This is the best I’ve felt about the program forever it seems. Agree?

#26

Woke

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#26
Completely different world under Heup. Coach is building a winning culture AND actually developing players. He’s installed a high octane O that can score 40+ per game. Roster has WAY leveled up from the dumpster fire Heup inherited. He’s motivating players who are playing over their heads with fire intensity and passion we haven’t seen since Majors. Scared hell out of Kirby Smart last year who didn’t relax until the final gun.

The biggest sign? Players are taking the lead in this program. They’re pushing each other and actually COMPETING.

Our program was at ROCKY BOTTOM when Heup stepped in last year. Yet he won 3 or 4 more games than any other coach we could have realistically hired and came damn close to winning a couple more.

If some of you can’t see the qualitative difference between what’s going on now vs even the “best” years of Dooley, Jones, Pruitt then I don’t know what else to tell you except maybe increase your meds for BVS.
 
#27

VFL-82-JP

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#27
Go big orange, just wanted to say thanks coach thanks to the admin for finally getting it right, for righting the wrong. Too much history with this program to ever allow it to go backwards again.
Yep!

Last time I was this optimistic was probably 2015. Last time before that was probably 2007.

It really feels like we're climbing out of the Dark Ages, finally. Thought were were in Butch's middle years, but turned out that was a mirage.

Go Vols!
 
#30

Iam4utalways

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#30
The big difference for me versus the past three staffs is there looks to be legit player development happening. We saw a lot of regression under past staffs. Only time will tell, but things are pointing in the right direction.

This team will be able to put points on the board. How many years in the past 10+ did a 10 point deficit feel almost insurmountable?

I’m going to feel really good if we see a big step forward with the defense this year.
I couldn’t disagree more. There were select players that developed under all the other guys.

The biggest difference is we now have a HC that’s creative between the lines that can relay his vision for the team. I expect current players are more confident in their coach vs the recent past.

Jones showed flashes of creativity when he wasn’t too busy being ultra conservative or just being a clown.

JP had us dialed in against Auburn other than that he was a complete wreck. We were in a bind to hire a HC and ended up with him.

Dooley was hired because of his name and we were in a bind due to Kiffen.
 
#32

GetYouSomeofThat

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#32
Go big orange, just wanted to say thanks coach thanks to the admin for finally getting it right, for righting the wrong. Too much history with this program to ever allow it to go backwards again.
Im a pretty big Heupel fan and think he may have the ability to grow in his role as we move forward. The job he done last year was much better than most expected and i hope he can build on that success.

However, there are some nagging worries for me..the close game thing and the fact that Vandy shut down the passing game. If more talented teams can do what they were doing on dedense and Heupel/Golesh dont have a response...ugh.

With all that said, i will be there cheering them on and expecting a bunch of wins this season.
 
#33

DaddyChad

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#33
This is different. I'm looking forward to the season and I'm optimistic. Go Volunteers!!!!
I’ve got cautious optimism. I do feel like Heupel is a legit good person, kind of person you want to be successful. I do also feel like a lot of our bad luck over the past two decades has come from having a lot of incompetence and no leadership for the program above the AD. I’m not sure I’m ready to look past our ability to self sabotage yet.
 
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#34

NeverWe'llSever

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#34
Really, it just comes down to winning close games. Making the other team blink first. That's what will decide if we're going to be a 7 win team or a 10 win team.
 
#36

Woke

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#36
I couldn’t disagree more. There were select players that developed under all the other guys.

The biggest difference is we now have a HC that’s creative between the lines that can relay his vision for the team. I expect current players are more confident in their coach vs the recent past.

Jones showed flashes of creativity when he wasn’t too busy being ultra conservative or just being a clown.

JP had us dialed in against Auburn other than that he was a complete wreck. We were in a bind to hire a HC and ended up with him.

