As Vols trusted the process, results came

Tennessee kicker Michael Palardy is congratulated by quarterback Matt Simms after a successful fake punt gained a first down against Kentucky at Neyland Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2010. UT won the game 24-14.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Tennessee kicker Michael Palardy is congratulated by quarterback Matt Simms after a successful fake punt gained a first down against Kentucky at Neyland Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2010. UT won the game 24-14.

Derek Dooley let down his guard just a little.

The Tennessee coach was still preaching the process and was quick to admit there’s plenty of work left to do. But after digging out of a midseason hole and fighting through elimination games for an entire month to make a bowl, Dooley finally allowed the Vols to focus on what he’d been telling them to ignore.

The results are in for UT, and with a 24-14 victory over Kentucky at Neyland Stadium on Saturday officially clinching a trip to the postseason, it’s now safe for the team to look at them.

“The results were good,” Dooley said after the win. “I say if you trust the process, the results will come. Our guys trusted the process, so the results came.

“Well, I mean, I’d be sitting here lying if I said it didn’t matter to me. Of course you feel good, the players should feel good and I’m one of 200 people in our organization that made this happen.”

Considering all the adversity the Vols (6-6, 3-5 SEC) were dealt, it took considerable effort from everybody involved to turn around a season that easily could have turned into a disaster during a winless October.

Instead, a group of veteran receivers teamed up with a true freshman quarterback to give UT one of the most lethal passing attacks in the conference over the last month of the season.

A continuously shuffled secondary started forcing turnovers, a group that was criticized for a lack of pressure up front started getting to the quarterback more often, and despite little depth, collectively the defense bottled up a pair of dangerous teams while knocking off Ole Miss and Kentucky as part of the four-game winning streak.

Even off the field the Vols started making some headway, picking up commitments from a pair of high-profile recruits while turning loose seemingly every freshman signed in the coaching staff’s first class. And though the recruiting work had nothing to do with climbing back for a likely trip to the Music City Bowl next month in Nashville, the extra practices could do wonders for all those young players already on campus who helped punch the ticket along with a resilient senior class.

“It’s huge, huge,” senior receiver Gerald Jones said. “It’s a blessing for the seniors to start 2-6 and then end up in a bowl game. It’s a blessing, and we’re very happy to extend this season, but it’s even better for this team in the future, for a young team to fight back like we did later in the year. It gave them a chance to go to a bowl game.

“I think it’s awesome, and I can’t explain it, the way this team united and believed in each other and trusted in one another and just fought hard for one another. The last month in the SEC is not easy.”

Nothing ever was for UT even before that, with the difficulty becoming clear to Dooley as far back as spring practice when the reality of a roster thinned by two coaching transitions in two seasons first became obvious.

But the Vols never used that as an excuse publicly, and they didn’t dwell on injuries like a broken hand that took Jones out of action early in the season. They also seemed to pay little attention to factors they couldn’t control — like bowl projections or a winning streak over the Wildcats that is now up to 26 games.

The process apparently worked this year — though neither it nor the season is over.

“I couldn’t have done it without the commitment of the players, I couldn’t have done it without the coaches doing a great job, and the most important thing I was, I couldn’t have done it if at 2-6 we had anybody starting to flinch and show doubt,” Dooley said. “We didn’t, they just stayed the course, everybody in the whole organization.

“When that happens, good things happen.”

Austin Ward covers Tennessee football. He may be reached 865-342-6274. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Vols_Beat and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/ward.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2010, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2010 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 62

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor really starting to understand why they call him "precious". lol
Bones never lie.

iowavol writes:

It is pretty amazing that this team has accomplished this much. And to think, they maybe should have beaten LSU, gave South Carolina 21 on turnovers that could have turned that game the other way, and we without their key 3rd receiver early in the season when we went something like 0-30 on 3rd conversions. There was enough adversity facing this team through the year that most sot teams would have just mailed it in. But they didn't. Congratulations coach Dooley. I for one am looking forward to the product you put on the field next year.

FWBVol writes:

I love the way CDD is quick to share the credit for the success of the team with the other people associated with the team. He knows that no head coach can do it alone. Unlike the previous guy who thinks his way is the center of the football universe.

CDD weighed the strengths and weaknesses of this team and then, during games, used the strengths of the team to turn the season around. He probably adapted his coaching philosophy a little to achieve the desired success, but he kept his focus on the goal.

The Volunteer football program is in good hands. I believe CDD should enjoy a long and successful run in Knoxville.

rockytopatl writes:

You can't help but be proud of the way this young team got it together and brought it home. At 6-6, we have as good a record as Georgia, and we were within one game of Florida at 7-5. If Dooley corrals another group of freshmen who can play next fall and fill some gaps, the Vols could truly be a team to be reckoned with.

nepperso#220348 writes:

The SEC east is wide open next year, and a talented young team in Knoxville has as good a shot as any to end up in Atlanta. With Tyler Bray under center, I've stopped thinking two years from now and started thinking NEXT year. First things first... win a bowl game! GBO!

