John Adams: So which team are you pulling for Saturday?

Several emails from Tennessee fans reached the same conclusion the last two weeks.

"It's a tough time to be a Vol fan," they read.

And it's about to get tougher.

I'm not referring to a schedule that has lightened considerably after a gruesome October. Inner conflict is the issue now. Fans will have to wrangle with the prospect of pulling for or against their favorite team.

Sounds almost blasphemous, doesn't it? But that's the reality of a 4-5 season preceded by back-to-back losing seasons for a fan base that for so many years experienced so much better.

In 2001, when Tennessee played at Notre Dame, my wife couldn't believe what she was hearing. She said she was surrounded by Notre Dame fans who were pulling for their team to lose in hopes that then-coach Bob Davie would be fired.

The fans got what they wanted. Notre Dame lost to the Vols, fired Davie and replaced him with Ty Willingham. Eleven years and two more coaches later, the Irish are in the running for a national championship. So it all worked out, huh?

It's too soon to tell how things will work out for the Vols, although their recent track record is hardly encouraging.

UT defeated Troy 55-48 Saturday afternoon as the two offenses combined for more than 100 points and more than 1,400 yards. That's fine

for the Big 12 or the Pac-10. But even in a wildly offensive era, the numbers had to be grating for longtime UT fans sitting in a stadium named after a coach whose 1937 defense held 10 opponents to 47 points.

Tennessee won the game. It's still in the running for a bowl game and a winning season. And if it wins out — bowl game included — it would have as many as eight victories for the first time in five years. That would signify progress for third-year coach Derek Dooley, who assumed leadership of the program in the worst of times.

But that's hardly enough for many fans, who no longer can envision better seasons to come. In fact, the defense has become such an eyesore, fans struggle to celebrate the historic passing numbers put up by UT quarterback Tyler Bray or the exploits of wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, who has become one of the most entertaining players ever to juke a defender on Tennessee's behalf.

If UT loses another game, athletic director Dave Hart would have no choice but to make a coaching change. But at 7-5, there's doubt.

And that's why some UT fans will be inwardly pulling for Missouri on Saturday afternoon at Neyland Stadium.

John Adams is a senior columnist. He may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/johnadamskns.

© 2012 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 164

AlexAndersonAAradio writes:

It's ridiculous that Cheek wants to keep Dooley another year. I think he's working for the Gators. It's his fault that UT fans are having to pull against it's own team.

oldbasshead writes:

Not me. I will be pulling for UT. If UT wins out, Dooley deserves another year. If UT loses any remaining games, he should be replaced, but I will not pull against the Vols.

tuvol4u (Inactive) writes:

I wonder if John Adams realizes people have been "pulling" against him to stay with KNS for some time now.

Laydbakvol writes:

Stupid article.

VOLuptuous writes:

I'll never root against the VOLS. Let the cards fall as they will.

DeltaCharlie3 writes:

I'm just wondering how lopsided UT practices/scrimmages must be. I mean, does the UT offense practice blindfolded with an arm tied behind their backs to make the whole thing fair?

And at no point during the preseason practices did it dawn on any coaches that there was a MAJOR problem in talent and scheme on the defensive side of the football?

Oddly incompetent.

thevoice writes:

Dooley wasn't hired to beat UK, Vandy, Missouri (Kippy Brown could do that). He gone.

rbut5252#220065 writes:

Adams is really hurting for somedthing to write about if this tripe is all he can come up with. The best (worst) part of the article was the remark about Notre Dame..."Eleven years and two more coaches later, the Irish are in the running for a national championship. So it all worked out, huh?" Personally, I don't call 11 years and 2 more coaching changes "working out". Anyone who would root for the Vols to lose is NOT a fan....don't try to convince me that you are.

KFDLaw writes:

I have been a UT fan since the early 1950s. I NEVER want to see them lose. This has been a disappointing season, but I want the Vols to make the best of it. Coach Dooley is probably going to change zip codes at the end of the season, but now is not the time to wish the team ill will just to dump the coach.

