Why are we here

#1

a vol n tears

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#1
Why is the football program gotten in this state?
Were we ever “special” like some believe. Career 70% winners. Occasionally getting enough talent to win championships. I think LSU has done that twice with coaches not that great. Fulmer won 1 NC and it took 2 miracle finishes + playing against a back up QB in the champ game.
In the modern era of SEC, when money is everywhere, and most of the schools are hiring the best available, Fulmer struggled. Was Tenn just too slow to adjust and just got left behind.
Is there a problem / different philosophy in the adm that keeps Tenn from moving forward.
Some say throwing money at a proven coach will work, but I have continually argued you cannot hire a proven winner away from their current job. You only get them bigger raises. Has Chip Kelly worked out, Harbough, Jimbo, Leach, Gundy, Taggart. Are any worth $7-8M a year? Great coaches don’t leave the programs they have built, unless they have embarrassed them.
Fulmer left no coaching tree and no one capable of replacing him. It takes a special talent to run a big program in the best of circumstances.. Finding that person takes a lot of skill and even more luck.
My opinion is Tenn keep Fulmer too long ( and I totally understand why) and the football world changed so quickly that they were behind when the change was made. Then the adm made a bad decision in the hire (at the maturity level Kiffin had) which delayed the stabilization even longer. By that time everyone was hiring best available and Tenn could not keep up. Now getting lucky is their only hope. Money will not work.
Now for my crazy answer out of this....Fire Pruitt at end of the season. LET Fulmer be interim HC and AD with same salary. He could recruit on his personality and probably keep most of the class. Try to hire Cutcliffe for $2M he makes now. Let the program stabilize and go from there. In a year or 2 maybe Tee or somebody already on staff will be ready to take over without a complete restart.
 
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#6

Vol423

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#6
Why is the football program gotten in this state?
Were we ever “special” like some believe. Career 70% winners. Occasionally getting enough talent to win championships. I think LSU has done that twice with coaches not that great. Fulmer won 1 NC and it took 2 miracle finishes + playing against a back up QB in the champ game.
In the modern era of SEC, when money is everywhere, and most of the schools are hiring the best available, Fulmer struggled. Was Tenn just too slow to adjust and just got left behind.
Is there a problem / different philosophy in the adm that keeps Tenn from moving forward.
Some say throwing money at a proven coach will work, but I have continually argued you cannot hire a proven winner away from their current job. You only get them bigger raises. Has Chip Kelly worked out, Harbough, Jimbo, Leach, Gundy, Taggart. Are any worth $7-8M a year? Great coaches don’t leave the programs they have built, unless they have embarrassed them.
Fulmer left no coaching tree and no one capable of replacing him. It takes a special talent to run a big program in the best of circumstances.. Finding that person takes a lot of skill and even more luck.
My opinion is Tenn keep Fulmer too long ( and I totally understand why) and the football world changed so quickly that they were behind when the change was made. Then the adm made a bad decision in the hire (at the maturity level Kiffin had) which delayed the stabilization even longer. By that time everyone was hiring best available and Tenn could not keep up. Now getting lucky is their only hope. Money will not work.
Now for my crazy answer out of this....Fire Pruitt at end of the season. LET Fulmer be interim HC and AD with same salary. He could recruit on his personality and probably keep most of the class. Try to hire Cutcliffe for $2M he makes now. Let the program stabilize and go from there. In a year or 2 maybe Tee or somebody already on staff will be ready to take over without a complete restart.
A crappy coaching staff that is 100% clueless about how to evaluate and develop QB’s.
 
#9

BigOrangeMojo

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#9
Hammy saved a little bit of cash and hired Kiffin over Patterson. He saved a little more cash by essentially eliminating Kiffin's buyout. Kiffin leaves. Hire bargain bin #2. He sucks a$$. Hire bargain bin #3. Much like a Trumpet player, he blows. We drag feet on hiring proven coach, let him go to rival, hire Bargain Bin 4. Fans revolt. Hire guy with no experience that had limited interviews in past and hes Bargain bin #5. He ends up being in over his head but bid against ourselves and extend him with a 13-12 record.
 
#12

VolArmy74

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#12
Fulmer without Cutcliffe was an average coach. Discipline went to pot without Cutcliffe and underachieving became the norm. Mediocre football was rewarded. Fulmer could lose to Alabama, Georgia, Florida and one other team each year in blowout fashion and still get an automatic raise/extension because of the stupid 8 win clause.

Fulmer was really good with boosters (how he got the ok after Majors was fired) and they were happy as long as we had some wins and they could get business done in the luxury levels. The wins got fewer. The image of the program began slipping and finally the right boosters said he could be fired. But it was at least four seasons too late, if not more. We were hopelessly behind in the SEC coaching race. In the 2000-2008 timeframe Fulmer was behind Tuberville, Richt, Spurrier, Saban, Meyer and Miles. He finished below Bobby Johnson at Vandy his last two seasons without Cutcliffe in 2005 and 2008.