Ty4Vols writes:

The SEC East is open for the Vols in the future. Right now there is parody like no other. 5 of the 6 teams in the east are bowl eligible. S. Car and UGA both look good for the future as well as the Vols. UF just seems to have lost their swag. Next year will be about growing the lines on both sides of the ball, developing these young WR's into every down guys and bringing along some new LB's. Next years schedule is inviting for improvement. Only 4 away games next year and a schedule that includes Vandy, Montana, Cinci, Kentucky, Buffalo, and Mid Tenn. That alone should allow the Vols to equal this years total wins. Keep working the process and build off of this incredible final month of 2010.

rabidvol1998 writes:

Get out your shades, the future looks bright. Proud of these seniors and excited about the freshmen. Go Vols.

DennisVols writes:

There seems to be some debate about how good this UT team really finished considering who they beat down the stretch.
In 2005 UT entered the season as a favorite to win the conference and possibly play for the National Championship. UT had most of its starting teams returning including a coaching staff that had been pretty stable over 12 years. UT also had it’s full allotment of scholarship players. Their coach had a winning record in the conference and the nation winning both SEC and a National Championship
That team finished 5-6, 3-5 in the conference. They lost to Vandy and had no bowl game.
The 2008 team was not predicted to be as good as the 2005 team but had plenty of returning starters. They struggled to beat N. IL, lost to a non-impressive UCLA and the loss to Wyoming on Home Coming would end Coach Fulmer’s 15 years as head coach. They finished 5-7 with no bowl game.
The 2009 team did have a new coach but still had more experience at all positions including All American Eric Berry. Coach Kiffin landed a top 5 recruiting class and put together what he called the dream coaching staff. All that got UT was 7-6 season with an embarrassing loss in the Chick-fil-a bowl. There was an incident involving UT football players when they tried armed robbery. In the final 4 games against the same opponents UT lost by 25 to Ole Miss and had to go into OT to beat UK by 6.
So here comes Coach Dooley with a college coaching history less than spectacular to lead a UT team that had 2 losing seasons in its last 5 years. Dooley was the 3rd HC in less than 18 months. 17 scholarship players missing from the roster. Four OC’s in 3 years, 3 DC’s in 3 years and a number of position coaches too many to list. There was no one with starting experience along the OL when the season began and UT used 3 centers due to injuries throughout the year. The DL was so thin that DE’s where switched to DL creating quite a weight difference when going up against 300+ pound OL’s at this level. Neither of the QB choices had ever taken a snap wearing UT orange in a regular season game. The season included many season ending injuries and several game loss injuries to a roster all ready thin.
This team beat Memphis and Ole Miss by 26 and 28 points respectively and beat UK by 10 in regulation.
When you look at all the obstacles facing coach Dooley and his newly formed staff you might wonder how they won even half of their games. They have finished strong and CDD should be rewarded for the way he held this young inexperienced team together following the 0 for Oct..

DennisVols writes:

in response to DennisVols:

There seems to be some debate about how good this UT team really finished considering who they beat down the stretch.
In 2005 UT entered the season as a favorite to win the conference and possibly play for the National Championship. UT had most of its starting teams returning including a coaching staff that had been pretty stable over 12 years. UT also had it’s full allotment of scholarship players. Their coach had a winning record in the conference and the nation winning both SEC and a National Championship
That team finished 5-6, 3-5 in the conference. They lost to Vandy and had no bowl game.
The 2008 team was not predicted to be as good as the 2005 team but had plenty of returning starters. They struggled to beat N. IL, lost to a non-impressive UCLA and the loss to Wyoming on Home Coming would end Coach Fulmer’s 15 years as head coach. They finished 5-7 with no bowl game.
The 2009 team did have a new coach but still had more experience at all positions including All American Eric Berry. Coach Kiffin landed a top 5 recruiting class and put together what he called the dream coaching staff. All that got UT was 7-6 season with an embarrassing loss in the Chick-fil-a bowl. There was an incident involving UT football players when they tried armed robbery. In the final 4 games against the same opponents UT lost by 25 to Ole Miss and had to go into OT to beat UK by 6.
So here comes Coach Dooley with a college coaching history less than spectacular to lead a UT team that had 2 losing seasons in its last 5 years. Dooley was the 3rd HC in less than 18 months. 17 scholarship players missing from the roster. Four OC’s in 3 years, 3 DC’s in 3 years and a number of position coaches too many to list. There was no one with starting experience along the OL when the season began and UT used 3 centers due to injuries throughout the year. The DL was so thin that DE’s where switched to DL creating quite a weight difference when going up against 300+ pound OL’s at this level. Neither of the QB choices had ever taken a snap wearing UT orange in a regular season game. The season included many season ending injuries and several game loss injuries to a roster all ready thin.
This team beat Memphis and Ole Miss by 26 and 28 points respectively and beat UK by 10 in regulation.
When you look at all the obstacles facing coach Dooley and his newly formed staff you might wonder how they won even half of their games. They have finished strong and CDD should be rewarded for the way he held this young inexperienced team together following the 0 for Oct..

