I'm okay if you or anyone else is not convinced that my opinion is correct. It's only my opinion.
Dang, Mike. I agree with all of your points but had never broke it down to this extent. Excellent post!
 

MikeVol44

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Dont understand this reasoning. Majors took so long to be competitive. 1986 was the worse year I've experienced as a UT fan. Also, if Dickey's return was so successful, then one must recognize that Dickey's big move was to replace Majors with Fulmer. Also , Majors SEC titles were not convincing. In 1985, Majors won first SEC title, but only because Florida was on probation. if not for that UF would have won SEC. Majors 2nd SEC title was a three way tie with Bama and Auburn. So 3 out of 10 teams claimed the SEC Championship that year. His 3rd SEC championship team was not ranked at the end of the regular season but creeped back into the top 25 after beating unranked Virginia. So, one would say that was an unusually down year for the sec. Major never won a SEC championship game, rather just won on record.

Fulmer's 97 and 98 teams were undeniably SEC champs , and then 2001, 2004 , and 2007 trips to SECCG were much more success than we have seen since firing Fulmer.
1) The SEC didn't have a conference championship when Majors coached....regular season SEC records was how it was done.
So you can't act like a democrat and go back and revise the historical setting to the present day SEC format in order to suit your own personal opinions.
One must stay within the historical settings. The SEC doesn't have asterisks besides MAJORS' SEC titles.

Florida was ineligible in 1984 because of Charley Pell's 100+ NCAA violations!!! So we lost by 7 on the road to a bunch of CHEATING GATORS!
It's beyond rational thought that you would throw a LEGENDARY UT VOL under the statistical bus in favor of a CHEATING GATOR!!

And, you seem to forget that Johnny's '85 VOLS beat the snot out of Miami with a back-up QB!
Miami beat Florida that year by 2 scores.

Ultimately...IMO....CPF was a much better CEO of the program for the first 9 yrs of his tenure.
CPF was a much better "people" person.
CPF may have been a better recruiter....

MAJORS--imo--got MORE out of his players than CPF did.

The BEST thing to happen for CPF was signing Shuler--then Manning.
As someone has posted previously in this thread--once the "Manning recruits" were gone (post 2001)....the well ran dry for CPF.
And that is a very accurate statement.

CPF's career win % is 74%....ties = loss in my calculations.
CPF'S 1st 8 years '92--2000 = 81.4% overall and 80.6% SEC
CPF's last 8 = 2001--2008 = 66.7% overall and 62.9% in SEC
CPF'S last 4 = 58% overall and 51.5% SEC

MAJORS overall record thru 29 yrs of coaching was 57.2%
MAJORS Tennessee overall WINS = 62.4% --- ties = losses for consistency

MAJORS 1st 8 '77--'84 = 54.8% overall and 47.9% SEC
MAJORS last 8 '85--'92 = 69.9% overall and 65.4% SEC
MAJORS last 4 = 75.6% overall and 70.4% SEC.

So the evaluation for both coaches--statistically speaking--is a tale of 2 career halves...and completely different trajectories.

1st half goes to FULMER....
2nd half goes to MAJORS...
LAST 4 goes to MAJORS....

Fulmer took us to a higher level...winning 1 NC, 2 SEC crowns...while going 2-3 in SEC CGs.
But Fulmer left the program in terrible shape.

Majors' beginning was lower than CPF's...but he won 3 SEC crowns emerging from mire...
Majors left the program in excellent shape.

For me....it's just plain fun to research all of this stuff because I was 12 in '77 and have been an eye-witness to the program since attending my first game in '79.

MAJORS definitely put the program back on the NATIONAL MAP from '85 on...

Everyone points out the very bad start to 1988...0-5 under Majors....
but do you realize that MAJORS went 34-6-2 in his next 42 games for a 81% winning record.
We went 40-9 from '94-97 while Manning was here....that's 81.6% winning record.....just to give some perspective!

CPF's best stretch was from 94-98 where he went 63-9 for a 85.5% winning record.

