Mike Strange: Keep 2009 in mind before abandoning all hope

Mike Strange

Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.

That's the welcome sign to Hell in Dante's 14th-Century work Inferno.

Lately, it's also believed to be the inscription on the visitors' locker room at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa.

On the surface, Tennessee wouldn't appear to have much hope Saturday night when it takes on No. 2 Alabama. The predicted script is Act II of the Vols' 38-7 loss to No. 1 LSU.

"All right, on to 'Bama," UT coach Derek Dooley said Saturday, concluding his thoughts on the LSU game. It didn't come across as a battle cry.

So who, at this humbled juncture in UT football history, could blame the Vols or their fans for viewing the coming trip with weary resignation?

And yet ...

The last time Tennessee visited Tuscaloosa, things weren't going so swell, either.

The Vols have been through so much turmoil it seems longer than two years ago that they came within a sickening blocked field goal of upsetting the No. 1-ranked and eventual national champion Crimson Tide.

Goliath survived, 12-10, but a feisty David very nearly carried the day.

How did it happen? And could it possibly happen again?

First, the comparisons between the state of things in 2009 and 2011.

Alabama doesn't appear to be much different. The Tide defense is as good as any in the nation. There is a Heisman Trophy candidate, Trent Richardson, at tailback to carry the offensive load and an unspectacular but efficient quarterback.

The Vols are still in heavy-underdog mode. They can't match Alabama's strength, depth or talent.

The amazing thing about the 2009 game is that the stats say it was no fluke.

Unlike the near-upset at LSU last fall, Alabama didn't sabotage itself with four turnovers. It lost only one, Heisman winner Mark Ingram's late fumble.

The Vols outgained Alabama by nearly 100 yards, 341-246.

They won time of possession, 32:18 to 27:42. In the second half, UT held the ball 20:53 to Alabama's 9:06.

And they did it with an offensive line that started a true freshman, Aaron Douglas, and two undersized former walk-ons, the Sullins twins.

Monte Kiffin's defense kept Alabama out of the end zone all day. The Tide was 4-for-4 on field goals to Tennessee's 1-for-4.

But looking closer, I'm not sure Tennessee has enough ingredients to stare Alabama in the eye for four quarters like Lane Kiffin's team did.

The '09 Vols could run the ball with at least modest conviction. They rushed for at least 115 yards in every game prior to Alabama and finished the season at 157 per game. Montario Hardesty averaged 103 yards a game.

Quarterback Jonathan Crompton, like Matt Simms, was a senior. He had 13 starts when he faced 'Bama. Simms will have nine, but only one this season. Crompton rose to the occasion that day, passing for 265 yards.

Defensively, the biggest difference is in the secondary. The 2009 Vols had Eric Berry, Janzen Jackson and Dennis Rogan.

The front seven, you could argue either way. Dan Williams was a run-stuffer in '09 but the 2011 linebackers are bigger.

Tennessee hanging tough to the final gun on Saturday would be an even bigger surprise than it was two years ago.

But keeping '09 in mind, there's no reason to completely abandon hope.

Mike Strange may be reached at strangem@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/strangemike44 and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/strange.

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Comments » 65

Bigger_Al writes:

I believe Aaron Douglas was a Redshirt Frosh, not True. But the 2009 team did have a bunch of Tough Guys. I believe that we have Tough Guys on this team, but they need more offseasons and birthdays.

bUTchVFL writes:

We have to quit looking at this season in terms of wins and losses, but in terms of overall improvement. It's unfair to the team. Any realistic Vol fan knew coming in to 2011, that 6-6 was realistic, and 7-5 would be a stellar year. We just don't have the depth and experience to compete with the upper level SEC teams. Losing 34 players since Fulmer was fired will do that to any program. Add to that losing Jackson, Bray, and Hunter. It will come, and I feel that Dooley is the man, but we need more top 15 recruiting classes and offseason conditioning programs to get back to where we used to be, competing for SEC championships. Go Vols!

murrayvol writes:

"On the surface, Tennessee wouldn't appear to have much hope...."

