Adams: Dooley knows 2-5 won't get it

Tennessee's 2-5 record in football is nothing new. If you have checked a media guide or consulted with one of your 130-year-old neighbors, you know the first UT team to play a full season went 2-5.

But in the 118 years between that 2-5 team and this one, UT fans got spoiled.

General Neyland had a lot to do with it. From 1926 through 1932, his UT teams lost two games in seven years. That's three fewer losses than the 1892 and 2010 Vols had in seven games.

It's not all about Neyland, though. UT has started out 2-5 or worse only 10 times in school history.

Derek Dooley might be a first-year head coach at UT but he knows the history. He also knows how it impacts his team.

"Players didn't come here for this," he said.

Not only are the Vols 2-5, they haven't been competitive in three of their losses. Oregon and Alabama outscored them 63-0 combined in the second half at Neyland Stadium. They trailed Georgia by 20 points at halftime. And they will enter Saturday's game against South Carolina as a double-digit underdog for the fifth consecutive SEC game.

This is foreign turf even for the veterans who experienced a 5-7 season in 2008. As unsuccessful as that team was, it never gave up more than 30 points in a game. This team has given up 27 or more points in three different halves.

Dooley is more familiar with such circumstances. In his first season as the head coach at Louisiana Tech, his team also was 2-5 after seven games.

But not all 2-5 starts are the same.

UT fans aren't accustomed to their team being non-competitive against the best teams in the SEC. Louisiana Tech fans were prepared for the worst against the WAC's preeminent programs - Boise State, Nevada and Fresno State.

"I think they had a greater history of not playing well in some of those games," Dooley said. "There was a greater history of getting run out of the stadium in games when things went bad.

"Whereas here, I get reminded every week that this is the first time since (the) stone age that this has happened. ... This is new, we're in uncharted territory."

You can see how the shock of it all might impede a team's resilience. It's easier to put lopsided losses behind you when they're more familiar.

"Yeah, but there's also a downside to it, because there's an acceptance," Dooley said. "We can't allow that to happen with our team.

"It worries me when we talk about, 'Well, they're inexperienced, they're not very deep.' It's an excuse not to win, and it can't ever get that way. ... I tell the team all the time we'll never compromise the standard."

Although Dooley often refers to his team's inexperience, he offsets that with precisely targeted criticism, as if to make sure the "inexperience" is taken as an explanation, not an excuse.

Even if his team is inexperienced, he's making it accountable. He's also trying to come out of one of the toughest stretches of UT football - since the Stone Age, maybe -with an improved team, not a demoralized one.

So he repeatedly urges his team to ignore the scoreboard and focus on competing and improving, even though he knows the instructions would be easier to follow at a program with a less successful of history.

As he said, these players didn't come here for this.

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

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Comments » 44

VolFanScott writes:

AGAIN......with the exception of Georgia, the games we lost were games we SHOULD have lost....at least when looking at the rankings. The teams we faced were top 25 teams, five ranked in the top ten, and 4 were ranked at number one at some point in the season according to whatever poll you look at. By the way, Georgia is a much better team than the record they had when they played UT. The real tale of the season will be after we face S. Carolina. We could possibly win 5 or 6 games this season...which is what I predicted before the season began. Go VOLS. GO COACH DOOLEY!!!

foster5652#360197 writes:

Yes, the tables have turned. That's college football. I don't believe Alabama has always been on top. But then again, it's easy to talk big during a 'winning spree'. But don't worry; your classless coach will leave soon enough. And, I'm betting Dooley gets a handle on things and begins the whippings of Bama soon enough. But, enjoy your time while it lasts. It's easy to talk big during good times, but not very admirable.