Dooley was hired because of his name and we were in a bind due to Kiffen.
So what exactly are you disagreeing with? The fact that a select handful of players “developed” under precious staffs vs the significant broad development we’re seeing today across the board is about as different as night vs day.

The former is a shell game. The latter is a CULTURE.
 
#37

TNHopeful505

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#37
I mean....looking at the schedule and being realistic as possible, I really only see 2 games that I'm putting our odds at LESS than 50% to win, and that's Bama and Georgia of course. Everything else, I'm calling at very worst a toss up. To me, the 2 most important games are LSU and Florida. Win those, and I think the rest will take care of itself.
 
#39

Ashevillevol

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#39
There are a multitude of reasons to feel good about the program these days. And to remember the last times we had some badass swagger, even as a young adult, you are most likely in your 40’s now. So probably the majority of people on this board have never seen it this good.
 
#42

Titan&Volfan4life

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#42
I feel pretty good about where things seem to be going so far and I can't wait to get another season to have more to evaluate.

I like to break things down and look at each aspect and doing this also gives everyone else some things to think about and comment on so I'll start right at the top.

For the first time in many years I feel like our Admins finally understand that when all sports do better then everything else does better too at UT.

In the past it seemed like the only thing the Admins cared about was how much $$$$ they could take from our AD to waste on dumb things they wanted to do and mostly failed at.

Our new Admins seem to understand that a HUGE part of the face, reputation and income generator of UT is having sports programs that WIN.

More great press, more student enrollment, more $$$ and everything is motivated and better.

I hope we can keep good Admins that finally understand this.

Next, we all know that we've had a AD that made bad decisions when hiring Head Coaches for the most part and never stood up and fought for UT.

I think that Danny White has, so far, proven that he's young but has good knowledge and experience as a AD and that he will fight for what he believes are the right things to do for the betterment of UT sports.

As long as we all agree that he's doing a great job I hope we'll pay him whatever it takes to keep him at UT.

I think that AD DW knew from the minute that he accepted the UT job that he knew exactly who he really wanted as HC of our footVOL program and that he put on a really good "SHOW" of a coaching interviewing process even though he was also really busy hiring his own AD staff and getting them to K town to help him get more things under control.

I honestly believe he wanted HCJH all along.

He knew exactly how JH would handle everything when he put his big boy pants on and stepped onto the biggest stage in college footVOL in the SEC.

Even though it was late in the game to hire a new HC and late to also hire assistant coaches for his staff I believe we've done really well and had some good luck with HCJH and his staff.

After a mass exodus of some of our best players and being late in the recruiting cycle and knowing that the Admins were self-imposing scholly reductions HCJH had to get recruiting going even while he was still interviewing to fill coaching spots.

He was getting his new coaches to K Town and back out on the road recruiting just as fast as he could hire them and get them organised because he had to get a Team ready to put on the field to play a SEC schedule that always included UGa and Bama and he wanted as many WINS as he could find.

We all know for a FACT that we were cheated by the crap refs out of 2 WINS but we still had a respectful record for the season anyway.

Also along the way of that 1st season our O broke and set some new records and have all of us wondering how really good HCJH and staff can get our O going after we finally have the crap NCAA totally off our backs.

We're also wondering how much better our recruiting will get after all the other coaches can no longer tell recruits and their parents that we still could face more scholly reductions and loss of Bowl games.

I honestly believe that when the crap NCAA and their useless garbage is finally gone and all those other coaches can no longer use that against us that our recruiting WILL get much better and, so far, it's not really bad now.

It seems like our players have bought in to what our coaches have planned and that they ARE working hard and seem to be getting better and are happier and more motivated.

I hope you all enjoyed this mini-novel and I look forward to all of your evals on each part of this.

For now, I have high hopes and I believe for the 1st time in many years that we're back on the right track........FINALLY.

VFL...GBO!!!
 