PUL4VOLS writes:

No True Vol fan will be un-for them; sorry. It is bogus to pretend you are a fan and pull against them. I don't care if you hate orange pants, losing or what. That is utterly unacceptable. GO TENNESSEE, win out and shut up many non-fans. Come on Adams....

thevoice writes:

in response to DeltaCharlie3:

I'm just wondering how lopsided UT practices/scrimmages must be. I mean, does the UT offense practice blindfolded with an arm tied behind their backs to make the whole thing fair?

And at no point during the preseason practices did it dawn on any coaches that there was a MAJOR problem in talent and scheme on the defensive side of the football?

Oddly incompetent.

Yeah. I've been wondering the same thing for a while. I also wonder what would happen if we go back to last year's 4-3 for the remaining games. This 0-0-0 isn't the trick.

florida-volfan writes:

in response to AlexAndersonAAradio:

It's ridiculous that Cheek wants to keep Dooley another year. I think he's working for the Gators. It's his fault that UT fans are having to pull against it's own team.

He's quite possibly working for the Kiffens....but ole Lane is not doing to well himself out there with 3 losses now, and maybe more with his own defensive problems

DalTexVol writes:

Pathetic article from a very small minded man. Go Vols!

CrankE writes:

Don't worry John, we're "pulling for you."

As for Tennessee, there's ample basis for Dooley to be dismissed for failing to do the job for which he was hired. Even before Troy. I frankly can't envision that UT would actually need one more reason to make a decision. But I can think of reasons why they might not make any announcement.

As for Sal, the movers can't come soon enough. UT should sue him for fraud and refuse to pay one single explosive dime of his buyout.

UT is without excuse, so what's YOUR excuse KNS? FIRE JOHN ADAMS. Heck, maybe you could even hire Debbie Jennings in her place.

TNORANGEDOGDAD writes:

Why would you even write this kind of article no matter how the season has gone. Very pathetic !

beatlecakes writes:

Here's the deal. The Vol fans that are unhappy are not being secret about it. With that being said, change is on the horizon. Either a complete coaching overhaul or just specific areas like defense. Fans like the players want success at a high level. We are not there today and that is something we can all agree upon.

florida-volfan writes:

in response to thevoice:

Yeah. I've been wondering the same thing for a while. I also wonder what would happen if we go back to last year's 4-3 for the remaining games. This 0-0-0 isn't the trick.

Their going up against the scout team in practice. Maybe it would benefit them if they went up against the first team offense, could get them better prepared...just sayin

TKO writes:

Hopefully no one is waiting until the end of the season to begin a coaching search. Time is a wasting

absgovols writes:

Any fan pulling against the Vols is not a Vol - never has been, never will be. The writer of this article had better be thankful that he has an easier life, by comparison, than that of a SEC football coach. I mean, come on, all he has to do is write polarizing articles to sell ink and paper, trying all the while to resurrect the industry to save his job – right? ...much easier, by comparison, than winning in the SEC to save your job.

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

This article shows how much of a negative thinking idiot John Adams really is. No rational UT fan wants to see the Vols lose. Also, no reasonable UT fan likes whats happening with the football team. I believe when a decision is made it will be in the best interest for the program and the fan base. They're not going to please everybody. It's impossible!!!!!

BankerVol writes:

More of Adams typical drivel . Pathetic.

redskinvol1 writes:

FIRE DOOLEY NOT THE TEAM!!GO VOLS!!FIRE DOOLEY NOW!!

BigOrangeSports writes:

Win or Lose, I'm all Vol.

Go Vols

vut5686#1405392 writes:

This article is sick on several levels. For a local sports writer to suggest that ticket buying fans want to sit and watch their team lose is beyond disingenious. We may question the team's leadership but wishing it to lose? Get a life, JA.

Then, the Notre Dame reference misses a great point: Kelly is the fourth coach since Holtz, and this is the first year they appear revelant. A great example of three and out not necessarily paving the road to the promised land.