Not much hope beneath the surface either but the Vols will show up. Things will get better but probably not this week.GBO

oldster writes:

Hope and Change. Where have I heard that before? Like in politics, in football I just hope for a change in what has been happening.

just4utk writes:

Derek Dooley, win or lose this Saturday, is doing an amazing job. What's missing from this year's team is depth. Where is 09's recruiting class?
Bryce Brown
Jansen Jackson
Jerod Askew
James Green
Darren Myles
David Oku
Nu’Keese Richardson
Mike Edwards
Rae Sykes
Toney Williams
Taj Boyd (Kiffin ran him off to Clemson)

This is what Kiffin brought in. They did not stay committed to Tennessee. Kiffin also ran off a ton of other players that would have been seniors or red shirt seniors this year.
Derek Dooley inherited one of the toughest situations in all of college football. He's only had two recruiting classes and he's having to play freshmen and sophomores. As good as they are, they are still young and there is no depth behind them. I'm excited about this year's recruits. Dooley doens't have to have the NCAA hanging over the program anymore. Be patient true vol fans. I like the direction the program is heading. Remember, last year was year zero. Go Vols. Upset and Beat Bama

arkyvol writes:

sorry, but i can't summon much hope for this team. looking ahead, i see only two probable victories, mtsu and a beyond woeful kentucky. vandy will be a real challenge. if it pans out as i think it will, the vols can get out of their uniforms early and sit around the winter fires regaling themselves with tales of victories over buffalo, cincinnati, montana, mtsu, and kentucky.

another item of proof that the former a.d. was a world class incompetent: gus malzahn, one of the hottest names in future head coaches was almost sold on the vandy job. vandy! hammy couldn't get a call back from one stinking coach on the national short list. and look at the results from the one they did hire.

govols1234567 writes:

in response to bUTchVFL:

We have to quit looking at this season in terms of wins and losses, but in terms of overall improvement. It's unfair to the team. Any realistic Vol fan knew coming in to 2011, that 6-6 was realistic, and 7-5 would be a stellar year. We just don't have the depth and experience to compete with the upper level SEC teams. Losing 34 players since Fulmer was fired will do that to any program. Add to that losing Jackson, Bray, and Hunter. It will come, and I feel that Dooley is the man, but we need more top 15 recruiting classes and offseason conditioning programs to get back to where we used to be, competing for SEC championships. Go Vols!

Unfortunately, wins and losses are all that really matter in the end. I said it on another board, we have improved but not enough to improve our record, the thing that matters most. I think Tennessee would have at least been 7-5 this season, maybe 8-4 if we had kept all of our starters. We never really got to use Hunter in an SEC game (Florida doesn't count), and of course without Bray Tennesse has a gap on offense. I like Dooley much more than Kiffin, but Kiffin knew how to coach and recruit and has still managed a decent season at USC despite sanctions looming over the program. The 09' vols were better than our current team. I know we are on the right track and I think Dooley will get us some quality wins next year. Otherwise he will start to feel the seat warming

flatrock writes:

in response to just4utk:

Derek Dooley, win or lose this Saturday, is doing an amazing job. What's missing from this year's team is depth. Where is 09's recruiting class?
Bryce Brown
Jansen Jackson
Jerod Askew
James Green
Darren Myles
David Oku
Nu’Keese Richardson
Mike Edwards
Rae Sykes
Toney Williams
Taj Boyd (Kiffin ran him off to Clemson)

This is what Kiffin brought in. They did not stay committed to Tennessee. Kiffin also ran off a ton of other players that would have been seniors or red shirt seniors this year.
Derek Dooley inherited one of the toughest situations in all of college football. He's only had two recruiting classes and he's having to play freshmen and sophomores. As good as they are, they are still young and there is no depth behind them. I'm excited about this year's recruits. Dooley doens't have to have the NCAA hanging over the program anymore. Be patient true vol fans. I like the direction the program is heading. Remember, last year was year zero. Go Vols. Upset and Beat Bama

Amen.

flatrock writes:

in response to arkyvol:

sorry, but i can't summon much hope for this team. looking ahead, i see only two probable victories, mtsu and a beyond woeful kentucky. vandy will be a real challenge. if it pans out as i think it will, the vols can get out of their uniforms early and sit around the winter fires regaling themselves with tales of victories over buffalo, cincinnati, montana, mtsu, and kentucky.

another item of proof that the former a.d. was a world class incompetent: gus malzahn, one of the hottest names in future head coaches was almost sold on the vandy job. vandy! hammy couldn't get a call back from one stinking coach on the national short list. and look at the results from the one they did hire.

