Strange: Vols in unwanted company with 2-3 start

Mike Strange

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OK, how many of you out there had Tennessee ticketed for 2-3 after the first weekend of October?

Not me. I was down for 4-1, figuring the tough sledding was still to come on the way to 8-4 or 7-5.

I didn't see UCLA coming across three time zones and getting out with a win. My crystal ball didn't portend Auburn as a 5-0 offensive juggernaut that could X-and-O your defense into knots.

Lane Kiffin is still in search of his first win against a BCS opponent. He's also only 2-2 in Neyland Stadium with Georgia on the way Saturday.

Speaking of which, this will be the first meeting between UT and Georgia in which neither team is ranked since 1937, a span of 25 games.

This follows a 26-22 loss to Auburn in which neither the Vols nor Tigers were ranked for the first time since 1982, a span of 16 games.

So, that's one commentary on the state of the union.

Here's another: Georgia won't be intimidated in Neyland Stadium. The Bulldogs got thumped here in 2007 but coach Mark Richt reeled off three consecutive wins in Neyland 2001-05.

It's not exactly sacred ground any more. Starting in 2001, Richt's first season at Georgia, the Vols are 41-17 in Neyland, a 70.7-percent success rate.

A lot of programs would take 71 percent at home but Tennessee shouldn't. Not with all its assets.

The SEC record at home since 2001 is only 20-13, or 60.6 percent. That includes 9-8 since 2005.

But to get back to the moment, 2-3 starts are a novelty at Tennessee, a fact for which the fans should give thanks.

The Vols have started 2-3 only four previous times in the past 30 years. That's in addition to the 0-6 abomination of 1988.

Still, that's where they are and it's no fun. At 2-3, you're far removed from college football's spotlight. What kind of company are you keeping at 2-3?

Here's a stroll around the neighborhood:

Vanderbilt. At least the Vols aren't 0-3 in SEC play.

Mississippi State. Dan Mullen has his first SEC win. Kiffin has to wait until November to play Vandy.

Florida State. Both the Vols and 'Noles are a long way removed from that '98 championship game. At least UT has made the inevitable coaching change.

Washington. An upset of Southern Cal is better than a morale-saving loss at Florida.

Syracuse. Maybe Greg Paulus wouldn't solve UT's quarterback woes. He threw five picks Saturday.

Clemson. After losing to heavy underdog Maryland on Saturday Dabo Swinney reminds Clemson fans of Tommy Bowden.

Maryland. At least the Vols didn't lose at home to MTSU.

Michigan State. Does beating Michigan atone for losing to Central Michigan? Absolutely.

Duke. Was a 34-26 loss to No. 6 Virginia Tech a moral victory that helps recruiting?

Army. Wins over Western Michigan and Ball State. Would be 2-0 in the MAC.

UAB. The Blazers know when to win; they're 2-1 in C-USA.

UTEP. Shocking upset of No. 12 Houston follows a 64-7 loss to Texas. Go figure.

San Diego State. Tyler Bray shouldn't be tempted to re-think his commitment to UT.

New Mexico State. Win at arch-rival New Mexico saves the season. Could any win save UT's season?

UNLV. Six points from being 4-1.

Kent State. Nation's worst third-down converter (17.9 percent).

Western Michigan. Fifteen turnovers already.

What's the one-line sketch of Tennessee? "Quarterback woes hamper Vols,'' perhaps.

Unlike 2009, the previous four 2-3 starts referred to above involved breaking in a new quarterback. Twice, it involved true freshmen, Peyton Manning in 1994 and Casey Clausen in 2000.

Manning and Clausen both ended up righting the ship, playing in a bowl game and putting an 8-4 in the books.

In 1986, sophomore Jeff Francis helped rally the Vols to 7-5, including a bowl win.

You no doubt recall what happened in 2008, Crompton's break-in year. The 2-3 turned into 2-4 and then 5-7.

That's a neighborhood Tennessee wants to escape in 2009. It's looking harder than I thought.

Mike Strange may be reached at strangem@knoxnews.com or 865-342-6276.

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Comments » 44

TommyJack writes:

CLK is mule-headed about JC. Plain and simple.

givehim6 writes:

To be 5-7 again is possible we already have 2 wins if we beat Memphis That gives us 3 and if we beat Vandy that's 4. And if we luck up and beat UK that's 5. Wow sad, being a SEC whipping post is starting to fill normal.

bigorangebolt writes:

Coach Kiffin should bench Crompton now! It is evident the kid does not have the capabilties of a SEC qarterback. We must try something! We cannot sit on our hands and hope. Hope is not a strategy! Let's see what Stephens can do! Coach Kiffin, we love you, but you have to win!
I know it takes time, but we must show improvement! Go Vols!

