The downfall of Tennessee football started in 1992

#28

Remy

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#28
I'm beginning to understand what it's like to be a fan of the Fighting IIllini. State school, all the support anyone could ever hope to have, and pretty much suck year in and year out. Not ever considered to be in the top 3 in their conference in years.
 
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#29
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#29
When is it not an overreaction?
We were told this after the first two games last season..now youre telling us the same thing



When will it be okay to point out we hired a guy we shouldnt have?
It's acceptable to do so right now. Believe me, I'm not some true believer. My position is more that my outlook on the coach hasn't program didn't change dramatically today.
 
#30

VolsSportsFan

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#30
I think the true downfall started the night of the 2001 SECCG. Some kind of corn dog voodoo was put on us. Things’ve never felt the same.
Specifically at halftime. That was the last moment of UT greatness in hindsight. We were ahead and a half away from playing for another NC; especially after how everything had lined up for us with the resceduled UF game and all the upsets.
 
#31

OrangeBeachVol

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#31
I think it happened a little earlier after the 98 NC season. Fulmer felt like he had reached the mtn top and didn't have to recruit anymore and got lazy. We were still good thru 2001 because his last 2 good recruiting classes were still cycling thru. After they were gone the talent level had dropped off due to his lazy recruiting. JMO
 
#32

He_Made_It

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#32
Specifically at halftime. That was the last moment of UT greatness in hindsight. We were ahead and a half away from playing for another NC; especially after how everything had lined up for us with the resceduled UF game and all the upsets.
And I don’t care what ppl say - we would’ve beat the brakes off of Miami.
 
#34

utvolford

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#34
I think the true downfall started the night of the 2001 SECCG. Some kind of corn dog voodoo was put on us. Things’ve never felt the same.
I think it started after Cutlcliffe left for Ole Miss at the end of the 98 season. We were loaded with talent, so had a few more good years, then started downhill. We actually started a comeback when Cutcliffe came back in 2006-07, but after he left again - headed for the bottom of the SEC, doesn't look like we will recover any time soon
 
#36

DEFENDTHISHOUSE

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#36
I think it started after Cutlcliffe left for Ole Miss at the end of the 98 season. We were loaded with talent, so had a few more good years, then started downhill. We actually started a comeback when Cutcliffe came back in 2006-07, but after he left again - headed for the bottom of the SEC, doesn't look like we will recover any time soon
That should tell you something.
 
#38

He_Made_It

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#38
I think it started after Cutlcliffe left for Ole Miss at the end of the 98 season. We were loaded with talent, so had a few more good years, then started downhill. We actually started a comeback when Cutcliffe came back in 2006-07, but after he left again - headed for the bottom of the SEC, doesn't look like we will recover any time soon
Cutcliffe was a huge deal
 
#39

McCat

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#39
I would argue as an outsider that the decline started when CPF stayed a year or two too long. Compound that with the revolving door at the head coach office, and you can see the results.
 
#40

mad4vols

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#40
I think it started after Cutlcliffe left for Ole Miss at the end of the 98 season. We were loaded with talent, so had a few more good years, then started downhill. We actually started a comeback when Cutcliffe came back in 2006-07, but after he left again - headed for the bottom of the SEC, doesn't look like we will recover any time soon
This!

Chris Simms recently claimed he would have kept his commitment to Tennessee if Cutcliffe had stayed.
What if Chris Simms Had Stuck with Tennessee?
 
#42

BowlBrother85

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#42
So... Tennessee lost the day of the division split.

We ended up in the East which was pretty weak with the exception of Florida. At the time, people expected Tennessee to dominate the East. There was one problem. Florida had a significantly better coach (Spurrier) than Tennessee (Fulmer) and schooled Tennessee most years. As a result, Florida established itself as an overall better program than Tennessee (something that Tennessee never recovered from).