Guz Malzahn certainly has a unique (and effective) offense, but I have concerns over whether he will be that successful as a head coach. The HC does more management than coaching- and Gus reminds me of an offensive lab rat who loves the x-and-o part of football more than anything else. Kinda like Watson Brown, only Malzahn was smart enough to avoid Vandy.

BJ writes:

In Response to The BLUE:
GO TROLL SOMEWHERE ELSE The only thing blue in the SEC is Kentucky and they sure ain't squat

volsfannsc writes:

in response to TheBlue:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Still copying and pasting a two day old comment. You're not even a very good troll. I bet the others hate you.

SummittsCourt writes:

Unlike JA, this article gives fans a reason to have hope. I'm sure JA will be writing an article soon about how fans might as well find something else to do this Saturday evening.

Oh well, that's why they call them upsets.

underthehill writes:

Alabama has to be concerned about keeping it's BCS standing..I look for them to play strong until the lead gets to their liking and then get some playing time for the backups..I see no reason to hope for a win but this is a nice gesture from Mr. Strange..what else can he say?

rtrchatt writes:

in response to underthehill:

Alabama has to be concerned about keeping it's BCS standing..I look for them to play strong until the lead gets to their liking and then get some playing time for the backups..I see no reason to hope for a win but this is a nice gesture from Mr. Strange..what else can he say?

Concerned about BCS position? Really??? Win out and you are in lose and play in Sugar Bowl. Saban
at this point cares less about the BCS standings.
Fortunately for UT, Bama unlike LSWho will not be playing their first team guys through the 4th qtr for style points. Bama style points are shown with their helmets and pads.

Regarding the09 game and most games for that matter, stats are for losers. Spin it anyway you wish..... 47-38-7.

bUTchVFL writes:

in response to Mama_Says_I_Am_The_Best_Coach_In_The_Country:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It was Bama -14.5.

TommyJack writes:

in response to arkyvol:

sorry, but i can't summon much hope for this team. looking ahead, i see only two probable victories, mtsu and a beyond woeful kentucky. vandy will be a real challenge. if it pans out as i think it will, the vols can get out of their uniforms early and sit around the winter fires regaling themselves with tales of victories over buffalo, cincinnati, montana, mtsu, and kentucky.

another item of proof that the former a.d. was a world class incompetent: gus malzahn, one of the hottest names in future head coaches was almost sold on the vandy job. vandy! hammy couldn't get a call back from one stinking coach on the national short list. and look at the results from the one they did hire.

Disagree on Malzahn. Most OC's than run quirky offenses don't make good HC's. Malzahn has been overlooked several time when HC jobs opened up. He MAY have turned down Vandy, but they did ok w/o him. Time will tell.

volinlm writes:

in response to bUTchVFL:

We have to quit looking at this season in terms of wins and losses, but in terms of overall improvement. It's unfair to the team. Any realistic Vol fan knew coming in to 2011, that 6-6 was realistic, and 7-5 would be a stellar year. We just don't have the depth and experience to compete with the upper level SEC teams. Losing 34 players since Fulmer was fired will do that to any program. Add to that losing Jackson, Bray, and Hunter. It will come, and I feel that Dooley is the man, but we need more top 15 recruiting classes and offseason conditioning programs to get back to where we used to be, competing for SEC championships. Go Vols!

