Adams: Dooley turning heads all over SEC

John Adams
Tennesse head coach Derek Dooley reacts to referees as he is called back on to the field against LSU at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La. on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2010. UT lost the game 16-14 after a defensive penalty in the final play of the game.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Tennesse head coach Derek Dooley reacts to referees as he is called back on to the field against LSU at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La. on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2010. UT lost the game 16-14 after a defensive penalty in the final play of the game.

BATON ROUGE, La. - Derek Dooley began his first season at Tennessee with a losing record as a head coach.

Les Miles began his sixth season as LSU's coach just three years removed from a national championship.

Mark Richt began his 10th season as Georgia's coach, having never won fewer than eight games in a season.

If you look at the records, Dooley is a loser and Miles and Richt are winners. But if you polled the fans of all three schools after this weekend, Dooley might be the most popular of the three.

Football isn't always about the won-lost record. Sometimes, it's about perception.

The perception is Miles and Richt are on the way down, and Dooley is on the way up.

LSU is one of the most criticized 5-0 teams you will ever see. Most of that criticism is directed at Miles,

And it's justified.

You can't make $4 million a year and field an offense that's as misdirected and mistake-prone as this one. Worse yet, for all of Miles' highly rated recruiting classes, he has failed to sign or develop a competent quarterback.

He might be 5-0, but he's more apt to be fired than finish in the top 10.

At least LSU is winning. Georgia is losing.

Georgia's losses to South Carolina and Arkansas were tolerable for a team breaking in a new quarterback and playing without its best player, suspended wide receiver A.J. Green. But those losses were followed by losses to Mississippi State and Colorado.

The Bulldogs have never struggled like this under Richt. But too often they have delivered inexplicably dreadful performances, including a couple against the Vols.

Georgia just doesn't play with the same edge it had in the first half of the Richt era. And off-the-field issues (i.e., player arrests) have further contributed to the negative perception of the program.

Now, the Bulldogs are on a four-game losing streak. And Saturday's game with UT is no longer one they are merely expected to win. It's a must win.

Dooley hasn't accomplished anything comparable to Miles or Richt as a head coach. His only two victories in five games at UT were against UT Martin and UAB.

But fans throughout the conference are starting to see an upside in Dooley.

In each of UT's losses against more talented teams - Oregon, Florida and LSU - it came into the game motivated and prepared. That speaks volumes for the coaching staff.

Those three games also reflect the team's improvement, another testament to coaching. The Vols were blown out in the second half against Oregon, trailed Florida by only seven points early in the fourth quarter, and were within one bizarre play of upsetting LSU on Saturday afternoon in Tiger Stadium.

The records still say Dooley isn't in the same league with Miles or Richt. But there's a growing perception Dooley will be in the league after Miles and Richt are gone.

John Adams may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com.

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Comments » 80

FWBVol writes:

Interesting twist on things, and I agree.

Richt has proven himself to be a good coach in the past at UGA, but Miles has always been a joke at LSU. Even the National Championship under Miles is tainted because of the two losses. If it wasn't for Bo Pelini and now John Chavis, Miles would already be toast.

If Miles was at school with less in a in-state talent than Louisiana he would have been gone a long time ago.

VolAlum2003 (Inactive) writes:

Dooley has yet to show that he can 1) recruit a top 10 class all on his own, 2) that he can adjust his on-the-field gameplan in response to his opponent, or 3) that he can coach up some of the younger talent.

Dooley, like Kiffin last year, is a new toy in the SEC and the new hasn't worn off. I'm convinced that he will make UT competitive, but I seriously doubt that he will be able to take us back to the National Championship.

usnavyvol writes:

in response to VolnotHAMILTONfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Another vol faithful I see...CDD has coached 5....5....5 games with UT. He did not put him in the hall of fame, u did...I drink the dool-aid, wear the orange tinted glasse. Why..I am A FAN....FAN...FAN of UT. Stop ur crying so much and decide..VOL fan or not? man up for step off. I could care less who the coach is. If he/she is coaching UT team I'm all in regardless. I'm an alum and will always support my university. Just stop being so f-ing negative.

OrangeinCarolina2 writes:

in response to usnavyvol:

Another vol faithful I see...CDD has coached 5....5....5 games with UT. He did not put him in the hall of fame, u did...I drink the dool-aid, wear the orange tinted glasse. Why..I am A FAN....FAN...FAN of UT. Stop ur crying so much and decide..VOL fan or not? man up for step off. I could care less who the coach is. If he/she is coaching UT team I'm all in regardless. I'm an alum and will always support my university. Just stop being so f-ing negative.

Nice to see your passionate posts on here again navyvol. I'm with you all the way. I didn't have the priviledge of going to UT but I have had a blood transfusion and trust me- it's Orange! GO VOLS!

volky writes:

in response to VolAlum2003:

Dooley has yet to show that he can 1) recruit a top 10 class all on his own, 2) that he can adjust his on-the-field gameplan in response to his opponent, or 3) that he can coach up some of the younger talent.