TSCinSFO writes:

And we should be 1-6. UAB actually beat us the way I look at that game and because of stupid coaching we lost a game against against a LSU team we should've won. Again, the coaches can't get the right number of players on the field vs Bama. I knew this team would struggle to get 6 wins and a minor bowl, but this team is getting worse. All those 3 star recruits we're signing aren't gonna cut it in the future either. As of now ranked 11th in SEC, and not even top 40 in the nation for recruits. I see Dooley here for 2 years max and then we'll have to start all over again. I'd rather just cut our loses at the end of the season and get a proven winning top name coach. But I know that's wishful thinking.

trat writes:

We got a coach that can't count to 11 without taking his shoes off............what do you expect?

jkreis#632254 writes:

Wow, trolls and idiots abound at these odd hours! BamaMam, if you had a pair you'd be on an Auburn site talking trash, but you're too scared of Gus and Cam. Volnot, you better take that history degree you got at the Gadsden Walmart back for a refund, it's defective.

shipperman#280095 writes:

Yeah and if these idiots think that Dooley should be fired after one year, get over it, we ain't paying a big buy out. Your boy Fulmer is the first and biggest reason we are in this mess. If Hamilton had fired him 5 years earlier, we would have a big name coach now

KENVOL writes:

This is the worst coaching I've ever seen. I have NEVER seen a Tennessee team qiut in the second half like this this team does. We can play with anyone for a half. I guess the coaches didn't tell the players there is two halves to play. I don't know what is said at halftime but God help us if Dooley is ever in a crisis center answering phones. The suicide rate will go up. I guess we will have to live with it but this is not Tennessee Football!!!

CrankE writes:

Volunteers know that Adams won't get it.

REGIME CHANGE AT KNS!

TSCinSFO writes:

in response to KENVOL:

This is the worst coaching I've ever seen. I have NEVER seen a Tennessee team qiut in the second half like this this team does. We can play with anyone for a half. I guess the coaches didn't tell the players there is two halves to play. I don't know what is said at halftime but God help us if Dooley is ever in a crisis center answering phones. The suicide rate will go up. I guess we will have to live with it but this is not Tennessee Football!!!

Agreed. This is not a learn to coach in the SEC as we go job. The smart thing to do back in January would've been to install Kippy as a 1 year interm coach and then when the season was over go out and get a big name proven winning coach. We could've only wrote 1 year off. I fear UT is stuck in the mud for at least 2 years with this coach by the time UT figures out he can't recruit or win and it'll be at least 5 years before we are even out of the cellar dwellers. What were they think hiring, sign all those great 3 star recruits, Dooley with a the long term contract and huge raise he got as a losing coach at a less than mid major Loser Tech? I'm still shaking my head today.

NashvillePreds writes:

For all of Dooley's talk, he is still, consistently, being run out of the stadium. It makes me believe, more and more, he is just full of it.

bristolvol writes:

This is some show that Mike Hamilton has laid in our laps. With the football program in a shambles and Pearl probably getting us put on probation and NCAA sanctions for lying, Hamilton should be on the hot seat. Neyland will be 70,000 strong from here on out this season. That will raise the eyebrows of the big doners. Get ready Mike, you made your bed now sleep in it if you can.

fasteddief2010 writes:

Remember people...we are in a marathon right now not a sprint. This is going to take 2-3 years to turn around all the bad recruiting and things...but we will prevail! SEC Champs in 2012!

flatrock writes:

in response to TSCinSFO:

Agreed. This is not a learn to coach in the SEC as we go job. The smart thing to do back in January would've been to install Kippy as a 1 year interm coach and then when the season was over go out and get a big name proven winning coach. We could've only wrote 1 year off. I fear UT is stuck in the mud for at least 2 years with this coach by the time UT figures out he can't recruit or win and it'll be at least 5 years before we are even out of the cellar dwellers. What were they think hiring, sign all those great 3 star recruits, Dooley with a the long term contract and huge raise he got as a losing coach at a less than mid major Loser Tech? I'm still shaking my head today.