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#43

Vol524

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#43
I am always excited this time of year. I LOVE UT football. But, I agree OP my excitement level is higher than usual. I truly believe we have the right HC and AD for a change. We have the best AD that I can remember in my lifetime and I am old. We have a team that is going to play as a team. GO VOLS!
 
#44

VFL-82-JP

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#44
I think that AD DW knew from the minute that he accepted the UT job that he knew exactly who he really wanted as HC of our footVOL program and that he put on a really good "SHOW" of a coaching interviewing process even though he was also really busy hiring his own AD staff and getting them to K town to help him get more things under control.

I honestly believe he wanted HCJH all along.
...

For now, I have high hopes for believe for the 1st time in many years that we're back on the right track........FINALLY.

VFL...GBO!!!
I found myself shrugging at most of your post, brother. Neither strongly agree nor disagree, mostly just...meh. You could be right. It's ancient history. Let's move on. That kind of response.

But the two parts I left in quotes I can specifically address.

We know for a fact that Danny White went after James Franklin. Pushed hard, for 2-3 days. As soon as it became obvious Franklin wasn't really interested, Dan shifted gears. And by THAT point, he definitely knew he wanted Heupel.

I'm not sure if he knew Heupel was the #2 choice after Franklin from the beginning, though. There were some pretty strong rumors that White was gauging Elliott's interest. We don't know if those rumors were true, but they really seemed to have some foundation under them.

But then, as Dan White himself described, it became obvious to him over the course of those two-to-three days that the guy he really wanted, the answer to all the criteria he had for a new head coach, were right there in the guy he just left behind at UCF.

I see no reason for Danny White to be anything less than completely honest about that. So I believe that's how it played out.

break/break

As for your other line that I quoted, I agree with you entirely! On track. Go Vols!
 
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#45

knox-townVOL

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#45
I’m about the same as I have been in other coaching tenures. I was really hyped about 2014, it felt like Butch was really turning things around with his recruiting and excitement.

Going into 2020 on our absurd winning streak I was sure Pruitt was the guy. This team just refused to lose. By halftime of the Georgia game that year I was completely bought in, then of course, I wasn’t.

Im excited right now, but we’ll see. I’ve been here before.
 
#47

Woodlawn VOL

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#47
I love the staff and the direction we appear to be headed. We just have to continue to improve, even on offense being capable of moving the ball even when slowed down and getting first downs when we need to take time off the clock in certain situations. When we can play tempo and slow down watch out. We have to expect teams to try to slow us down at times, we can get better there, that will really mess with defenses heads. On defense I expect us to continue to improve. We have to get off the field better on 3rd down. GBO!
 
#48

jackaro

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#48
I am always excited this time of year. I LOVE UT football. But, I agree OP my excitement level is higher than usual. I truly believe we have the right HC and AD for a change. We have the best AD that I can remember in my lifetime and I am old. We have a team that is going to play as a team. GO VOLS!
I think it is too soon to say Danny White is better than Doug Dickey. Tennessee had a lot of success in many different sports for a lot of years under Dickey. After a track and field championship, football championship and multiple Lady Vols championships we can start to compare White to Dickey.
 
#49

rdk4121

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#49
I think this certainly has to be the best place the program has been since the early 2000s. That's really not saying too much after Wandering the desert for the better part of two decades, but still is worth noting. There's seems to be good synergy on the coaching staff and in the AD. We haven't had an elite AD in what feels like forever, but I think we could actually have one now. Heck we're the best we've ever been across the board right now, or very close to it (maybe again the early 2000s/ late 90s).
 
#50

I4Vols

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#50
I would call it "tempered optimism". I need to see more on the field and in recruiting before I completely suspend disbelief.
Well, we probably agree that at least it is not that historic TNT offense... and if you don't know what that infers, ask you parents or grandparents or great grandparents!
Last year, and I hope this year, TNT gets redefined to mean really explosive, points focused, fun for any fan to watch, and an attention grabber for any potential recruit to want to be a Volunteer.
 

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