Dooley, like Kiffin last year, is a new toy in the SEC and the new hasn't worn off. I'm convinced that he will make UT competitive, but I seriously doubt that he will be able to take us back to the National Championship.

I respect the points you make. However,

1) He hasn't had an opportunity to sign a recruiting class he has put together. 2) Is a function of the personnel he has available. I think this will improve and likewise so will his ability to make adjustments. 3) There hasn't been enough time to make a judgment on how well he can coach up young talent. (Shower discipline not withstanding)

As for your last statement, there are a lot of coaches who haven't been able to take their teams to the NC. Tennessee has had 20 coaches in their history but only 2 of those 20 were able to lead them to a NC. Georgia (taking our next opponent as an example) probably also has had 20 coaches in their history, but only 1 out of 20 led them to a NC. Lots of college D1 programs with a relatively strong tradition have never won a NC. Odds are Dooley probably won't lead Tennessee to a NC, but that is more a function of simply how difficult it is to win the NC, rather than Dooley's ability as a HC. I think the expectation Vol fans should have for Dooley is for him to bring Tennessee to a point where they can be in a position to be in the NC picture. If he can do this he will be successful

username writes:

in response to VolAlum2003:

Dooley has yet to show that he can 1) recruit a top 10 class all on his own, 2) that he can adjust his on-the-field gameplan in response to his opponent, or 3) that he can coach up some of the younger talent.

Dooley, like Kiffin last year, is a new toy in the SEC and the new hasn't worn off. I'm convinced that he will make UT competitive, but I seriously doubt that he will be able to take us back to the National Championship.

"Dooley has yet to show that he can 1) recruit a top 10 class all on his own, 2) that he can adjust his on-the-field gameplan in response to his opponent, or 3) that he can coach up some of the younger talent."

Has yet to. Just exactly how long does he get? Seriously, the expectations and perspective of the fans in this league is well beyond outrageous.

If, after three seasons, we haven't seen improvement in the three areas cited by the OP, then it might be time for a change. Otherwise, how about we give CDD ample opportunity to right the ship, and support the team in doing so?

westennvol writes:

Good article Adams. I don't normally like everything you write, but in this case I feel that your right on point.

CarthageVol writes:

Couldn't agree more. Dooley is going to compare himself to Saban. By that, I mean, to Dooley, Saban is 'The Joneses'. We don't have to worry about what we think of Dooley. He's worried about beating his mentor and that will always be his measuring stick. You can tell that his personality won't let him achieve less. More or less, he'll always be grinding that ax. Look at Fulmer, when Spurrier left, the bad guy was gone. And if you do the math, as weird as it seems, our measuring stick moving to the Redskins started Fulmer's lazy record. And what if Saban leaves one day, and he will. Well, DD doesn't want to show up to Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner without his own NC to put next to Daddy's. This is a call for all who wear the Orange, patience. The good times are coming, not here. Enjoy this growing process. I remember how unenthusiastic we were when we would win by big margins. It would appear we only had one or two games that any fans gave a d%&n about. We were spoiled and did not know it. I, personally, am trying to choke down this slice of humble pie with the DD kool-aid, because the main course is comeing. Go Big Orange.

CarthageVol writes:

in response to CarthageVol:

Couldn't agree more. Dooley is going to compare himself to Saban. By that, I mean, to Dooley, Saban is 'The Joneses'. We don't have to worry about what we think of Dooley. He's worried about beating his mentor and that will always be his measuring stick. You can tell that his personality won't let him achieve less. More or less, he'll always be grinding that ax. Look at Fulmer, when Spurrier left, the bad guy was gone. And if you do the math, as weird as it seems, our measuring stick moving to the Redskins started Fulmer's lazy record. And what if Saban leaves one day, and he will. Well, DD doesn't want to show up to Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner without his own NC to put next to Daddy's. This is a call for all who wear the Orange, patience. The good times are coming, not here. Enjoy this growing process. I remember how unenthusiastic we were when we would win by big margins. It would appear we only had one or two games that any fans gave a d%&n about. We were spoiled and did not know it. I, personally, am trying to choke down this slice of humble pie with the DD kool-aid, because the main course is comeing. Go Big Orange.