RoadTrip writes:

Everybody, and I mean everybody if they are honest about the situation, knows that they need to try another QB. But the one person that can make that change has not been willing to do it. We can learn good and bad things about him as a coach and person for that one decision. Doesn't make the pill easier to swallow, however, it helps you to understand the man with the authority.

But that is not enough, they also want us to change for them. Simply put - as fans we are expected to blame all of JC's mistakes and incompetency on everybody and everything before blaming it on him. We are to pay a lot of money to fully support the university and their approved vendors and not express ourselves with displeasure very loudly so as to not upset CLK, the players, the recruits, Grandma or the Easter bunny. We are told that if we do those horrible things like yell "Boo" that it might cause us to do worse as a team and lose recruits. I know we probably can get worse than this on offense (excluding Montario and the O-line), since we were worse last year. We might also lose a few recruits that perceive they can't handle the heat when things stink (wah!). However, we just hired the greatest staff in college football history according to many sources and recruited a top ten class that has half of them playing - after yelling "Boo" for an entire season with many of the recruits at the games. We also responded by not coming to the games and hitting the one's in authority in the pocket.

So all I have got to say to the one in authority to make the decision on who starts at QB and other positions is, "BOO!!!" I have paid for that opportunity as much as I have to yell "Go Vols" when they do things well. If we had not yelled "Boo" at bad decisions last year, you would not be here.

VOLINCALI writes:

CLK is waiting for the by-week before making a move.

Wait another week coach and then give Stephens two weeks to prepare for Bama.

If we win only one game every year I hope its Bama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

FWBVol writes:

I like Jeff Francis and in my dealings with him he has always been a standup guy. But while he posted some great personal numbers at QB, other than his junior year when UT was 10-2-1 the Vols were not that great with him under center. As Mike mentioned, the team was 7-5 his sophomore year, but 5-6 his senior year after an 0-6 start.

teampenny#658108 writes:

in response to TommyJack:

CLK is mule-headed about JC. Plain and simple.

I believe you are right. There is a difference between determined and stubborn. It appears LK does not understand this.

jack_2222#231746 writes:

Lane says he has a 3 year plan. He's not gonna go into year 3 with an inexperienced QB. So a frosh QB has to step up next year at some time.

So Stephens can never be a lock down number one going into next spring. He may start the 2010 season but at some point he'll be supplanted by a frosh like Bray.

That's why Lane is going all the way with JC this year.

tenndave writes:

Why not let Teague try quarter back. That was his high school position. He is too short to be a pocket passer, but with our backs and his speed, let's make him a running quarterback that can throw on the run.

vol_chaz writes:

CLK is addressing the qb issues for next year with Bray, and the special teams with Palardy. We still have 8 D line recruits too. Help is on the way. We played a solid team yesterday, and I don't expect Malzahn to be at a barner next year either.

The1 writes:

The TN-Auburn game and the seasons the two teams are having tell me two things:
1) TN was right to fire Fulmer and
2) Auburn was wrong to fire Tubberville
Neither current coaching staff has had time to change their programs substantially - though I do like the way the Auburn Offensive Coordinator thinks. The current teams are largely the result of the previous coaching staffs.

VolFan21 writes:

Why does everyone think stephens is the greatest thing ever? Yeah cromptons not any good but we all seen stephens last year and hes no better. And some say well put him in for next year if hes our QB next year we are screwed again. Im with Kiff on this one i dont want to get into a qb carosal. Maybe put Stephens in the last few games but not right now. I love the saying the back up qb is the most popular guy on the team.... from what im seeing thats so true. My hope is that Tyler bray is the answer cause the answer at qb is not stephens. Lastly if Stephens does get the chance and does good i will be the first to say i was wrong but i dont think that will happen.

mytrifecta writes:

in response to jack_2222#231746:

Lane says he has a 3 year plan. He's not gonna go into year 3 with an inexperienced QB. So a frosh QB has to step up next year at some time.

So Stephens can never be a lock down number one going into next spring. He may start the 2010 season but at some point he'll be supplanted by a frosh like Bray.

That's why Lane is going all the way with JC this year.