Alabama, Florida, Auburn and LSU proved you could hire and fire your way to success. We were close but too stupid to hire the right guy. We lost both Gary Patterson and Brian Kelly when they would have taken the job. Patterson averaged about 11 wins a year for the next 7 or 8 years after we passed on him and Brian Kelly has had ND in the playoffs since we passed on him and is probably about to go back there this year. We're so dumb we passed on Kelly then hired his coattail rider.

But there we are. The wheels fell off in 1999 when we retuned the most talented team in the nation and went 9-3. The engine blew up in 2001 when we lost to LSU. The transmission went out the next year when we started #2 in the nation with a loaded team and went 8-5. In 2005 the car caught fire when we had a losing season and finished behind Vanderbilt. In 2006-7 Cutcliffe returned and it was like the mechanic who fixed the clunker Barney got to make the car seem fine. But once Cutcliffe was gone the car went over the cliff and it's been mostly down there since. Dobbs almost pulled it out but Butch was just too much dead weight. Now the engine compartment is filled with cornbread and we are sitting at the bottom of the ocean.
 
#13

UT_Dutchman

Born and Cornbread in East Tennessee
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#13
I've looked and looked for a reason we went down this decline. What I see js the most successful coaches in UT history were tied to our school, they had a vested interest. Even the general came back twice to coach. I believe we will not be successful until we find this head coach with a connection to our school. Jmo
 
#14

Volsonyourface

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#14
Fulmer without Cutcliffe was an average coach. Discipline went to pot without Cutcliffe and underachieving became the norm. Mediocre football was rewarded. Fulmer could lose to Alabama, Georgia, Florida and one other team each year in blowout fashion and still get an automatic raise/extension because of the stupid 8 win clause.

Fulmer was really good with boosters (how he got the ok after Majors was fired) and they were happy as long as we had some wins and they could get business done in the luxury levels. The wins got fewer. The image of the program began slipping and finally the right boosters said he could be fired. But it was at least four seasons too late, if not more. We were hopelessly behind in the SEC coaching race. In the 2000-2008 timeframe Fulmer was behind Tuberville, Richt, Spurrier, Saban, Meyer and Miles. He finished below Bobby Johnson at Vandy his last two seasons without Cutcliffe in 2005 and 2008.

Alabama, Florida, Auburn and LSU proved you could hire and fire your way to success. We were close but too stupid to hire the right guy. We lost both Gary Patterson and Brian Kelly when they would have taken the job. Patterson averaged about 11 wins a year for the next 7 or 8 years after we passed on him and Brian Kelly has had ND in the playoffs since we passed on him and is probably about to go back there this year. We're so dumb we passed on Kelly then hired his coattail rider.

But there we are. The wheels fell off in 1999 when we retuned the most talented team in the nation and went 9-3. The engine blew up in 2001 when we lost to LSU. The transmission went out the next year when we started #2 in the nation with a loaded team and went 8-5. In 2005 the car caught fire when we had a losing season and finished behind Vanderbilt. In 2006-7 Cutcliffe returned and it was like the mechanic who fixed the clunker Barney got to make the car seem fine. But once Cutcliffe was gone the car went over the cliff and it's been mostly down there since. Dobbs almost pulled it out but Butch was just too much dead weight. Now the engine compartment is filled with cornbread and we are sitting at the bottom of the ocean.
Honestly man this is like the most beautiful thing I’ve ever read on this site.
 
#17
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#17
I've looked and looked for a reason we went down this decline. What I see js the most successful coaches in UT history were tied to our school, they had a vested interest. Even the general came back twice to coach. I believe we will not be successful until we find this head coach with a connection to our school. Jmo
You people are ruining our women’s basketball program, now you want to bring this crap to football? Having a vested interest in something doesn’t make you good at it, it makes you hard to fire. Ex. Holly freaking Warlick
 
#18

ReelfootVol

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#18
Fulmer without Cutcliffe was an average coach. Discipline went to pot without Cutcliffe and underachieving became the norm. Mediocre football was rewarded. Fulmer could lose to Alabama, Georgia, Florida and one other team each year in blowout fashion and still get an automatic raise/extension because of the stupid 8 win clause.

Fulmer was really good with boosters (how he got the ok after Majors was fired) and they were happy as long as we had some wins and they could get business done in the luxury levels. The wins got fewer. The image of the program began slipping and finally the right boosters said he could be fired. But it was at least four seasons too late, if not more. We were hopelessly behind in the SEC coaching race. In the 2000-2008 timeframe Fulmer was behind Tuberville, Richt, Spurrier, Saban, Meyer and Miles. He finished below Bobby Johnson at Vandy his last two seasons without Cutcliffe in 2005 and 2008.