Keeping it Real
GoVols!!!

lofter writes:

You can't look at this team's progress over this season and not be impressed. The athletes learned and improved and the coaching staff showed their worth. We should all be very proud of the team and the coaching staff.
However, we are not even close to being over the hump. Many of the most productive players on this team are seniors. Next year, we will still be young, inexperienced, with not enough depth. But, that is part of the process of rebuilding (even if CDD will not use that word). We have another tough year ahead of us to get past the problems left behind by the two previous coaches.
I am sure that CDD and his staff will keep us moving in the right direction, but, it is going to be one more painful year. GBO

TommyJack writes:

Good piece, Ward.

orangecountyvols writes:

I'll miss all the seniors..........hate to single any out because they're all special. But going with the 'heart' guy, Reveiz just have to mention him.

And Gerald Jones. What a classy young guy. One who always smiles and gives a great interview.

Had they stumbled and flopped, 2011 would not be as
promising as it is. Dooley has shown young recruits if they come in and work hard and prove themselves........they will play early. Between now and Feb, I believe we'll continue to see more talented recruits jumping aboard. What you like to see is the fire in a guy and that's what we had with this team. They never quit.

BillyVol writes:

What a way for this team to end up. I am very proud of this team, and the coaching staff. This team held Ol Miss, and Ky to 14 points. No other team in the SEC did that this year.

TommyJack writes:

This team was coached-up. Plain and simple.

RoadTrip writes:

in response to BillyVol:

What a way for this team to end up. I am very proud of this team, and the coaching staff. This team held Ol Miss, and Ky to 14 points. No other team in the SEC did that this year.

Good post. The defense deserves more props than they are getting. Despite injuries, lack of depth, lack of experience, etc. - they allowed a total of 52 points over the last 4 games. That's 13 points per game. I don't care if you were playing FBS teams every week - that is a hard thing to do. And to TJ's point - that's coachin' 'em up!

Homermoosevols writes:

I am proud to be a Tennessee VOL

james#216392 writes:

You can say the schedule got easier and that is why we won, but UGA was a winable game early (And the way it turned out, Florida was too) and we didn't get close. Ol' Miss and KY were winable but not give me's. We handled both fairly well. Young players grew up, coaches coached up and senior played up. good finish regardless of who we played. Let's go bowling.

pj_ladyvolnMI writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor really starting to understand why they call him "precious". lol
Bones never lie.

Moms know these things.:-)

UTVOLSRROCKN writes:

in response to TommyJack:

This team was coached-up. Plain and simple.

Yes they were TJ. So proud of the Vols and CDD! Looking foward to the Bowl game and the years to come. We got us a "keeper"!

MississippiVol2 writes:

Just wanted to say thanks to all the seniors for their contributions to this team! It's sad that you guys had to deal with 3 different coaches but you guys were great! With that being said,I'm really looking forward to the next many years to come! Good luck coach!!!!

RickyHite writes:

i am very proud to call myself a fan of the Tennessee Volunteers .i have followed UT since i was old enough to know what it was i am so attached to this team people who know me can tell whether we won or lost just by the tone of my voice on the phone.I was spoiled as a teenager in the mid to late 90s by some of the most talented teams not only in ut but sec history also. I cant help it for some reason i still expect them to win every game . i try to tell myself its rebuilding years and coaching changes and that the Vols will be mighty once again.I guess what i am trying to say is that the expectations i have for Tennessee are a little outrageous but they were set by the school itself . i know what we are capable of in the future because ive seen it before it is not a stretch at all to say we will return to power cause weve done it before. I will keep waiting and supporting my team and i am proud to be a Tennessee Volunteer

BreweryVol writes:

in response to DennisVols:

There seems to be some debate about how good this UT team really finished considering who they beat down the stretch.
In 2005 UT entered the season as a favorite to win the conference and possibly play for the National Championship. UT had most of its starting teams returning including a coaching staff that had been pretty stable over 12 years. UT also had it’s full allotment of scholarship players. Their coach had a winning record in the conference and the nation winning both SEC and a National Championship
That team finished 5-6, 3-5 in the conference. They lost to Vandy and had no bowl game.
The 2008 team was not predicted to be as good as the 2005 team but had plenty of returning starters. They struggled to beat N. IL, lost to a non-impressive UCLA and the loss to Wyoming on Home Coming would end Coach Fulmer’s 15 years as head coach. They finished 5-7 with no bowl game.
The 2009 team did have a new coach but still had more experience at all positions including All American Eric Berry. Coach Kiffin landed a top 5 recruiting class and put together what he called the dream coaching staff. All that got UT was 7-6 season with an embarrassing loss in the Chick-fil-a bowl. There was an incident involving UT football players when they tried armed robbery. In the final 4 games against the same opponents UT lost by 25 to Ole Miss and had to go into OT to beat UK by 6.
So here comes Coach Dooley with a college coaching history less than spectacular to lead a UT team that had 2 losing seasons in its last 5 years. Dooley was the 3rd HC in less than 18 months. 17 scholarship players missing from the roster. Four OC’s in 3 years, 3 DC’s in 3 years and a number of position coaches too many to list. There was no one with starting experience along the OL when the season began and UT used 3 centers due to injuries throughout the year. The DL was so thin that DE’s where switched to DL creating quite a weight difference when going up against 300+ pound OL’s at this level. Neither of the QB choices had ever taken a snap wearing UT orange in a regular season game. The season included many season ending injuries and several game loss injuries to a roster all ready thin.
This team beat Memphis and Ole Miss by 26 and 28 points respectively and beat UK by 10 in regulation.
When you look at all the obstacles facing coach Dooley and his newly formed staff you might wonder how they won even half of their games. They have finished strong and CDD should be rewarded for the way he held this young inexperienced team together following the 0 for Oct..

Could not have said it better myself.

grobin4300 writes:

This team really needs to get more defensive help and mainly a true STUD @ linebacker. Hopefully John Brown will make grade, Couch & Hughes will stabilize the D-tackle position.

abnermc writes:

Let's see: Tide is 4th in the west, right?W/o question the most talent of any team in the nation except maybe Fla. Fla. has 5 losses ,right? W/ the most talent of any team in the nation except maybe Al. Ga. is tied w/ Tn. @ 6-6 w/ several heralded recruiting classes.How can this be? Must be coaching!!!Dooley wins at least 10 games w/ any one of these 3 squads. Our future looks bright. Next year S. Carolina will be strong again w/ most star players returning.
Our future looks bright. GBO

volsoutwest writes:

in response to TommyJack:

This team was coached-up. Plain and simple.

TJ, it's good to be able to say that for a change. Totally agree.

VolzsFan writes:

The record of teams they beat was 17-43. If you count that joke win vs the 1AA it was 23-48. That is not cause for those desperate to be relevant to hold onto. The SR WR's made all of the difference and they will be missed as we watch them on Sundays.

After this years draft, there will be only 5 teams in all of college football that has had more players drafted over a two year period than Tennessee. No talent? You have to be kidding. The last two teams really underachieved based on all of the NFL talent they have.

Next year we get a pre-1992 schedule. No big out of conference games and another 1AA. They are set for another 6-6 year. The new reality is a 500 program for the next 20 years. They may rise up and get 7 wins here and there but a few 5 win years are in front of them when the schedule picks back up. The Vol nation that is excited about what it is seeing is just desperate.

You are starting to see why averaging 9.25 wins per year in a mostly 11 game schedule for 16 years is an accomplishment that will never be duplicated again at UT. Having 9 - 10+ winning seasons in 16 will never happen again. Going to 5 of 11 SEC title games will never happen again. Bama has just showed that winning 10 games back to back is very tough. Phil was the last coach to win back to back SEC titles. It will be a very very long time before another team repeats.

Enjoy the summer of talking about winning 8 or 9 next year. Wondering about being ranked. This program will not see that for a very long time on a remotely consistent basis. I will be the one laughing out loud.

Now, back to reality. This is a basketball school in a basketball state and it is Basketball Time in Tennessee!!

FWBVol writes:

in response to VolzsFan:

The record of teams they beat was 17-43. If you count that joke win vs the 1AA it was 23-48. That is not cause for those desperate to be relevant to hold onto. The SR WR's made all of the difference and they will be missed as we watch them on Sundays.

After this years draft, there will be only 5 teams in all of college football that has had more players drafted over a two year period than Tennessee. No talent? You have to be kidding. The last two teams really underachieved based on all of the NFL talent they have.

Next year we get a pre-1992 schedule. No big out of conference games and another 1AA. They are set for another 6-6 year. The new reality is a 500 program for the next 20 years. They may rise up and get 7 wins here and there but a few 5 win years are in front of them when the schedule picks back up. The Vol nation that is excited about what it is seeing is just desperate.

You are starting to see why averaging 9.25 wins per year in a mostly 11 game schedule for 16 years is an accomplishment that will never be duplicated again at UT. Having 9 - 10+ winning seasons in 16 will never happen again. Going to 5 of 11 SEC title games will never happen again. Bama has just showed that winning 10 games back to back is very tough. Phil was the last coach to win back to back SEC titles. It will be a very very long time before another team repeats.

Enjoy the summer of talking about winning 8 or 9 next year. Wondering about being ranked. This program will not see that for a very long time on a remotely consistent basis. I will be the one laughing out loud.

Now, back to reality. This is a basketball school in a basketball state and it is Basketball Time in Tennessee!!

A scoundrel by any other name is still a scoundrel. You might have changed your user ID, but you still spew the same negative comments.