Very well said.

underthehill writes:

in response to rtrchatt:

Concerned about BCS position? Really??? Win out and you are in lose and play in Sugar Bowl. Saban
at this point cares less about the BCS standings.
Fortunately for UT, Bama unlike LSWho will not be playing their first team guys through the 4th qtr for style points. Bama style points are shown with their helmets and pads.

Regarding the09 game and most games for that matter, stats are for losers. Spin it anyway you wish..... 47-38-7.

You are right..win out and they are in ..same goes for LSU ..but Auburn is capable of making it tough for either of them..I certainly hope the SEC continues its streak...

Vols3505 writes:

No leadership is the key.if a coach is allowing undeveloped fr.men to play when they are clearly not ready that becomes a problem in the locker room it's guys on that team like ant anderson art daryl v Gordon that are here that played let the lead p Wagner exc....I say coaching these DBS are getting torched on simple pop Warner moves it's sicking to watch.stop chasing stars and chase quality football players .

agentorange writes:

in response to bUTchVFL:

We have to quit looking at this season in terms of wins and losses, but in terms of overall improvement. It's unfair to the team. Any realistic Vol fan knew coming in to 2011, that 6-6 was realistic, and 7-5 would be a stellar year. We just don't have the depth and experience to compete with the upper level SEC teams. Losing 34 players since Fulmer was fired will do that to any program. Add to that losing Jackson, Bray, and Hunter. It will come, and I feel that Dooley is the man, but we need more top 15 recruiting classes and offseason conditioning programs to get back to where we used to be, competing for SEC championships. Go Vols!

I think you're right. It's still hard to be a fan right now.

tombo7 writes:

in response to just4utk:

Derek Dooley, win or lose this Saturday, is doing an amazing job. What's missing from this year's team is depth. Where is 09's recruiting class?
Bryce Brown
Jansen Jackson
Jerod Askew
James Green
Darren Myles
David Oku
Nu’Keese Richardson
Mike Edwards
Rae Sykes
Toney Williams
Taj Boyd (Kiffin ran him off to Clemson)

This is what Kiffin brought in. They did not stay committed to Tennessee. Kiffin also ran off a ton of other players that would have been seniors or red shirt seniors this year.
Derek Dooley inherited one of the toughest situations in all of college football. He's only had two recruiting classes and he's having to play freshmen and sophomores. As good as they are, they are still young and there is no depth behind them. I'm excited about this year's recruits. Dooley doens't have to have the NCAA hanging over the program anymore. Be patient true vol fans. I like the direction the program is heading. Remember, last year was year zero. Go Vols. Upset and Beat Bama

Good post, makes me feel better. If two of these guys remained on the team, we would not be where we are now. I realize that this is fantastical thinking, but Dooley is running the kind of program that players of good character appreciate. In the near future lists like this will be much shorter and our team much better.

JohnnyVol writes:

It makes sense that CDD would have had to go down some to go up. That 2009 recruiting group is basically a wash out...kind of like the coach who signed them.

And...Kiffin also shafted us by allowing Chavis going to LSU and now coaching the #1 defense in the nation. If CDD is the first coach hired (before Kiffin), I bet Chavis is still here. Some didn't like him and called him 3rd and Chavis, but his defenses were consistently in the top ten in the nation every year at UT.

Thanks a lot Kiffin. Go Vols and Go CDD.

NashvillePreds writes:

The good thing about Dooley's teams is that we don't have to kid ourselves into thinking there is an upset potential.
We just take our medicine, and take a seat. Disgraceful.

If he loses to Vandy, I'm done.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to slaw_way:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The 09 Vols were better. There were around 10 players that signed with NFL teams after 09 and Gerald Jones and Denarius Moore were also there as Jrs. This years team is lacking in talent. But the 3 most talented offensive players will be back next year and the O-line will be all Jrs and Srs. Next year is the defining year for Dooley.

hikerdude writes:

in response to just4utk:

Derek Dooley, win or lose this Saturday, is doing an amazing job. What's missing from this year's team is depth. Where is 09's recruiting class?
Bryce Brown
Jansen Jackson
Jerod Askew
James Green
Darren Myles
David Oku
Nu’Keese Richardson
Mike Edwards
Rae Sykes
Toney Williams
Taj Boyd (Kiffin ran him off to Clemson)