Do we really believe a kid playing highschool today is going to make a significant impact next year? Not likely. For us to have any chance of salvaging this year and being competitive next year Stephens should be under center. He can make the passes this offense requires him to make.

mytrifecta writes:

in response to VolFan21:

Why does everyone think stephens is the greatest thing ever? Yeah cromptons not any good but we all seen stephens last year and hes no better. And some say well put him in for next year if hes our QB next year we are screwed again. Im with Kiff on this one i dont want to get into a qb carosal. Maybe put Stephens in the last few games but not right now. I love the saying the back up qb is the most popular guy on the team.... from what im seeing thats so true. My hope is that Tyler bray is the answer cause the answer at qb is not stephens. Lastly if Stephens does get the chance and does good i will be the first to say i was wrong but i dont think that will happen.

I've yet to see anyone on this site claim Stephens is the "greatest ever". What I have seen is logical thinking, frustrated fans asking for him to be given an opportunity to perform in a game under this new offense. If Crompton showed an ounce of ability when the game is on the line we would not be having this discussion. If Stephens performs then we're all happy, if he doesn't we go back to Crompton. It's that simple. We're 2-3 with no real chance of going to a bowl based on our remaining schedule. What can it possibly hurt to give Stephens a shot?

VolFan21 writes:

in response to supersmo18:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I like your thinking. Your right everyone is so negative about everything. Im not happy about losing either but we are in a rebuilding process. I think the future is bright. This staff has shown it can recruit with last years class and this years top 10 class as of now. One of the bright spots about Kiffins team is they dont lay down and die when they are getting beat unlike Fulmers teams did the last few years

mytrifecta writes:

in response to supersmo18:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

If he fails we go back to JC. Giving the backup a chance when the starter is failing miserably is not a new concept. Many teams have done it and it's not uncommon for it to work out. Again, unless the opporunity is given we will never know. Also, you did make one valid point. Kiffin is obviously concerned that if Stephens plays well he will get backlash for not playing him sooner. And, there's no doubt that would happen. However, if the team comes together and plays better the fans will be forgiving. And, if Kiffin is ready to jettison this season over his ego that's an entirely different issue. With that said, I believe Kiffin is a good hire and he will have success. The QB situation is the only one that makes no sense to me...and as someone who also makes donations and holds season tickets I'm not going to blindly follow our staff.

mytrifecta writes:

in response to supersmo18:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

no doubt there's plenty of places to point fingers. But, the QB position is so critical and when your entire team loses confidence in him...peformance suffers. The game at this level is clearly to fast for him and his numbers show it.

tractoronthepole writes:

Has anyone thought that perhaps Cheaney(Spelling)would be a better offensive play caller than Kiffin. Kiffin stated he was somewhat conflicted in calling the offense now he is head coach.

tdvol1989 writes:

in response to tractoronthepole:

Has anyone thought that perhaps Cheaney(Spelling)would be a better offensive play caller than Kiffin. Kiffin stated he was somewhat conflicted in calling the offense now he is head coach.

Yes, I have. If you read some of Kiffin's comments on why, he said the Offensive Coordinators' focus is on producing stats and points. As a head coach, he is focused on winning games. Huh (needle scratch)! It almost sounded like he thought moving the ball and scoring too much would cause him to lose.

I think his intent is to really try to control the game and pace overall. This is probably related to our overall depth. It is not working too well as far as producing wins, but we have avoided the humiliating losses thus far. And, I have to say, I consider that some progress. Losing is bad, but those 3 touchdown+ losses to rivals was really tough to take. As far as I am concerned, it is some type of progress, though most fans won't agree until we have an offense we can be proud of.

I am not bashing, but I think you should let your coordinators coordinate.

vol_chaz writes:

in response to vol1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

besides bammer, the others should at least be competitive. 8-4 could happen, 7-5 more than likely. No more spread option in our future opponents, our D versus UCLA was awesome. CMK can at least gameplan for these teams, with plenty of film to break down. Crompy ended on a good note, special teams is another story..

69grad writes:

I think 5-7 is probably our result for this season. That will be the outcome if we get lucky in one of the remaining games.

thevoice writes:

in response to vol_chaz:

besides bammer, the others should at least be competitive. 8-4 could happen, 7-5 more than likely. No more spread option in our future opponents, our D versus UCLA was awesome. CMK can at least gameplan for these teams, with plenty of film to break down. Crompy ended on a good note, special teams is another story..