Even with the expanded schedule to 12 games Tennessee is still only one of two programs among BCS schools never to have lost eight or more games in a season.

Phillip Fulmer was a great coach, but he's gone and won't be back.

CDD inherited a program ripped by two coaching changes in as many years. If you didn't see improvement in this team toward the end of the season I'm sure there are several people on here that can recommend a good eye doctor in their hometown.

Tennessee was the youngest team in the SEC this year. If you really don't think Tyler Bray won't be an All-SEC QB before he's done and that Da'Rick Rodgers and Justin Hunter aren't going to be the best WR tandem since Nash and Price you aren't being honest with yourself.

Our freshmen heavy offensive line this year will be an experienced offensive line next year and a veteran line in 2012. Next year we should win 8 or 9 games. In 2012 you are looking at a team that should compete for the conference championship, and in turn, a national championship.

Things are not lost. Texas went from playing in the NC game last year to 5-7 this year. It happens in college football.

Tennessee will be back.

SWVA_RockyTopVol writes:

in response to VolzsFan:

The record of teams they beat was 17-43. If you count that joke win vs the 1AA it was 23-48. That is not cause for those desperate to be relevant to hold onto. The SR WR's made all of the difference and they will be missed as we watch them on Sundays.

After this years draft, there will be only 5 teams in all of college football that has had more players drafted over a two year period than Tennessee. No talent? You have to be kidding. The last two teams really underachieved based on all of the NFL talent they have.

Next year we get a pre-1992 schedule. No big out of conference games and another 1AA. They are set for another 6-6 year. The new reality is a 500 program for the next 20 years. They may rise up and get 7 wins here and there but a few 5 win years are in front of them when the schedule picks back up. The Vol nation that is excited about what it is seeing is just desperate.

You are starting to see why averaging 9.25 wins per year in a mostly 11 game schedule for 16 years is an accomplishment that will never be duplicated again at UT. Having 9 - 10+ winning seasons in 16 will never happen again. Going to 5 of 11 SEC title games will never happen again. Bama has just showed that winning 10 games back to back is very tough. Phil was the last coach to win back to back SEC titles. It will be a very very long time before another team repeats.

Enjoy the summer of talking about winning 8 or 9 next year. Wondering about being ranked. This program will not see that for a very long time on a remotely consistent basis. I will be the one laughing out loud.

Now, back to reality. This is a basketball school in a basketball state and it is Basketball Time in Tennessee!!

Do you even watch UT football or do you just read the negative side of things on this website and gather your information to post nonintelligent posts? You may want to pay more attention to the athletes we've been recruiting and the number of freshman that played in every game that made big impacts. No one is talking about being ranked next year or winning the SEC east...it's all about getting our sheeit together and producing the best season we've had in a few years taking it week by week. And UT is a basketball school? Are you kidding me?!?!?! We're screwed when Pearl is gone for the first 8 SEC games. Yea we beat Villanova but things could easily turn around for the worst later in the season. I hope I'm wrong though

volnnwbama writes:

seniors, who ever you play in the bowl game... lay the wood to them go BIG ORANGE

volbald writes:

in response to nepperso#220348:

The SEC east is wide open next year, and a talented young team in Knoxville has as good a shot as any to end up in Atlanta. With Tyler Bray under center, I've stopped thinking two years from now and started thinking NEXT year. First things first... win a bowl game! GBO!

Agreed. With Bray at QB, a run at the SEC East title is doable. S.C. should be the team to beat in the East next year. UF still won't be able to recover from Dan Mullen's going to Miss. State - even with all those 5 star athletes at every position. UGA has good athletes and should have finished a lot better than 6-6. If DD can recruit a few "very good" players and then more "good" players and coach them up, it should be an interesting 2011 season.

ibvolman writes:

in response to VolzsFan:

The record of teams they beat was 17-43. If you count that joke win vs the 1AA it was 23-48. That is not cause for those desperate to be relevant to hold onto. The SR WR's made all of the difference and they will be missed as we watch them on Sundays.

After this years draft, there will be only 5 teams in all of college football that has had more players drafted over a two year period than Tennessee. No talent? You have to be kidding. The last two teams really underachieved based on all of the NFL talent they have.

Next year we get a pre-1992 schedule. No big out of conference games and another 1AA. They are set for another 6-6 year. The new reality is a 500 program for the next 20 years. They may rise up and get 7 wins here and there but a few 5 win years are in front of them when the schedule picks back up. The Vol nation that is excited about what it is seeing is just desperate.

You are starting to see why averaging 9.25 wins per year in a mostly 11 game schedule for 16 years is an accomplishment that will never be duplicated again at UT. Having 9 - 10+ winning seasons in 16 will never happen again. Going to 5 of 11 SEC title games will never happen again. Bama has just showed that winning 10 games back to back is very tough. Phil was the last coach to win back to back SEC titles. It will be a very very long time before another team repeats.

