We are already mid-tier

#26

JonGrudensAgent

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#26
It will become more about players over time. Everyone has seen this offense now. They'll flop around like fish and find a few other ways to slow it down. Hooker has done a very good job of running this offense this year. Heupel got lucky with him.
Extremely lucky with Hooker considering he wasn't a Heupel guy.

Still haven't seen anything from Milton to convince me this season isn't worse with him at the helm.
 
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#27

VFL-82-JP

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#27
I wish we played Florida later in the season. Even when they suck, we just do not seem to have our s*** together by game 2-4 in the season when we face them annually.
I think we have a much better chance of having our stuff together early in the season once we have continuity in the coaching staff and roster.

Year two and especially year three and beyond with Heupel and crew is going to feel a lot less like starting over each season.

Last time I think that was true was probably going into 2016, with the coaching staff returning (limited though they were), and with Dobbs, Hurd, Kamara, Barnett, Sutton, & etc. back as well.

We might start feeling that way every year, if this coaching team works out for us. Back to "not rebuilding, just reloading." The way the elite programs do. The way we used to do.

It's something to look forward to. I think we're close to it. Fingers crossed.

Go Vols!
 
#28

Cartervol

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#28
Extremely lucky with Hooker considering he wasn't a Heupel guy.

Still haven't seen anything from Milton to convince me this season isn't worse with him at the helm.
It's a QB's world..The way the game is geared toward the offensive side of the ball you absolutely have to have one or you're toast..The scoring is way up, it's just a different game than what I grew up watching..
 
#30

savannahfan

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#30
It will become more about players over time. Everyone has seen this offense now. They'll flop around like fish and find a few other ways to slow it down. Hooker has done a very good job of running this offense this year. Heupel got lucky with him.
I think the NCAA (as bad as they are) will look at the "flopping' and but in place a rule that keeps a player on the bench for the remainder of a series by the time next season comes around. That would not be a bad rule even if flopping were/is not the reason.
The "recovery" time would be to the player's advantage long run. This rule would also put a premium on depth.
 
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#31

JonGrudensAgent

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#31
It's a QB's world..The way the game is geared toward the offensive side of the ball you absolutely have to have one or you're toast..The scoring is way up, it's just a different game than what I grew up watching..
Yep.

Stroud and Young put exclamations on your point yesterday.

Video game numbers really doesn't even do justice to what these offenses are doing now.
 
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#32

1world1love

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#32
We didn’t get in this mess overnight and we are not going to get out of it in one season, but there is more optimism than I have seen since the Kiffin hire. The coaches have done a really nice job across the whole program.

I don’t think we can expect top 10 recruiting classes at this point, but they will come. It’s not just the investigation. Most of the coaches on staff were not recruiting against Alabama, GA, LSU, etc. That is to say that they do not have the relationships yet with the same players that these programs are recruiting so it is harder to get an “in” with them and their families. That will change, but it takes time.

Another problem with recruiting rankings is that the portal has changed everything. If we sign a nice mix of 3-4 stars but only sign 20, that would put us in the 20s-30s as far as ranking. But if we add 10 more from the portal that were 3-4 star kids, then what does it matter what our ranking is. Right now it is much more important that we build depth than worry about rankings, and that means taking a few guys from the portal that are ready to play now. I would guess that it will be that way for a while, and may become the norm, which means that the raw rankings will become less important than the average rank per player.
 
#34
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#34
Rebuild is ahead of schedule, from where I sit. USCe and Mizzou are not very good but they are not the pushovers we thought they were: both got to 6 wins today and beat Florida this season. Scar beat Auburn today, and while this Auburn iteration isn’t very good, that’s still punching above their weight for South Carolina as a program.

We dismantled both those teams. They were never in the game against us. We played Ole Miss, likely the second or third best team in the West, pretty much dead even. We are already clearly well above the bottom tier of SEC teams. Taking the next step into the upper echelon will be more difficult. Depending on how well we do in the portal, I believe we could take that step in 2023 if not next year.

