Adams: Team Extreme (UT) can silence its detractors



Given Tennessee’s dominance in November since 1985 (79-9), how likely is it that the Vols will win out and go to the SEC Championship game in Atlanta?

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Tennessee's football team is two victories away from an SEC East Division championship. It's three victories away from one of the greatest turnarounds in school history.

What if UT won the SEC championship?

Sure, I feel a little silly asking the question. As ineptly as this team has performed in so many games, it seemingly would be overmatched against what could be a No. 1-ranked LSU team in the conference championship game.

But almost anything can happen in one game, particularly this season. Appalachian State over Michigan is one example. Stanford over Southern Cal is an even better example.

The SEC landscape also has been littered with upsets. Why would one more be so farfetched?

I realize it's premature to consider an LSU-UT game. However, it's not too early to take a different look at this UT team.

That's why I raise the possibility of a conference championship. Rarely has a UT team faced such a wide range of possibilities with two games remaining in the regular season.

It could be the first UT team since 1998 to win the SEC championship. Or it could be the first UT team since 1964 to lose to both Vanderbilt and Kentucky.

Something in between is more likely. But the way this season has gone, you shouldn't discount the most extreme options. After all, this has been Team Extreme.

It lost to Florida by 39 points and beat Georgia by 21. It lost to Alabama by 24 points and beat Arkansas by 21. It blew a 21-point lead to South Carolina, then rallied to win in overtime.

Despite all the ups and down, the perception of the team hasn't changed as much as the team's outlook. When you lose to your two biggest rivals by a combined score of 100-37, you don't change your image with a three-game winning streak.

But imagine what three more victories would do for the Vols.

Instead of being remembered as the clowns who gave up 100 points to Florida and Alabama combined, they would be remembered as SEC champions. They also would be remembered as classic overachievers.

And imagine what a conference championship would do for UT coach Phillip Fulmer. The coach on the hot seat could become the coach of the year in the SEC.

He wouldn't just keep his job. He would get a raise.

His former players might even take out another full-page ad (hint, hint) in the News Sentinel. They could deliver their message in four words of large, bold type: "We told you so."

The rest of UT's fans could make a statement, too.

The fan base is divided at this point. Some are ready for a coaching change. Others remain devoted to Fulmer, UT's coach for the last 15 years.

You're apt to see more unity down the stretch. Regardless of how fans feel about the future of the program, they won't ignore the present.

The Vols beat a hot Arkansas team 34-13 on Saturday. They have won three consecutive games and four of their last five SEC games.

There's still a risk in investing emotion in this team. Neither Vanderbilt nor Kentucky is a sure thing, and you can imagine the challenge LSU would present in a conference championship game. But the majority of fans are probably ready to take that risk.

Although they don't know where Team Extreme is headed, the ride has become more appealing.

Sports editor John Adams may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knews.com.

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Comments » 55

mdvol writes:

The team that beat Georgia and Arkansas can beat LSU. UT will beat Vandy by 34 and squeak by in Lexington by 4. LSU will be an 18 point favorite in Atlanta but the underdog mentality will kick in and the Vols will keep LSU from playing for the Nat'l Championship. Paybacks are hell aren't they Tigers???

Bigger_Al writes:

I don't care what all those former UT players say. I'm much more interested in what dolts like jwraymond and crvol think.

VOLINSC writes:

I like the crystal ball you are looking into MDVOL. What a great three weeks it could be! GO VOLS.

ksteelescvol writes:

Well said mdvol, i like the positive thinking. I had to work sat morn so i didn't make the trip to knoxvegas. I proudly sported my orange to the cocks / Gators game, though much to the disapproval of everybody there. I just politely replyed it was too cold to be at a game for third place... Go vols all the way to the ATL

andy112382#209793 writes:

You couldn't script a season any better aimed towards keeping people on edge and watching until that game clock reads 00:00 at the end of the season. The question no longer should be 'can this team win big games, do the have the ability?'........if you don't know the answer to that one yet, first of all it is 'YES!' and second, you don't know anything about football or have been in a cave the past few saturdays.