Skip ahead to 2001 with Mark Richt now at Georgia, Georgia is starting to figure things out. Meanwhile, Tennessee is starting to decline. Not able to keep up with modern football and expecting to school teams like Georgia as they had in the 1990s. Georgia starts to take over the series. As a result, Nationally Georgia starts to turn it around and appear as a better program. Especially by the time Fulmer is fired. Also the SEC West shows improvement. LSU hires Nick Saban who turns their program around. Tommy Tubberville brings new life to Auburn. Alabama would struggle for a few more years but hope was coming as we see in hindsight.

Fulmer is now fired, but Tennessee is unable to recruit a solid coach. Coaches prefer now Alabama, LSU, Georgia, or Florida over Tennessee. All have better programs by now. Tennessee continues to fall behind in the pecky order. Auburn surpasses us as well.

The decline continues as even Arkansas (with Bobby Petrino), South Carolina (with Steve Spurrier), Mississippi State (with Dan Mullin), and Ole Miss (with Hugh Freeze) all hire better coaches than Tennessee and build better programs. (All 4 are now superior to Tennessee over the last 10 years in records). Tennessee no longer waltz into stadiums and wins games. 10 win seasons are gone. Making Bowl games is now even a chore.

There was a critical coaching search in 2017. Florida had been terrible but still beat Tennessee nearly ever year under McElwain and Muschamp. Florida wins the coaching search hiring Dan Mullin. Why would he consider Tennessee? Florida is now a better program. Most of the country would agree. So is Georgia. This is something that wasn't TRUE in 1992 but is now.

Tennessee basically has 3 embarrassing Ls now on its schedule every year (Alabama, Florida, and Georgia). Tennessee must then search for other wins against teams that are more their level such as Missouri, South Carolina, and Kentucky. Tennessee isn't a 10 win program competing for SEC Championships. They are now 3rd (being generous) in the pecking order in the SEC East and somewhere ~9-10 in the SEC overall pecking order.

Florida and Georgia both have better coaching staffs and better athletes. Alabama has a better coaching staff and talent. Tennessee has no hope against that. No hope to ever getting back to being one of the top programs in the SEC. We are like a Minnesota or Nebraska. We were once good but we cannot get the coach or players to compete with the top dogs anymore.
This post sucked. It was too long and too easy to pick apart. Just one long-winded nasal whine.
 
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#43

1truevol

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#43
No...just 100% truth man. I've been a diehard for 30 plus years. This program is miles away from the top tier SEC teams. We've been down TOOO long! Today's athletes don't ever remember TN being "TN"! It's become a really hard sell to elite talent....which is what kept us in the top top in the 90's. Those days are over.
 
#44

MSCE09

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#44
I think it happened a little earlier after the 98 NC season. Fulmer felt like he had reached the mtn top and didn't have to recruit anymore and got lazy. We were still good thru 2001 because his last 2 good recruiting classes were still cycling thru. After they were gone the talent level had dropped off due to his lazy recruiting. JMO
I don't get this at all. Fulmer was still recruiting pretty well and bringing in highly rated players from all over the country. Ainge and Crompton were both very highly rated coming out of HS. Basically both disappointed. It wasn't that Fulmer got lazy or whatever everyone wants to dump on him, its that the UGA, LSU and Bama got there crap together after many years. What was 2 almost easy wins a year became fights. Tennessee fans in the early 00s couldn't admit that UGA caught up and in our denial we fired Fulmer and let USC and Auburn pass us too. We are now doing all we can to tread water to get to the 3rd spot most years.
 
#45

Woodlawn VOL

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#45
No...just 100% truth man. I've been a diehard for 30 plus years. This program is miles away from the top tier SEC teams. We've been down TOOO long! Today's athletes don't ever remember TN being "TN"! It's become a really hard sell to elite talent....which is what kept us in the top top in the 90's. Those days are over.
Dude we have recruited pretty well under Pruitt, at some point we will get back up there. If you think they are over move on to something else. Arkansas hadn't won a sec game in 3 years and they found a coach that turned them around. We have issues, but fans get to high when things go good and too low when they go bad. We are 4 games in, let the season play out. After all there is nothing else you can do about it anyway. GBO!
 