UT administrators face some difficult choices; they can ill afford the expense of past coaching situations, let alone the prospect of dumping the present. Neither can they afford to ignore fan apathy. Shallow and trite comments such as this article add no clarity or serious thought to the situation.

CoverOrange writes:

So JA reads the drivel from the trolls.

runninbroke writes:

I would never pull against the Vols but it is true that there is a portion of vol fans doing just that. Yes, Dooley is responsible for the team. With that being said, how could you go wrong by hiring the linebacker coach off of a powerhouse like bama!! Well, it looks like it did, but who in their right mind was disappointed with that hire in the first place!! If our defense would have been "borderline" awful, we would have beaten Georgia, Miss.St, and South Carolina. Instead we have the worst defense I've ever seen! Tough times indeed.

tenndave writes:

in response to Laydbakvol:

Stupid article.

Amen! I don't care how disappointed I am, I will never pull against the VOLS. But John needs to go now! What a stupid suggestion and article.

takespix writes:

You Mr. Adams and any other disgusting mutts that dare claim to support Tennessee, PLEASE LEAVE! Go cling like the fair weather leeches you are to some other program.
The players that give their all to Tennessee deserve far better than the likes of you.
As for you Mr. Adams your disgusting articles I hope will go away along with that birdcage liner commonly known as The Knoxville News Sentinel.
You make Finebaum look like a noble gentleman.

NYCApple writes:

Go Vols!!! Never want to see our guys or girls lose! Even if he wins, 65k to 70k in the seats doesn't cut it. Budget-wise that's a "loss." Fiscally, the Vols will have to move in another direction.

fearthehound writes:

I don't know how I feel about keeping Dooley right now, but I do know John Adams is a giant POS. What really blew me away in the whole article is John mentioning his wife. I am completely astounded he has a wife...

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

I'll be yelling/screaming for my Vols no matter who's coaching them..GBO!!

snafu14u#241639 writes:

this,sir,is treason. bonzaivol

pratt71 writes:

in response to tuvol4u:

I wonder if John Adams realizes people have been "pulling" against him to stay with KNS for some time now.

FIRE JOHN ADAMS, FIRE JOHN ADAMS, FIRE JOHN ADAMS. He is such an idiot.

rockypop writes:

I remember Mark Herbert, the Kentucky TV reporter, chasing after Billy Gillespie when he was fired. Not a great day for Herbert, who ended up apologizing for it. This is the same kind of deal.

The KNS knows there's a growing sentiment to fire Dooley, so they're jumping on the bandwagon to sell more of whatever it is they sell. I can't argue with Adams' facts, but I can argue with his presentation, which concludes with UT fans wanting Missouri to win.

Nowhere in here does he refer to what Dooley inherited or what he has had to endure. Sure, he has created many of his own problems, but none of those are going to be solved by some sportswriter making a case for a coaching change.

Many will say Adams speaks the truth. But, I say Adams speaks the direction the wind is blowing.

fearthehound writes:

You know, it's not even possible to be this bad of a sports writer without trying , I think. JA must be trying to write something that no self-respecting sports journalist would ever post, unless he's trying to get a reaction. Either that's the case, or he is the stupidest sports writer of all times. I think KNS really needs to look into whether it is in their best interests to retain him. He has lost all credibility. I mean, he is after all, a writer for the Tennessee beat.

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

Shows how little research Adams has done about the more successful Tennessee past. He refers to the "1937 season in which the Vols defense gave up 47 points" but doesn't mention the 1939 season when they gave up 0. as in zero points...........the last team to go unscored on.

Anyway, yes it was a typical Adams negative article.......even openly suggesting that fans want to pull for Missouri to justify getting rid of the coach. And yes. there are such 'fans' ( wilted Flowers, aka Kremser, aka Glenn Ford, aka many other names ) who despise the coach, and probably even the school...........and want us to lose Saturday.

Having said that about such fans, Tennessee does in fact have to deal with this defensive situation. Does that mean demoting Sal, or even dismissing him? That situation cannot be ignored..........we cannot continue giving quarterbacks Heisman-like games.