Lets pull our guys through to the SEC title and beyond. GO VOLS!!!

mdvol writes:

Replay of Arkansas game at 11:30 on SportsSouth.

IceVol writes:

The thought just occurred to me that I could be watching my team in the sugar bowl. Hell yes.

thethommyb writes:

extreme or not, this team will likely (realistically) beat Vandy and UK and go down by a touchdown or two to LSU in ATL.
What then?
changes?
Fulmer? Chavis?
nothing changes?

curious about reality...

andy112382#209793 writes:

thethommyb, even if we go to the SEC title game and were to lose to LSU, I would have to vote 'no changes', might wait to see how we perform in our bowl game to write it in stone, but you have to consider what should have been kept in mind all season.....this is a very young team and we don't lose much going into next season.

The fact we have gotten better as the season wears on is very promosing given that fact.

Yes, we lose Ainge, but next up is most likely Crompton with Coleman and Stephens keeping the competition level up at QB. Brad Cottam and Chris Brown go, but you have Stocker, the young Cottam brother, and possibly Brandon Warren next year (any status updates?) The WRs return and throw in the mix the freshman like Moore, Jones, and Paige should be just that much more ready to play and make an impact. The OL has been rock solid and the biggest loss was going to be Eric Young, but he went out against SC for the year so what you saw against the hogs is what would most likely be our OL next year, I'll take that! Oh, and the little fact our RB stable returns.

Defense, Eric Berry....'nough said there. Possibly even get Morley back (man, Berry and Morley at safety!) with Willingham, Stewart, Rogan, Johnson, and Vinson battling it out at CB. Bolden is back, Williams is back, Mitchell goes but Ben Martin should be good to go, Ayers is back, Mayo and McCoy back and I think we have a handful of LBs that can step in for Karl.

In other words, it we make it to the SEC title game this year, there is plenty of promise to think this is just the begining of moving back up to where we belong. I know I am pulling for that. As long as I don't hear anyone rooting for us to fail just for the sake of getting rid of some coaches, that is just sickening.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

I truly believe that 100% of us support the Orange team and always will! To express concern when concern is called for is not anti-Vols and never will be! Sometimes, you must throw tea in the harbor and not blindly support a lack of effort and readiness (Fla and Bama, lest we get giddy)! Vol fans want to win the winnable games (all) and not look like Ned trailing by 39! It happens way too often especially lately and I don't know what the fix is! My 2 cents worth is games come down to MOTIVATION!! Who truly wants it the most! Bear B said, somewhere in the middle of the third quarter, talent takes over. We have the talent, just not the results! Scared to death of Vandy, not to mention Ky! This could un-ravel, I pray not! Well, back out to picking up cans to get the $29.95 for PPV. Go Vols!

RemembertheAlamo writes:

andy112382....as I stated earlier in another column post....we will have one of the better teams than we have ever had next year...probably as good if not better than the 1998 team, but we may not win all the games because the competition is better than it was in '98. But it will be a great ride. Go Vols

daxvolfan writes:

"There's still a risk in investing emotion in this team."

Ain't that the truth!! I love the Vols, I hope they win the next 2, win in Atlanta and then in the bowl, but I'm afraid to get too exicited. I don't know if the team that took it to UGA and Arkansas will show up or the team that gave up against Florida or Bama will. I will cheer them on regardless, but they are so inconsistent!!

eb502us#225637 writes:

The only thing that is extreme is this article. Yes, the Vols are playing much better than earlier in the season, however, to call this one of the greatest turnarounds in UT history is nothing short of extreme. With every team in our division dropping games right and left, it really seems that it's a matter of survival rather than a particular team going out and winning it. When was the last time a team with 3 losses still had a chance to win the division?

innocuous_infidel writes:

Occasionally, I believe that the negative & hateful comments on these websites and call-in shows can & do occasionally serve a purpose. This week, they may have actually spurred the players, and possibly, the coaches, to play their most inspired game in some time. I think that the coaches, most of them anyway, are old enough and mature enough to let most of the immature ranting roll off their backs. It might not be so easy for the players, whose psyches & egos are still in the formative stages. Although I find it very entertaining to read these blogs, I can get ticked off to the point of just shaking my head in disbelief when I read some of the personal attacks on the coaching staff, particularly on CPF. I have to believe that he is a fine person and a fine role model for the team. That he can be aware of the things being said about him and find it within himself to respond to questions about it in a restrained and composed manner speaks volumes about the character of this man. Some of these so-called fans have made fun of him for the most ridiculous reasons; his physical appearance, jumping up & down, even chewing gum on the sidelines. Criticism of coaching strategy, game preparation & motivating the players are one thing – that can be perceived as being useful, to a certain point? What is the point of personal attacks regarding things not remotely related to football? Can you imagine how members of CPF’s family must feel when they read these things? Can any of us imagine how we would feel upon reading these things being said about ourselves?

Do I believe that there may be better motivators in the college game? Probably so. Do I believe that there may be coaches who are more forward thinking in their evaluation & preparation for weekly games? Probably so. But, I do not believe that any of those coaches that belong in that category could be enticed into leaving their present positions and jumping into this frying pan without an unprecedented financial commitment on the part of the University of Tennessee. And frankly, I do not believe that the university wants, nor is able to go out on that limb.

So, all of you whiners and snot-noses - just keep up what you're doing. It tickles me to see most of you making such spectacles of yourselves - and in the end, you end up doing what you really don't want to do, and that is to make it more likely than not that CPF will be retained for another few years.

Let's stay focused on Vandy this week. It wouldn't be surprising to see a less focused effort, so be prepared to stay behind this team in such an event. Go Vols.

jweaver3#395614 writes:

I agree with touchdntn, The way we are playing we have to take this one snap at a time and focus on every snap if not Vandy or UK could beat us. We don't have the luxury this year of throwing our jerseys on the field and winning the games. If our defense steps up like Ga and Ark. games we can beat anyone. I feel much better about our secondary every game that Eric Berry plays, this kid is awesome and becoming the leader bach there and if Hef keeps tackling we will be OK
GO VOLS!!!
THINK VANDY AND ONLY VANDY
TXVOLSFAN

sandboxpup#222155 writes:

Geoff -

I can honestly say that I agreed with every word of your first post. I'm sure this must be some sign of the impending apocalypse, but I'll nevertheless give you props where they are due. I, too, am glad to see amount of effort put in by all parties involved. Keep it up, Vols...we are behind you!!

surfing_vol writes:

I am gladly eating crow after this weekend. The second half made me somewhat nervous, though. But shutting McFadden down!? No special teams screw-ups?! What happened?

In terms of the future, and as a Vol grad living in a family of Vandy grads, two comments: (1) we'd better whip Vandy Saturday; and (2) PLEASE coach and play to win whatever bowl game we wind up playing.

Southland writes:

critics of bad play does not mean that we are not true UT fans I get physically sick before the Bama and Flordia game because I had rather take a beating myself than to lose to either team. Those of us that critisize poor coaching and poor playing love UT as much as the starry eyed pompous folks that say "go team" even when the team is going in the tank. PLease, Mike Hamilton, if we were to win out, do not give Coach Fulmer a raise and please do not give him an extension. Lets see a SEc championship and a shot at a national title before he is rewarded for several years of mediocre play and coaching.

arkyvol writes:

turnaround? please! one swallow doesn't make a spring, and one decent game doesn't make a champion. i hope its true, but i'm not calling my bookie yet.

ellisonfamily writes:

I bleed orange. I was born in East Tennessee, and while I am not currently residing there, I scream long and loud about UT in the middle of Georgia Bulldog country. That having been said, there is some good news and bad news. The good news is that Saturday saw the best tackling I have seen on a Tennessee defense in years. I do not remember more than 1 or 2 missed tackles on McFadden all day. That is beyond great...it is almost miraculous. Now...here is the bad news. We can't seem to really play well on the road. I'm glad our boys love Neyland Stadium (they have played great there this year), but they are going to have to play well away from home (even the Miss. State game was not fantastic).

jlange#632002 writes:

Vandy is what matters and look how many are getting ahead of themselves again--

finn writes:

pdhuff and Alcofc, great posts. Blind allegience to anything is never a good idea and, as fans, we have every right to voice displeasure if the program is heading the wrong direction. It was great to see a win on Saturday but that doesn't cause me to immediately forget Cal, Bama, or FL. We need consistancy and I would love to see the team put together complete games every game not just when Phil is on the hotseat.

todd#529269 writes:

Bring on Candy.........i mean Vandy!

cstepesq writes:

I agree with Bigger_Al. jwraymond and crvol must have a lot more insight into the UT program than almost 200 former players, so I will agree with them that no matter what happens, Fulmer should be fired since he's only the winningest active coach in NCAA football.

cstepesq writes:

Whoops, looks like we need to add TouchdownTN to the list of expert couch potato analysts, along crvol and jwraymond. Only an undefeated season every season is acceptable, right guys?

iowavol writes:

And silence their detractors they should. Yes, we have a right and an obligation to voice our concerns. But the venomous diatribes of TDTn, raywhatever and CR-anti-vol are poison to our program. Some think these words motivate players, perhaps. I would suggest it galvanized the players to count on only themselves. And think about the recruits who are reading their phooey. Like it or not, getting folks to come to Knoxville from Florida, or Ohio, or California, or name 15 other places is difficult. It's one the great stories that make up this current coaching staff. They are tremendous recruiter - they sell the facilities, they sell the quality of life, the tradition and they sell the fan base. I would suggest that this season, the CR-anti-vols on this website will cost us a recruit or two. In fact, it will probably cost us a thoroughbred running back like the last four that slipped through our fingers.

Go ahead, post your complaints, make your suggestions and do the best thing that can be done for the CR-anti-vols on this website and ignore them - they will go away without an audience.

DCVolFan (Inactive) writes:

Go Vols!!!! Gotta BELIEVE!!!!!

phi0129 writes:

cstep: Another classic statistic that you fail to explain thoroughly. I mentioned this before, any economist will tell you that the "statistics" you hear portray a picture that they want to paint (it's all in the wording). For example, the fact "Most automobile accidents occur within 5 miles of your house" means to the people who can't think intelligently that I should be especially careful around that area. But what it says to me is that of course this is true. You travel more often in this radius than anywhere else. So it would make sense that you wreck more in this area due to the fact that you travel exponentially more in this area.
The "active winningest coach" is for coaches at the same program over 10 years. This list includes only 4 other coaches. Paterno, Bowden, Carr, and someone else. So out of 5 coaches he is the winningest. Still believe in that statistic?

rickhillal#577233 writes:

If the UT football team keeps winning and the recruits keep coming, despite all the constructive criticism on this and other websites, who gets the credit for the success? It takes a village to pay for a football stadium, including large donors, season ticket holders, city/county bond holders, etc. Should those who pay for the facilities, those who coach in the facilities, those who play in the facilities or those who watch the games remotely broadcasted be credited with the team's success? All of the above. Whatever it takes, let go out there and pay/play/root for the Volunteer State and beat those wannabe student athletes of "THE University of Tennessee" in Nahsville.

vol_in_lsu_land writes:

....The "active winningest coach" is for coaches at the same program over 10 years. This list includes only 4 other coaches. Paterno, Bowden, Carr, and someone else. So out of 5 coaches he is the winningest. Still believe in that statistic?