I do remember that it seemed like EVERYONE knew that MAJORS' time was up after CPF led us to 4-0 to start the '92 season.
I think CPF could've coached that '92 team to 11-1...


Anyways....I'm just giving the reasons for why I think Majors was a better FB coach with a higher FB IQ.

GO VOLS!
 

XknoxvolsX

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1) The SEC didn't have a conference championship when Majors coached....regular season SEC records was how it was done.
So you can't act like a democrat and go back and revise the historical setting to the present day SEC format in order to suit your own personal opinions.
One must stay within the historical settings. The SEC doesn't have asterisks besides MAJORS' SEC titles.

Florida was ineligible in 1984 because of Charley Pell's 100+ NCAA violations!!! So we lost by 7 on the road to a bunch of CHEATING GATORS!
It's beyond rational thought that you would throw a LEGENDARY UT VOL under the statistical bus in favor of a CHEATING GATOR!!

And, you seem to forget that Johnny's '85 VOLS beat the snot out of Miami with a back-up QB!
Miami beat Florida that year by 2 scores.

Ultimately...IMO....CPF was a much better CEO of the program for the first 9 yrs of his tenure.
CPF was a much better "people" person.
CPF may have been a better recruiter....

MAJORS--imo--got MORE out of his players than CPF did.

The BEST thing to happen for CPF was signing Shuler--then Manning.
As someone has posted previously in this thread--once the "Manning recruits" were gone (post 2001)....the well ran dry for CPF.
And that is a very accurate statement.

CPF's career win % is 74%....ties = loss in my calculations.
CPF'S 1st 8 years '92--2000 = 81.4% overall and 80.6% SEC
CPF's last 8 = 2001--2008 = 66.7% overall and 62.9% in SEC
CPF'S last 4 = 58% overall and 51.5% SEC

MAJORS overall record thru 29 yrs of coaching was 57.2%
MAJORS Tennessee overall WINS = 62.4% --- ties = losses for consistency

MAJORS 1st 8 '77--'84 = 54.8% overall and 47.9% SEC
MAJORS last 8 '85--'92 = 69.9% overall and 65.4% SEC
MAJORS last 4 = 75.6% overall and 70.4% SEC.

So the evaluation for both coaches--statistically speaking--is a tale of 2 career halves...and completely different trajectories.

1st half goes to FULMER....
2nd half goes to MAJORS...
LAST 4 goes to MAJORS....

Fulmer took us to a higher level...winning 1 NC, 2 SEC crowns...while going 2-3 in SEC CGs.
But Fulmer left the program in terrible shape.

Majors' beginning was lower than CPF's...but he won 3 SEC crowns emerging from mire...
Majors left the program in excellent shape.

For me....it's just plain fun to research all of this stuff because I was 12 in '77 and have been an eye-witness to the program since attending my first game in '79.

MAJORS definitely put the program back on the NATIONAL MAP from '85 on...

Everyone points out the very bad start to 1988...0-5 under Majors....
but do you realize that MAJORS went 34-6-2 in his next 42 games for a 81% winning record.
We went 40-9 from '94-97 while Manning was here....that's 81.6% winning record.....just to give some perspective!

CPF's best stretch was from 94-98 where he went 63-9 for a 85.5% winning record.

I do remember that it seemed like EVERYONE knew that MAJORS' time was up after CPF led us to 4-0 to start the '92 season.
I think CPF could've coached that '92 team to 11-1...


Anyways....I'm just giving the reasons for why I think Majors was a better FB coach with a higher FB IQ.

GO VOLS!
I will always remember during the 90's when we were on TV, the broadcasters would always put Fulmer's won/loss ratio and winning percentage on the screen. But, they never, ever said anything about how well the program was doing before he took over!
 

KBVol

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I KNOW that the entire discussion is subjective...and that Majors was an intolerable a.s.s. his last few years at UT....BUT...

