The Downfall Of Tennessee Football

#51

MBVFL1

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#51
Hamilton didn't make good decisions at all, god awful hirings after letting coach Fulmer go, which in and itself was dumb as all get out. Coach's last few years weren't great in terms of recruiting and such but there's no doubt in my mind we'd be in a much better place now if he was still coach
 
#53

TUSKtimes

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#53
I don't think UT will be back until they have leadership at the top (president, board of trustees) who are committed to the football team being big winners. Bammer found this out during their wilderness experience. We're where we are because the leadership has been so bad really since Johnson retired. Great leadership at the top yields good AD's who get good coaches. That and a lot cheating in recruiting.:cool:

I got to the point during the "wilderness" period that I was about to nuke that dysfunctional bunch. Seldom mentioned, but that's also where a lot of pressure came from that prematurely ran off a NC coach in Gene Stallings. After a few attempts by the keystone cops of making stupid hires it snowballed to the point, it was hard to get a legitimate HC to take a serious look at our program, as historic as it was. Bottom line: Pretty sure no one wants to work for azzhats.
 
#54

Backwards K

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#54
HAMILTON.....biggest mistake The Vols have ever made was hiring that buffoon!
He destroyed the entire Men's Athletic Dept:
--Baseball: fired Delmonico and hired Todd Raleigh which may be the single worst hire he made
--Track: combined men's and women's track and hired the women's track coach to be over all of it.....guess which side got ignored
--Basketball: handed a gift by Ernie Grunfeld in Bruce Pearl and then Hamilton hung him out to dry to the NCAA by not briefing him on what they had
--Football: fired the 2nd greatest coach in UT history with no plan to replace him. Hired a succession of a losers.

Hamilton could not have done a better job of destroying the Men's Athletic Dept if they had hired him for that specific purpose.
 
#55

KBVol

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#55
You do realize education is the prime objective of the university and sports are just a minor extracurricular activity?
If you really think the football program is a “minor extracurricular activity” for the university then you have no perspective.

For example, Alabama’s enrollment (including out of state students) and faculty (hires) is up exponentially as a direct result of the success of the football team. Their university is experiencing tremendous growth and financial success due to their “minor extracurricular activity”, as would Tennessee if they can ever right their football program ship.
 
#57

Backwards K

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#57
Either you didn't play close attention or you're intentionally misrepresenting the facts. We went 5-7 twice in Fulmer's last four years. And one of those years we were ranked in the top five going into the season (2005).
You also failed to mention that Tennessee went to 2 SEC Championship Games in Fulmer's last 5 years. How many times have the Vols been since that time.
 
#58

I40flyer

keeping it real
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#58
Tennessee failed to invest in upgraded facilities in Fulmer's last few years. Other programs (Alabama) built better facilities while we were cutting costs.
A couple of years ago, UT spent a big bag of money on a New, state of the art, weight training facility-come Saturday we'll see if it is paying off. Someone told me GS doesn't even have a S&C coach, if true, it exemplifies that it may not be how much you spend, but how well you coach, ...just saying.
 
#61

05_never_again

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#61
Amazing how one man can play such a large role in completely derailing a dominant program like ours. Overlooking Gary Patterson, hiring loose-cannon Kiffin, and then hiring completely unproven Dooley still haunt this program to today. Urghhh... all this still hurts!
The single-worst decision of the last decade was the panic hire of Dooley after Kiffin left. That was even dumber than hiring Kiffin, because let's be real, nobody saw his departure coming and something like 95% of the fanbase was energized by him. There's a lot of revisionist history in this fanbase about how we "never liked" Kiffin and whatnot.

We were in a bad position no matter what, but the proper course of action at that time was to hire Cutcliffe and all his Duke assistants or appoint someone (Chaney or Kippy Brown were fine candidates) as interim and have a full year to conduct a normal coaching search. Instead Hammy panicked in order to preserve that year's recruiting class and gave the job to a guy who by his own admission wasn't cut out for it. That Dooley hire is truly staggering when you think about it...Dooley hadn't even been a coordinator before taking that job.
 
