Vols finish 7-5–how do you grade Huepel’s first season?

#76

JRVOL11

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#76
A-, with the roster he was given and how we were basically in every game we loss this year. Should have beat Ole miss and Pitt, but overall 7-5 is very solid .
 
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#77

Carp

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#77
On the season alone, 8 wins after a bowl game is an absolute A+. Given our roster issues and taking over a program marred in mediocrity over the past decade plus, getting to 8 wins is nothing short of a miracle.

Recruiting, I give him a C+ so far. I know the impending NCAA punishment makes things tough, but being outside the top 30 isn't gonna cut it. Ole Miss finished no lower than 32nd in recruiting under Luke, despite sanctions and Ole Miss playing terrible. And we're quite clearly much easier to recruit than Ole Miss.
 
#78

dcibrando

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#78
A-

Beat Pitt and its a A

Beat Pitt and Ole Miss it's an A+

We are finishing the year with only 2 teams that we played being hands down better than we are.

That's crazy knowing what he had to work with from a roster standpoint. He's gotten every ounce out of this team that is extremely challenged when it comes to depth.

Question now becomes, can he get the players? It's what will dictate how long he's here.
thats exactly that I was thinking: A- and with your explanation as to what would be an A or A+.

honestly coming into this year... making a bowl game was almost a dream that probably wouldn't happen

say what you want... but based on what he came into, this may be the best coach... I mean REAL coach TN has had in a VERY VERY long time
 
#79

VolunteerCeltic

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#79
Solid B, mismanaged the QB situation early but rectified it. 7-5 was my prediction at the beginning of the season, but with a win in a bowl game, could go 8 and 5. But still getting their asses kicked by their main rivals, when will that end? Recruiting doesn't look good, UT only has three of the top 25 recruits in Tennessee verbally committed and lost the best DLineman in the country (who lived in Knoxville) to Texas A&M.
 
#80

FLVOL_79

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#80
A-. Overall, I think we won the games we expected to win (assuming we handle South Alabama and Vandy,) lost the games we expected to lose, and took a win on the road against a ranked opponent. I would’ve liked to win either Pitt or OM, but our defense is thinner than a freshman girl during sorority rush. Take a bowl game win into 2022 and let’s ride.
So we are going to get real stout soon right?
 
#82

PapaVol88

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#82
Anything over .500 record is a win for this program. I see 7-5 and maybe 8-5 with a bowl win. so A+ for me.
Must recruit a top 15 class coming up and keep developing as they have this year. Feeling positive about the program.
 
#83

VolNRaleighNC

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#83
Hovering around a B to B- (even if we win the last 2). I thought 6-6 at best so there’s that.

He mismanaged the QB situation to start the year which could have resulted in a W vs Pitt. They failed to “spy” Corral which could have been another W. He’s done a good job with what he inherited. If he were to have beaten Pitt and Ole Miss then I would have given him a solid A. A+ would only have been given if he also beat 1 of UF/Bama/UGA (really just UF) on top of Pitt and Ole Miss.

If he can get his studs in, particularly on the D side, then we may be able to make some noise with the upper echelon of the SEC. I think UGA winning a Natty will really hurt us though.
 
#84

Wrangler95

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#84
I will give him a A++ if he wins the next two games to finish 7-5.He had very little to work with in a very short time,especially with all the turnover and injuries our players had!We finally have a coach who knows how to actually coach players up!!
 
#85

TomcatVolFan

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#85
I am giving him an A-. Win the last two , have a good bowl win and I will give him an A+. We need to work on recruiting and the magical transfer portal. See if we can't improve team speed and get some depth.
 
#87

b_gann

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#87
I give it a B+ all things considered (71 scholarship players, new system on both sides of the ball, extended injuries to Cooper Mays and Tiyon Evans, etc..).

Season could’ve been an A with win over Pitt or Ole Miss and an A+ beating both. Only other close game so far was UK and it would’ve subtracted 1/2 a grade with loss instead of win.

What’s your grade?
Solid B! He's done well with what was given. Pull off Ole Miss and Pitt and it's easily an A+. Pull off one of the two and A- or B+
 
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#88

TNinSC

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#88
A so far, but if we don't get some recruits soon, then i reserve my right to change the grade to a B+

The program had possible looming penalties from the previous coaching regime. The program has been 20-27 over the past 4 years. The program went through a mass exodus of most of the productive and highest rated players. The program is very thin at depth. So making it to a bowl is pretty good. Since Kiffin, no UT head coach has made it to a bowl in their first year.

Everyone is taking notice of what's going on in Knoxville right now. It's nice not to be the laughing stock of college football.
 
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#89

savannahfan

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#89
I am pleasantly surprised. The O has been very good most of the season. The D's regression is understandable given the depth and number of plays issues. It is concerning that we cannot seem to correct our middle of the field/3rd down issues, on the other hand it is also understandable given that LB/Safety is the weakest part personnel wise.

Ultimately CJH's tenure here will be made or lost on recruiting, but he has done a pretty good job in year 1, all things considered.

