Mike Strange: Tough times to be a UT football fan

If you haven't read the message boards since Saturday night, I'll give you a sample:

Lose the orange pants, Derek Do-Little, they're cursed.

No halftime adjustments.

Fulmer never lost this bad to rivals back-to-back.

Matt Simms should never take another snap.

Can't wait to see Justin Worley start Saturday.

No halftime adjustments.

What did loyal Tennessee fans ever do to deserve this?

It's all Mike Hamilton's fault.

Mike Leach is chomping at the bit.

UT will never see the Top 25 again in our lifetimes.

That fink Lane Kiffin took the halftime adjustments to USC.

And, arguably the most damning — now UT fans know how Vandy fans feel.

That's pretty much the gist of it. These are tough times to be a Tennessee football fan.

No arguing that point. Especially after Alabama delivered a state-of-the-union speech.

But let me interrupt the finger-pointing and teeth-gnashing to ask:

Didn't you know that going in?

Didn't you know 2011 was going to be another humbling, grimace-inducing demonstration of how far the program has fallen and how hard it is to get back?

It's easy to talk patience in July. It's still easy to talk it in late September when you're 3-1 and routinely scoring 40 points on catered opposition.

By late October, though, patience might still sound good in theory but practicing it is another story.

A nice win over Cincinnati elevated hopes for a trip to Florida. Those hopes were dashed.

Georgia's perceived vulnerability elevated hopes that were likewise dashed.

Then the schedule presented the most difficult daily double in UT history.

Never before have the Vols faced No. 1 and No. 2 on consecutive weeks. LSU was better, 38-7. Alabama was better, 37-6.

An offensively challenged team, minus its quarterback and best receiver, matched against the No. 1 (Bama) and No. 3 (LSU) defenses in the nation.

What did you expect?

Maybe a first down in the second half?

That either the Tide or the Tigers would have to punt at least once in the second half?

OK. That wouldn't have been too much to ask.

But to think the Vols, in their diminished state, were going to hold up for 60 minutes against two teams, either of whom could (and one probably will) win the national championship, it wasn't going to happen.

I'm not here to make excuses for the Vols. You can be patient or not. It's your dime, spend it how you want.

I'm not here to promise you Dooley and his staff are the answer to lead the Vols back to a BCS bowl. There isn't enough evidence to make that call yet. They're still playing with a short deck.

Dooley is 20 games into this deal. He's 9-11. He's won the games UT was supposed to win and lost the games UT was supposed to lose.

That's not such a bad thing. The indication of progress is that you get to the point where you're supposed to win a lot more than you're supposed to lose.

The Vols were supposed to lose — and lose big — to LSU and Alabama. That's what happened.

It's tough to swallow. But didn't you know that going in?

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 » 115

CommodoreCapital writes:

How do Vanderbilt fans feel?

Let's see: We have a Top 10 basketball program, the baseball team just recorded the Top recruiting class after coming off a World Series visit, and the football team is on the rise and will possibly be favored going into the road game at UT. I would say we are feeling much better, even without an Athletic Department.

Dooley RIP 2012...

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

Why were we "supposed" to lose to Florida who fielded a younger team and a first year coaching staff?

FWBVol writes:

Even in a bad year I'll never know how Vanderbilt fans feel. I want to win in every sport, but football remains the king. Historically we have better programs than Vandy in baseball and basketball and there is no need to even compare football.

A bad year in football at Tennessee is something that most Vanderbilt fans envy.

I'm willing to give Dooley time. I'm confident we will be back in football, baseball and basketball.

ecuamerican writes:

Hahaha... Oh Dwayne, you are a doofus. Though Florida is a younger team with a first year coach, it's not like Meyer left the cupboard empty (Fulmer and Kiffin helped us in that department). Rainey and Demps are no slouches and no coach can screw using them up against a depleted defense.