1) The '85 team had a 5th yr Sr. backing up Robinson......the '98 team had Burney Veazey......
You'll NEVER convince anyone that the '98 team would've won the SEC with Burney Veazey. Or anyone who has any reasonable intelligence.
Your stated opinion on this point is extremely disappointing....and not rational.
That '98 team was special--but not good enough to overcome the loss of T. Martin.

2) You guys "cherry pick" your portrayal of the stats between Majors and Fulmer.
Majors' first 8 years were 55%.....his last years were just short of 71%...
I do not contest the overall win % between the coaches.
Nor do I contest the FACT you point out about Majors 1st 4 yrs were worse than Battle's last 4.
BUT PHIL'S LAST 4 WERE WORSE THAN BATTLE'S LAST 4.....more on that in a moment.

But you do MISS the overall point thru your cherry picking.....
MAJORS continued working and hired the right staff to improve recruiting and game performances.
MAJORS decisions took the program from a dismal state to winning 70% of the games over his last 8 years.
Unless they change record-keeping to attribute shares of W/L's to assistant coaches....
MAJORS gets the credit for both the W's and L's over those last 8 years.

FULMER took the team JOHNNY OVERSAW to new heights---no one would dispute that.
I am old enough to remember the sheer exhilaration about the program Fulmer brought.
And I am in NO WAY attempting to throw any shade at CPF.

However, he took the team from 70% to almost 85%....and then back DOWN again....
The program's status was BARELY above Battle's shambles when CPF left.

You guys rightly assert Majors' "quirky" years of '86 and '88.
But you fail to acknowledge Fulmer's 2005 and 2008.
Also...."CRICKETS" chirping concerning the inability of CPF to win anything without CUTCLIFF's presence.
Nor do you recognize MAJORS' superiority in evaluating and hiring coaches as a HC when compared to CPF.

Fulmer was 29-21 in his last 4 years---that's 58%--and puts his LAST 4 YEARS WORSE THAN BILL BATTLE'S!!!! (28-17-2= 59.6%)
So--while Fulmer's overall win % was better than Majors'----he managed to take the program back below Bill Battle's status.
WOW---I've never really done the research to actually quantify how bad CPF was in the end....I'm shocked at those numbers!
You know---they sent a moving van to Battle's house for being that bad.

Let those numbers just settle in for a moment.

3) Mentioning MAJORS' failure in his 2nd tenure at PITT is LAUGHABLE in an attempt to prove Fulmer's superiority to him.
To wit---CPF never had to build anything from scraps....And exactly how old was Johnny when he went back to Pitt?

4) The Pitt Panthers went on to 50-9 record in the 5 years after Majors left.
We already know the depth of the ditch into which CPF steered the program.

Finally---I'm not attempting to attack CPF....he has a NC and 2 SEC crowns as a HC.
Majors has a NC and 3 SEC crowns on his resume....and beat the SEC champion by 24 points to win his NC.

I'm just giving the EVIDENCE and an answer to the question you asked about how I quantify my statements.
I'm okay if you or anyone else is not convinced that my opinion is correct. It's only my opinion.
1. We’ll never know if the ‘98 team would’ve won the title without Tee. As we all know, NO ONE would’ve ever been convinced that we could’ve won the games we did it without TRob and with Dickey in ‘85, yet it happened. And again, the team had to overcome Tee’s poor play (I gave 3 examples earlier) in 1998 to go 13-0 and win the NC. You keep talking about “subjective” things, your point regarding who would’ve won what without the starting QB is as subjective as it gets.

2. Want trying to cherry pick anything, just have a fact regarding the last 4 years of Battle, which got him fired, and Johnny’s first 4 years. As a matter of fact, I’ll add this.....if Johnny had NOT been a former player/favorite son, there’s no way he would’ve seen a 5th year at Tennessee, and certainly not by today’s standards. He posted a losing season IN YEAR 4, which put his first 4 years (21-23-1) well below Battle’s last 4 in terms of records.