I meant-"the good times are coming just not immidiately." and yes, 'coming' does not have an "e" in it. Sorry for the shotty editting. My point is that I'm proud of our/my Vols!!!!

jbocap writes:

I'm a fan of Coach Dooley and his staff. They dont have alot to work with this season; but yet, are growing this team to compete against higher calibur talent and I see progress.
The football program has been thru alot and so let Dooley and his staff have a chance to build it up. They are fully aware of what they need to do. GO VOLS !!!!!!

needa_momma writes:

I believe he has coached a team, that is percieved to be less talented than other programs, to play to the best of their ability with dignity and pride. I like the discpline this "team" is playing with. I know that at the end of each and every game, those young men gave their all for Tennessee. Number 56 showed that this past weekend.

bigfogg writes:

When you speak of discipline, do you watch how he as a Head Coach acts. I believe he has thrown his head sets at least 4-5 times in the first 5 games. Than after a very tough, tough loss, I really feel for the players: he does not have the discipline to say we got beat, I need to go shake hands with the other head coach. I believe it is very tough for a team to show composure and discipline when every time something bad goes wrong, the head coach either throws something, yells at someone or the way it looks and sounds puts the blame on others.
As I remember hearing his words, I don't expect you to trust or respect me, I will earn that. As far as I am concerned, he is no closer to earning their respect the way he throws players under the bus in the media or attacks them through interviews.
Be an adult and take responsibility. And please stop throwing the head sets, your going to hurt someone.

oldbasshead writes:

I hope you are right. However, this article is like looking at a photograph. It is just a moment in time, just a momentary glance at something that is fleeting. How exciting it would be if you were right.

oldbasshead writes:

It is hard to know if Dooley is more like Bruce Pearl or Buzz Peterson.

tnbigg writes:

Good column...but for me to get back where I was with respecting you...and I realize you could care less...but just expressing my thoughts...it will be a hard push to overcome your ignorant rant last week about "possibly the worst team in Tennessee football history". Like I said sfter that tactical blunder, I may have disagreed with you plenty, but I hade never dissed you like so many others. That column changed everything.

BigVolFaninSC writes:

in response to CarthageVol:

Couldn't agree more. Dooley is going to compare himself to Saban. By that, I mean, to Dooley, Saban is 'The Joneses'. We don't have to worry about what we think of Dooley. He's worried about beating his mentor and that will always be his measuring stick. You can tell that his personality won't let him achieve less. More or less, he'll always be grinding that ax. Look at Fulmer, when Spurrier left, the bad guy was gone. And if you do the math, as weird as it seems, our measuring stick moving to the Redskins started Fulmer's lazy record. And what if Saban leaves one day, and he will. Well, DD doesn't want to show up to Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner without his own NC to put next to Daddy's. This is a call for all who wear the Orange, patience. The good times are coming, not here. Enjoy this growing process. I remember how unenthusiastic we were when we would win by big margins. It would appear we only had one or two games that any fans gave a d%&n about. We were spoiled and did not know it. I, personally, am trying to choke down this slice of humble pie with the DD kool-aid, because the main course is comeing. Go Big Orange.

You make some good points about Saban as Dooley's measuring stick. However, as much as I hate Spurrier, he changed the whole SEC and not just the Vols! Before the fun and gun, the SEC was basically 3 yards and a cloud of dust! In order to avoid getting embarrassed 70-3, all the offenses around the league had to open it up, including Tennessee! I hate giving that arrogant, condescending SOB any credit for anything, but the SEC is what is it today because of Florida's offenses! So, it was not so much that Fulmer got lazy as it was that the rest of the SEC caught up!

toto_cold writes:

in response to bigfogg:

When you speak of discipline, do you watch how he as a Head Coach acts. I believe he has thrown his head sets at least 4-5 times in the first 5 games. Than after a very tough, tough loss, I really feel for the players: he does not have the discipline to say we got beat, I need to go shake hands with the other head coach. I believe it is very tough for a team to show composure and discipline when every time something bad goes wrong, the head coach either throws something, yells at someone or the way it looks and sounds puts the blame on others.
As I remember hearing his words, I don't expect you to trust or respect me, I will earn that. As far as I am concerned, he is no closer to earning their respect the way he throws players under the bus in the media or attacks them through interviews.
Be an adult and take responsibility. And please stop throwing the head sets, your going to hurt someone.

I guess Spurrier is a terrible coach too for throwing his visor all over the field. He is a very passionate coach, and good players respect that. If he doesn't show passion the players aren't going to play with any either. I guess he could do like Fulmer and when something happens just frown and clap like a cheerleader.

Orange_since_84 writes:

in response to bigfogg:

When you speak of discipline, do you watch how he as a Head Coach acts. I believe he has thrown his head sets at least 4-5 times in the first 5 games. Than after a very tough, tough loss, I really feel for the players: he does not have the discipline to say we got beat, I need to go shake hands with the other head coach. I believe it is very tough for a team to show composure and discipline when every time something bad goes wrong, the head coach either throws something, yells at someone or the way it looks and sounds puts the blame on others.
As I remember hearing his words, I don't expect you to trust or respect me, I will earn that. As far as I am concerned, he is no closer to earning their respect the way he throws players under the bus in the media or attacks them through interviews.
Be an adult and take responsibility. And please stop throwing the head sets, your going to hurt someone.