#63

lifeisdeep

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#63
You also failed to mention that Tennessee went to 2 SEC Championship Games in Fulmer's last 5 years. How many times have the Vols been since that time.
You seem to lack basic reading comprehension. I wasn't purporting to make an exhaustive cataloging of all of Fulmer's achievements and failures in those five years; I merely pointed out that the post I was replying to contained a pretty significant misrepresentation of the facts by virtue of implying that Fulmer was canned just for having one bad year, when that was not the case.
 
#64

sofflavol

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#64
Man that was a tough wAtch, and that recap of the 2015 season was brutal. That team was a playoff contender with a few bounces falling our way, you need a little luck to win a title (98) and we just didn’t have it that season. (Oklahoma at home, gator game up so late, up in Tuscaloosa with 2 mins left) what could have been that season. Such a shame.
 
#65

Backwards K

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#65
You seem to lack basic reading comprehension. I wasn't purporting to make an exhaustive cataloging of all of Fulmer's achievements and failures in those five years; I merely pointed out that the post I was replying to contained a pretty significant misrepresentation of the facts by virtue of implying that Fulmer was canned just for having one bad year, when that was not the case.
You fail to have any understanding of competitive sports. The overall condition of the program was strong and consistent winners. A staff bad hire or a series of injuries can make for a bad season every now and then. But, you can't argue that even in Fulmer's worst of times, his teams were going to the SECCG every three years and going to NYD Bowl Games on average 3 or 4 out of 5 years.
 
#66

tango

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#66
The single-worst decision of the last decade was the panic hire of Dooley after Kiffin left. That was even dumber than hiring Kiffin, because let's be real, nobody saw his departure coming and something like 95% of the fanbase was energized by him. There's a lot of revisionist history in this fanbase about how we "never liked" Kiffin and whatnot.

We were in a bad position no matter what, but the proper course of action at that time was to hire Cutcliffe and all his Duke assistants or appoint someone (Chaney or Kippy Brown were fine candidates) as interim and have a full year to conduct a normal coaching search. Instead Hammy panicked in order to preserve that year's recruiting class and gave the job to a guy who by his own admission wasn't cut out for it. That Dooley hire is truly staggering when you think about it...Dooley hadn't even been a coordinator before taking that job.
100% agree.
I would have been fine with Kippy for at least one season... either we would have kept him longer or would have had time to get the right guy in place, and with both those scenarios, we likely don't ever end up with Dooley or Jones. Landscape would be much different now, I think.
 
#67

Volgrad98

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#67
We had chances to limit the fall as others stated, but we're here now. It sucks that's for sure. The big question how long to recover? Lord willing, I hope to be alive to see it.
 
#68

05_never_again

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#68
100% agree.
I would have been fine with Kippy for at least one season... either we would have kept him longer or would have had time to get the right guy in place, and with both those scenarios, we likely don't ever end up with Dooley or Jones. Landscape would be much different now, I think.
Honestly, the landscape might not be as different as you think because Hamilton was such an incompetent. He would've had a full year to conduct a search, but remember he had already passed on chances to hire Gary Patterson (picked Kiffin instead) and Cutcliffe. His judgment on personnel decisions was awful. That very well could have ended up being a totally botched decision as well and we still end up in the same place.

If Hamilton went with an interim for a year instead of Dooley, he's probably able to hire a guy with a much better resume than Dooley, but the on-the-field performance might have been the same.
 
#69

05_never_again

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#69
Man that was a tough wAtch, and that recap of the 2015 season was brutal. That team was a playoff contender with a few bounces falling our way, you need a little luck to win a title (98) and we just didn’t have it that season. (Oklahoma at home, gator game up so late, up in Tuscaloosa with 2 mins left) what could have been that season. Such a shame.
Butch's 2015 and 2016 teams should have won at least 10 games. You can make argument the 2015 team should have won 11 games.