Alabama, Florida, Auburn and LSU proved you could hire and fire your way to success. We were close but too stupid to hire the right guy. We lost both Gary Patterson and Brian Kelly when they would have taken the job. Patterson averaged about 11 wins a year for the next 7 or 8 years after we passed on him and Brian Kelly has had ND in the playoffs since we passed on him and is probably about to go back there this year. We're so dumb we passed on Kelly then hired his coattail rider.

But there we are. The wheels fell off in 1999 when we retuned the most talented team in the nation and went 9-3. The engine blew up in 2001 when we lost to LSU. The transmission went out the next year when we started #2 in the nation with a loaded team and went 8-5. In 2005 the car caught fire when we had a losing season and finished behind Vanderbilt. In 2006-7 Cutcliffe returned and it was like the mechanic who fixed the clunker Barney got to make the car seem fine. But once Cutcliffe was gone the car went over the cliff and it's been mostly down there since. Dobbs almost pulled it out but Butch was just too much dead weight. Now the engine compartment is filled with cornbread and we are sitting at the bottom of the ocean.
The first two sentences of this lengthy post gives the honest truth about Tennessee Football since Johnny Majors was fired for Phillip Fulmer !!!!!! Strictly my opinion !
 
#21

volfan411

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#21
In my mind we got here by hiring Dooley. I thought when Kiffin left they should have done an interim and hired a coach the next season. Of course insight is 20/20.
 
#22

volfan411

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#22
Had Tee Martin not played here he wouldn't even have a job in college football right now, take off the orange glasses
So getting hired at Kentucky, USC and interviewing for smaller HC positions had only to do with him playing at UT? Come on he might only have a job here because of Fulmer but Tee will be hired somewhere if he wasn’T here.
 
#23

GregAmsler

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#23
Why is the football program gotten in this state?
Were we ever “special” like some believe. Career 70% winners. Occasionally getting enough talent to win championships. I think LSU has done that twice with coaches not that great. Fulmer won 1 NC and it took 2 miracle finishes + playing against a back up QB in the champ game.
In the modern era of SEC, when money is everywhere, and most of the schools are hiring the best available, Fulmer struggled. Was Tenn just too slow to adjust and just got left behind.
Is there a problem / different philosophy in the adm that keeps Tenn from moving forward.
Some say throwing money at a proven coach will work, but I have continually argued you cannot hire a proven winner away from their current job. You only get them bigger raises. Has Chip Kelly worked out, Harbough, Jimbo, Leach, Gundy, Taggart. Are any worth $7-8M a year? Great coaches don’t leave the programs they have built, unless they have embarrassed them.
Fulmer left no coaching tree and no one capable of replacing him. It takes a special talent to run a big program in the best of circumstances.. Finding that person takes a lot of skill and even more luck.
My opinion is Tenn keep Fulmer too long ( and I totally understand why) and the football world changed so quickly that they were behind when the change was made. Then the adm made a bad decision in the hire (at the maturity level Kiffin had) which delayed the stabilization even longer. By that time everyone was hiring best available and Tenn could not keep up. Now getting lucky is their only hope. Money will not work.
Now for my crazy answer out of this....Fire Pruitt at end of the season. LET Fulmer be interim HC and AD with same salary. He could recruit on his personality and probably keep most of the class. Try to hire Cutcliffe for $2M he makes now. Let the program stabilize and go from there. In a year or 2 maybe Tee or somebody already on staff will be ready to take over without a complete restart.
Other than your solution, I agree with much of what you say. Fulmer did not leave a coaching tree. And the reason for that had a lot to do with his reason for failing at the end: he wouldn’t leave his comfort zone and he wouldn’t hire the best assistants. How many games (possibly championships) were lost because he kept Larry Slade as the DB coach, for example?

I also agree about trying to throw money at a big name. It rarely works. And you have to get lucky for it to happen (like Alabama’s timing with Saban and Ohio State’s with Meyer). And even when you can pull it off, it often fails (Harbaugh, Kelly, Frost, to name a few). Most highly successful coaches either got their head coaching start at the school where they became successful after being hired from the assistant ranks (Stoops, Riley, Dabo, Smart, Cristobol, Day, Sitake) or were hired to a P5 school after having success as a mid major head coach (Brian Kelly).

