Who are we? Really?

#76

LWSVOL

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#76
Is UT really supposed to be an elite football program? We all seem to think we should be an elite program because of our fan base, our resources, our stadium and the revenue that comes in. Some of us who saw the 90s first hand, myself included, think that’s what we are supposed to be. I would say we were elite from the 30s through the early 50s with Neyland but it was a different game then. In the modern era it has been consistent peaks and valleys. Late 50s to mid 60s we were not good at all. Late 60s to early 70s we were great. Mid 70s to early 80s bad again. Mid 80s to mid 2000s - pretty good and our best post Neyland run followed by our worst losing stretch in our history. Half of our fans think we should fire our coach every 3 years because we aren’t elite. The other half think we need to be realistic and patient with our coach because we are a dumpster fire and will never have the same talent as the big 3. So who are we? Really? Are we supposed to be a powerhouse or are we really a slightly above average program who has a lot of peaks and valleys?
Tennessee's history is around 8 wins per year. That is who Tennessee is. Is that elite? Everyone has to decide if they think that is elite.

Since the SEC was established in 1933, Tennessee has averaged 7.47 wins per year.

Since 1950, Tennessee has averaged 7.58 wins per year including 2 National Championships.

Since 1990, Tennessee has averaged 7.96 wins per year which includes the best decade of football in Tennessee's history.

That is Tennessee football ever how one wishes to describe it.
 
#77

unfrozencvmanvol

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#77
Tennessee's history is around 8 wins per year. That is who Tennessee is. Is that elite? Everyone has to decide if they think that is elite.

Since the SEC was established in 1933, Tennessee has averaged 7.47 wins per year.

Since 1950, Tennessee has averaged 7.58 wins per year including 2 National Championships.

Since 1990, Tennessee has averaged 7.96 wins per year which includes the best decade of football in Tennessee's history.

That is Tennessee football ever how one wishes to describe it.
Stated another way, since the SEC was established in 1933, we are tied for 8th overall in wins, 3rd in the SEC.

I-A Wins 1933-2021

Since 1950, 11th overall, 4th in the SEC.

I-A Wins 1950-2021

Since 1990, 20th overall, 7th in the SEC.

I-A Wins 1990-2021
 
#78

LWSVOL

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#78
Stated another way, since the SEC was established in 1933, we are tied for 8th overall in wins, 3rd in the SEC.

I-A Wins 1933-2021

Since 1950, 11th overall, 4th in the SEC.

I-A Wins 1950-2021

Since 1990, 20th overall, 7th in the SEC.

I-A Wins 1990-2021
yep, a good program. perhaps even very good. Elite is likely limited to a few programs, if that.

Term elite should be likely given to those programs at top of championships won over time.
 
#79

unfrozencvmanvol

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#79
yep, a good program. perhaps even very good. Elite is likely limited to a few programs, if that.

Term elite should be likely given to those programs at top of championships won over time.
Part of our problem is look at that most recent time period 1990-present. Our 3 biggest rivals, Florida, Georgia and Alabama are 3rd, 4th and 5th overall respectively. That's a tough row to hoe every year.
 
#80

LWSVOL

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#80
Part of our problem is look at that most recent time period 1990-present. Our 3 biggest rivals, Florida, Georgia and Alabama are 3rd, 4th and 5th overall respectively. That's a tough row to hoe every year.
yeah and Tennessee has lacked the commitment to do what it takes to get on their level. Commitment from people that can make a difference, from the administration, BOT or boosters. Still TBD to see if any have that commitment.
 
#81

CobbVol

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#81
A number of good facts in this thread. One that seems to get overlooked is traditionally our schedule. We play GA, FL, and AL every year and I am confident that the majority of the time (past/present/future) if we traded regular season schedules with any of those 3 we would come out ahead in the deal.
 
#82

unfrozencvmanvol

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#82
yeah and Tennessee has lacked the commitment to do what it takes to get on their level. Commitment from people that can make a difference, from the administration, BOT or boosters. Still TBD to see if any have that commitment.
LWS, do you think it's been more that we lack the commitment financially to get the right head man in here to start with or that we don't support our head coaches and give them what they need to have a fair shot once they are here? Jeremy Pruitt for example, do you think he didn't get enough support from those influencers? You are alot more plugged in than me but it seemed to me like Pruitt got alot of support initially, but then lost it little by little due to his own faults.
 