7-5? We haven't even proved we can beat a BCS conference team. How the heck are we going to suddenly go 5-1 against them? I see a maximum of 2 additional wins this year, one of those being Memphis. Too little talent at QB.

volsfannsc writes:

After a disappointing 5-7 season, we are now 2-3. One loss was to the no. 1 team in the country - by 10 points (and God knows they wanted to hang 50 on us). Another loss is to a team that is ranked no.17 - by four points. Some say the glass is half empty. I say the glass is half full. I don't see us going to a bowl this year however optimistic I may be. What I DO see is:
These kids show they want to win in their attitude.
No one gets arrested during official visits like last year.
GPA's and class attendance are up.
Practices are physical with no green jerseys.
Recruiting is up.
Other teams respect our coaching staff.

We have little depth (if any) due in part to the fact that practice is so physical. It's a calculated risk and even CLK has admitted so. Too many of us put emphasis on a recruit labled a 5 star. What happens to the majority of QB's going pro who have won the Heisman....a curse? Our team has been blown across the landscape like tumbleweeds with ever changing schemes and offenses. Recruits given scholarships for a spread offense were so advised for a pro-style. The game didn't change- our whole football philosophy has changed. Do you really think that CLK is going with Crompton beause he's stubborn? Geez, listen to yourselves! As a coach I am sure he is aware that his bottom line is wins. His future, his family's future depends on it. So you really believe that CLK is hanging with Crompton because he's trying to make a point? Don't get me wrong....Crompton is not an SEC caliber QB, but if its all we have- its all we have. We are rebuilding a program that was so off the tracks it was ridiculous. We are rebuilding starting at the foundation- which I feel is a good thing. I see improvement in our foundation- not instant gratification. I'll take this kind of rebuilding every day and twice on Sunday. Be grateful that our coaching staff is rebuilding this program from the ground up, and this will take a few years. Its the finished product I'm looking forward to.

rockytopron writes:

OK, so being 2-5 isn't much fun, but with better QB play we could be 4-1 and maybe even 5-0 which makes it harder to stomach. But we play with the player we have. The fact that I saw improvement is encouraging. Last year, there was no improvement, start to finish. The Vols will be really good again, just not his year.

Go Vols, beat GA!

WytheVol writes:

in response to mytrifecta:

Do we really believe a kid playing highschool today is going to make a significant impact next year? Not likely. For us to have any chance of salvaging this year and being competitive next year Stephens should be under center. He can make the passes this offense requires him to make.

And you came to this conclusion how? Because he did so well last year that he was replaced? Crompton is by no means a good game-time qb, but Stephens showed last year that he is no better. He showed it to everybody on Saturday's, not just Fulmer. Also, for as many bad passes that Crompton threw, there were as many accurate but DROPPED passes by the recievers... EXPERIENCED recievers. All Kiffin can do is play the card he is dealt, and figure out how to make improvements off of that. There is a reason Kiffin stated he has a 3 year plan... To improve depth at multiple positions.

GaGATOR writes:

Vols 5 & 0…………..WOW! The Vols couldn’t be 5 & 0 with Bart Starr as your QB.
Now to be serious, if you couldn’t be the weakest team on your October schedule, you have no chance against Georgia, Alabama (this could really get ugly) and South Carolina.

So it looks like come Halloween, the Vols will be 2 & 6 and 0 for 5 in the SEC. Then to tell you the truth, November is not going to be any better with Tenn. favored only over Vandy and Memphis. Mississippi, and Kentucky will give you all you can handle. So come December first, Lane will be enjoying the end of his first year at 1-7 or 2-6 in the SEC and 5 –7 at best overall. Better get use to it.

ETNTigerFan writes:

I can all but guarantee a win against Memphis this year. We are horrible this year even by our own standards!
I watched the replay last night of the UT/Auburn game. Seemed like UT recievers were dropping a lot of JC passes that were on the money or reasonably catchable.

CrankE writes:

The only thing different from 2008 to 2009? We're sticking with Crompton at QB. If we're sticking with Crompton, then drop Nick Stephens and Nick Lamaison's scholarships. If they can't beat out Crompton now, then how will they beat out a more talented recruit later? (Before anyone jumps off the top rope onto me, I'm not really wanting to see scholarships cut off. I'm just following the trail to it's logical end.)

Until Crompton sits, it's foolish of me to expect anything different from this team.

VolunteerLifer writes:

A one-line summary of the Volunteers is: "Mediocre/poor offensive talent hampers Vols"

Saban was 6/6 his first year. Stay the course.