Getting to “Elite” status a la ‘Bama for the last decade, 2019 LSU, or present day Georgia is harder to put a finger on. Who knows.

What I do know is that we have won or very nearly won in every game that we weren’t completely outmatched in terms of overall player skill. Against the two SEC east teams we were supposed to be on par with this year, we completely dominated. The tide is going to turn if and when we get more quality in Knoxville. And it may turn more quickly than some of y’all think.
The Vols' no huddle spread offense combined with player depth on defense (and some sorely needed rule changes on flopping) is a game changer, and will be extremely difficult for most teams to plan for. We already saw that with Bama and Georgia. 3 or 4 star players not getting enough reps on their current team will be giving Tennessee a strong look. Let's go Heupel!
 
#35
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#35
But if we add 10 more from the portal that were 3-4 star kids, then what does it matter what our ranking is.
^^^This^^^ Disgruntled players across the country will be looking at Tennessee's dynamic offense and SEC visibility as a way to showcase their talents for the NFL. We are in a perfect position to build a team in this new era of free agency.
 
#36

BigOrangeTrain

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#36
The rebuild is definitely ahead of schedule. The vast majority of VN I believe had us going 6-6 this year. Many had us 5-7 I believe and some said even 4-8. I doubt hardly anyone had us beating UK. Especially when we saw UK beat UF and LSU. Most thought they would beat us. How many thought Ole Miss would only beat us by what 5? I figured they would beat us by 3-4 TDs.

I honestly did not think the offense would improve by as much as it has. It’s been a HUGE improvement. I expected the defense to be much worse than it has been. While it hasn’t been really good per day, it’s done decent for the depth it has.

I like the trajectory we are on. I believe if this staff stays relatively intact and continues its progression in coaching, we could seriously compete for the East in 3-4 years.
 
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#37

SpookyAction

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#37
Agreed. IMO everything moves in long cycles and that’s what we’re seeing unfold this season.

It’s been 20 years since we were a national P5 football force. Since then we’ve been in a death spiral caused by multiple self-inflicted wounds from our ADs and the multiple HFC misfits they brought in to “fix” things. But nothing on the field was ever gonna get fixed until the deeper systemic issues got fixed first.

Now we’re on our year 1 rebuild. Our down-cycle is OVER. It took us 20 years to finally find the right hires at AD and HFC and stop scraping the bottom. It took an unholy trinity of Fulmer/Pruitt/NCAA investigation to finally bitch-slap us awake.

Everyone step aside bc the Vols aren’t the biggest dumpster fire program in the SEC E anymore. That honor now belongs to the Gators who’ve completely fallen apart under Mullen. And they fell apart breathtakingly fast.

WTH happened at FL?? Would love to have an insider’s view. But what matters is FL won’t get fixed overnight. Like TN 20 years ago something deeper is clearly going on there and just finding a better HFC won’t solve the problem.

Finally it’s all starting to move our way.
I distinctly remember the hubbub out of Gainesville during the summer of 2020 that sounded like a lot of tension and negative juju in that locker room. I thought they would lag last year. It seems the decline was delayed due to immense roster talent, but came on eventually, nonetheless. It will be interesting to see where Mullen's rehab takes him and his uber affectionate wife.

I honestly no longer care who is hired at UF. We are charting our own course and will handle our own destiny from this season forward. We will face them head on.
 
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#41

DaddyChad

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#41
Rebuild is ahead of schedule, from where I sit. USCe and Mizzou are not very good but they are not the pushovers we thought they were: both got to 6 wins today and beat Florida this season. Scar beat Auburn today, and while this Auburn iteration isn’t very good, that’s still punching above their weight for South Carolina as a program.

We dismantled both those teams. They were never in the game against us. We played Ole Miss, likely the second or third best team in the West, pretty much dead even. We are already clearly well above the bottom tier of SEC teams. Taking the next step into the upper echelon will be more difficult. Depending on how well we do in the portal, I believe we could take that step in 2023 if not next year.