This is what Kiffin brought in. They did not stay committed to Tennessee. Kiffin also ran off a ton of other players that would have been seniors or red shirt seniors this year.
Derek Dooley inherited one of the toughest situations in all of college football. He's only had two recruiting classes and he's having to play freshmen and sophomores. As good as they are, they are still young and there is no depth behind them. I'm excited about this year's recruits. Dooley doens't have to have the NCAA hanging over the program anymore. Be patient true vol fans. I like the direction the program is heading. Remember, last year was year zero. Go Vols. Upset and Beat Bama

I agree with all you say except I don't think Dooley has had the benefit of two recruiting classes- maybe 1 1/2.

govols1234567 writes:

in response to slaw_way:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I dont think they were a ton better, but I think overall they definitely were. 2 pts away from beating Alabama, and managing a 10 point loss on the road to a very talented Florida team, who finished the year 12-1. Not to mention blowouts against ranked opponents such as South Carolina and Georgia. I think overall they have the edge.

Stanman08 writes:

Keep sugar coating the obvious. This coaching staff is as green as the players and clueless!
here is the obvious without the corn syrup:
The Vols go 5-7

vs. South Carolina (loss) Spurier will win w/o his star runningback. Second string quarterback has a breakout game.

vs. Middle Tennessee State (Win)
(Vols really show their super strength here for a BIG win and all the faithful Vol fans think the team has turned the corner.)

at Arkansas (Loss) (back to the reality of things, Vols loose big, again!)

vs. Vanderbilt (LOSS) I predict this will be the crushing blow for the mighty VOLS. Vandy isn't that bad and gave GA all they wanted. There is no other team Vandy would like to beat than UTK and have fun doing it.

at Kentucky (win) only team that may be worse that UTK. Vols win by a ever so slight a margin.

CantStandCantStandSaban writes:

in response to Mama_Says_I_Am_The_Best_Coach_In_The_Country:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I bet you were still wearing your Star Trek pajamas to bed in 2009.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to NashvillePreds:

The good thing about Dooley's teams is that we don't have to kid ourselves into thinking there is an upset potential.
We just take our medicine, and take a seat. Disgraceful.

If he loses to Vandy, I'm done.

I would understand the frustration if we did lose to Vandy, but it's not gonna happen if Bray has returned.

If you have that attitude, then you were never a true Vol fan to start with..Don't come back in a couple of years when Dooley has things turned around and decide that you are Vol fan again because they are winning..These are the times when we find out who our true fans are.

Smokey says he will always be a Vol no matter what..

RealisticVol writes:

in response to Mama_Says_I_Am_The_Best_Coach_In_The_Country:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Your mama has great sarcastic wit.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

Dooley and Co. will have this team ready to play in spite of being huge underdogs..That will be plenty of motivation to give it all they have, and all they can do is fight for 60 min..I am a firm believer that they will give their all and give themselves a chance..Realistically, an upset will probably not happen this week but you never know.

Will be in front of the TV watching it just like I was last week because I watch all of the games and always have..Sure there are probably better things to do right now, but watching the game is my first choice..Been a fan of UT since the day I was old enough to know what football is and I am in this thing for better or worse..It's understandable that this upcoming game with Bama will be too difficult to watch, and some will opt to do other things like maybe take a drive to the mountains or something..And that is fine because it is the fan's choice.

Smokey says he is in this thing thru thick and thin..

Bama 41
Vols 14

UTKin1992 writes:

Washington D.C. should look no further than this message board to find uber-optimistic spin doctors who could find a speck of gold in a cow patty.

Once I came here to read insightful comments or get alternative angles on my Alma mater. Now it's chock full of know-it-all's and wannabes who get spastic with anyone who dares slight Dooley or have a realistic view of the Vols.

A microcosm of modern America right here on GVX: The nuts have taken over!