GahLee writes:

Wins and losses don't always tell the story.

Overall, Tennessee has made strides that have not yet produced wins.

For instance, if you can't see on first glance that we are playing with more heart and determination, your blind.

Discipline is another quality that this staff has instilled into this program. Have yet to hear of a player getting into trouble with the law, which was very prevalent with the past regime. Also, penalties are as futile as I can ever remember.

Recruiting, well we can all see a difference in that department, not to say that Fulmer and staff didn't put together some great classes but there is no way that they get players like Bryce, Janzen, NuKeese, and so on.

We have new life, we have an energetic and enthused staff that is doing the very best they can with what they have to work with.

Just give them time to implement their fingerprint on this university and football program, I see great things in the future for us and for many years to come.

So stay patient and remain true to the team and university that you love, it will pay dividends.

As always...Go Vols!!!

GahLee writes:

in response to volsfannsc:

After a disappointing 5-7 season, we are now 2-3. One loss was to the no. 1 team in the country - by 10 points (and God knows they wanted to hang 50 on us). Another loss is to a team that is ranked no.17 - by four points. Some say the glass is half empty. I say the glass is half full. I don't see us going to a bowl this year however optimistic I may be. What I DO see is:
These kids show they want to win in their attitude.
No one gets arrested during official visits like last year.
GPA's and class attendance are up.
Practices are physical with no green jerseys.
Recruiting is up.
Other teams respect our coaching staff.

We have little depth (if any) due in part to the fact that practice is so physical. It's a calculated risk and even CLK has admitted so. Too many of us put emphasis on a recruit labled a 5 star. What happens to the majority of QB's going pro who have won the Heisman....a curse? Our team has been blown across the landscape like tumbleweeds with ever changing schemes and offenses. Recruits given scholarships for a spread offense were so advised for a pro-style. The game didn't change- our whole football philosophy has changed. Do you really think that CLK is going with Crompton beause he's stubborn? Geez, listen to yourselves! As a coach I am sure he is aware that his bottom line is wins. His future, his family's future depends on it. So you really believe that CLK is hanging with Crompton because he's trying to make a point? Don't get me wrong....Crompton is not an SEC caliber QB, but if its all we have- its all we have. We are rebuilding a program that was so off the tracks it was ridiculous. We are rebuilding starting at the foundation- which I feel is a good thing. I see improvement in our foundation- not instant gratification. I'll take this kind of rebuilding every day and twice on Sunday. Be grateful that our coaching staff is rebuilding this program from the ground up, and this will take a few years. Its the finished product I'm looking forward to.

Well put sir, well put.

Your point of it being a total remodel, starting with the foundation is key. This staff could have put a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound if they wanted to, but they have chose to do it the right way, it will take longer to see the results but will pay off in the end.

Glad to see someone post with some sort of rational thinking.

OrangePride writes:

I really have to smile sometimes. Crompton is an issue with this poor start, no doubt. BUT, receiving has been decent to poor, special teams (again) has been weak to awful, and we frankly don't have the best talent this year. So changing quarterbacks might look like something worth trying, but I think you folks would be less than happy. I think we are just in for a tough year and we will have to tough it out with the team. I still think, however, this group could surprise somebody THIS year.....could it be Georgia? I will sure be rooting for that!

BreatheUT writes:

I can't help but to read some of these emotional outbursts and laugh. The same one's that realized we were at a low point last year and knew it would take some time to rebuild are the same one's throwing fits today. This staff knows what needs to be done. Changing QB's is a sensitive matter and could fall apart at the seams if its not carefully thought out. We see what happened last year playing "pin the tail". You armchairs should just relax because your mixing in with the interlopers and its hard to tell you apart.

We'll win some more ballgames this year. Crompton had another below average game on Saturday but the receivers didn't do him any favors early. More than anything, my concern is that we should have run the ball more with a physical rushing attack that we have worked hard to develop. Especially in that first series of the game. But we are trying not to be one dimensional.

Go Big Orange!

mytrifecta writes:

in response to vol1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I love the optimism and hope you're right. However, if you look at Cromptons body of work...or lack thereof...I'll be shocked if we win another SEC game with him at QB. He just makes too many mistakes at critical times and this team has lost confidence in him.