What coach are you watching? You don't think the players respect him after the way they played Saturday night? College age football players want a coach who shows a little emotion. That is precisely why Trooper Taylor was a player favorite. I've listened to every post-game locker room show and DD TV show, and I haven't heard any player get thrown under the bus. The biggest foul up this year was the FL fake punt and while a kid clearly missed a tackle that would have stopped the play, Dooley acknowledged that he didn't have them expecting that play. He is honest and emotional and the team responds to the extent that they are able.

Give DD a chance to get some players in there. Even if they are not top 10 recruiting classes, some scholarship depth is better than none at all.

MilitaryBrat writes:

Good Job Adams. Maybe Dooley has made you a fan.
It is nice to near some positive articles.

As for some of the fans - what is your problem?
Dooley is making the best of the situation. He is a young coach with a young team. There will be mistakes. But you are ready to throw him under the bus.

We went toe-to-toe with one of the best defenses, and limited one of the best return men, to minimal yardage. The kids played their heart out, and almost beat a team with good talented players.

It seems like you want him to fail.
We are getting better each game. I feel we will be clicking by the end of the year.

Go Vols!!

AllforTenn writes:

in response to BigVolFaninSC:

You make some good points about Saban as Dooley's measuring stick. However, as much as I hate Spurrier, he changed the whole SEC and not just the Vols! Before the fun and gun, the SEC was basically 3 yards and a cloud of dust! In order to avoid getting embarrassed 70-3, all the offenses around the league had to open it up, including Tennessee! I hate giving that arrogant, condescending SOB any credit for anything, but the SEC is what is it today because of Florida's offenses! So, it was not so much that Fulmer got lazy as it was that the rest of the SEC caught up!

Three yards and a cloud of dust? Apparently you weren't around to see Wide Receiver U during the 1980s (before Spurrier) - Willie Gault, McGee, etc. lighting up the scoreboard on long pass plays.

ThurmondEppy writes:

in response to MilitaryBrat:

Good Job Adams. Maybe Dooley has made you a fan.
It is nice to near some positive articles.

As for some of the fans - what is your problem?
Dooley is making the best of the situation. He is a young coach with a young team. There will be mistakes. But you are ready to throw him under the bus.

We went toe-to-toe with one of the best defenses, and limited one of the best return men, to minimal yardage. The kids played their heart out, and almost beat a team with good talented players.

It seems like you want him to fail.
We are getting better each game. I feel we will be clicking by the end of the year.

Go Vols!!

You have to go back to Johnny Majors' quote about Vol fans being the "Legions of the Miserable" to understand the mentality. It's just a fact that some Vol fans will always find something to complain about.

NashVol1 writes:

Tennessee fans are the worst, typified by "VolNotHamiltonfan" and his myriad angry rants on these boards. My friends have tried for years to get me to believe what an awful fan base we have, and through the first 5 games of a rebuilding season, I am completely on board. Bunch of whining babies. Not fans of this program at all.

tulelakevol writes:

in response to VolnotHAMILTONfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Looks like you need a hammer job...

TKG_VOL writes:

in response to ThurmondEppy:

You have to go back to Johnny Majors' quote about Vol fans being the "Legions of the Miserable" to understand the mentality. It's just a fact that some Vol fans will always find something to complain about.

I agree. Speaking of Johnny Majors, even though he did have his problems IMHO he was one of the best coaches we had, except Neyland. It took him 10 years to get Tenn back to the top or near the top of the SEC and national recognition recruiting was tough back then like it is now. Since the post World War 2 era, 65 years, Tenn has had only 17 ten win + seasons and 7 nine win seasons.
That's 25% of 10 win seasons in 65 years. From 1985 - 1993 Majors gave us 4 nine win seasons and 3 ten win seasons. That's 7 of 9 seasons with 9+ wins and ranked. Fulmer took over from there with great recruiting and very good assistant coaching and took us to eight 10+ seasons and one 9 win season and kept us on top, one of our best runs. We all got spoiled with this and Fulmer got coaching changes and recruiting went down somewhat and got us back to where we are. Every team has down and rebuilding years. Some more than others. Look at Texas now, Geo. Alabama a few years back. Oklahoma. These programs are as storied as Tenn but have had some rough times. All do. Give Dooley some time. It may take 3 - 5 years. Took Majors 10 but he got us back. We are recruiting and playing against some of the best teams, in their own back yard, in the best conference in the country. I think we will be back competing on a regular basis sooner that later. He won't be given 10 years like Majors but in 2 to 4 years he will be in the mix almost every year.

AugVol writes:

in response to NashVol1:

Tennessee fans are the worst, typified by "VolNotHamiltonfan" and his myriad angry rants on these boards. My friends have tried for years to get me to believe what an awful fan base we have, and through the first 5 games of a rebuilding season, I am completely on board. Bunch of whining babies. Not fans of this program at all.

No truer words have ever been said. I came to that same conclusion about 3 years ago. It has got to be a generational thing.