Excuse me?
What a load. Nope, it isn't. It is the "active winningest coach" period. Spurrier is on that list and his tenure at Duke and USC is INCLUDED in his winning percentage. The great "ole ball coach" lines up FOURTH on that list...yeah the guy who is supposed to be the best coach in the league.

Are you trying to suggest that there are only five coaches in NCAA Div-1A with ten or more years? Pshawww...what a laugh.

Again, the "highest winning percentage of coaches active ten or more years" (which Fulmer and Loyd Carr happen to be flip-flopping right now) is for ALL COACHES CURRENTLY ACTIVE WITH THEIR ENTIRE BODY OF COACHING (all schools) INCLUDED IN THE RECORD.

If there is a flaw to this statistic, I will admit that it is notable that Fulmer has head coached at only one program, a program that was healthy when he took it over. Admittedly guys like Spurrier (program builders) have taken hits when coaching weak programs (Duke, USC)

Regardless, he does own the record and the nature of the record includes all the current active coaches with ten or more seasons (in Div-1A, not "just at one school") and this list is considerably longer than just "5 coaches".

Besides, we all know that in Div 1A NCAA football, it takes winning to keep a job ten years or longer anyway.

KENVOL writes:

I'm all for Tn. winning out and hope they do. I'm just worried about the lack of effort in our loses this year. I'm hoping we win out and if we do no changes. If we don't I say clean house. Fulmer has had his chances and has made little use of them. We have backed into 1st place this year. We have played two good games though. We have also not played several games not just the loses. Any way win out VOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!

phi0129 writes:

Well there you go...Spurrier was the 5th...how that escaped me earlier I forgot. I guess I worded it wrong before. But the fact remains that there are relatively few coaches who coach at the collegiate football level for 10+ years. Alot are fired, move on, coach at a crappy school (as you mention), so on. I do think it is impressive, but I don't think it is as meaningful as people lead on. Not to mention, what do you think that statistic looked like in 2004 (barely over 10 years i believe if my math is correct) compared to now? Do we want to wait and see in 3 more years when we has another 12-15 losses and is no longer #1?
Long ago past performance does not indicate future success. The inflated numbers of the 90's does not translate into current and future success today.

vol_in_lsu_land writes:

"Long ago past performance does not indicate future success."

Just as recent "mediocrity" (if that is truly what it is) doesn't indicate future failure.

"Do we want to wait and see in 3 more years when we has another 12-15 losses and is no longer #1?"

To answer your question, if I can decipher your poor grammer, yes I am perfectly willing to give Fulmer another 3 years because from where I sit we have just as much opportunity to improve as anything else. The 12-15 loss figure you quote, if you want to actually analyze statistics, is the most misleading and inflated number anyone throws out there. That's one year of 5-6 and no bowl. What is dishonest and "inflated" is to ignore the other 6,7 years of this decade where we averaged 9,10 wins a year. I will be the FIRST to say that Fulmer hasn't met his own lofty standards as of late. Nobody can run from the poor bowl showing this decade thus far. What you negative ninnies fail to realize is that ABSOLUTELY EVERY collegiate football program goes through down cycles. It is rarely the case that these are solved through coaching changes. Penn State has been through a "nittany lions" share of bad years, only to see great years come around just as often. JoePa has longevity and he has PROVEN that when a program sticks with a winning coach that success becomes the rule rather than the exception.

My God people. We really do stand at the brink right now and all anyone can do is moan, gripe, and analyze this to death. If we beat KY, Vandy, we have a golden opportunity. UT and Fulmer have proven in the past to be more than capable of seizing such an opportunity. What will you people be saying come three weeks from now if that SEC champion banner is flying over Neyland? Huh? Why can't you just shut your pie-holes and wait and see what happens? is that so difficult?