Amazing- 2 idiots in one post!
-Derek Dooley did not create the emaciated roster that he inherited (name one interior offensive or defensive lineman who could start for any of the top 8 SEC teams!);
-Derek Dooley had an incredible close to last year's recruiting season;
-Many of the 4 & 5-star recruits who have
committed so far this year have been romanced
by SEC staffs for 2-3 years...Derek Dooley's staff has had 9 months on the same trail;
-Derek Dooley's gameplans have been very impressive in all but the Georgia game (it got
tossed early because of 3 first-half turnovers!);
-the 2nd-half wipeouts have been caused
by lack of depth and muscle (Alabama rotated
8-9 defensive linemen all night- UT played
5-6 including walk-ons and walking wounded and
defensive ends who gave up 50-60 pounds per
man because they had to play defensive tackle!);
-Get over the substitution headaches. Because of
the shortened clock, package substitutions, no-
huddle offenses and inconsistent ball-spotting
by the officials, just about every college game
is marred by burned timeouts or sub errors (yes,
even Nick "Please call me God" Saban has had to
burn timeouts in each of the last 3 weeks!);
-Dig in, true Vol fans, it is not gonna get
much better this year (Vols will rightfully be underdogs vs. USC, Ole Miss and UK- and maybe
even the dreaded 'Dores!);
-Big-name coach lured to UT? Not gonna happen!
The recruiting base is woefully weak vs. the
hyper expectations of a spoiled fan base;
-The next big-name coach at UT will be Derek
Dooley, who I would not trade for any SEC
coach- other than God himself at Tuscaloosa!
Go Vols!

TSCinSFO writes:

I think flatrock needs to quit smoking the stuff from the medicinal clinics we get out here in SF. Most ridiculous excuses I've ever wasted my time reading. If you wouldn't trade for any coach in the SEC, you spent too much time at Burning Man. Of course we could've spent and gotten a top dollar and got a top flight proven recruiter and winning coach. We ARE UT and we are still a big time program name. We've just made a some bad hires. Dooley is as unproven as Kiffen. And Kiffen will get DESTROYED by the Ducks this week. Are you just plain stupid man?

theoldbear writes:

in response to VolnotHAMILTONfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

FYI, Tennessee (and most NCAA schools) did not start playing 11 game schedules until much later than 1950. More like 1970. When I was on campus, 1964-1968, ten games was the norm.

The 1967 team was not recognized as a national championship team until many years later, and I suppose that is the "bogus" National Championship referred to in an earlier post.

The 1951 team was a true national championship team.

I agree with you that Phil Fulmer never received the respect he deserved. His record is remarkable.

I suspect that a lot of Johnny Major's success was due to Phil Fulmer's presence on his staff, just as Phil's success was due to a top offensive coordinator and a top defensive coordinator.

We lack either of those today.

Mike Hamilton shares much of the blame.

Derek Dooley's success or failure at UT will be as much a result of who he hires to assist him as of the players he recruits. So far, not so good.

SandySpringsVol writes:

There's a lot of stupid out there among the Vol nation, but do they have to all post their opinions on here?

A little history lesson... UT finished its 1976 season at 6-5, fired Bill Battle, and hired Johnny Majors who was coming fresh off a national title at Pitt. In Majors first year, the Vols finished 4-7. His second year, they finished 5-5-1, and his third year, they finally managed a winning record of 7-5. And this was in an era when UT only played 6 SEC games, not 8 like they do now.

For anyone who's looking to throw Dooley out the door, he needs to be given an opportunity to get some things done first. He may or may not pan out, but as anyone with half a brain should have figured out, a coaching carousel with changes every year will certainly not produce the desired result.

volbeginningtoend writes:

shen24

Years of relative obscurity did not teach Buma fans anything. Having attended games of all SEC schools except Ole Miss in Neyland Stadium and visited in several other SEC stadiums, no fans are as classless as Buma fans. You talk trash because you are what we in the South call "trailer trash." Enjoy your nice run. It will not last forever.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to TSCinSFO:

And we should be 1-6. UAB actually beat us the way I look at that game and because of stupid coaching we lost a game against against a LSU team we should've won. Again, the coaches can't get the right number of players on the field vs Bama. I knew this team would struggle to get 6 wins and a minor bowl, but this team is getting worse. All those 3 star recruits we're signing aren't gonna cut it in the future either. As of now ranked 11th in SEC, and not even top 40 in the nation for recruits. I see Dooley here for 2 years max and then we'll have to start all over again. I'd rather just cut our loses at the end of the season and get a proven winning top name coach. But I know that's wishful thinking.