Enjoy the summer of talking about winning 8 or 9 next year. Wondering about being ranked. This program will not see that for a very long time on a remotely consistent basis. I will be the one laughing out loud.

Now, back to reality. This is a basketball school in a basketball state and it is Basketball Time in Tennessee!!

Vicky, It is time to let it go. It has been a couple of seasons now, and Phil ain't coming back. He hasn' been offered a job for the past two years, and keeps telling everyone that if he coached again, it would have to be somewhere with championship potential. He had his run, had good success for several years, but his last 10 were on a serious downward spiral, part of which created the shape the Vols are in now.

Dooley is at the helm, and is getting this ship turned around and back on course. You can live in denial all you want, but facts are clear. So, go back into the living room with Phil and split a box of Krispy Kreams.

orangehuskr writes:

It's so great this team's goin to a bowl game. A reward for all the phooey from the last 2 years. Can just see the confidence in the youngsters as they mesh with the veterans. Now go to practice, get your reps, and let it all hang out in bowl game ala Citrus '01 vs michigan. By the way- how refreshing listening to CDD's press conferences, with his candor and sarcasm and funny little quips. A lot different from the pressers I have to listen to here in big red nation.
Go Vols!!

fpcoach writes:

in response to VolzsFan:

The record of teams they beat was 17-43. If you count that joke win vs the 1AA it was 23-48. That is not cause for those desperate to be relevant to hold onto. The SR WR's made all of the difference and they will be missed as we watch them on Sundays.

After this years draft, there will be only 5 teams in all of college football that has had more players drafted over a two year period than Tennessee. No talent? You have to be kidding. The last two teams really underachieved based on all of the NFL talent they have.

Next year we get a pre-1992 schedule. No big out of conference games and another 1AA. They are set for another 6-6 year. The new reality is a 500 program for the next 20 years. They may rise up and get 7 wins here and there but a few 5 win years are in front of them when the schedule picks back up. The Vol nation that is excited about what it is seeing is just desperate.

You are starting to see why averaging 9.25 wins per year in a mostly 11 game schedule for 16 years is an accomplishment that will never be duplicated again at UT. Having 9 - 10+ winning seasons in 16 will never happen again. Going to 5 of 11 SEC title games will never happen again. Bama has just showed that winning 10 games back to back is very tough. Phil was the last coach to win back to back SEC titles. It will be a very very long time before another team repeats.

Enjoy the summer of talking about winning 8 or 9 next year. Wondering about being ranked. This program will not see that for a very long time on a remotely consistent basis. I will be the one laughing out loud.

Now, back to reality. This is a basketball school in a basketball state and it is Basketball Time in Tennessee!!

stop it phil.............

OrangeinCarolina2 writes:

in response to VolzsFan:

The record of teams they beat was 17-43. If you count that joke win vs the 1AA it was 23-48. That is not cause for those desperate to be relevant to hold onto. The SR WR's made all of the difference and they will be missed as we watch them on Sundays.

After this years draft, there will be only 5 teams in all of college football that has had more players drafted over a two year period than Tennessee. No talent? You have to be kidding. The last two teams really underachieved based on all of the NFL talent they have.

Next year we get a pre-1992 schedule. No big out of conference games and another 1AA. They are set for another 6-6 year. The new reality is a 500 program for the next 20 years. They may rise up and get 7 wins here and there but a few 5 win years are in front of them when the schedule picks back up. The Vol nation that is excited about what it is seeing is just desperate.

You are starting to see why averaging 9.25 wins per year in a mostly 11 game schedule for 16 years is an accomplishment that will never be duplicated again at UT. Having 9 - 10+ winning seasons in 16 will never happen again. Going to 5 of 11 SEC title games will never happen again. Bama has just showed that winning 10 games back to back is very tough. Phil was the last coach to win back to back SEC titles. It will be a very very long time before another team repeats.

Enjoy the summer of talking about winning 8 or 9 next year. Wondering about being ranked. This program will not see that for a very long time on a remotely consistent basis. I will be the one laughing out loud.

Now, back to reality. This is a basketball school in a basketball state and it is Basketball Time in Tennessee!!

If you are not happy with the program, switch your allegiance. This is the good ole USofA. Nobody's forced to pull for a team. But if you truly are a UT fan then recognize what was accomplished this year. Yes a down year by UT standards( and yes CPF included) but certainly a year of hope and anticipation of greater things ahead. I couldn't be prouder of this team and Coach Dooley and staff. Don't look at results just keep working the program-CDD preached it all year. When things looked their bleakest at the end of October-out of the ashes came a team that through adversity grew up, matured, became a TEAM. And yet Coach Dooley said don't look at results, forget about a bowl bid-just focus and do your job. Well it ain't a bid to the NC but I gaurantee you it's a stepping stone to get there. Coach Dooley and the great players of UT, true Vols fans are behind you, believe in you, and look forward to the coming years when Tennessee returns to it's rightful place among college football's elite. As for you volzfan, feel free to jump onboard another bus or maybe just stand in front of this one. GO VOLS!

murrayvol writes:

in response to TommyJack:

Good piece, Ward.