Yes, we are supposed to lose these games and no, it doesn't feel good. But suck it up, stock your crying, "fans". But mostly, shut up. And if not, we real fans will continue laughing at you.

tngilmer writes:

Good article. I have not given up hope yet. It takes time to clean up a mess, especially when your best "cleaning tools" at qb and wr are injured. Give it time people. If there is no measurable improvement by this time next season, I will be the first to donate to the collection for the moving van.

TSCinSFO writes:

I thought Dooley was a horrible desperation hire and he's done nothing to change my mind until he starts beating quality teams. Unfortunately, I doubt that will ever happen. Dooley has shown me so far he's a very below average recruiter, coach, and leader that can't adjust during games. The fact that he said UT will always schedule a Div II opponent every year, a quote he later retracted, said it all to me. He'll never compete with the big boys of the SEC and NCAA and UT Football is in the lost years of it's program just like our economy. The sooner UT admits it was a mistake to hire Dooley and hire a top name PROVEN winning coach, the sooner we will heal the wounds of the past few years. I'm not a fair weather fan but I'm embarrassed to the a UT Vols fan right now.

powert#205805 writes:

in response to DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho:

Why were we "supposed" to lose to Florida who fielded a younger team and a first year coaching staff?

BINGO!

Their first year coach is a heck of a lot better than our second year coach.

slb#1351874 writes:

in response to powert#205805:

BINGO!

Their first year coach is a heck of a lot better than our second year coach.

Where do you get those pills you take? I would check out he source because they are providing you with dumb butt pills in lieu of smart pills. I really believe you are terminal.

volbob writes:

in response to powert#205805:

BINGO!

Their first year coach is a heck of a lot better than our second year coach.

Meyer left Florida with a lot more talent than UT has had in years.

mlpmal writes:

UTs talent is way below par. Our defense cannot play with the SEC teams, they look very disorganized most of the time and Simms is not an SEC caliber QB. I do wonder what is going on with us just giving up when it gets to the 2nd half??? I would have thought coming out to the 2nd half in a tie with Bama would have been incentive, obviously it didn't matter. I say give Dooley some time to develop the younger players.

KenRan (Inactive) writes:

"Tough times to be a UT football fan." For those of us who aren't UT fans, Christmas has come early.

NashvillePreds writes:

Miserable

wally writes:

in response to DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho:

Why were we "supposed" to lose to Florida who fielded a younger team and a first year coaching staff?

know your facts before popping off. FL has 26 players in their 2-deep rotation who have been on campus at at least 3 yrs (RS sophs, jrs, srs). Do you know how many TN has?...17. no comparison.

jandjhome#228397 writes:

FULMERITERS, THIS IS AT HIS FEET.

pwned writes:

"Good" coaches win with inferior talent and/or the deck stacked against them. That's what makes them good. Witness Tuberville last Saturday night. A couple of years ago nobody knew Jim Harbaugh was coaching until he stunned Pete Carroll's NFL team that was playing for USC at the time.

The fact that both Florida and UGA are running thin this year and we didn't even make a showing...that is because we have a coach who is not up to the challenge.

And yeah one first down by our offense and one stop by our defense in either game's 2nd half would have been nice. I didn't expect a win but this is UT but I don't expect to play worse than Vanderbilt!

Next!

GiveHimSixMoreYears writes:

Now writers are at least acknowledging in print that we are now below Vandy in 3 major sports. Vanderbilt football now has a dynamic young coach who's motto is "we won't back down" and refuses to make excuses, while our coach is an excuse machine and can only talk of "watering bamboo". We are now racing with Kentucky to the bottom of the heap, with Doolitte. The inevitable loss to the Doremats and their going bowling while we stay home, should be plenty enough to convince people what a dreadful mistake Doolittle was.

mikec1000000 writes:

For anyone to expect any other results thus far would be akin to winning the lottery. Yes, the Vols have shown signs of hope in the first half of the tougher games, but the end results are exactly as one would think they would be.