Great article, BTW, Adams. I don't usually agree with you, but this is spot on. I am a lot more optimistic for the SC game than I was going into the season (SC and UF will fight it out for the SEC East). I say that because I have seen linear improvement in this team from game-to-game. It's not a prediction of a win, necessarily, but it is realistic. Regardless of the 13 player fiasco, the coaching staff is keeping them focused and having them ready for the big games. Can you imagine how good these guys would be if they had some more depth and experience? Just ponder that for a moment. Good things ahead in the coming years.

GBO

AugVol writes:

in response to TKG_VOL:

I agree. Speaking of Johnny Majors, even though he did have his problems IMHO he was one of the best coaches we had, except Neyland. It took him 10 years to get Tenn back to the top or near the top of the SEC and national recognition recruiting was tough back then like it is now. Since the post World War 2 era, 65 years, Tenn has had only 17 ten win + seasons and 7 nine win seasons.
That's 25% of 10 win seasons in 65 years. From 1985 - 1993 Majors gave us 4 nine win seasons and 3 ten win seasons. That's 7 of 9 seasons with 9+ wins and ranked. Fulmer took over from there with great recruiting and very good assistant coaching and took us to eight 10+ seasons and one 9 win season and kept us on top, one of our best runs. We all got spoiled with this and Fulmer got coaching changes and recruiting went down somewhat and got us back to where we are. Every team has down and rebuilding years. Some more than others. Look at Texas now, Geo. Alabama a few years back. Oklahoma. These programs are as storied as Tenn but have had some rough times. All do. Give Dooley some time. It may take 3 - 5 years. Took Majors 10 but he got us back. We are recruiting and playing against some of the best teams, in their own back yard, in the best conference in the country. I think we will be back competing on a regular basis sooner that later. He won't be given 10 years like Majors but in 2 to 4 years he will be in the mix almost every year.

Great post.

gatorhator4eva writes:

in response to bigfogg:

When you speak of discipline, do you watch how he as a Head Coach acts. I believe he has thrown his head sets at least 4-5 times in the first 5 games. Than after a very tough, tough loss, I really feel for the players: he does not have the discipline to say we got beat, I need to go shake hands with the other head coach. I believe it is very tough for a team to show composure and discipline when every time something bad goes wrong, the head coach either throws something, yells at someone or the way it looks and sounds puts the blame on others.
As I remember hearing his words, I don't expect you to trust or respect me, I will earn that. As far as I am concerned, he is no closer to earning their respect the way he throws players under the bus in the media or attacks them through interviews.
Be an adult and take responsibility. And please stop throwing the head sets, your going to hurt someone.

its the sec, there is always passion and throwing a headset does not mean a coach is not discipline. relax, dude

BigOrangeSlim writes:

in response to volky:

I respect the points you make. However,

1) He hasn't had an opportunity to sign a recruiting class he has put together. 2) Is a function of the personnel he has available. I think this will improve and likewise so will his ability to make adjustments. 3) There hasn't been enough time to make a judgment on how well he can coach up young talent. (Shower discipline not withstanding)

As for your last statement, there are a lot of coaches who haven't been able to take their teams to the NC. Tennessee has had 20 coaches in their history but only 2 of those 20 were able to lead them to a NC. Georgia (taking our next opponent as an example) probably also has had 20 coaches in their history, but only 1 out of 20 led them to a NC. Lots of college D1 programs with a relatively strong tradition have never won a NC. Odds are Dooley probably won't lead Tennessee to a NC, but that is more a function of simply how difficult it is to win the NC, rather than Dooley's ability as a HC. I think the expectation Vol fans should have for Dooley is for him to bring Tennessee to a point where they can be in a position to be in the NC picture. If he can do this he will be successful

You know VOLKY that is correct. However FL has two under HERB and NICKY gets two and is working on a third. What I find refreshing was he was not sitting on the sideline clapping he was working and even showed emotion. The Vol nation needs to let the coach be the coach and be fans not arm chair coaches. For what he has to work with so far I think so good! As for the rest of the coaches in the SEC right now all eyes are on the Vols!! Keep up the hard work coach!!

agentorange writes:

It's obvious that Dooley is a good coach.

TKG_VOL writes:

in response to BigOrangeSlim:

You know VOLKY that is correct. However FL has two under HERB and NICKY gets two and is working on a third. What I find refreshing was he was not sitting on the sideline clapping he was working and even showed emotion. The Vol nation needs to let the coach be the coach and be fans not arm chair coaches. For what he has to work with so far I think so good! As for the rest of the coaches in the SEC right now all eyes are on the Vols!! Keep up the hard work coach!!

I think I would have been throwing more than my head set. Did you notice how CDD was all over the refs and in my opinion a lot of it was for so many missed holding calls against LSU. I saw at least 4 so obvious right in front of the refs. One was even a take down in front of their QB. Way to go CDD. Be the coach and take up for our boys in orange. I think he was a little upset with them too on that 13 man play. They moved off the ball during substitution too soon in his opinion. Clock should have run out.