RealisticVol writes:

in response to UTKin1992:

Washington D.C. should look no further than this message board to find uber-optimistic spin doctors who could find a speck of gold in a cow patty.

Once I came here to read insightful comments or get alternative angles on my Alma mater. Now it's chock full of know-it-all's and wannabes who get spastic with anyone who dares slight Dooley or have a realistic view of the Vols.

A microcosm of modern America right here on GVX: The nuts have taken over!

So when others come here your comment is going to be the insightful comment they were looking for?

RUstilltalking writes:

in response to UTKin1992:

Washington D.C. should look no further than this message board to find uber-optimistic spin doctors who could find a speck of gold in a cow patty.

Once I came here to read insightful comments or get alternative angles on my Alma mater. Now it's chock full of know-it-all's and wannabes who get spastic with anyone who dares slight Dooley or have a realistic view of the Vols.

A microcosm of modern America right here on GVX: The nuts have taken over!

Thank you. A real person with a real comment. Thank you.

illinoisvolfan writes:

in response to JohnnyVol:

It makes sense that CDD would have had to go down some to go up. That 2009 recruiting group is basically a wash out...kind of like the coach who signed them.

And...Kiffin also shafted us by allowing Chavis going to LSU and now coaching the #1 defense in the nation. If CDD is the first coach hired (before Kiffin), I bet Chavis is still here. Some didn't like him and called him 3rd and Chavis, but his defenses were consistently in the top ten in the nation every year at UT.

Thanks a lot Kiffin. Go Vols and Go CDD.

I don't like remembering anything about the '09 season because of the SOB the Vols had as their head coach. Even the Georgia and South Carolina wins are bittersweet to me because of all of Fast Lane's nonsense. I even liked the black jerseys, but in the end, the bad moments far outweigh the good where his time with the Vols is concerned.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to PatientlyWaiting:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yeah..right!! We have heard that cr@p before..Save it!!

NashvillePreds writes:

in response to ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog:

I would understand the frustration if we did lose to Vandy, but it's not gonna happen if Bray has returned.

If you have that attitude, then you were never a true Vol fan to start with..Don't come back in a couple of years when Dooley has things turned around and decide that you are Vol fan again because they are winning..These are the times when we find out who our true fans are.

Smokey says he will always be a Vol no matter what..

You, and anyone whom makes the comment that, "You're not a real fan" are an f-ing joke.
This team is underachieving.
They are pitiful to watch, and I have serious questions about the quality of Dolley (Freudian slip?) at this point.
We show ZERO progress.
Answer this: How does Vandy score 28 on Uga, and we manage 6 points WITH BRAY IN THE GAME.

P&*s off.

dislikethemtrolls writes:

in response to PatientlyWaiting:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

How about we fire you idiot!!!!!!!!! Get lost loser!!

dislikethemtrolls writes:

in response to ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog:

Dooley and Co. will have this team ready to play in spite of being huge underdogs..That will be plenty of motivation to give it all they have, and all they can do is fight for 60 min..I am a firm believer that they will give their all and give themselves a chance..Realistically, an upset will probably not happen this week but you never know.

Will be in front of the TV watching it just like I was last week because I watch all of the games and always have..Sure there are probably better things to do right now, but watching the game is my first choice..Been a fan of UT since the day I was old enough to know what football is and I am in this thing for better or worse..It's understandable that this upcoming game with Bama will be too difficult to watch, and some will opt to do other things like maybe take a drive to the mountains or something..And that is fine because it is the fan's choice.

Smokey says he is in this thing thru thick and thin..

Bama 41
Vols 14

Amen. My kind of fan. Just like me. In it for better or worse. GO VOLS!!!

dislikethemtrolls writes:

in response to NashvillePreds:

You, and anyone whom makes the comment that, "You're not a real fan" are an f-ing joke.
This team is underachieving.
They are pitiful to watch, and I have serious questions about the quality of Dolley (Freudian slip?) at this point.
We show ZERO progress.
Answer this: How does Vandy score 28 on Uga, and we manage 6 points WITH BRAY IN THE GAME.

P&*s off.