As badly as the D played, somehow they nevertheless saved the game at the end with some critical stops. They'll need to find a way to make it a 60 minute game for a change.

ktemaque1 writes:

This is my 51st year as a VOLS fan. I will pull for our program to win as long as I have the ability to understand that they are playing football. Whether or not I personally like any of the coaching staff has absolutely nothing to do with it! I don't care who leads improvement in the program as long as it happens.

BruisedOrange writes:

When Adams writes, "Eleven years and two more coaches later, the Irish are in the running for a national championship. So it all worked out, huh?" he's being sarcastic. Or is it sardonic? Ironic?

Whichever, it's a subtlety sure to be (and I think intended to be) lost on the mad dog, foaming spittle, fire-Dooley lynch mob to whom it's addressed.

It's the kind of statement columnists make when they know the loud-crowd is dead wrong, but aren't willing to lose their job over pointing it out.

Nevertheless, in the future, at each predictable coaching reboot, they'll be able to point back to that quote and truthfully say, "You know, I told everyone this would happen."

For the remaining, reasonable few who now find themselves beginning to trot alongside the yowling bandwagon, falling into the rhythm of the Dump Dooley drumbeat, please--LEARN from history instead of repeating it!

THIS IS REALITY: There are only 2 or 3 coaches in all of football (NONE of whom would be available to us at practically any price) who could come to Tennessee and field a better team 2 years from now than Dooley will have built by then.

Halls3 writes:

I think Adams article is spot on. Personally, I've never had so many fans tell me if losing is the only way Dooley doesn't come back they'd rather lose every game than keep him one more year. I personally don't understand that mentality but it is happening all over the place.

allvol8 writes:

I will cheer my Vols no matter who the coach is.. I will contribute to a fund to send a moving van to JA

fearthehound writes:

in response to BruisedOrange:

When Adams writes, "Eleven years and two more coaches later, the Irish are in the running for a national championship. So it all worked out, huh?" he's being sarcastic. Or is it sardonic? Ironic?

Whichever, it's a subtlety sure to be (and I think intended to be) lost on the mad dog, foaming spittle, fire-Dooley lynch mob to whom it's addressed.

It's the kind of statement columnists make when they know the loud-crowd is dead wrong, but aren't willing to lose their job over pointing it out.

Nevertheless, in the future, at each predictable coaching reboot, they'll be able to point back to that quote and truthfully say, "You know, I told everyone this would happen."

For the remaining, reasonable few who now find themselves beginning to trot alongside the yowling bandwagon, falling into the rhythm of the Dump Dooley drumbeat, please--LEARN from history instead of repeating it!

THIS IS REALITY: There are only 2 or 3 coaches in all of football (NONE of whom would be available to us at practically any price) who could come to Tennessee and field a better team 2 years from now than Dooley will have built by then.

'he's being sarcastic. Or is it sardonic? Ironic?'

I think moronic, more than likely. I appreciate your trying to look beyond Adams' obvious hatred of all things Orange, but I pretty much witnessed this whole process with Fulmer. Adams starting to peck at the edges, then introducing a little more before the all-out onslaught. He did the same with Fulmer that he is doing with Dooley. He loves controversy--sells papers.

tovolny writes:

NOW THAT WAS STUPID JOHN. Any thing to rile the fans, UH ?

If Cheek and Hart really want to know how THE MAJORITY of we Vol fans feel, they can Ask. Well, I'll say keep Dooley. Please Hart, Please Cheek don't knock down the hornet nest again.

John, why don't you start telling UT whom they should hire. Come on, I challenge you, give us a couple of reasonable names. And don't try to be cute and mention coaches who's last name starts with a "P." Give us two names and tell us why you think they should be hired. If you can't or won't, just shut the H...E...L...L up.

fearthehound writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

OKEMO may be wrong. OKEMO cannot present one shred of evidence that he has ever been right. WTF is OKEMO anyway? Grow up.

voodoo101 writes:

That's an easy question.