Then, from 1981 to 1988 it was a roller coaster....8 wins, 6 wins, 9 wins, 7 wins, 9, 7, 10, 5. As I also mentioned earlier, he didn’t put 3 strong, consistent top-tier type winning seasons together until 1989-1991, after he promoted Fulmer to OC.

Also, so Majors gets credit for his last 8 years of wins and losses....but Fulmer couldn’t get anything right without Cutcliffe? Lol. Hypocrisy much?

Fact is, Head coaches don’t “coach”, they manage the program and largely win through the quality of staff they hire. Just like Majors couldn’t put 2 great seasons together, ever, until 1989, when he elevated Fulmer to OC, Fulmer was more successful when he had his own excellent OC Cutcliffe on staff. So be consistent here.

We all know about how the program tailed off Fulmer’s last few years. I’m on record on VN many times saying I myself was ready for a change, despite the 10 wins and SECCG appearance in 2007...and we all know why 2008 But the point of my pointing out Major
1) The SEC didn't have a conference championship when Majors coached....regular season SEC records was how it was done.
So you can't act like a democrat and go back and revise the historical setting to the present day SEC format in order to suit your own personal opinions.
One must stay within the historical settings. The SEC doesn't have asterisks besides MAJORS' SEC titles.

Florida was ineligible in 1984 because of Charley Pell's 100+ NCAA violations!!! So we lost by 7 on the road to a bunch of CHEATING GATORS!
It's beyond rational thought that you would throw a LEGENDARY UT VOL under the statistical bus in favor of a CHEATING GATOR!!

And, you seem to forget that Johnny's '85 VOLS beat the snot out of Miami with a back-up QB!
Miami beat Florida that year by 2 scores.

Ultimately...IMO....CPF was a much better CEO of the program for the first 9 yrs of his tenure.
CPF was a much better "people" person.
CPF may have been a better recruiter....

MAJORS--imo--got MORE out of his players than CPF did.

The BEST thing to happen for CPF was signing Shuler--then Manning.
As someone has posted previously in this thread--once the "Manning recruits" were gone (post 2001)....the well ran dry for CPF.
And that is a very accurate statement.

CPF's career win % is 74%....ties = loss in my calculations.
CPF'S 1st 8 years '92--2000 = 81.4% overall and 80.6% SEC
CPF's last 8 = 2001--2008 = 66.7% overall and 62.9% in SEC
CPF'S last 4 = 58% overall and 51.5% SEC

MAJORS overall record thru 29 yrs of coaching was 57.2%
MAJORS Tennessee overall WINS = 62.4% --- ties = losses for consistency

MAJORS 1st 8 '77--'84 = 54.8% overall and 47.9% SEC
MAJORS last 8 '85--'92 = 69.9% overall and 65.4% SEC
MAJORS last 4 = 75.6% overall and 70.4% SEC.

So the evaluation for both coaches--statistically speaking--is a tale of 2 career halves...and completely different trajectories.

1st half goes to FULMER....
2nd half goes to MAJORS...
LAST 4 goes to MAJORS....

Fulmer took us to a higher level...winning 1 NC, 2 SEC crowns...while going 2-3 in SEC CGs.
But Fulmer left the program in terrible shape.

Majors' beginning was lower than CPF's...but he won 3 SEC crowns emerging from mire...
Majors left the program in excellent shape.

For me....it's just plain fun to research all of this stuff because I was 12 in '77 and have been an eye-witness to the program since attending my first game in '79.

MAJORS definitely put the program back on the NATIONAL MAP from '85 on...

Everyone points out the very bad start to 1988...0-5 under Majors....
but do you realize that MAJORS went 34-6-2 in his next 42 games for a 81% winning record.
We went 40-9 from '94-97 while Manning was here....that's 81.6% winning record.....just to give some perspective!

CPF's best stretch was from 94-98 where he went 63-9 for a 85.5% winning record.

I do remember that it seemed like EVERYONE knew that MAJORS' time was up after CPF led us to 4-0 to start the '92 season.
I think CPF could've coached that '92 team to 11-1...