Fans scream "no halftime adjustments". Well, its hard to adjust any 4 cylinder Honda to try and outrun a Ferrari in a drag race. The fact of the matter is we lack depth and experience. This wont change overnight.

People need to roll up off of Coach Dooley. The coaching staff is doing the best it can with what it has. For those who would scream for his job thinking that some elite coach will walk in the door and part the SEC sea like Moses is sipping the Kool-aid from the 90s. Get over it. We are not elite enough to attract an elite coach. Frankly, we dont need anymore turnover right now. We need stability in the staff and recruiting to get a sniff at competing again. The boys are playing hard. Be thankful for what we are getting now and what may come our way later.

Right now, S.C. is hurting and Arkansas didnt look all that impressive against Ole Miss. With a bit of luck and mistake free football, the Vols have a chance in those games. Vandy and UK wont be walks as in the past, but things could still end up respectable if things go the Vols way. It could be a train wreck as well, but I still have faith in the effort the boys are putting forth each week and what the coaching staff is trying to do with the tools they are given. Go Vols!

FearTheVols1252 writes:

in response to CommodoreCapital:

How do Vanderbilt fans feel?

Let's see: We have a Top 10 basketball program, the baseball team just recorded the Top recruiting class after coming off a World Series visit, and the football team is on the rise and will possibly be favored going into the road game at UT. I would say we are feeling much better, even without an Athletic Department.

Dooley RIP 2012...

Ummm... I think he was referring less to the current state of affairs and more so to the near 3 decades of athletic irrelevancy.

oldbasshead writes:

If UT plays Vandy like they played Ga, FL, LSU and Ala, we will lose to them also. I didn't expect to beat LSU or Ala, I was hoping that it would be respectable though. I felt we could play with Fl and Ga. and agree with the post that both are down this year and both killed UT. I'm not for getting rid of Dooley. To me, the timing on that would be even worse, but his team is going to have to show some improvement or he will be history down the road. We all know that.

Classof85 writes:

Ever since Dooley became our coach, I have been trying to be patient, trying to be open minded, and trying to give him time to correct situations that were not of his making.

But this weekend I bought a ticket and took my seat on the Dooley needs to go bandwagon.

If UT were serious about turning the program around, we needed to hire a marquis coach. We didn't do that, and we won't be competitive in this conference again until we do.

When other teams fall on hard times and hire a new coach, you don't see this level of excuse making. Young players. Injuries. Year zero. Even the man's mother doing a radio call in his defense. Good Lord I have never seen so many excuses to fail in my life.

Competitive coaches FIND a way to win. Uncompetititive coaches cultivate excuses for losing.

Win or go home Dooley.

TSCinSFO writes:

in response to SpongeBobOrangePantz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That off your orange colored glasses moron and look at reality pal. I've been a die hard Vol fan since the late 60's and I can tell you the Vols are wasting years with Dooley at coach. When UT finally fires him in a couple of years you'll still be saying the same lame excuses of he "needed more time and time to recruit his own players". Even a decent coach can win some games they're not supposed to by outcoaching another coach. What I've seen is the Vols beat by barely above average teams and blasted off the field by good teams. Keep drinking your orange Koolaid and patting yourself on the back for being right when we beat the likes of the Buffalo's and Montana's of the NCAA. WE ARE WASTING YEARS WITH DOOLEY AT THE HELM!

FearlessFreep writes:

I don't accept the "well, you knew UT wasn't going to be any good" mantra. I think most people expected there to be some improvement. I'll say I think there has been progress, witnessed by the first-half performances in each of their losses, except Florida.

But for someone to 'accept' losing and even worse not being competitive during long stretches of the game is stupid. No, it's not time for knee-jerk fire the coach type of speak, but there does need to be some introspection as to whether things are moving in the right direction.

Every team has injuries. Every team has ups and downs. I will say I think the staff will be the first to admit they haven't handled either as well as they should have.