And DennisVols column wasn't bad either.

murrayvol writes:

in response to steviejanowski:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Amen!

murrayvol writes:

in response to steviejanowski:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Beware, the douche is loose.

acworthdave writes:

Isn't it funny how you can feel better about this team than some of the other teams we have had with much better records. UT fans became completely spoiled by our success in the 1990's to a point where non-Major bowls (and in some cases, even Major bowls) were met with a shrug of the shoulders and a yawn. Now, we get excited over a 6-6 season and a low-level bowl. Don't get me wrong. This is a good thing. I think all programs have to go through periods like this to appreciate those truly great years. I have heard CJM talk multiple times about how proud he was of the 1981 team that was dreadful starting out but came back to go 8-4 and win a bowl game. The Seniors from the recruiting class following that bowl game won the SECC and the Sugar Bowl in 1985. I can't help but think about this team in a way similar to that 1981 team. Let's hope a foundation is beind laid for another good to great 20 year run like we had then. I like to think we are on the way.

Volwalker16 writes:

We win four games against all last-place teams and now Dooley is our guy? I won't forgive him for LSU anytime soon and I bet Matt Simms is just sick. That kid played against the toughest schedule in the country ( and played increasingly well) only to have the rug pulled out from under him when Memphis, Ole Miss, Vandy and Kentucky were left. These are all signs of an immature coach with questionable integrity. I'm all for winning but let's put this thing in perspective.

Vols4evah writes:

45 years a vol fan since I was 7 and never have I been more proud of a team! What they accomplished this year needs to be remembered always in Vol Nation history. It is the stepping stone for our future. The seniors where awesome and will be missed, but they leave a legacy of not giving up that will serve us well in the future.
I am excited about our offense and especially the play calling, I like the aggressive calls and the open it up attitude that we haven't had at UT in a long time if ever. The defense also adapted and improved and the playing calling was excellent there also. I am very excited about the whole coaching staff and hope we can keep it intact because for me I think the future looks very bright indeed.

go Big Orange !!

TitanandVolfan4life writes:

I said before the season started that if we could go 6-6 and get to any bowl game that this was a big winning season for our Big Orange Vols.

Considering all our football program has gone through for the last 5 years and especially the last 3 years, the loss of good ball players that were told to leave last season, a mostly unknown coach coming in right before National Signing Day and the horrid situation CDD was willing to take on and being so short of scholly players, every player having to learn another completely new system and everything else this years team had to go through then we should all be very proud of everyone involved in U T football and especially the players that never quit, never gave up and let CDD and staff earn their trust and respect and kept working hard to learn the systems the coaches put before them and won 4 in a row to beat the huge odds stacked against then to make it to a Bowl game.

Our coaches DID prove themselves, DID coach and DID teach our new systems and DID motivate and build a never quit attitude into these fine young men that trusted in CDD and staff.

Our players DID work very hard, DID learn, DID believe in CDD and his great staff and DID give their all every game and as far as I'm concerned CDD is the SEC Coach of the year and our players ARE as much the huge Winners as any team in this great nation.

I've always been proud to wear the Big Orange and I'll cheer on our Vols football team every game no matter what but the adversity these coaches and players faced this season and overcame to make it to a bowl game proved beyond any doubt what great coaches and players we really have wearing our Big Orange proudly.

CONGRATS to 1 and all because this season showed what true TEAMwork can achieve.

GO BIG ORANGE!!!

FLAVOLS writes:

VolzFan = Idiot.
VolzFan = Dumba**
VolzFan= Vicky

NFL talent?? Joke!

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to VolzsFan:

The record of teams they beat was 17-43. If you count that joke win vs the 1AA it was 23-48. That is not cause for those desperate to be relevant to hold onto. The SR WR's made all of the difference and they will be missed as we watch them on Sundays.

After this years draft, there will be only 5 teams in all of college football that has had more players drafted over a two year period than Tennessee. No talent? You have to be kidding. The last two teams really underachieved based on all of the NFL talent they have.

Next year we get a pre-1992 schedule. No big out of conference games and another 1AA. They are set for another 6-6 year. The new reality is a 500 program for the next 20 years. They may rise up and get 7 wins here and there but a few 5 win years are in front of them when the schedule picks back up. The Vol nation that is excited about what it is seeing is just desperate.

You are starting to see why averaging 9.25 wins per year in a mostly 11 game schedule for 16 years is an accomplishment that will never be duplicated again at UT. Having 9 - 10+ winning seasons in 16 will never happen again. Going to 5 of 11 SEC title games will never happen again. Bama has just showed that winning 10 games back to back is very tough. Phil was the last coach to win back to back SEC titles. It will be a very very long time before another team repeats.

Enjoy the summer of talking about winning 8 or 9 next year. Wondering about being ranked. This program will not see that for a very long time on a remotely consistent basis. I will be the one laughing out loud.