Brilliant advice! Three coaches in three years aren't enough for you? Just who in the heck in his right mind, with any coaching credibility AT ALL, would want to the FOURTH? Just who would you BELIEVE who said he could come in and win right away with this squad in this conference? That is not "wishful thinking", that is not thinking AT ALL, just pure venting of frustration.

rudy123 writes:

in response to TSCinSFO:

And we should be 1-6. UAB actually beat us the way I look at that game and because of stupid coaching we lost a game against against a LSU team we should've won. Again, the coaches can't get the right number of players on the field vs Bama. I knew this team would struggle to get 6 wins and a minor bowl, but this team is getting worse. All those 3 star recruits we're signing aren't gonna cut it in the future either. As of now ranked 11th in SEC, and not even top 40 in the nation for recruits. I see Dooley here for 2 years max and then we'll have to start all over again. I'd rather just cut our loses at the end of the season and get a proven winning top name coach. But I know that's wishful thinking.

Get a proven, winning top name coach?? (1) We don't have the money to afford that. We are paying Fulmer and would have to pay Dooley if we let him go without cause. (2) If Butch Davis, Gruden, Bill Cowher, Lovie Smith, Tony Dungie,
TCU's coach, Boise States coach, Texas's assistant coach, Utah's coach, Brian Kelly, Cutlcliffe, Spurrier etc. weren't interested earlier, then why would they be interested now?
(1) We have a depleated roster! (2) Our own fans ran Fulmer, who had a 750% winning out of town! (3)We don't have the money to pay them top dollar! (4) A glory seeking coach would not come here because he would have to compete against UGA, Bama, USC, LSU, Auburn and Florida on a regular basis and would not necessarily be successful (5) The state of Tennessee doesn't have a real good recruiting base.
I say we stay with Dooley. If he succeeds, then fine. If he doesn't succeed, then the foundation has been laid for our next coach to come in and succeed. Remember how Majors laid the foundation and Fulmer reaped the rewards??

OrangePride writes:

As the season began, I thought the VOLS should likely go 5-7, but 4-8 or 6-6 was not a difficult reach either. I continue to think this is about the way it should end up. Frankly, Kentucky is going to be a real war.....again. We are going to have to improve both our performance and our mental toughness for four quarters to beat UK this year. Being at home will definitely help. We will be underdogs to Ole Miss as well......but that is another winable game if we really ramp up our game. And Vandy is a game we "should" win.......but even there, we can't overlook them. So.....we could yet salvage a decent rebuild year.......it's all up to just how much character and heart this VOL team can put on the field in these last weeks. GO VOLS!!!

Huttdawg100 writes:

I'm going to reserve my opinion on Dooley until he does something he's not supposed to do. To this point, he's beaten teams that he was supposed to beat: Martin and UAB. He's lost to the teams he's supposed to lose to. Until we upset a team that is superior to ours, I can't say that he's the man for the job. Until he loses to teams he shouldn't lose to, I can't say he should be fired either. We've got South Carolina, Ole Miss, Memphis, Vandy and Kentucky left. I think that the last 4 games are clearly going to let us know whether Dooley is our version of Mike Shula. I know that we are all disappointed in our football team, but I just think we need to wait until December to evaluate our head coach and football program. If Robbie Caldwell and Larry Porter out coach Dooley, we have a big problem.

I think the biggest tragedy is the fact that we couldn't get Whittingham from Utah, Patterson from TCU, Cutcliffe from Duke, or Calhoun from Air Force. That says all I want to know about Mike Hamilton and Haslam.