DRORANGELOVE writes:

in response to usnavyvol:

Another vol faithful I see...CDD has coached 5....5....5 games with UT. He did not put him in the hall of fame, u did...I drink the dool-aid, wear the orange tinted glasse. Why..I am A FAN....FAN...FAN of UT. Stop ur crying so much and decide..VOL fan or not? man up for step off. I could care less who the coach is. If he/she is coaching UT team I'm all in regardless. I'm an alum and will always support my university. Just stop being so f-ing negative.

Hey navyvol, good to see you back on the website. Have you been on a WESPAC or Med cruise? I figure maybe thats why I haven't seen any of your post for a while. Anyway, don't take too much stock in VOLNOTHAMILTONFANs post. As you cansee by his name he is down on Hamilton, therefore very biased in his judgement of Hamilton. He will never post anything positive about Hamilton, no matter what Hamilton does, good or bad. I'm not saying I have always agreed with every decision Hamilton has made, BUT, I am a loyal VOL fan and will give him my support as long as he remains Tn AD. GBO

LaneBrains writes:

in response to VolAlum2003:

Dooley has yet to show that he can 1) recruit a top 10 class all on his own, 2) that he can adjust his on-the-field gameplan in response to his opponent, or 3) that he can coach up some of the younger talent.

Dooley, like Kiffin last year, is a new toy in the SEC and the new hasn't worn off. I'm convinced that he will make UT competitive, but I seriously doubt that he will be able to take us back to the National Championship.

No need to bash the LaneBrains...we were the best coaching staff and recruiters in the Conference and in all of college football as soon as we hit campus at UT...(now 'SC enjoys that unique advantage).

While CDD is not near as talented as we are, you're being a bit hard on the guy don't ya think? I had the same poor treatment by game 4 at UT as well...and I had Monte, Ed, My Brother in Law ...and my own unique talent. RELAX

givehim6 writes:

To me and a few others CDD is still in his newlywed year and some fan are already calling for his head, I say whats up with that? Who you going to get to replace him? And if this replacement doest win every game you'd be calling for there head too. So when would it end? Let CDD get through a season before we through him under the bus, OK. We are UT not King henry the 8Th.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

I agree with another poster that this article is spot on..Dooley is turning heads in positive ways, in spite of the 13-man fiasco..No matter how the season ends up, this will constantly be mentioned by someone..I agree that there was mass confusion and miscommunication, but coaches make mistakes, especially early in their careers as they are adjusting to big time college football...It was utter chaos, but now it is time to get the team focused on UGA..I believe that Dooley is just the man to do that.

Two things I love about Dooley are his discipline for the team and motivating the team to compete in big games, as he has the last few weeks..The Vols were competing very well overall in these games, except for the first half of the Oregon game..If it's any consolation UO will probably be competing for the NC this year, but I digress..To take an undermanned and inexperienced team into Death Valley against the #12 team in the country and compete for the FULL 60 minutes and even sniffing an upset is a great accomplishment in my book..I am very proud of this team because they continue to improve and work hard..They are on their way back to SEC prominence and the fruits of their labor will be revealed.

Vol fans, just be patient because we all knew this would take longer than 5 games to rebuild this program that had fallen..IMO, the timeline is 2-3 years because depth and inexperience would have been addressed by then and Vol fans all around the world will be very pleased and glad that they showed some patience.

springtx_vol writes:

in response to bigfogg:

When you speak of discipline, do you watch how he as a Head Coach acts. I believe he has thrown his head sets at least 4-5 times in the first 5 games. Than after a very tough, tough loss, I really feel for the players: he does not have the discipline to say we got beat, I need to go shake hands with the other head coach. I believe it is very tough for a team to show composure and discipline when every time something bad goes wrong, the head coach either throws something, yells at someone or the way it looks and sounds puts the blame on others.
As I remember hearing his words, I don't expect you to trust or respect me, I will earn that. As far as I am concerned, he is no closer to earning their respect the way he throws players under the bus in the media or attacks them through interviews.
Be an adult and take responsibility. And please stop throwing the head sets, your going to hurt someone.

Well, it is a good thing that we have you to report on the locker room and to tell us what the players think about CDD. Otherwise, we would simply have to guess at how much he is earning the trust and respect of the players.

Wait, we do know how the players are reacting to himn! They tell us! The players tell us that they trust and respect CDD very much.

But, they must be blowing smoke, because you obviously know better. So, we can't trust the players any more than we can trust CDD. The rest of us are so glad you keep us informed on how life in the Big Orange Locker Room really is.