I'm willing to be patient - to a point. By the end of year three, there should be direct, visible progress (meaning WINS). Will that happen? Ask again in 12 months.

Bigger_Al writes:

If you want to feel better, get a roster and write out the scholarship Seniors (9), Juniors (13), Sophomores (29), and Freshmen (21). Look at the names, and you will see that not only the numbers but also most of the talent reside in the Sophomore and Freshman classes. You will also see that the Seniors are playing the best football of their careers (except for maybe Ben Martin, who is still coming back from two major surgeries).

Add it up. The future is bright. We will contend next season, and be able to stand and fight with anyone in our conference.

mikec1000000 writes:

in response to slaw_way:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I believe that Alabama deserves some credit for reviewing the first half, finding potential weaknesses in our defense and offense and then taking advantage of it.

As for Florida, the loss of J. Hunter early on deflated the Vols. After halftime, they appeared to have regrouped and were recovering in the game, but the deficit was too much to overcome.

1963VOLS writes:

the year is not over yet!

423tiger18 writes:

in response to mikec1000000:

For anyone to expect any other results thus far would be akin to winning the lottery. Yes, the Vols have shown signs of hope in the first half of the tougher games, but the end results are exactly as one would think they would be.

Fans scream "no halftime adjustments". Well, its hard to adjust any 4 cylinder Honda to try and outrun a Ferrari in a drag race. The fact of the matter is we lack depth and experience. This wont change overnight.

People need to roll up off of Coach Dooley. The coaching staff is doing the best it can with what it has. For those who would scream for his job thinking that some elite coach will walk in the door and part the SEC sea like Moses is sipping the Kool-aid from the 90s. Get over it. We are not elite enough to attract an elite coach. Frankly, we dont need anymore turnover right now. We need stability in the staff and recruiting to get a sniff at competing again. The boys are playing hard. Be thankful for what we are getting now and what may come our way later.

Right now, S.C. is hurting and Arkansas didnt look all that impressive against Ole Miss. With a bit of luck and mistake free football, the Vols have a chance in those games. Vandy and UK wont be walks as in the past, but things could still end up respectable if things go the Vols way. It could be a train wreck as well, but I still have faith in the effort the boys are putting forth each week and what the coaching staff is trying to do with the tools they are given. Go Vols!

Very well said...we need stability in the coaching staff right now. Just hope and pray we don't loose any key coaches this off season, we very easily could have lost CJW after last season.
As for wins and losses to all the naysayers out there, just pull up Coach Sabans record when he first started coaching D1...about .500 ball is all he could muster for several years.

TeeBall writes:

in response to pwned:

"Good" coaches win with inferior talent and/or the deck stacked against them. That's what makes them good. Witness Tuberville last Saturday night. A couple of years ago nobody knew Jim Harbaugh was coaching until he stunned Pete Carroll's NFL team that was playing for USC at the time.

The fact that both Florida and UGA are running thin this year and we didn't even make a showing...that is because we have a coach who is not up to the challenge.

And yeah one first down by our offense and one stop by our defense in either game's 2nd half would have been nice. I didn't expect a win but this is UT but I don't expect to play worse than Vanderbilt!

Next!

Couldn't agree MORE !!!

Good coaches DO WIN occasionally with inferior talent and it's about time CDD won one of these games. Hopefully SC or Arky will be the one.

KenRan (Inactive) writes:

in response to SpongeBobOrangePantz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The best place I know of to read about the state of the Vols football program is on a VOLS SITE. Think about it for a moment...it'll sink in.

keithgibson writes:

in response to SpongeBobOrangePantz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

SpongeBob,
How about just one win over a quality SEC opponent. how about being competative against just one quality SEC opponent. if you look at the other "elite coaches" in the ncaa they all had a quality win in their first year. dooley has yet to compete for a full game against a quality opponent. yell lack of tallent all you like, not all of these coaches inherited a loaded team. if you want to scream lack of tallent, just please explain Texas Tech over Oklahoma or Stanford over USC or Vandy beating anyone they have played this year.