Don't you have a hockey game to go to?

orangeman1 writes:

in response to NashvillePreds:

You, and anyone whom makes the comment that, "You're not a real fan" are an f-ing joke.
This team is underachieving.
They are pitiful to watch, and I have serious questions about the quality of Dolley (Freudian slip?) at this point.
We show ZERO progress.
Answer this: How does Vandy score 28 on Uga, and we manage 6 points WITH BRAY IN THE GAME.

P&*s off.

And Vanderbilt is ranked higher than UT in the BCS poll. And by the way, a true fan has every right to be upset and criticize their team/coaches if they arent playing well. I bet the same ones that get upset about criticizing Dooley and Kiffin were the same ones slamming Fulmer for everything. I was expecting a better product than what I've seen so far this year, but am willing to wait until next year before I start holding Dooley to a higher standard. I just hope we are competing for the East next year. There shouldnt be any reason not to.

givehim6 writes:

in response to just4utk:

Derek Dooley, win or lose this Saturday, is doing an amazing job. What's missing from this year's team is depth. Where is 09's recruiting class?
Bryce Brown
Jansen Jackson
Jerod Askew
James Green
Darren Myles
David Oku
Nu’Keese Richardson
Mike Edwards
Rae Sykes
Toney Williams
Taj Boyd (Kiffin ran him off to Clemson)

This is what Kiffin brought in. They did not stay committed to Tennessee. Kiffin also ran off a ton of other players that would have been seniors or red shirt seniors this year.
Derek Dooley inherited one of the toughest situations in all of college football. He's only had two recruiting classes and he's having to play freshmen and sophomores. As good as they are, they are still young and there is no depth behind them. I'm excited about this year's recruits. Dooley doens't have to have the NCAA hanging over the program anymore. Be patient true vol fans. I like the direction the program is heading. Remember, last year was year zero. Go Vols. Upset and Beat Bama

The "gloom & doom cry baby so called" Vol fans need to think adout this next time they call for Dooley's head. If the guy's would have stayed, played like there billing, and keep there noses clean. Yes UT would be playing on championship levels. Dooley is coaching best he can with the hand he has been dealt. Would Sabin and Miles have there teams at the levels they are now if only half the kids played a year then left or get hurt?

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to NashvillePreds:

You, and anyone whom makes the comment that, "You're not a real fan" are an f-ing joke.
This team is underachieving.
They are pitiful to watch, and I have serious questions about the quality of Dolley (Freudian slip?) at this point.
We show ZERO progress.
Answer this: How does Vandy score 28 on Uga, and we manage 6 points WITH BRAY IN THE GAME.

P&*s off.

Then don't wait patiently for them to turn things around..It's as simple as that!!!No one is begging you to wait it out.. Real fans stick by their team NO MATTER WHAT..I have been following this team my whole life thru thick and thin,good times and bad times, not just when all is good..Yeah,sure it's easier to follow them when things are great,but EVERY team has it's ups and down for a couple of years, five years or whatever but most big time programs eventually turn it around...Now, I will pi$$ off but I'm not the only that has this opinion...But have a nice day.

Smokey says patience is a virtue,some have it and some don't..

underthehill writes:

in response to UTKin1992:

Washington D.C. should look no further than this message board to find uber-optimistic spin doctors who could find a speck of gold in a cow patty.

Once I came here to read insightful comments or get alternative angles on my Alma mater. Now it's chock full of know-it-all's and wannabes who get spastic with anyone who dares slight Dooley or have a realistic view of the Vols.

A microcosm of modern America right here on GVX: The nuts have taken over!

I like your quote about finding a speck of gold in a cow patty..haven't heard that one..I think you may be wrong to to put all those posting comments on here as being in the same category..at least I hope you are wrong..I respect the right of anyone to post their opinion and dismiss the ones who I think don't do the same...

calvolfromkingsport writes:

It's hard to cook when the cupboard's bare.One thing about sophomores freshmen...theyre not sophmores and freshmen forever.