Anyways....I'm just giving the reasons for why I think Majors was a better FB coach with a higher FB IQ.

GO VOLS!
.
 

KBVol

Well-Known Member
Joined
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Messages
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1) The SEC didn't have a conference championship when Majors coached....regular season SEC records was how it was done.
So you can't act like a democrat and go back and revise the historical setting to the present day SEC format in order to suit your own personal opinions.
One must stay within the historical settings. The SEC doesn't have asterisks besides MAJORS' SEC titles.

Florida was ineligible in 1984 because of Charley Pell's 100+ NCAA violations!!! So we lost by 7 on the road to a bunch of CHEATING GATORS!
It's beyond rational thought that you would throw a LEGENDARY UT VOL under the statistical bus in favor of a CHEATING GATOR!!

And, you seem to forget that Johnny's '85 VOLS beat the snot out of Miami with a back-up QB!
Miami beat Florida that year by 2 scores.

Ultimately...IMO....CPF was a much better CEO of the program for the first 9 yrs of his tenure.
CPF was a much better "people" person.
CPF may have been a better recruiter....

MAJORS--imo--got MORE out of his players than CPF did.

The BEST thing to happen for CPF was signing Shuler--then Manning.
As someone has posted previously in this thread--once the "Manning recruits" were gone (post 2001)....the well ran dry for CPF.
And that is a very accurate statement.

CPF's career win % is 74%....ties = loss in my calculations.
CPF'S 1st 8 years '92--2000 = 81.4% overall and 80.6% SEC
CPF's last 8 = 2001--2008 = 66.7% overall and 62.9% in SEC
CPF'S last 4 = 58% overall and 51.5% SEC

MAJORS overall record thru 29 yrs of coaching was 57.2%
MAJORS Tennessee overall WINS = 62.4% --- ties = losses for consistency

MAJORS 1st 8 '77--'84 = 54.8% overall and 47.9% SEC
MAJORS last 8 '85--'92 = 69.9% overall and 65.4% SEC
MAJORS last 4 = 75.6% overall and 70.4% SEC.

So the evaluation for both coaches--statistically speaking--is a tale of 2 career halves...and completely different trajectories.

1st half goes to FULMER....
2nd half goes to MAJORS...
LAST 4 goes to MAJORS....

Fulmer took us to a higher level...winning 1 NC, 2 SEC crowns...while going 2-3 in SEC CGs.
But Fulmer left the program in terrible shape.

Majors' beginning was lower than CPF's...but he won 3 SEC crowns emerging from mire...
Majors left the program in excellent shape.

For me....it's just plain fun to research all of this stuff because I was 12 in '77 and have been an eye-witness to the program since attending my first game in '79.

MAJORS definitely put the program back on the NATIONAL MAP from '85 on...

Everyone points out the very bad start to 1988...0-5 under Majors....
but do you realize that MAJORS went 34-6-2 in his next 42 games for a 81% winning record.
We went 40-9 from '94-97 while Manning was here....that's 81.6% winning record.....just to give some perspective!

CPF's best stretch was from 94-98 where he went 63-9 for a 85.5% winning record.

I do remember that it seemed like EVERYONE knew that MAJORS' time was up after CPF led us to 4-0 to start the '92 season.
I think CPF could've coached that '92 team to 11-1...


Anyways....I'm just giving the reasons for why I think Majors was a better FB coach with a higher FB IQ.

GO VOLS!
And, we’re all still waiting for you to make a reasonable case.
 

MikeVol44

Well-Known Member
Joined
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Messages
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3,556
And, we’re all still waiting for you to make a reasonable case.
I already have, sir.
I'm not going to rehash it anymore with you.

And I've already acknowledged that there is a bit of subjectivity involved, but
there's also a LOT of objective data on the table for any reasonable person to investigate and decide for themselves.

You've resorted to a "poke-the-bear and let's see what he does" approach in this discussion because you
just can't admit it when you're wrong.

Good luck with that.
 

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