Classof85 writes:

in response to SpongeBobOrangePantz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Good coaches don't blanche at the prospect of having to win some big games. At major colleges, that's expected.

Obviously nobody wins them all, but UT hasn't won against ANYBODY except creampuff teams since Dooley got here.

I have yet to see proof of concept. Just one win against a competitive opponent. Is that really too much to ask?

Your patience with mediocrity (and worse) is what got us here. Other teams demand excellence, and that is why they get it.

VOLliven2it writes:

All you haters on Coach Dooley, "Fulmer never lost...." it's all a bunch of bunking comparisons. Fulmer did not have to have his first two years of being a big time head coach marred by players leaving, being dismissed, some just not coming and of course a look down the barrell of the NCAA sanctions-gun when talking with top rated potential recruits. Dooley did. It's okay to be upset that we are not a good football team. We are not and that is beyond tough. But to go downing the team and the coaches and implying "let's fire them all" is beyond ridiculous. Let me write this once and all you "let's get a big time coach" criers, please read, NO MARQIS COACHES ARE COMING TO UT FOR THE IMMEDIATE FUTURE! So go on, get the Haslams and all the required thumbs down votes to fire Dooley and co. Then see just what that gets us. Keep on boarding, keep on posting and you might get what you say you want only to find it wasn't what you bargained for. I'm done!

VolzsFan writes:

in response to Classof85:

Good coaches don't blanche at the prospect of having to win some big games. At major colleges, that's expected.

Obviously nobody wins them all, but UT hasn't won against ANYBODY except creampuff teams since Dooley got here.

I have yet to see proof of concept. Just one win against a competitive opponent. Is that really too much to ask?

Your patience with mediocrity (and worse) is what got us here. Other teams demand excellence, and that is why they get it.

Tennessee football and mediocrity?? What does that mean? Many of you have only been fans since the 90's and think it is common for UT to win almost 10 games on average per year. You got used to being in the SEC Title game every 3 years. Tenn won the SEC 2 times outright during that time and had 5 other SEC east titles. Those East titles would have been considered SEC Titles prior to the 1992 expansion. Had they counted SEC titles the same way they always did for coaches like V. Dooley, Bear, Kneeland etc. Phil would have had 6 or more than Vince and Kneeland.

Until 1992, Tenn was always a bridesmaid. They had a 65% winning clip prior for the program's history. In other words 6-7 wins per year. They are simply returning to the roots. 2 National Titles. In 1951, they did not play a ranked team until the bowl game after they where named National Champs and they got beatdown in the bowl game.

Except for the Hall of Fame era of 1993-2008, this has been a mediocre program when compared to most of the big programs. Get in where you fit in and enjoy your tailgates. That is all that is left thanks to Hammy.

jimr07 writes:

in response to Classof85:

Ever since Dooley became our coach, I have been trying to be patient, trying to be open minded, and trying to give him time to correct situations that were not of his making.

But this weekend I bought a ticket and took my seat on the Dooley needs to go bandwagon.

If UT were serious about turning the program around, we needed to hire a marquis coach. We didn't do that, and we won't be competitive in this conference again until we do.

When other teams fall on hard times and hire a new coach, you don't see this level of excuse making. Young players. Injuries. Year zero. Even the man's mother doing a radio call in his defense. Good Lord I have never seen so many excuses to fail in my life.

Competitive coaches FIND a way to win. Uncompetititive coaches cultivate excuses for losing.

Win or go home Dooley.

who would you suggest for a coach?

bUTchVFL writes:

in response to CommodoreCapital:

How do Vanderbilt fans feel?

Let's see: We have a Top 10 basketball program, the baseball team just recorded the Top recruiting class after coming off a World Series visit, and the football team is on the rise and will possibly be favored going into the road game at UT. I would say we are feeling much better, even without an Athletic Department.