Tennessee always
Notre Dame's opponent
UsC's opponent (SC stands for South Carolina - sC for part of a left coast state)

The other thing - never read Adams drivel anymore, and many times not even the headline.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to fearthehound:

OKEMO may be wrong. OKEMO cannot present one shred of evidence that he has ever been right. WTF is OKEMO anyway? Grow up.

OKEMO-RON?

UTKin1992 writes:

I love my alma mater and always want them to win.

But, with all the fiber of my being, I want Derek Dooley fired ASAP. He was a failure at coaching college football before he was hired at UT and has only solidified that fact since. He will not improve our football program EVER and further inaction on the future of his employment will only prolong the hemorraging.

He's a lame duck coach and everyone knows it.

UTKin1992 writes:

in response to BruisedOrange:

When Adams writes, "Eleven years and two more coaches later, the Irish are in the running for a national championship. So it all worked out, huh?" he's being sarcastic. Or is it sardonic? Ironic?

Whichever, it's a subtlety sure to be (and I think intended to be) lost on the mad dog, foaming spittle, fire-Dooley lynch mob to whom it's addressed.

It's the kind of statement columnists make when they know the loud-crowd is dead wrong, but aren't willing to lose their job over pointing it out.

Nevertheless, in the future, at each predictable coaching reboot, they'll be able to point back to that quote and truthfully say, "You know, I told everyone this would happen."

For the remaining, reasonable few who now find themselves beginning to trot alongside the yowling bandwagon, falling into the rhythm of the Dump Dooley drumbeat, please--LEARN from history instead of repeating it!

THIS IS REALITY: There are only 2 or 3 coaches in all of football (NONE of whom would be available to us at practically any price) who could come to Tennessee and field a better team 2 years from now than Dooley will have built by then.

Only the weak and ignorant stay in a bad situation without trying to improve it.

fearthehound writes:

in response to UTKin1992:

I love my alma mater and always want them to win.

But, with all the fiber of my being, I want Derek Dooley fired ASAP. He was a failure at coaching college football before he was hired at UT and has only solidified that fact since. He will not improve our football program EVER and further inaction on the future of his employment will only prolong the hemorraging.

He's a lame duck coach and everyone knows it.

I can't agree with all of your spelling, but I respect you opinion. Personally, I'm willing to wait and see if we can win out. I could possibly live with a 7-5 year with a mid level bowl, if I thought next year holds more promise.

Thing is, we need to resolve this pretty soon or recruiting for next year is in the toilet.

baldingalum writes:

in response to rockypop:

I remember Mark Herbert, the Kentucky TV reporter, chasing after Billy Gillespie when he was fired. Not a great day for Herbert, who ended up apologizing for it. This is the same kind of deal.

The KNS knows there's a growing sentiment to fire Dooley, so they're jumping on the bandwagon to sell more of whatever it is they sell. I can't argue with Adams' facts, but I can argue with his presentation, which concludes with UT fans wanting Missouri to win.

Nowhere in here does he refer to what Dooley inherited or what he has had to endure. Sure, he has created many of his own problems, but none of those are going to be solved by some sportswriter making a case for a coaching change.

Many will say Adams speaks the truth. But, I say Adams speaks the direction the wind is blowing.

Spot On! I'd penalize Mr. Adams 15 yards for piling on - or, clubbing a baby seal.

Here is the big question. Why did so many assistant coaches leave last year? And more specifically, leave for lateral positions. Is it because A) They wanted away from the Head Coach, the university, et al. Or B) They believed their current employer - Dooley - was going to be fired and therefore needed job security. And why did they believe this? Because UT's athletic director has shown the mildest of support for his head football coach since he arrived in Knoxville.

I think B. And if you think B then you have to wonder what would have been had the AD better supported the head coach. Many of those coaches stay. Dooley doesn't have had to scramble, practically assembling a brand new staff in a very short period of time. In that rush he hires Sunseri - clearly the wrong guy. Had Wilcox remained I see the Vols with a loss to Alabama and probably Florida. And lots of talk of a turnaround.

pj_ladyvolnMI writes:

Blasphemy. Not sure why I even stoop to comment.

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