This of course is under the assumption we win the last 2 and win/are competitive in a bowl game.
I expect for the next 2-3 years his recruiting will be so-so. (due to upcoming restrictions) His tenure here will be determined by his ability to teach/coach up a group of 3 and 4 star guys (for the most part) to play really good. I expect the defense will be the key. (he can make an offensive of female cheerleaders). As you point out "up the middle" seems to be a standout problem. I posted in a thread the other day and still feel it takes a fairly long time to get the kind of line play we are gonna need in the SEC
 
#90

hog88

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#90
I give him a solid C+/B-. He's done what he should have done minus the Pitt game and beaten all the teams he should have beaten. If he would have gotten the Old Miss game he would be getting that elusive A.
 
#93

sjt18

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#93
I give it a B+ all things considered (71 scholarship players, new system on both sides of the ball, extended injuries to Cooper Mays and Tiyon Evans, etc..).

Season could’ve been an A with win over Pitt or Ole Miss and an A+ beating both. Only other close game so far was UK and it would’ve subtracted 1/2 a grade with loss instead of win.

What’s your grade?
Agree. I have said since before spring that this was a 6-8 win roster against this schedule if coached well. We all knew about who left. But too many ignored those who stayed. Injuries happen and that as much as anything made the year more difficult. All that calculated in... and assuming a coach capable of actually competing in the SEC = 6-8 wins with 9 being an A+++++++.

I think Heupel has a foundation laid. Now he needs players. He needs to do at least "good" in HS recruiting. He needs to do great in the portal. He needs to sustain or get better in terms of play, depth, and wins. I know some want to be "fair" and believe he can get 3 or 4 more years to become really competitive... but that is not realistic. Recruits only go to coaches who prove they're great coaches. A lot of recruits seem ready to believe that right now.
 
#96

NO SIR EEE

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#96
Pitt and Ole Miss hurt. You win those 2 games and we finish 9-3. I'm not going to hold that against Heupel though, him and his staff have done wonders with what they had for this year, so for that I will say congratulations and I couldn't be more proud.
 
#97

Birdie

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#97
LSU has fired their coach mid-season and is currently ranked 12th.

Missouri got drilled by Heupel and company and is ranked 14th.

South Carolina fired their coach last season and is 21st.

Rutgers with Greg Schiano is 26th .

TN currently sits at 30. It shouldn't be out of the realm of possibility to expect TN to finish above Rutgers in recruiting no matter the off field issues.

UT isn't the only team in the country dealing with losing records and coaching changes. The NCAA hasn't finished their investigation so they aren't being docked scholarships or visits yet.

Still time to finish strong and hit the portal but they have work to do.
LSU won a Natty 2yrs ago.. none of those other teams have had the constant negative publicity on them like TN has and only maybe Rutgers has been as consistently bad as TN.

Nobody wants to believe it but the TN brand is not perceived to be prestigious like it used to be. We're the school that can't put their socks on straight. UK especially but every program we recruit against has had a field day in dogging us on the trail for years and it's catching up. If you suck for 10yrs straight then the perception becomes a reality. Last time we played in an SEC title game recruits were 2-4yrs old.

The TN brand doesn't guarantee a top 15 class anymore like it did when Dooley was here. But it shouldn't be in the 30's either.

I give Heupel an A+ for coaching and program management with a B- for recruiting. Overall an A. In a normal year this class would be a D but the investigation has been brutal to them on the trail.
 
#98

Birdie

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#98
Pitt and Ole Miss hurt. You win those 2 games and we finish 9-3. I'm not going to hold that against Heupel though, him and his staff have done wonders with what they had for this year, so for that I will say congratulations and I couldn't be more proud.
Should be a positive. All the transfers and everything that has gone on and he gets a top 10 Ole Miss team and likely ACC champ as his OOC in year 1 and we're having a realistic conversation about he was close to be doing 9-3. Impressive work imo. Finally some light at the end of the tunnel it seems.
 
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#99

JonGrudensAgent

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#99
LSU won a Natty 2yrs ago.. none of those other teams have had the constant negative publicity on them like TN has and only maybe Rutgers has been as consistently bad as TN.

Nobody wants to believe it but the TN brand is not perceived to be prestigious like it used to be. We're the school that can't put their socks on straight. UK especially but every program we recruit against has had a field day in dogging us on the trail for years and it's catching up. If you suck for 10yrs straight then the perception becomes a reality. Last time we played in an SEC title game recruits were 2-4yrs old.

The TN brand doesn't guarantee a top 15 class anymore like it did when Dooley was here. But it shouldn't be in the 30's either.

I give Heupel an A+ for coaching and program management with a B- for recruiting. Overall an A. In a normal year this class would be a D but the investigation has been brutal to them on the trail.
Yeah, I get it regarding the lousy performance for a decade + tarnishing the program.

And the NCAA investigation is surely being brought up every time someone recruits against TN.

That being said, Heupel has generated a lot of good will with the on field performance this season and needs to start taking some advantage on the recruiting trail.

I am expecting them to close strong and hit the portal for some potential impact players.

As it stands right now as a snap shot in time, I'll stick with my B. To break it down like you, I was looking at an A for on the field and a C+ for recruiting currently.
 
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