OldNumber7 writes:

I will beat a first-year coach dead horse because there are so many know-it-all critics out there:
Bryant at Alabama: 5-4-1
Carroll at USC: started 2-5
Joe Pa: 5-5
WVU Rich Rodriquez: 3-8
UM Rich Rodriquez: 3-9
want more? People need to relax. Let these coaches get some players for heavens sake.

WytheVol writes:

in response to OldNumber7:

I will beat a first-year coach dead horse because there are so many know-it-all critics out there:
Bryant at Alabama: 5-4-1
Carroll at USC: started 2-5
Joe Pa: 5-5
WVU Rich Rodriquez: 3-8
UM Rich Rodriquez: 3-9
want more? People need to relax. Let these coaches get some players for heavens sake.

Wow! Is this some common sense??? We don't see a lot of this on here when things are rocky do we? Fire the 1st year coach, pull the QB scholly's... I sure hope some of these people don't manage any businesses or for heaven's sake, coach any small children... As they obviously have no idea how to manage or coach anyone. Good Post!

3volfan writes:

zero excuses here. coaches, i'm sorry, but you have to coach up and play the hand that was dealt you. if that means more "wildcat" or shotgun offense, or God forbid, quarterback change, THEN DO IT!!!!!!! very few screen passes, wildcat one time, that actually worked, put JC in the shotgun. there is too much money going in and out of K-town, but "us fans" have to sit there and watch this. i understand it will take a while, but NOT changing anything up except twin tight ends, or single tight ends really isn't going to scare anyone. utilize what you do have, speed with freshman, hard running with hardesty and rb's, shotgun and spread the field and get the xtra man or two out of the box. just DO SOMETHING!!!!!!!!!!!
and not to mention, what the **** is OUR coach thinking calling for the 2 point conversion with zero time remaining, when 2 points would make no difference. i hope not, but it sure feels like, we've been duped.

bigorangetrain writes:

in response to vol1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Lord have mercy!! What on earth would make you think this?! This is his 5th year on campus. Even if he was to play better we have no WR's that can catch. We have one that doesn't even look for the ball! It is evident that when he is playing good competition he has a problem upstairs!

AFVol423 writes:

I'm with you. I had these opening weeks as wins. It's hard not to knock the QB this year but while he threw behind recievers all night Saturday, he did hit a few in the chest, hands and helmet that still weren't caught. Special teams---abismal. Somethings got to happen or this team goes 0 fer in the SEC this year. Could one win still save the season...can you say Alabama? I'm already blue from holding my breath.

martinvol34 writes:

in response to 69grad:

I think 5-7 is probably our result for this season. That will be the outcome if we get lucky in one of the remaining games.

Oh ye of little faith. God bless the Tennessee Vol family. The players have confidence in themselves and someone here said it best, "They don't lie down like Fulmer teams did in the past - even the good ones."

Peyton never beat Florida but went on to win the championship as the MVP of the NFL. Give this staff a chance. We will all be proud. GO VOLS!

oldbasshead writes:

I understand Kiffin's desire to recruit better players. Better players give you a better chance to win games and at the same time, you don't have to be a great coach to win games. I think coaches should be measured by what they get from players who don't have superior talent and speed and I don't see that happening so far with this coaching staff. The coaching staff is saying just wait until we get better players in here and we will get better results. Well almost any coaching staff could do better with superior players. I hear the coaches and players saying the right things, but come Saturday the results speak louder than words. Where is the difference good coaching should be making on this team?

oldbasshead writes:

in response to mytrifecta:

Do we really believe a kid playing highschool today is going to make a significant impact next year? Not likely. For us to have any chance of salvaging this year and being competitive next year Stephens should be under center. He can make the passes this offense requires him to make.

I agree with mytrifecta. I don't think we would be any worse off playing Stevens instead of Crompton, but it could make a big difference next year for Stevens to have played this year. Crompton can't help us this year or next year.

oldbasshead writes:

The longer Kiffin waits to give Stevens a chance, the more Kiffin's reputation is at stake if the Vols click under Stevens and they just might do it because apparently, there is no chemistry between crompton and the receivers. I think it is worth a shot if Kiffin can live with the thoughts that if he had made the decision earlier, he might have beaten UCLA, Auburn and Georgia. Does anybody really think we would be any worse off with Stevens?

truckinvol writes:

I too would never have figured us to be 2 and 3 at this point. Lose to Georgia and we will be no better than 5 and 7. Win and 6 and 6 or better is possible. This week is a MUST win for UT. Pound the rock, use all 4 backs. Wear Ga. down up front.

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