Huttdawg100 writes:

Honestly, I've turned my full attention to recruiting. Dooley closed strong with the 2010 recruiting class. The 2011 class looks to be shaping up nicely; not because of the star ratings, but because of the fact that most of the guys will have the grades to make it to campus, unlike Kiffins class of guys like John Brown. It looks like he may close strong again for 2011 with multiple 4 and 5 star guys giving Tennessee strong consideration. The guys at Scout have predicted that we'll finish with a top 15 to top 12 class. I strongly feel that Dooley's 2012 recruiting class must be a top 5 or top 7 class. Unfortunately, I've always struggled with my patience, but after Saturday night, it's clear that I'm going to have to find another hobby for a while.

TSCinSFO writes:

rudy123 writes:
Get a proven, winning top name coach?? (1) We don't have the money to afford that. We are paying Fulmer and would have to pay Dooley if we let him go without cause.

UT still does have deep pockets. Otherwise, Well get used to a huge drop in season tix sales, huge losses in booster donations, hotel and restuarant revenue and tax collection declines, and 70% to 80% attendence. UT made really stupid hires and contracts and it's gonna cost us for a long time. And I mean a really long time. Not saying fire Dooley this year, I wish we could, but the fan base won't wait before they just quit coming or watching except for the diehards. I'm one of those, but UT buying out contracts to play UNC and next I would say Oregon in Eugene just confirms that this coach is setting us up for a low bar for years to come. Embarrassing actually and UNC is NOT that good. I'm sickened by the whole mess and I see Dooley scheduling 4 cupcakes a year for years to come to say he won 7 or 8 games but losing to the big boys like Fat Phil did for the last several years he was here.

manniesghost1903 writes:

in response to shipperman#280095:

Yeah and if these idiots think that Dooley should be fired after one year, get over it, we ain't paying a big buy out. Your boy Fulmer is the first and biggest reason we are in this mess. If Hamilton had fired him 5 years earlier, we would have a big name coach now

When you fire a coach that has won a BCS Championship, is known as one of the best national recruiters, and is respected by his peers, you will never get a big name coach. Fullmer had to fight the negative media at KNS and the Tennessean. He also had to endure stupid fans who booed their the quaterback in front of a national television audience and some top notched potential recruits. He made a major change in his staff but was only given one year when he should have got a minimum of two. You and your cohorts need to blame yourselves for this mess. Not Fulmer.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to manniesghost1903:

When you fire a coach that has won a BCS Championship, is known as one of the best national recruiters, and is respected by his peers, you will never get a big name coach. Fullmer had to fight the negative media at KNS and the Tennessean. He also had to endure stupid fans who booed their the quaterback in front of a national television audience and some top notched potential recruits. He made a major change in his staff but was only given one year when he should have got a minimum of two. You and your cohorts need to blame yourselves for this mess. Not Fulmer.

It amazed me how spoiled UT fans got because of Fulmer's early success. Some fans were calling for him to be fired as early as 1999 after he didnt win the SEC. Then after he finished top 5 in the country and had the best record in the SEC in 2001 fans were calling for his head for not winning the SEC or NT. Forget the great season and the fact that he had the best SEC record. I do think it wouldve been wise to give him another year to get the offense in gear instead of dismantling the entire staff. He did have to replace a great off co and install a whole new offense too. Fulmer was fired less than a year after winning the SEC East and tieing for best reg season record in the SEC. Fulmer also had a top 10 recruiting class coming in . If Hamilton wouldve waited till the end of the year, UT probably wouldve won 6 games. The Wyoming loss was because the players and coaches were too distracted from the firing of Fulmer earlier in the week.
With all that said, Dooley is coaching a team thats low on depth and talent due to all the players quitting the team and injuries. I dont have alot of confidence that he will get the job done, but I do think its possible and he should be given a fair opportunity to do so.

Mule_Days_King writes:

in response to shen24:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Always, huh? Always means that every year you are the best, if I am to take you literally, Farragut.
Were you the "alpha dog" when LA Monroe beat you at home?
Were you the "alpha dog" under Shula? Were you the "alpha dog" after Dubose left you in NCAA sanction purgatory?
True Alabama has traditionally been a strong program. But don't throw your BS on here as if Alabama has consistently been the end-all, be-all of college football. Revisionist history at its finest.