Further, coaches have been throwing things as long as I have been watching sports (40 years or so). That, IMO, has nothing to do with how a team responds to a coach. Spurrier was famous for throwing things. We can only hope that CDD has the long term record that Spurrier put up. I would be more disapponted if the coach was not emotional on the sidelines.

rudy123 writes:

in response to volky:

I respect the points you make. However,

1) He hasn't had an opportunity to sign a recruiting class he has put together. 2) Is a function of the personnel he has available. I think this will improve and likewise so will his ability to make adjustments. 3) There hasn't been enough time to make a judgment on how well he can coach up young talent. (Shower discipline not withstanding)

As for your last statement, there are a lot of coaches who haven't been able to take their teams to the NC. Tennessee has had 20 coaches in their history but only 2 of those 20 were able to lead them to a NC. Georgia (taking our next opponent as an example) probably also has had 20 coaches in their history, but only 1 out of 20 led them to a NC. Lots of college D1 programs with a relatively strong tradition have never won a NC. Odds are Dooley probably won't lead Tennessee to a NC, but that is more a function of simply how difficult it is to win the NC, rather than Dooley's ability as a HC. I think the expectation Vol fans should have for Dooley is for him to bring Tennessee to a point where they can be in a position to be in the NC picture. If he can do this he will be successful

Winning a National Championship is of course the ultimate goal. If a team is competitive on a yearly basis, then this will put them in the position that they need to be in.
If a team is competitive on a yearly basis, then that is when luck and being prepared comes in. I have not seen a National Championship team in the past 20 years that hasn't at some point gotten lucky.
Example: Alabama was lucky when we missed the field goal last year. That would have been their loss for the year.
Example: NOt sure Alabama would have beaten Texas, had McCoy not been removed from the game due to injury. Different ball game with McCoy playing.
Example: U.T. was set to lose to Florida had it not been partly for Floridas kicker missing a field goal. They would have had one loss for the season.
Example: U.T. was set lose to Arkansas had we not recovered Stearners fumble.
Example: U.T. may not have beaten FSU, had they had a healthy Q.B. and been playing a freshman.

Winning a National Championship game is about being prepared, your schedule, team chemistry, coaching and luck. We can have four of those five ingredients and without luck, we still don't win the National Championship

dvol writes:

in response to bigfogg:

When you speak of discipline, do you watch how he as a Head Coach acts. I believe he has thrown his head sets at least 4-5 times in the first 5 games. Than after a very tough, tough loss, I really feel for the players: he does not have the discipline to say we got beat, I need to go shake hands with the other head coach. I believe it is very tough for a team to show composure and discipline when every time something bad goes wrong, the head coach either throws something, yells at someone or the way it looks and sounds puts the blame on others.
As I remember hearing his words, I don't expect you to trust or respect me, I will earn that. As far as I am concerned, he is no closer to earning their respect the way he throws players under the bus in the media or attacks them through interviews.
Be an adult and take responsibility. And please stop throwing the head sets, your going to hurt someone.

I agree 100% with what you said. He acted like a big baby at the end of the game. Miles had to run him down to shake his hand. He wouldn't MAN up after the game and put the blame on Him and His coaches for the 13 players on the field either. I could understand confusion on the sidelines and 12 players on the field But,13 thats a train wreck. Say what you will about Miles but, he stands there and answers the hard questions when his coaches mess up and he takes the blame. He will at least Man up which is more than I can say for our acting Coach.

miketn6 writes:

in response to AugVol:

Great post.

Are you under the impression that we've always played 12 games plus a bowl every year?
It's a lot easier to get 9 or 10 wins a year when you play 12 or 13 games. When you only play 10 games plus a bowl (with the bowls not meaning a whole lot back in the day), a 10 win season means a lot more.

hpardue#1374161 writes:

i am disappointed about the 13 men in the field. this is not the players fault it is the coaches, are they that stupid they lost the game for the team not the players nmaybe the coaches should be suspended let them see how it feels the coaches need to think what they are doing

Volumnus writes:

Yawn, Adams you did it again. 5 games in and you wrote this article. OT with UAB???? Let's give this another year before we anoint anyone.... Oh and we might learn how to count to say 13 and maybe how to subtract.... just a thought.(note this does not reflect a lack of support for the program, but rather reflects my opinion of this article.)

Ayres_Hall writes:

We might be a better team than I had predicted at this point in the season. See, I fully expected to be 2-3 on October 4. Didn't you?

We've shown improvement each week. So much so that we were in position to win on Saturday over the 11th ranked team in the nation. Man, that would have been sweet. Unexpected, 'tho.

This trip will seem so short (and it'll be fun) once were there. Join me.

FearTheVols1252 writes:

in response to VolnotHAMILTONfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Your beloved Fulmer gave DD his seal of approval and claims he's the right man for the job. Since you treat Fulmer like a God, I figured his endorsement would make you a believer. Guess not... you're obviously far too happy being miserable.