Theo writes:

in response to Stanman08:

Keep sugar coating the obvious. This coaching staff is as green as the players and clueless!
here is the obvious without the corn syrup:
The Vols go 5-7

vs. South Carolina (loss) Spurier will win w/o his star runningback. Second string quarterback has a breakout game.

vs. Middle Tennessee State (Win)
(Vols really show their super strength here for a BIG win and all the faithful Vol fans think the team has turned the corner.)

at Arkansas (Loss) (back to the reality of things, Vols loose big, again!)

vs. Vanderbilt (LOSS) I predict this will be the crushing blow for the mighty VOLS. Vandy isn't that bad and gave GA all they wanted. There is no other team Vandy would like to beat than UTK and have fun doing it.

at Kentucky (win) only team that may be worse that UTK. Vols win by a ever so slight a margin.

Stanman your troll undies are showing. Tennessee is not UTK. It is simply UT. I don't know why you trolls think that is such a cute trick.
We will beat Vandy, no question. I'm thinking you might be a Vandy fan so your first concern might be who you will be hiring as you next head coach if by some twist of fate the current HC has one winning season. I heard the guy speak, trust me his dream job is not Vandy. He is just hoping to have one good season and then be on his way. VU was just his opportunity for HC on his resume.
We will also beat either Arkansas or South Carolina baring further big injuries.

woodwr#217203 writes:

With Fulmer's players, Kiffin's staff pounded Georgia and South Carolina, and played very close with Florida and almost beat Alabama.

Until the cheese-burger robbery they looked pretty good.

Dooley is a LOT more like-able than Kiffin but the best win in his year and a half was Cincinnati.

Had we kept Chavis defense, most any offense would have been enough to beat someone with a winning record.

snakeplissken writes:

in response to woodwr#217203:

With Fulmer's players, Kiffin's staff pounded Georgia and South Carolina, and played very close with Florida and almost beat Alabama.

Until the cheese-burger robbery they looked pretty good.

Dooley is a LOT more like-able than Kiffin but the best win in his year and a half was Cincinnati.

Had we kept Chavis defense, most any offense would have been enough to beat someone with a winning record.

You are right about Kiffin. With Fulmer's recruits Kiffin drilled South Carolina and Georgia. He gave Florida a ballgame and should have beat eventual national champion Alabama. And he started a freshman, a sophomore, and two walk-ons on the offensive line. He also had Crompton as QB, and Dooley has Bray.
Compare the Vols' play then to now and it's clear to see that Dooley isn't in the same league as Kiffin, or most any of the SEC coaches.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to snakeplissken:

You are right about Kiffin. With Fulmer's recruits Kiffin drilled South Carolina and Georgia. He gave Florida a ballgame and should have beat eventual national champion Alabama. And he started a freshman, a sophomore, and two walk-ons on the offensive line. He also had Crompton as QB, and Dooley has Bray.
Compare the Vols' play then to now and it's clear to see that Dooley isn't in the same league as Kiffin, or most any of the SEC coaches.

Cmon. I heard all that bull about there not being any talent on the 09 team. So what there were walkons and a Qb that is on the NFL practice squad. The 09 team was loaded with talent. There were around 9 players signed to NFL rosters that year and they also had Jrs Denarius Moore and Gerald Jones. There isnt near the talent experience that the 09 team had this year imo. Kiffin underachieved with that team losing 6 games, but it was a new system so that could be why or it could be the attitude that the team had. Dooley did all he could with what he was left last year, and its goind to take at least 1 more year before we start seeing the results of his coaching. UT fans will just have to endure one more year of 6/7 losses and next year Dooley should pull some wins over the SC, Georgia, Fla,Ark. It will be even longer before we compete with best in the country, but I havent lost hope in Dooley. He has done enough in recruiting and with stability I think things will be fine.

ABtheVolFan92 writes:

unfortunately Dooley has abandoned all hope as he seems to be starstruck by Nick Saban and his team this year. I wish Dooley would have a little more confidence, he needs that look like Saban where he doesn't say much but you know hes gonna kick your a** by the end of the day.

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