Ralph_Crampton writes:

I feel that I have defend some of our coaches. First of all Cutcliffe the record.Cut was a fine play caller and offensive coach...but the record indicates he is not a recruiter. Once the players sign on, he was superior in handling the offensive players. I think that Fulmer's biggest mistake was keeping Chavis on as defensive herad. John is a nice guy, but recruiting was not his forte. This is beginning to show at LSU. John's Vol defense was rarely able to stop a team from making the first down on third down. To the guy who stated Majors had the players when Fulmer took over....Truth is Fulmer had recruited the top players there anyway. Johnny detested recruiting and delegated others to recruit for him most of the time. Johnny was one of us and our fondness for him kept the wolves away. It was said that Johnny with the intent of going after a recruit instead stopped at his favorite watering hole and never got out of town.

SEC1 writes:

in response to VOLstuckINky:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Come on, TN fans have the right to expect more from their team and well paid coaches, i would be frustrated with the lack of effort from the players , it's as if they are saying come in our house take a BIG SH*t on our Power T logo which is located in the middle of the field on the 50yrd line while we sit back and do absolutely nothing about it then allow you to sing rammer jammer or we are the good ole boys from florida.. i can see the frustration.

Major_Magilicutty writes:

Try to enjoy this for what it is... sport.

pwned writes:

I feel the need to remind folks that even Saban lost to LA-Lafayette his first year at Bama. I think they had a 3-8 record that year also. UT has never had an 8 loss season which makes us the only FBS school without an 8 loss season.

brauhuff#295403 (Inactive) writes:

What a Mess it is funny how a few decisions can lead to diseaster or greatness. I am on the side of letting Fulmer stay a few more 2-3 yrs and have a shot at [21] breaking Neyland record for wins and let him retire because he would have and we would have had a coach in waiting or at least somebody good lined up for the job.

Loud_Proud writes:

in response to TSCinSFO:

And we should be 1-6. UAB actually beat us the way I look at that game and because of stupid coaching we lost a game against against a LSU team we should've won. Again, the coaches can't get the right number of players on the field vs Bama. I knew this team would struggle to get 6 wins and a minor bowl, but this team is getting worse. All those 3 star recruits we're signing aren't gonna cut it in the future either. As of now ranked 11th in SEC, and not even top 40 in the nation for recruits. I see Dooley here for 2 years max and then we'll have to start all over again. I'd rather just cut our loses at the end of the season and get a proven winning top name coach. But I know that's wishful thinking.

How about all of you Douche' bags go try to coach a team with a TON of experience in inexperience, and a huge gap that was left by the two former coaches in depth, and us, the FANS will boo YOU out of the stadium every home game. Hmm..sounds like a plan. :)

cooper65#432178 writes:

in response to KENVOL:

This is the worst coaching I've ever seen. I have NEVER seen a Tennessee team qiut in the second half like this this team does. We can play with anyone for a half. I guess the coaches didn't tell the players there is two halves to play. I don't know what is said at halftime but God help us if Dooley is ever in a crisis center answering phones. The suicide rate will go up. I guess we will have to live with it but this is not Tennessee Football!!!

You are one of the dumbest people who ever lived or a troll. What you call quiting in the second half is the lack of depth, size, speed, and experience taking hold. The fact that they play tough for a half is a testiment to their character. Get a clue, you ignorant twit. Go play with Barbie idiot.

Mule_Days_King writes:

in response to Bryanbleedsorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"We have the same talent as last years team".

Are you serious with this statement? Where are the two first-round draft picks on this team? Where's a Monterio Hardesty?
You blame the coaches in one statement and then blame the players for giving up two sentences later. Which is it? Your contradiction proves you know little of which you speak.

Another fan with little to no patience.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to brauhuff#295403:

What a Mess it is funny how a few decisions can lead to diseaster or greatness. I am on the side of letting Fulmer stay a few more 2-3 yrs and have a shot at [21] breaking Neyland record for wins and let him retire because he would have and we would have had a coach in waiting or at least somebody good lined up for the job.