Yes it is I imagine. The problem here is you people are bored. You are bored with the status quo. That happens. I went through a divorce a year ago with a woman who got bored. She was so bored that she went out looking for greener pastures while we were still married. I was a great husband, doing everything I was supposed to do. Faithfull, hard working, loving, a good father. She just fell into this modern era trap of gimmee, flashy, exciting, knock your socks off new, disposable, drive thru..yadda yadda. Some guy came along. Guess what? I have had some interesting conversations with her. She isn't happy. The green of that pasture has already faded. She threw away a FAMILY (we have a kid) for more of the same. Sometimes things seem like a "rut" but it takes a little wisdom and forsight to know that after every rut is an eventual happy time.

What is happening here very much mirrors the problems of society. Anything worth having long term requires patience. Yes, there comes a time when a "divorce" is the only option. But given the possibilities of this season, that time is not now.

vol_in_lsu_land writes:

I'm going to add something else and this is quite insultive but it's the truth. Some of you folks, not all but some, have no idea what you are. You are "sheeple". Let me tell you...it is real easy, very tempting, to join the negative choir and want coach Fulmer fired. I've spent a great deal of time thinking on that very topic. I've seen all the same stats that get bantered around here dozens of times. I have no love or connection to the Fulmer family or his staff. The closest connection I have is my step-dad's friend who has been to the Fulmer home for a dinner party. If anything, I am "closer" to the Majors era because when I was a teen I met coach Majors on two occasions when I ushered at a movie theatre in Maryville that he used to take his wife to. On one of those occasions he smelled of liquor and was quite rude but we won't go there.

The easy road is the "Fire Fulmer" road. It takes little thought. Just like my ex, once she made her decision she got tunnel vision and no amount of swaying would change her mind. The "fire Fulmer" bunch are on a campaign of sorts. You people are trying to advertise your position with cute punch lines like "Foolmer", "Phat Phil" etc. Eventually the sheeple get swayed by the trends of the day and that trend is to be tired of Fulmer. I'm not going to question your fan-ship or loyalty to UT football (though I do on occasion). What I question is your critical thinking skills, your lack of patience, and lack of forsight. You are the typical consumer drones who go out and buy the "Hummers" (or insert flashy expensive product here) because that is the cool, trendy thing to do. No, maybe you are cheap and have never bought an expensive car, but I'd bet my last dollar you are suckered daily in other ways.

andy112382#209793 writes:

vols76, that is true, this year being as wild as it has been with several teams having the ability to score a huge upset most likely will not be the last season like this. Several teams have atheletes in the right spots to cause problems for those teams that are historically in the top 10-20. Good point about the 1998 team, but it might just be to the point we wouldn't HAVE to go undefeated to be the champs, look at Florida last year and LSU being #1 at this point this season. Should be fun as you said! We certainly have the pieces to the puzzle it seems, now lets just hope they are all in place!

GO VOLS!!!

Colliervol writes:

Easy question then vol-in-lsu-land. You question some folks' "patience". Just how "patient" are we supposed to be. Should we go another 10 years before we see another SEC title? I think the fan base has been exceedingly patient given the inconsistency we've witnessed in the last 10 years.

My "critical thinking skills" tell me that a program with the resources we have should expect more than we've seen. But maybe I expect too much. Maybe I should just be happy with Peach Bowls. How about you? What are your expectations of this program?

Now if we can just win the next two, I will consider my wishes (well known since 2005) satisfied. All I asked for after that year was to show improvement. Last year did show improvement and an appearance in Atlanta against LSU is another step in the right direction. No reasonable person would argue with that. (Of course, we have a couple of "fans" who don't fall into that reasonable category but I won't even pay attention to them. Not worth the time.)

GreenbackMike writes:

TouchdownTN,
You and I have had our differences but I have to say you impress me more and more each week. I now appologizw to you for all the times I questioned your "fanhood" GO VOLS!!!!

Colliervol writes:

Interesting debate that I heard on the radio this afternoon. One of the hosts proposed the idea that Georgia could actually benefit more by UT winning out and going to Atlanta against LSU (if Georgia also wins out that is).