Tennessee is going to have to hire a guy who becomes a great coach at Tennessee. And for now, and in 2021, the coach is Jeremy Pruitt. We need to understand that and hope he turns it around. This is a weird year. Maybe he breaks through in 2021 because he’s had enough time to change the culture. Because the talented 2020 freshman actually get a spring and fall to develop. Because Bailey or Salter (someone other than JG) becomes the starting QB. Because a coaching change or two helps the lines become good. Who knows. I lived through 5-6 in 1988 and then the back to back SEC titles that followed. I’ve seen embattled coaches come back to become highly successful. We don’t know how this thing will end until it does.

I’m over this season. It sucks. But I’m a Tennessee Vol til the day I die. I’m wearing my Vols cap today and I’ll wear my Vols polo tomorrow and if anyone says anything, hell with em.
 
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#24

volfan411

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#24
Other than you solution, I agree with much of what you say. Fulmer did not leave a coaching tree. And the reason for that had a lot to do with his reason for failing at the end: he wouldn’t leave his comfort zone and he wouldn’t hire the best assistants. How many games (possibly championships) were lost because he kept Larry Slade as the DB coach, for example?

I also agree about trying to throw money at a big name. It rarely works. And you have to get lucky for it to happen (like Alabama’s timing with Saban).

Tennessee is going to have to hire a guy who becomes a great coach at Tennessee. And for now, and in 2021, the coach is Jeremy Pruitt. We need to understand that and hope he turns it around. This is a weird year. Maybe he breaks through in 2021 because he’s had enough time to change the culture. Because the talented 2020 freshman actually get a spring and fall to develop. Because Bailey or Salter (someone other than JG) becomes the starting QB. Because a coaching change or two helps the lines become good. Who knows. I lived through 5-6 in 1988 and then the back to back SEC titles that followed. I’ve seen embattled coaches come back to become highly successful. We don’t know how this thing will end until it does.

I’m over this season. It sucks. But in a Tennessee Vol til the day I die. I’m wearing my Vols cap today and I’ll wear my Vols polo tomorrow and if anyone says anything, hell with em.
Totally agree Fulmer either refused to develop or hire coaches while he was here that someday could take over the program.
 
#25

Teeman

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#25
Fulmer without Cutcliffe was an average coach. Discipline went to pot without Cutcliffe and underachieving became the norm. Mediocre football was rewarded. Fulmer could lose to Alabama, Georgia, Florida and one other team each year in blowout fashion and still get an automatic raise/extension because of the stupid 8 win clause.

Fulmer was really good with boosters (how he got the ok after Majors was fired) and they were happy as long as we had some wins and they could get business done in the luxury levels. The wins got fewer. The image of the program began slipping and finally the right boosters said he could be fired. But it was at least four seasons too late, if not more. We were hopelessly behind in the SEC coaching race. In the 2000-2008 timeframe Fulmer was behind Tuberville, Richt, Spurrier, Saban, Meyer and Miles. He finished below Bobby Johnson at Vandy his last two seasons without Cutcliffe in 2005 and 2008.

Alabama, Florida, Auburn and LSU proved you could hire and fire your way to success. We were close but too stupid to hire the right guy. We lost both Gary Patterson and Brian Kelly when they would have taken the job. Patterson averaged about 11 wins a year for the next 7 or 8 years after we passed on him and Brian Kelly has had ND in the playoffs since we passed on him and is probably about to go back there this year. We're so dumb we passed on Kelly then hired his coattail rider.

But there we are. The wheels fell off in 1999 when we retuned the most talented team in the nation and went 9-3. The engine blew up in 2001 when we lost to LSU. The transmission went out the next year when we started #2 in the nation with a loaded team and went 8-5. In 2005 the car caught fire when we had a losing season and finished behind Vanderbilt. In 2006-7 Cutcliffe returned and it was like the mechanic who fixed the clunker Barney got to make the car seem fine. But once Cutcliffe was gone the car went over the cliff and it's been mostly down there since. Dobbs almost pulled it out but Butch was just too much dead weight. Now the engine compartment is filled with cornbread and we are sitting at the bottom of the ocean.
I couldn't agree more. To everything. I've always maintained Fulmer's success was due, in large part, to Cutcliffe. Alabama got lucky. They went through several coaches over a 10-year span, and wanted Rich Rod, before Mal Moore literally went to Saban's house and begged him to take the job. Florida got lucky too. They wanted Scott Frost and "settled" for Dan Mullen, who probably would've ended up at UT. Auburn is lucky to have Malzahn, but they don't realize it. LSU wins on talent alone. The Mad Hatter and Coach O won a championship despite themselves. It took a once in a decade QB to do it. Kiffin would've done well if he had stayed, but you're right. We should've gone after Patterson. I really wanted Mullen three years ago, but was OK with Pruitt. Who really knows what's going on? There are so many variables and so much we don't see. I loved Josh Dobbs and appreciate him more than ever now.
 

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