Dooley RIP 2012...

Awfully bold for a Vandy fan to be talking trash after wins over Elon, UConn, Ole Miss, and Army. Spoken like a true Vandy fan. UT will return to the top, but Vandy will always be Vandy. Show your Gold! LOL!

VolzsFan writes:

in response to VOLliven2it:

All you haters on Coach Dooley, "Fulmer never lost...." it's all a bunch of bunking comparisons. Fulmer did not have to have his first two years of being a big time head coach marred by players leaving, being dismissed, some just not coming and of course a look down the barrell of the NCAA sanctions-gun when talking with top rated potential recruits. Dooley did. It's okay to be upset that we are not a good football team. We are not and that is beyond tough. But to go downing the team and the coaches and implying "let's fire them all" is beyond ridiculous. Let me write this once and all you "let's get a big time coach" criers, please read, NO MARQIS COACHES ARE COMING TO UT FOR THE IMMEDIATE FUTURE! So go on, get the Haslams and all the required thumbs down votes to fire Dooley and co. Then see just what that gets us. Keep on boarding, keep on posting and you might get what you say you want only to find it wasn't what you bargained for. I'm done!

There was a time when a big time coach would have came. No coach wants to follow a legend. No coach wants to work for a weasel that never played or coached. Never mind the fact that you have no recruiting base. No, with a proper succession plan and an AD that is respected, they could have attracted more than a coach that needed a job (Kiffin) and one that needed a break (Dooley). All coaches in America respect Phil. He was the coaches President. With his cooperation and a real AD, they could have gotten a real coach. Instead they all laughed at Jimmy Sexton when he called them about UT. The lack of leadership and management by Hamilton cost us the greatest baseball, football and basketball coach in school history. He was lucky enough to have all 3 at the same time and screwed it up.

Vol_atile writes:

I don't know if a lot of you people remember, but the marquis names didn't want this job. They, as well as anyone with sense, knew this was a cluster**** job.

stevefrommemphis writes:

in response to CoondogsOfWar:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You are exactly correct. It is going to take several years to dig out of this mess. Johnny Majors was at Tennessee six years before he beat Alabama (in an upset) and nine years before he won the conference. One of the best things UT ever did was be patient with Johnny during the rebuilding. Patience resulted in over 30 years of stability in the UT program, versus going out and starting over with a new coach every five years.

There just isn't enough information yet to know whether Dooley is the answer, and there won't be enough info for at least another year, and probably longer. I just know he was raised by one of the best SEC coaches and worked for the current best coach in the nation for seven years. If he didn't learn a lot from those two, I'd be very surprised.

phunpharm writes:

As miserable as this is, I will NEVER be embarrassed to be a TN VOL.

mytrifecta writes:

These players were chosen by UT because they are elite athletes and they should compete with any team, any time...period. I'll support them if they win 1 game or 12 but I’m tired of the excuses for their lack of competitiveness. UT’s football program is as tradition rich as any out there. It’s time our coaches and players start representing that tradition and going into games expecting to win opposed to having their post game excuses prescripted.

Vol_atile writes:

in response to phunpharm:

As miserable as this is, I will NEVER be embarrassed to be a TN VOL.

Thank you! I've been a fan since the Bill Battle days. I know how bad it can be! I'll never feel ashamed to get excited when I see those orange jerseys in the fall.

bUTchVFL writes:

in response to VolzsFan:

Tennessee football and mediocrity?? What does that mean? Many of you have only been fans since the 90's and think it is common for UT to win almost 10 games on average per year. You got used to being in the SEC Title game every 3 years. Tenn won the SEC 2 times outright during that time and had 5 other SEC east titles. Those East titles would have been considered SEC Titles prior to the 1992 expansion. Had they counted SEC titles the same way they always did for coaches like V. Dooley, Bear, Kneeland etc. Phil would have had 6 or more than Vince and Kneeland.