His premise was that if LSU wins in Atlanta, they more than likely will be in the BCS title game. The Sugar Bowl has the last pick among the BCS pickings and probably will get stuck with Hawaii who projects to go undefeated. In order to sell tickets, they then would go for an SEC team to fill the other slot. This host said there is no way that the Sugar Bowl would take the championship game loser (in this case, UT) and they would take Georgia instead. Leaving UT left to one of the lower bowls. Not fair considering we blasted Georgia but that's what they thought. A lot of ifs there but it was an interesting discussion.

Of course, if UT were to get there and upset LSU, then everybody's apple cart would be turned upside down. Should be fun to watch.

LargeOrange writes:

Vol in LSU, I appreciate your posts above and I think quite a few on here (my self included) could learn a little from your experiences and maturity. I am sorry about your divorce and all though I have not experienced that, I can say I have contemplated it a few times, and am glad I waited till my anger passed before making serious decisions like that. I don't mind the people that post when they are not happy with one thing or another about this football program, but it is the vile, immature, personal attacks that degrade our team and our school. I predicted a victory and I calmly explained why I thought so, I don't currently own orange glasses or particuarly love Phil Fulmer, as I have said before. If I thought we could replace Phil tomorrow or last week and with-in 2 to 3 years be better off, I might really consider that possibility, but the fact is that is not my call and like nearly 100% of you on this board, it is not your call either. All I say is until the people who's job it is to make that call do it, then we need to stop the attacks and support this team and that means the whole team (CPF included). Incidentially, when CPF leaves UT for whatever reason, and I hope it is after a Championship (ala John Ward), you can count on me to support he new guy even when it is not easy (like after a big win). You same guys can call me a kool-aid drinker if you like, I remember when it was called bleeding orange.

takebkknox writes:

It will be hilarious to hear Adams' & Hyams' rhetoric as we get closer and closer to playing LSU in the Championship game. Actually, it's already started. How about the comment comparing UT to Stanford above? You could listen to the venomous rantings on the radio too but I'd suggest against it.

eefor10c writes:

Thank you LargeOrange. Yours is a fantastic post! Like every other TRUE Vol fan I did not like the losses we had. Yet, I continued to go to the game, cheer my loudest, and hope for the best. I will continue to be a Vol fan no matter what. After a loss I will not pretend that I could have done a better job coaching or call for Fulmer to be fired. Most of all, I will not hope for a UT loss to get Fulmer fired and then come back after three wins and try to convince everyone what a great Volunteer fan I am!

GO VOLS!!!!

vol_in_lsu_land writes:

Thx LargeOrange.
I'm quite OVER that part of my life but here's why I drew that parallel..
A) LOTs of people on this board can probably relate. B) It is a perfect parallel to the Fulmer situation.

I've seem a lot of people talk about UT being a business...compared to sales. If you don't meet goals, your job is on the line. Certainly this is true! But here's the thing...I don't know a company in the world that sets unrealistic expectations and fires people for not meeting them. If they do, then they don't stand a chance in the long term.

The biggest factor in sales is the market. If consumers are not spending, then all salesmen suffer. The most skilled at their craft will see a drop in business. It's a numbers game.

We are trying to say that Phil Fulmer needs to meet X expectation. "What have you done lately" etc. If Fulmer is competitivly producing, then how can we say he needs to go? UT's record (I saw somewhere) in this decade is STILL 3rd in the conference overall. Maybe the conference crown has eluded us, but we maybe this year! If I owned a hamburger joint, and I had 12 competitors in town, would I consider my establishment a failure if I had the 3rd best profit among my competition? Would I fire my manager? Wouldn't I consider other factors like location, price, quality? There is a lot more involved here (ie Fulmer) than just W vs L. Fulmer is widely regarded as one of the best recruiters in college football. Can we be gauranteed that the next coach will do as well?
If my burger joint manager was well known for hiring competent, customer oriented employees, and if over the long haul I made significantly more money than I lost, I would consider him a quality manager. Now granted, if profits saw a downward trend (and the explanation was poor management) then I might have to consider a change. But as I see it, there are a lot of circumstances involved in SEC football that point to other issues besides coaching. It isn't like we play in the ACC for crying out loud! There are at least five other schools in the SEC with winning tradition on par with UT (Bama, LSU, Aub, Georgia, and FL come to mind) It isn't a coincidence that these are the programs that have been most competitive the past 10+ years. Does anyone seriously think that UT has fallen below these other schools? I think we're still ahead of Bama despite this year's loss. Auburn is not even ranked. Georgia has been consistantly good the past few years but we handed them their ass. LSU is going to start fading in the next year or two. Florida just has an easy time recruiting (being in Florida) but is performing sub-par.