Totally agree. IT was a bad decision to fire him mid season less than a year after winning the East and tieing for the best reg season SEC record. He should have been given more time to get the offense going again after losing a great off co. All anyone has to do is look at the shape the program is in now and take of the Fulmer hating glasses and its obvious it was a bad decision to fire Fulmer and hire Kiffin. Thanks Hamilton for the worst team in my lifetime.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Bryanbleedsorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Some delusional fans seem to ignore youth and inexperience as DECISIVE factors in a league as competitive as the SEC and seem to believe that coaching is the answer to EVERY conceivable problem. So, no, you are not the only one "seeing" this, you are just one among many who seem not to know what they are seeing.

It is clear that a certain portion of the fan base looks at the Fulmer era as an unbroken chain of success when it was obvious to many others that the program was in slow decline since at least 2003, if not further back than that. Even when we were still beating up the mediocre and worse teams, we were steadily losing ground against the other elite SEC programs. Fundamentals were deteriorating in every phase of the game. Players were getting in trouble all the time. I believe that the Fulmer dismissal was poorly handled, and that may well have caused proven big-time coaches to turn us down when approached.

None of this is DOOLEY'S fault. When one is left with a team of young, inexperienced players and not many of those, everything has to go PERFECTLY for a team to win against deep, skilled, experienced teams, and, while perfection should always be the aim, it is seldom sustained over the long haul. If we aren't a bit better next year and a good deal better the year after that, then it will make a certain amount of sense to blame the coaches. For now, though, our coaches are bringing butter knives to a gun fight, with results even the blindest fans can see, even if they can't see the discrepancy in armament in the first place.

orangeman1 writes:

I agree with the assessment of Dooley and staff. They are doing the best they can and dont have alot to work with. I also agree the Fulmer firing was not done in the right way. I do think that Fulmer couldve turned things around since he never went more than a year without winning 9 games and had a top recruiting class coming in. Other SEC programs were on an upswing since Fulmer's team finished top 5 in 2001 though. Just look at Auburn, Ala, LSU, and Georgia's record in the first 10 years of Fulmer's career vs the last 7 years. They improved greatly and Florida stayed fairly steady so it was harder for UT to compete, yet they still did compete by tieing for best reg season SEC record in 2007 and almost won an SEC title that year. The SEC has gotten tougher in the last 10 years so I think it will be tough for any coaching staff for UT to live up to fan expectations of winning championships on a regular basis. Recruiting is tougher for UT now too. Used to be players would go to the schools that are on TV and get lots of exposure, but now every SEC school is on TV and UT doesnt have alot of instate talent either. I just wonder how things would be now if Fulmer wouldve been given 1 more year to get the offense straight. I suspect UT would be competing for the SEC East again, but we will never know.

KTownFan29 writes:

What do you people expect? For Dooley to come on board and immediately win a National Championship? I agree with VolFanScott. 4 of our 5 losses were to top 10 teams. With the amount of freshman and lack of depth, we were lucky to even play as well as we did in the first halves of Oregon and Alabama. We showed some heart against Florida and played until the end. It's more difficult to have a new coaching staff come in and work with what they had than any of us probably know. It's called "rebuilding." Give Dooley a chance before you call for his termination.

Ralph_Crampton writes:

I am not exactly a Fulmer fan...his staff was part of his undoing...they stayed too long and became too laid back. Fulmer was the last Vol coach to recruit top NFL players with regularity. Then finally that fell off. That's what happened.

Ralph_Crampton writes:

In the last years of the Majors' Vol program, with the exception of Fulmer few on the staff were ineffective in recruiting...or cared. But it was Fulmer who kept plugging away. At one time he was perhaps the most feared recruiter in SEC...the top players he recruited kept Johnny's team afloat. His dogged never-give-up style impressed prospects. And many thought out of reach for Tennessee began to come to the Vols in droves. In 1999, he had six first round NFL prospects at one time, more than any team in nation.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Just bear in mind that there are a LOT of details for a young college football player to absorb, keep in mind in all circumstances, and execute perfectly EVERY time in order to succeed at this level. The coaches can point out all these details, design responses to cover every situation, and correct the players when they make mistakes, but they can't hold the players' hands every second they are on the field and actually DO the right thing for them. The game is FAST at this level until a player fully understands what is required in a given situation and performs the correct action instinctively as a result of experience and trained reflexes. No amount of coaching can instill all that in even the most talented young players overnight.