Until 1992, Tenn was always a bridesmaid. They had a 65% winning clip prior for the program's history. In other words 6-7 wins per year. They are simply returning to the roots. 2 National Titles. In 1951, they did not play a ranked team until the bowl game after they where named National Champs and they got beatdown in the bowl game.

Except for the Hall of Fame era of 1993-2008, this has been a mediocre program when compared to most of the big programs. Get in where you fit in and enjoy your tailgates. That is all that is left thanks to Hammy.

Below is our record in the modern era(1946-present). We are top ten in overall wins all time, and second in the SEC in conference championships. That's hardly mediocre. We deserve and should expect better.

20. Georgia Tech (+7.70)
19. Michigan State (+8.69)
18. Arkansas (+8.95)
17. Auburn (+9.59)
16. Miami (+10.00)
15. UCLA (+10.04)
14. Georgia (+10.42)
13. LSU (+10.52
12. Florida State (+10.97)
11. Tennessee (+11.89)
10. Penn State Nittany Lions (+11.91)
9. Nebraska Cornhuskers (+11.92)
8. Florida Gators (+11.92)
7. Alabama Crimson Tide (+13.26)
6. Texas Longhorns (+13.27)
5. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (+13.82)
4. Southern California Trojans (+13.95)
3. Michigan Wolverines (+14.43)
2. Oklahoma Sooners (+14.65)
1. Ohio State Buckeyes (+14.66)

martinvol34 writes:

in response to FWBVol:

Even in a bad year I'll never know how Vanderbilt fans feel. I want to win in every sport, but football remains the king. Historically we have better programs than Vandy in baseball and basketball and there is no need to even compare football.

A bad year in football at Tennessee is something that most Vanderbilt fans envy.

I'm willing to give Dooley time. I'm confident we will be back in football, baseball and basketball.

Amen and I honestly think that being a Tennessee fan couldn't even compare to being a Vandy fan. Even when they are good, we still manage to beat them at everything but baseball and no one cares. That's what really pisses their fans off. Even when they are good they are still the sad little school in Nashville that will never be Orange and White. Go Vols!

EmbarrassedVolFromTampa (Inactive) writes:

As a UT alumnus, I consider myself as loyal as any other fan and have been for decades. However, what I'm witnessing with Coach Dooley has left me feeling, if we don't make a drastic change this year, Tennessee football could remain at the bottom for many years to come.

If you or I believe Derek Dooley is so skilled at player development that he can take recruiting classes ranked in the teens and out coach Nick Saban with #1 and #2 ranked classes, then he's our man. If not, and you insist we stay with Coach Dooley, you have given up and admitted defeat.

There is nothing in either Coach Dooley's resume, or on field coaching to suggest that he can out coach teams with superior talent, or out recruit coaches with better game planning.

We should, as painful as it is, admit we've made a mistake and move on. Otherwise, the hole we're in will only get deeper.Outside of Knoxville, we are bordering on total irrelevancy, and should Dooley continue we can lay our great traditions to rest.

rubbervol writes:

Try living in Bama and being a Tennessee Man.
I am catching hell and yet I say...Go Big Orange

Classof85 writes:

in response to jimr07:

who would you suggest for a coach?

As an example, Chris Petersen (Boise State).

Petersen has about the same salary as Dooley - $1.8 million a year.

Except Petersen's record looks like this:

2006 Boise State 13–0 8–0 1st W Fiesta † 6 5
2007 Boise State 10–3 7–1 2nd L Hawai'i
2008 Boise State 12–1 8–0 1st L Poinsettia 13 11
2009 Boise State 14–0 8–0 1st W Fiesta † 4 4
2010 Boise State 12–1 7–1 T–1st W Maaco LV 7 9

with 2 BCS bowls. And they are in the top 5 again this year.