UT is still right there in the mix with the top teir SEC programs. Why do we feel like UT is supposed to have a monopoly on football..a God given right to be best? Was it ever really? MY DAD was in diapers when UT had the level of success it has under Fulmer..when Neyland roamed the sidelines.

Lets get real!!!

jim_bell#606576 writes:

Innocous_Infidel & Vol_in_Isu_land,
Thanks for rational comments of your posts. It's good to know there are still people who are still behind the program, coaches and players win or lose. So nice to read positive comments.

playahata writes:

Adams - everyone knows your a LSU grad and homer. No need to try to set the Vols up for failure against your team, as they are too erratic to win out. Nice try though - you douchebag.

LargeOrange writes:

ilove - Don't make the mistake of thinking TDTN is mature and really wants the VOLS to win above his personal agenda. He is a little man that only resorts to grade school taunts like the fat jokes, Foolmer references, and all the other insults, not only to the poster and the coach, but often to the posters family i.e. mothers, children etc. You give him way too much credit, if you challenge him on his statements he threatens you with violence and hospital visits. Read his posts from just from last week, where he personally says the players suck and will lay down to the almighty Arkansas offense and that we will lose by 35 ... blah blah blah. Touchdown@#, sir is probably the biggest loser and loss lover to infest this board.

leedsvol2007 writes:

I remain a staunch supporter of Fulmer and our effort last Saturday shows again that he can coach.

The euphoria over Arkansas should be tempered with the fact that we are playing two dangerous football teams.

Vandy has shown they are more than capable and have better balance offensively compared to the Hogs.

You have to go back to 1977 to find a Kentucky team this good.

Woodson, Little, Lyons and company are the real deal and they will be tough to beat at home.

Our defense looked like they turned a corner last week but they must continue to play at a high level for us to win the remaining two.

Looking closely the early season weaknesses have improved, tackling is better, we are running the football, and special teams play has taken a big step forward.

This must continue for us to win the last two.

GoVols!

rffloyd#333370 writes:

no matter the outcome Fulmer needs to go....

Singaporehillbilly writes:

Large Orange - Agree with your post 100% about TdTn. As Tennessee continues to win under Fulmer, he will go back to the Bama board where he belongs.

phi0129 writes:

VolinLSU: You do raise some good points in your post. I guess all I really know is that I'm dissapointed in the state of our program. I have lost faith in Fulmer's ability to inspire and motivate our boys. It gets really frustrating when you have superior talent and can't even come close to winning (AL). I mean Miss St. beat them for Christ's sake and exposed JPW as the phony he is. How could we not do this? I am happy that we have shown some signs of life this year. We have played around 6-8 great quarters of football against good competition this year. Hopefully we have turned a corner and can still salvage the season. I just feel that if we continue to keep Fulmer at the helm, we will be having this same argument for the next 3 years. At what point do you think enough is enough and we have to hold Fulmer responsible for mediocre performance?

hoskinsfive#468391 writes:

Andy, Ive thought of all these things too, but remember it's not who we have, but the stupid things we do with them, and our inability to get up for big games. As long as Fulmer is the Coach dont put away your Paxil.And definetly have other things in life that you enjoy like fishing or camping or anything.

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