John_10065 writes:

in response to SandySpringsVol:

There's a lot of stupid out there among the Vol nation, but do they have to all post their opinions on here?

A little history lesson... UT finished its 1976 season at 6-5, fired Bill Battle, and hired Johnny Majors who was coming fresh off a national title at Pitt. In Majors first year, the Vols finished 4-7. His second year, they finished 5-5-1, and his third year, they finally managed a winning record of 7-5. And this was in an era when UT only played 6 SEC games, not 8 like they do now.

For anyone who's looking to throw Dooley out the door, he needs to be given an opportunity to get some things done first. He may or may not pan out, but as anyone with half a brain should have figured out, a coaching carousel with changes every year will certainly not produce the desired result.

Yeah everyone has a short memory. When Majors came to UT people were talking about a NC title within 3 years and the SEC that year. So much for that! Then the same prognosticaters were calling for his head on a pike less than a year later.

Only a few remember that one of the biggest reasons Majors wanted to come to UT was because his father was a coach at the University of the South in Sewanee and he wanted to be closer to his dad in his waning years.

We're a sorry fickle bunch of bastards. We keep waiting for the reincarnation of Neyland to pop up and lead the Vols to the promised land. Well I have news for the so called faithful, Neyland is dead. There isn't going to be another coach ever again like him. So quit pissing on the coaches we got when they can't go X wins with zero losses season after season. Dickey couldn't do it, Battle failed at it, Majors stumbled horribly, Fulmer failed as a consistant coach in his last 5 years and we hung him out to dry.

Then we put the Vol's head on the block and let some left coast A-hole run over us like we were a hissing possum in a truck's headlights on a dark country road. Well Kiffin is gone now folks and we have Dooley.

Sorry but I am willing to let him have a year or two to see what he can do. We gave Dickey, Battle, Majors, Fulmer and "the one who should not be named" the benefit of the doubt. If anyone has come into a worse situation as a UT football coach in the last 50 years including Wyatt and McDonald, please point them out.

There isn't one. Not one, so excuse the F out of me if I don't want Dooley's head on a pike just quite yet.

MEDIA_OCRITY writes:

in response to jkreis#632254:

Wow, trolls and idiots abound at these odd hours! BamaMam, if you had a pair you'd be on an Auburn site talking trash, but you're too scared of Gus and Cam. Volnot, you better take that history degree you got at the Gadsden Walmart back for a refund, it's defective.

What usually follows a Bama winning streak....

Probation;

And so we have a bunch of kids that were playing on Fridays last year and now they are playing against the top tallent in the nation. All part of the growth process. Now, we could have a program like USC that manages to stay on top year in and year out for decades but we just don't have the budget for that kind of payroll.

As far as Bama goes, they are the 3rd best team in the East probably and I expect LSU and Auburn will extinguish their flame handily. No worries from what I can see, Dooley will be fine and for you fair weathered Big Orange fans referring to Dooley's inability to count, that is on the players as the coach callls the formation and the substitutions are made. Nobody said a word about the quick snap and that the whole LSU line was moving. SO, take as much as you give people. The flag on your Crimson colored band wagon is starting to fade already. Once Saban gets them on probation, he'll break for another school and somebody will hire him.

new_era_vol writes:

in response to VolnotHAMILTONfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I am not sure what history you are referring to, but I am guessing you must be either illiterate or just plain stupid. And what do you mean one bogus title? We beat the phooey out of F.S.U in that game, and true VOL fans loved it. I would suggest you quit posting on the VOL forums before one of us true fans figure out who you are. What a bum!!!

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