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I can remember the end of the Bill Battle era because of the excitement felt by Tennessee fans that Johnny was coming home to UT after winning the NC with Pittsburgh. It took a few years but Majors returned Tennessee to national prominence and won 3 SEC Championships before that fateful 1992 season. We all know how Coach Fulmer came to be the head coach with Majors being forced out. It was an ugly time in Knoxville but as long as the Vols were winning the bad feelings were forgotten. Then CPF grew complacent and the team slid into a 2nd tier status in the conference along with the multiple player issues with law enforcement. The Fulmer Cup sums it up. If only UT had made the right call with Fulmer's replacement we wouldn't be in this rotten situation. Who knew Pete Carroll was going to bail on USC opening Kiffin's dream job the year after he was hired at Tennessee? When Kiffin left us hanging there was a mad scramble to find a coach ASAP which led to the hiring of the unprepared Derek Dooley. CDD did some good things on The Hill but he just couldn't get the wins needed to be successful and had to go. Now the eyes of Vol Nation turn to AD Hart to get this choice absolutely right otherwise we will continue to be mired in mediocrity for the rest of this decade. Gruden was never a realistic choice and now Gundy & Strong have turned us down. This is a stressful test for Hart to see if he has what it takes to find the right leader to return the Big Orange to an elite status. We all are waiting with baited breath to see who Hart will announce and pray to the football gods that they will rain blessings upon us with the right guy for this job. Personally I like Gary Patterson of TCU. He battles the big boys in Texas for talent and he coaches them up and runs a fine program. If he has any hopes of proving himself in the best CFB conference Tennessee would be a great place for him. I know the Southern Miss fans down here around New Orleans loved Fedora and hated to see him leave for UNC. I just don't know much about him as a coach. Bob Diaco is Notre Dame's DC and he did one heck of a job with their defense. Keep Jim Chaney as OC and Diaco can run the defense. In the end we will all hope that whomever Hart hires that he is wildly successful. I am not sure many of us could handle the stress of three or four more years of being the basement dweller of the SEC. Just not good for the heart or the psyche. Go Vols!!!
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