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#47

SpookyAction

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#47
Casey Clausens last year was the end of Tennessee being an elite program
The descent began when Rohan Davey was hit out of bounds in the 2001 SEC Championship Game. I jumped off the sofa screaming when it happened, and I am still furious about it. Karma?, maybe. I personally say the Break from being great happened when Ainge threw those interceptions in the 2007 SEC Championship. We were still a 5-Star program nationally up to that point. That was the last team with the world class firepower on both sides. Actually, the famous 2008 team was pretty good, except for the terrible QB play that left points on the field and off the scoreboard. Sounds Familiar.
Then we under-achieved with bust classes, fired Fulmer, a karmic coaching hire, worse bust classes, an even worse coaching hire, no OLinemen recruited in recruiting classes that were too mediocre to be called busts when they were mediocre on the field, and a sideways coaching hire that looked better than it was (at least he had won for a few seasons, so his resume looked good), but not better enough, and then that whole chapter unfolded with under-conditioned players getting their bodies mangled left and right.

Pruitt has turned the corner on the talent coming to the Hill and strength and conditioning, but failed on QB and Bell Cow RB talent. So here we are. Today.
 
#48

kbear01

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#48
So... Tennessee lost the day of the division split.

We ended up in the East which was pretty weak with the exception of Florida. At the time, people expected Tennessee to dominate the East. There was one problem. Florida had a significantly better coach (Spurrier) than Tennessee (Fulmer) and schooled Tennessee most years. As a result, Florida established itself as an overall better program than Tennessee (something that Tennessee never recovered from).

Skip ahead to 2001 with Mark Richt now at Georgia, Georgia is starting to figure things out. Meanwhile, Tennessee is starting to decline. Not able to keep up with modern football and expecting to school teams like Georgia as they had in the 1990s. Georgia starts to take over the series. As a result, Nationally Georgia starts to turn it around and appear as a better program. Especially by the time Fulmer is fired. Also the SEC West shows improvement. LSU hires Nick Saban who turns their program around. Tommy Tubberville brings new life to Auburn. Alabama would struggle for a few more years but hope was coming as we see in hindsight.

Fulmer is now fired, but Tennessee is unable to recruit a solid coach. Coaches prefer now Alabama, LSU, Georgia, or Florida over Tennessee. All have better programs by now. Tennessee continues to fall behind in the pecky order. Auburn surpasses us as well.

The decline continues as even Arkansas (with Bobby Petrino), South Carolina (with Steve Spurrier), Mississippi State (with Dan Mullin), and Ole Miss (with Hugh Freeze) all hire better coaches than Tennessee and build better programs. (All 4 are now superior to Tennessee over the last 10 years in records). Tennessee no longer waltz into stadiums and wins games. 10 win seasons are gone. Making Bowl games is now even a chore.

There was a critical coaching search in 2017. Florida had been terrible but still beat Tennessee nearly ever year under McElwain and Muschamp. Florida wins the coaching search hiring Dan Mullin. Why would he consider Tennessee? Florida is now a better program. Most of the country would agree. So is Georgia. This is something that wasn't TRUE in 1992 but is now.

Tennessee basically has 3 embarrassing Ls now on its schedule every year (Alabama, Florida, and Georgia). Tennessee must then search for other wins against teams that are more their level such as Missouri, South Carolina, and Kentucky. Tennessee isn't a 10 win program competing for SEC Championships. They are now 3rd (being generous) in the pecking order in the SEC East and somewhere ~9-10 in the SEC overall pecking order.

Florida and Georgia both have better coaching staffs and better athletes. Alabama has a better coaching staff and talent. Tennessee has no hope against that. No hope to ever getting back to being one of the top programs in the SEC. We are like a Minnesota or Nebraska. We were once good but we cannot get the coach or players to compete with the top dogs anymore.
One problem with your post. You say the East was weak. UT, UF and UGA beat the West like they stole from them, in the 90's.
 

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