When Derek Dooley became the University of Tennessee's third head coach in as many seasons in 2010, he took over a program in shambles. Lane Kiffin had bolted unexpectedly with less than a month remaining before national signing day, leaving UT scrambling to find a new head coach. Most of Kiffin's signees from the previous year saw more off-field trouble than on-field contributions and some of Kiffin's recruiting tactics were being investigated by the NCAA.
Dooley, who had a 17-20 record at Louisiana Tech, inherited a team with just 68 scholarship athletes, virtually no experience on the offensive line, no proven quarterback or running back and a depleted defensive line. The immediate outlook was grim and while Dooley's first team won its final four regular-season games to become bowl eligible, that season would be remembered more for two games (at LSU and vs. North Carolina in the Music City Bowl) lost by late-game clock mismanagement and the team finished 6-7.
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