#83

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#83
#84

LWSVOL

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#84
LWS, do you think it's been more that we lack the commitment financially to get the right head man in here to start with or that we don't support our head coaches and give them what they need to have a fair shot once they are here? Jeremy Pruitt for example, do you think he didn't get enough support from those influencers? You are alot more plugged in than me but it seemed to me like Pruitt got alot of support initially, but then lost it little by little due to his own faults.
After Dickey and Johnson retired, things changed regarding the university support of athletics. Lot of things made it more difficult t compete at the same level as those 3 schools you mentioned. From how they allowed academics to influence athletics to financial commitment to coaches. Fulmer tried to get money to upgrade and assistants and was not given it. It was lack of administrative commitment. BOT and boosters refused to apply influence.

Post Fulmer the finances began to move more in line with other programs but I think it was more they had to because they were headed to the bottom. There was no leadership at the top spots as Presidents, Chancellors and ADs continued to change along with the coaches. Your right on Pruitt, things had begun to improve even more but of course he torpedoed the program.

Commitment has not been close to that at the other SEC programs that have been competitive, Bama, UGA, Florida, LSU, Auburn, etc. Don't think its there yet either. Just look at the difference in approached to the issues at LSU and Tennessee, NCAA stuff. Don't mean to say Tennessee's approach is wrong but certainly different than LSUs.
 
#85

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#85
Is this a math question of wins/loses? Or is this about perception? Obviously NOT an elite program post Fulmer and in decline before he left. That’s both win/loss math and surely perception as well.
 
#86

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#86
One can make numbers say a lot of things but the past success or failure only goes so far. I mentioned earlier look at recruiting as a guide and I think that tells a lot. Pretty GOOD recruiting over the past 20 years and MOST of those have been BAD years in terms of win/loss. But a lack of TOP recruits recently tells a story as well. Elite is also subjective … historically “good” or what have you done for me lately “good” … ? Where is the cutoff point for elite ? Top 3, 10, 20 ? It’s hard to rationalize Vols as elite “today”
 
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#88

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#88
Elite is a term over, IMO, used by the sports media to describe anything positive in sports. It is relative and not sustainable. Tennessee is not currently elite, but they have been in the past, and may be in the future. It's not a big deal, don't get hung up on words.
 
#90

sjt18

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#90
UT has elite resources, facilities, and support. The rest is the standard you choose to set and demand. Bad hires shouldn't be as common as they've been at UT... but when they are made there should never be any hesitation about getting rid of a Jones or Pruitt.

At the moment you start excusing, rationalizing, and accepting failure... you aren't elite.
 
#92

tnutater

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#92
At the moment you start excusing, rationalizing, and accepting failure... you aren't elite.
Can't give this enough likes.
Rationalizing.... it is what Vol fans do best.
Lane could have beat Bama except for kicking a couple field goals into a fat man's boobs
Dooley could have been great with his offense except he hired the wrong DC.
Hornblower was the best recruiter in the country, 2 nine win seasons except he could not coach.
Pruitt had one of the longest winning streaks in the country except he beat cupcakes.
New Coach could have had a 10 win season except for 3 plays, bad refs and not beating but one decent team.
As long as Vols fans have something to pump sunshine about we remain fat, drunk, and stupid.
 
#93

sjt18

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#93
Can't give this enough likes.
Rationalizing.... it is what Vol fans do best.
Lane could have beat Bama except for kicking a couple field goals into a fat man's boobs
Dooley could have been great with his offense except he hired the wrong DC.
Hornblower was the best recruiter in the country, 2 nine win seasons except he could not coach.
Pruitt had one of the longest winning streaks in the country except he beat cupcakes.
New Coach could have had a 10 win season except for 3 plays, bad refs and not beating but one decent team.
As long as Vols fans have something to pump sunshine about we remain fat, drunk, and stupid.
Except for the last guy and the book not being written yet... not much argument. Funny though. Fans quickly turned on all of those guys after making excuses for them.