FearTheVols1252 writes:

in response to Orange_since_84:

What coach are you watching? You don't think the players respect him after the way they played Saturday night? College age football players want a coach who shows a little emotion. That is precisely why Trooper Taylor was a player favorite. I've listened to every post-game locker room show and DD TV show, and I haven't heard any player get thrown under the bus. The biggest foul up this year was the FL fake punt and while a kid clearly missed a tackle that would have stopped the play, Dooley acknowledged that he didn't have them expecting that play. He is honest and emotional and the team responds to the extent that they are able.

Give DD a chance to get some players in there. Even if they are not top 10 recruiting classes, some scholarship depth is better than none at all.

I totally agree with you! I think showing some emotion on the sideline is a GREAT thing! People can see he’s passionate about his job, and that’s something that will translate to his players as well. Plus, I think he holds everyone accountable for their actions… including himself. He’s not afraid to point out the when a player is underperforming. He’s also not afraid to admit when he’s made an error. He doesn’t seem to be making excuses. He acknowledges that things could have been administered better from an officiating standpoint this weekend, but he’s also admitted that several things could have been done better on our part.

I’m much happier seeing headsets fly instead of the complacent clapping days of Fulmer. At least DD appears to care!

TKG_VOL writes:

in response to miketn6:

Are you under the impression that we've always played 12 games plus a bowl every year?
It's a lot easier to get 9 or 10 wins a year when you play 12 or 13 games. When you only play 10 games plus a bowl (with the bowls not meaning a whole lot back in the day), a 10 win season means a lot more.

I know what you mean. That's why I put the 9 game seasons in there too. Football did not start playing 11 game seasons on a regular basis util 1970. Before that it was 10 games and a bowl if you won enough. of course back in the day there were very few bowl games. Not 35. It would take 8 or 9 wins to get to a bowl game.The regular season started playing 12 games regularly in 2006. That's not including CCGs. They were only allowed 12 games on certain years before that. Yes in the 50s 60s and 70s a ten win season was almost perfect even if you did not win a bowl. Even 8 wins was a good year. 8 wins now is mediocre. Even 10+ wins should be a almost regular event now days to be in the elite.

Hillbilly_Orange writes:

I am proud to be a Vol fan & am proud CDD is our coach!! GBO!

tennesseebee writes:

John Adams, I have to say I am absolutely with you on this one. Nice article. I think that even if Mark Richt wins out the remaining schedule, he is gone. I like Richt, he is a good and decent man, but as head coach in the SEC east he is in a bit over his head. Therefore, based on this thought process, I hope we beat the hair off of the Bulldawgs this upcoming Saturday-Go Vols!!!

orangecountyvols writes:

Ayres Hall,

Very well said. Yes, back before the first game, there was so much negativity about the talent-less and lack of experience Vols...............that so many probably didn't even think we'd do this well in fact. Then throw in the schedule. Just suppose we had the sort of schedule Boise State has, and even in our situation, we'd probably win at least 8, maybe 9 games.

But we've got to move on to Georgia. We can't dwell on what happened.

Just ignore the trolls, play to the best of our ability, and we'll see what happens.

west_tn_volfan writes:

in response to bigfogg:

When you speak of discipline, do you watch how he as a Head Coach acts. I believe he has thrown his head sets at least 4-5 times in the first 5 games. Than after a very tough, tough loss, I really feel for the players: he does not have the discipline to say we got beat, I need to go shake hands with the other head coach. I believe it is very tough for a team to show composure and discipline when every time something bad goes wrong, the head coach either throws something, yells at someone or the way it looks and sounds puts the blame on others.
As I remember hearing his words, I don't expect you to trust or respect me, I will earn that. As far as I am concerned, he is no closer to earning their respect the way he throws players under the bus in the media or attacks them through interviews.
Be an adult and take responsibility. And please stop throwing the head sets, your going to hurt someone.

Have you,by chance,ever seen nick saban on the sidelines during a game? He is every bit as fiery as cdd. There is nothing wrong with showing emotion.I always hated seeing Tom Landry on the sidelines because his team could be up by 30 or down by 30 and he never changed. It worked for him but I hated it. On the other hand, Vince Lombardi screamed and threw things and was maybe the greatest coach ever. A coach needs to be himself and coach well and it will work either way.

jtvols writes:

in response to VolAlum2003:

Dooley has yet to show that he can 1) recruit a top 10 class all on his own, 2) that he can adjust his on-the-field gameplan in response to his opponent, or 3) that he can coach up some of the younger talent.

Dooley, like Kiffin last year, is a new toy in the SEC and the new hasn't worn off. I'm convinced that he will make UT competitive, but I seriously doubt that he will be able to take us back to the National Championship.

I think these are definitely the correct points. I support Dooley and any coach UT may hire (Kiffin included). Coaching a team up when they are underdogs and when you have the element of surprise is the easy part of coaching. Doing this long term is the hard part. The life expectancy of a good coach in the SEC should be around 10 years.

murrayvol writes:

Insightful article Mr. Adams.

My perception is Dooley is a helluva coach and when he gets a few more players he will rule the SEC East. Beating Bama might take a bit longer.

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