The 2015 team is thought of that team that was good but not quite "ready" or experienced enough, but I think they were actually better than the 2016 team. Oklahoma and Florida absolutely should have been wins, with the Oklahoma win looking really good as the season went on because they won the Big 12 and made the playoff. They also blew a 2 TD lead to Arkansas (although not in heartbreaking fashion in the fourth quarter) and were a few plays away from beating Alabama.

The 2016 team was weird - should have gone something like 10-2 but very well could have gone something like 6-6 given they were lucky to beat App St and Georgia, it took a wacky second half comeback to beat Florida, and largely beat Virginia Tech because Tech fumbled 5 times, losing every single one. Everything you need to know about Butch is that the 2016 team was basically the 2015 team but a year older, yet they got worse.
 
#71

FLSTF-VOL

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#71
It all started with the firing of Fulmer. He had a bad start to a season then...gotta fire his catfish eating azz. They should of kept him on as face of the program. Like PSU did with Paterno...or FSU with Bowden. Paterno and Bowden weren't calling X's and O's near the end. No way. Paterno hardly knew where he was...same with Bowden...but they had good assistants running things...and having them as the "face" of the program helped keep the recruiting train rolling. Same could of been done with Fulmer...and we don't go through all these years of exile in the wilderness. UT did this to themselves. Thinking they were so above slipping ONE YEAR. Oh no...can't have that at UT. Now look where we're at.
This more than anything. I have always said that if they had allowed Fulmer to exit gracefully with a successor that he picked we would never have been in this situation. One of the reasons that no big-name coach would touch it is because the coaching community felt that Fulmer had been treated very unfairly and wanted no part of it.
 
#72

FLSTF-VOL

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#72
Either you didn't play close attention or you're intentionally misrepresenting the facts. We went 5-7 twice in Fulmer's last four years. And one of those years we were ranked in the top five going into the season (2005).
And your point? Are we really better off today? I think not.
 
#73

lifeisdeep

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#73
You fail to have any understanding of competitive sports. The overall condition of the program was strong and consistent winners. A staff bad hire or a series of injuries can make for a bad season every now and then. But, you can't argue that even in Fulmer's worst of times, his teams were going to the SECCG every three years and going to NYD Bowl Games on average 3 or 4 out of 5 years.
I have a lot clearer understanding of sports than you do. Unlike you, I don't misrepresent facts just to further my agenda. Two 5-7 seasons out of four is not "a bad season every now and then;" at the time, it was the worst four-year stretch for UT football in 99 years. One has to go back to the 1906 through 1909 seasons to find the last time, prior to Fulmer's last four years, that UT had lost six or more games twice within a four-year span.

Just because we're worse now than we were when he was fired does not in the slightest mean that he wasn't responsible for the beginning of the decline. As more than a few other posters have noted on here many times over the last ten years, the decline started with the same guy that brought us our last NC.
 
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#74

lifeisdeep

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#74
And your point? Are we really better off today? I think not.
As I just posted in response to another Fulmerite, just because we were better when he was fired than we are now in no way means that he was not responsible for the beginning of the decline. Those two seasons with 6 and 7 losses respectively were the first time in 99 years that UT had lost six or more games twice in a four-year span.

99 years - let that sink in for a second.
 
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#75

FLSTF-VOL

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#75
As I just posted in response to another Fulmerite, just because we were better when he was fired than we are now in no way means that he was not responsible for the beginning of the decline. Those two seasons with 6 and 7 losses respectively were the first time in 99 years that UT had lost six or more games twice in a four-year span.

99 years - let that sink in for a second.
Again what is your point? Since then many, many more records have fallen. The idea that he is responsible for the decline is simply your opinion. As a matter of fact, you and those that wanted him gone are partially responsible for the debacle we find ourselves in now. Let that sink in. You can try to defend it, but it's indefensible given the ongoing state of the program since he was fired. Spin it how you want. You wanted change, you got it. Congratulations!
 

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