Now, back to reality. This is a basketball school in a basketball state and it is Basketball Time in Tennessee!!

Witch Doctor say your limited thinking and lack of sports knowledge makes all these words irrelevant.
Bones never lie.
*Witch Doctor like how you have removed "Vandy" from your username..read a sports book or ask a friend who knows before posting..look less dumb

TennesseeTater writes:

My daddy said at the start of the season we would be 6-6.

CDD learned from his dad, I think I should start listening to mine more.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

I remember in 1988 when the Vols started off 0-6, and I was telling everyone that they would win their last 5 games..There were plenty of naysayers telling me that it was not gonna happen..I said, "Watch and see if it doesn't." Sure enough, it did..I had that same kinda faith this year in this team..Only differences between 1988 and this year is that we won two of our first six and are headed to a bowl...In 1989, we turned around and won 11 games including the bowl game.

My point being look how far a little patience and faith will get you in life.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to DennisVols:

There seems to be some debate about how good this UT team really finished considering who they beat down the stretch.
In 2005 UT entered the season as a favorite to win the conference and possibly play for the National Championship. UT had most of its starting teams returning including a coaching staff that had been pretty stable over 12 years. UT also had it’s full allotment of scholarship players. Their coach had a winning record in the conference and the nation winning both SEC and a National Championship
That team finished 5-6, 3-5 in the conference. They lost to Vandy and had no bowl game.
The 2008 team was not predicted to be as good as the 2005 team but had plenty of returning starters. They struggled to beat N. IL, lost to a non-impressive UCLA and the loss to Wyoming on Home Coming would end Coach Fulmer’s 15 years as head coach. They finished 5-7 with no bowl game.
The 2009 team did have a new coach but still had more experience at all positions including All American Eric Berry. Coach Kiffin landed a top 5 recruiting class and put together what he called the dream coaching staff. All that got UT was 7-6 season with an embarrassing loss in the Chick-fil-a bowl. There was an incident involving UT football players when they tried armed robbery. In the final 4 games against the same opponents UT lost by 25 to Ole Miss and had to go into OT to beat UK by 6.
So here comes Coach Dooley with a college coaching history less than spectacular to lead a UT team that had 2 losing seasons in its last 5 years. Dooley was the 3rd HC in less than 18 months. 17 scholarship players missing from the roster. Four OC’s in 3 years, 3 DC’s in 3 years and a number of position coaches too many to list. There was no one with starting experience along the OL when the season began and UT used 3 centers due to injuries throughout the year. The DL was so thin that DE’s where switched to DL creating quite a weight difference when going up against 300+ pound OL’s at this level. Neither of the QB choices had ever taken a snap wearing UT orange in a regular season game. The season included many season ending injuries and several game loss injuries to a roster all ready thin.
This team beat Memphis and Ole Miss by 26 and 28 points respectively and beat UK by 10 in regulation.
When you look at all the obstacles facing coach Dooley and his newly formed staff you might wonder how they won even half of their games. They have finished strong and CDD should be rewarded for the way he held this young inexperienced team together following the 0 for Oct..

I didn't even need to read this to know it was a good post because we can always trust Dennis to keep it real!!!

Mommasboy writes:

I saw the latest SEC power rankings and there are 10 SEC teams bowl elligible! The vols were ranked 9th out of 12 teams. I wonder what happens if Aub loses to SC. Would TCU play Oregon in the title game?
.....

hikerdude writes:

Trusting the process may have produced the November run but weak opponents didn't hurt. Nevertheless, CDD has done one h*ll of a job. SEC coach of the year in my opinion.

BigVolFaninSC writes:

I love me some VOLS and have for many years now! I am very proud of this team and staff that earned a bowl game against all odds! I also think that we will get back to the top 10 where we want them to be! But, I would suggest CAUTION to those about 8-9 wins next year! Yes, I believe that Dooley and Co. are perhaps exactly what we needed in spite of him being 4th on the list! And yes, with Bray at QB we have someone to get it to the playmakers! But, this is the SEC and as much as I'd love to see a jump like Saban had with the elephants, the roster is just not going to be there that quickly! Now, we can get a top 5 recruiting class (and hopefully we do) and fill those spots with young talent, but freshman players make freshman mistakes, no matter whom is coaching them! And don't forget, we have some really good seniors on this year's team that will be hard to replace! It all depends on how quickly the young players can adjust to maximize their abilities! 8-9 wins are POSSIBLE, just not likely! Please, let's be cautious and give Dooley a chance to build his team properly instead of expecting 8-9 wins and then ripping him and the team when they only win 6-7! In my heart (beating orange blood) I want to win them ALL, but my head tells me 6-7 based on circumstances right now! Prove me wrong Dooley! GBO!

crappieking writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

LOL Navel! Volzfan = Vicky Fulmer
GBO and Congrats to CDD, the players, and staff!!

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features