My point was actually a little different. There are people here who preach we should be satisfied with 8 or 9 win teams and coaches who don't get the most out of their roster. Jones had a lot of defenders here and not once did he get the most out of a roster. I'm not particularly interested in 9 win seasons when a guy wins 5 with a 7 win roster followed by 7 with a 9 win roster followed by 9 with an 11 win roster twice... followed by 4 with a 8 win roster.

I think there are legitimate reasons to say Heupel got hosed 2 or 3 times. He had UT much closer than anyone has in a while. If we are 3 years in and he's still losing all of those 50/50 games and looking for moral victories vs Bama, UGA, et al... then your point stick. He got 7 with an 8 or 9 win roster and some really, really bad breaks... now he needs to "steal" a win or two to even that up.
 
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#94

Winchester73

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#94
IMO, It’s not about SETTLING for a 7-9 win season. It’s the reality of fielding a competitive team on a regular basis and having the right pieces together at the right time to have a championship run. A few of our strongest competitors have done that since our last championship and we’re wanting our turn again. Who doesn’t want to have Bama type success? Reality is that doesn’t come around very often for most. There’s only a handful of teams winning titles since we have and I’m sure all the rest want it just as bad as we do. If winning was easy, everyone would be doing it.
 
#96

DaddyChad

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#96
From 1906-1989, Florida was 26th nationally in wins. Since 2008, Tennessee is 72nd nationally in wins.

But, I get the larger overall point. But, be careful with that argument.

Because this is where I upset everyone on this board. IMO, there are distinctive eras in college football and also distinctive changes to football programs.

Syracuse is the 22nd winningest program all-time. They are below .500 since integration (1970). So, who are they? Really?

Florida State is the 74th winningest program of all-time. They are 9th since integration. So, who are they? Really?

Nebraska is the 8th winningest program of all-time. They are 61st since joining the Big 10. So, who are they? Really?

Arkansas is the 24th winningest program of all-time. They are 56th since joining the SEC. So, who are they? Really?

Tennessee is the 9th winningest program of all-time. Tennessee is the 18th winningest program since 1970 (integration) behind (within the league) Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Auburn and LSU. In that time, they are a combined 53 games below .500 against those schools with a losing record against all of them. So, who are they? Really?
Well they were national champions and one the winningest programs in college football during the same period. Of course they’ve mostly sucked since then.
 
#97

DaddyChad

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#97
After Dickey and Johnson retired, things changed regarding the university support of athletics. Lot of things made it more difficult t compete at the same level as those 3 schools you mentioned. From how they allowed academics to influence athletics to financial commitment to coaches. Fulmer tried to get money to upgrade and assistants and was not given it. It was lack of administrative commitment. BOT and boosters refused to apply influence.

Post Fulmer the finances began to move more in line with other programs but I think it was more they had to because they were headed to the bottom. There was no leadership at the top spots as Presidents, Chancellors and ADs continued to change along with the coaches. Your right on Pruitt, things had begun to improve even more but of course he torpedoed the program.

Commitment has not been close to that at the other SEC programs that have been competitive, Bama, UGA, Florida, LSU, Auburn, etc. Don't think its there yet either. Just look at the difference in approached to the issues at LSU and Tennessee, NCAA stuff. Don't mean to say Tennessee's approach is wrong but certainly different than LSUs.
Sad thing is I think we still don’t have that commitment, our “leadership” just saw we were headed towards the bottom of the conference and knew their pay day was in jeopardy.
 
#98

Winchester73

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#98
After 1945, only 20 teams have won the NC outright (sorry if I may have slightly miscounted) … but that’s 75 years. And it looks like about 12 teams have won championships SINCE TN in 1998. Make of those numbers what you like, but I think it’s interesting.
 
#99

Mtnvol80

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#99
Since 1968 (roughly integration) Florida is 30-9 against us. Bama 35-18. UGA 20-17. A big chunk of our all time wins came in the 50 years before integration. Outside of the 90s (Florida still owned us) and a few great years sprinkled in we have not been dominate since integration. We have 1 national championship in 70 years. That's not elite but when we're good we're good
 

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