Granted that's not a record playing in the SEC. And granted also we would have to write a huge check to get him. But the question was what is an example of a marquis coach? That's one.

My point being, for $1.8 million a year there are much better prospects.

CCLC writes:

in response to SpongeBobOrangePantz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Sponge:
With the need for parity per posters asking ea other questions..... why did you pick the handle
"SpongeBobOrangePants"?
Help me to understand.
;-)

FearTheVols1252 writes:

in response to bUTchVFL:

Awfully bold for a Vandy fan to be talking trash after wins over Elon, UConn, Ole Miss, and Army. Spoken like a true Vandy fan. UT will return to the top, but Vandy will always be Vandy. Show your Gold! LOL!

Seriously... it always cracks me up to hear Vandy fans talk trash. Franklin doing well there will be a curse and a blessing. They'll get to brag for 1 or 2 seasons, then they'll be crying when he leaves the program for a bigger school.

Coaching football at Vandy is either a stepping stone to something better or a coaching graveyard.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

As I sit here and read some of the comments, I see nothing has changed..This article is spot on in the description of the comments coming from our divided fan base...Some think 20 games is long enough for Dooley to turn things around completely..I am a fan of CDD,meaning I support giving him long enough to turn the corner,which IMO is 3 years..If by year 3 there is no more progress, then a change is necessary and AD Hart will need to fork out some big $$$$ to get a proven coach.

I understand that patience is hard,especially now because I am not the most patient person myself at times..We,as Vol fans, will just have to suck up and survive the adversity and understand that we didn't get into this mess overnight and we're not gonna get out of it overnight and those who thought so and expected so were just fooling themselves...Either you're a Vol fan or you're not thru the good times and the bad times, not just when things are going good..It's easier to be a fan during the good times, but life doesn't work like that..If you are "embarrassed" to be a Vol right now, then change teams and don't bother to claim to be a real Vol fan when things get turned around..IMO, it will be a while longer before they are contending for an SEC Championship,maybe 2012 or 2013..If you can't wait that long, then there are plenty of teams to chose from.

Smokey says he will hang around no matter what..

buzz29 writes:

Let the whiners and naysayers find other teams for which they can practice their sad version of support. It's pathetic to be a fair weather fan. I cheered just as hard for the Vols when they started 0-6 in 1988 as I did when they were undefeated in 1998, and I'm cheering for them now. Go Vols!

underthehill writes:

in response to EmbarrassedVolFromTampa:

As a UT alumnus, I consider myself as loyal as any other fan and have been for decades. However, what I'm witnessing with Coach Dooley has left me feeling, if we don't make a drastic change this year, Tennessee football could remain at the bottom for many years to come.

If you or I believe Derek Dooley is so skilled at player development that he can take recruiting classes ranked in the teens and out coach Nick Saban with #1 and #2 ranked classes, then he's our man. If not, and you insist we stay with Coach Dooley, you have given up and admitted defeat.

There is nothing in either Coach Dooley's resume, or on field coaching to suggest that he can out coach teams with superior talent, or out recruit coaches with better game planning.

We should, as painful as it is, admit we've made a mistake and move on. Otherwise, the hole we're in will only get deeper.Outside of Knoxville, we are bordering on total irrelevancy, and should Dooley continue we can lay our great traditions to rest.

Repeat! UT signed a contract with Dooley that states he will get a specific length of time to determine if he is indeed the man..UT should honor that contract! All this talk about doing anything otherwise does nothing to help. Credibility or lack of it is a huge issue at UT at this time and does not need to get any worse.
This article is an exceptional assessment of the situation..did I expect better against LSU and Bama..no..did I expect better against Geo and Fla..no. hope and expect are 2 different things..as the article says..it is too early to make a judgement re: Dooley . The time for that is when the contract expires...The only thing about UT that embarrasses and frustrates me is hiring Dave Hart as AD..not Dooley or Martin as coaches..

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