Getting to “Elite” status a la ‘Bama for the last decade, 2019 LSU, or present day Georgia is harder to put a finger on. Who knows.

What I do know is that we have won or very nearly won in every game that we weren’t completely outmatched in terms of overall player skill. Against the two SEC east teams we were supposed to be on par with this year, we completely dominated. The tide is going to turn if and when we get more quality in Knoxville. And it may turn more quickly than some of y’all think.
Ole miss was a win if not for the zebras. That was wholesale BS.
 
#43

xpsyclonex2002

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#43
Depth. That is what separates us for the top tier right now. Our starters don't match talent with the top tier but we are coaching around that right now.. The drop off in talent from our starters to their backups is noticeable. Our starters are banged up from not getting rotations. Use the portal to time warp our way to having immediate backup talent and recruit talent for 2 years from now. 2022 we beat everyone in the SEC except GA/AL By fall of 23 we are going to upset either Bama or Georgia. If GA doesn't win the NC this year, they probably won't at all over the next 5 years. The fans will declare Kirby the next Mark Richt.
 
#44

Rocky Top Raby

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#44
I wish we played Florida later in the season. Even when they suck, we just do not seem to have our s*** together by game 2-4 in the season when we face them annually.
We played them to finish off last year and it didn't go out way either. We lose to Florida, that's as much of a tradition here as anything else.
 
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#46

titansvolsfaninga

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#46
Remember the game in 9/11 season changed to later, we were I believe (maybe wrong) a 12 point dog and Travis Stephens ran for +200 and we win. I do believe if we flipped the dates we played UGA & Florida this year. We beat Florida. We had the hardest schedule so far and UGA was 42 nd nationally which was the easiest schedule in the SEC. Will be interesting how UGA handles 3 top teams in a row SECC game and playoff Semi & Championship if they make it to the Natty.
They won't. Their offense is not good enough, and we exposed their secondary.
 
#49

VolDaddy61

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#49
Rebuild is ahead of schedule, from where I sit. USCe and Mizzou are not very good but they are not the pushovers we thought they were: both got to 6 wins today and beat Florida this season. Scar beat Auburn today, and while this Auburn iteration isn’t very good, that’s still punching above their weight for South Carolina as a program.

We dismantled both those teams. They were never in the game against us. We played Ole Miss, likely the second or third best team in the West, pretty much dead even. We are already clearly well above the bottom tier of SEC teams. Taking the next step into the upper echelon will be more difficult. Depending on how well we do in the portal, I believe we could take that step in 2023 if not next year.

Getting to “Elite” status a la ‘Bama for the last decade, 2019 LSU, or present day Georgia is harder to put a finger on. Who knows.

What I do know is that we have won or very nearly won in every game that we weren’t completely outmatched in terms of overall player skill. Against the two SEC east teams we were supposed to be on par with this year, we completely dominated. The tide is going to turn if and when we get more quality in Knoxville. And it may turn more quickly than some of y’all think.
Everything seems to be aligned for UT to ascend to the upper level of our division. The gap between uga and everyone else is insane. If Hooker comes back we have a realistic shot at 2nd in the division and a New Year's day bowl game next season.
 
#50

chuck0303

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#50
It will become more about players over time. Everyone has seen this offense now. They'll flop around like fish and find a few other ways to slow it down. Hooker has done a very good job of running this offense this year. Heupel got lucky with him.
I'm sure JG gave it his all & the Oline didn't do him any favors, but it sure is like a breath of fresh air with both Hooker and our new coach. Having an offense that isn't 2, 3, 4 yards & punt is a saving grace too. I like everything about this coaching staff, their philosophy, and really changing the culture around--just outstanding what they've done considering how many players were lost. Great job! If we can get some good recruits we'll be moving on up.
 
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