I’ve followed UT football closely since the early 70′s. I watched the days of Bill Battle, remembered when “JOHNNY CAME MARCHING HOME” after winning a National Championship with the Pitt Panthers and remembering his 7 or 8 years on the job being “ROUGH” to say the least until we won the Sugar Bowl and beat Miami. Majors’s biggest problem it seems was beating Alabama; then he did it for 4 years in a row (82,83,84, 85).
Fulmer Takes Over
Then Coach Fulmer comes in for a “SICK MAJORS” and we take off…Beat Georgia and Florida, Majors is “FORCED OUT” we become a National power in the polls and in recruiting. Fulmer’s problem was “STEVE SPURRIER” the old ball sack coach always had his number. Don’t ever forget that Fulmer brought us a “NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP”. I’ll never forget that night in Tempe.
Then Fulmer got “LAX” in recruiting and soft in his handling of the players on and off the field. 8-4 and 9-3 suddenly wasn’t going to cut it, even though it really sounds good today.
We needed new blood so Lane Kiffin was brought in, and it looked like with the recruits he had us in play for, we were headed for “GOOD TIMES AGAIN”; then Kiffin bolted like a thief in the night and left us in a mess. Then AD Mike Hamilton made one of the worst hires in the history of college sports when he hired Derek Dooley. Before you start to bash, I know that it has been said that Dooley walked into a mess. He still managed to get us a top 10 class by bringing in Justin Hunter, Da’Rick Rogers and James Stone who weren’t even considering the “BIG ORANGE” at the time. But “COACHING THEM UP” wasn’t Dooley’s strong suit and despite having NFL caliber talent on the offensive side of the ball, and the absolute worst Defensive Coordinator I’ve ever seen in college football we finished with a 5-7 record in 2012.
Butch Jones Backs In
Now all the big names being thrown around we land coach Lyle “Butch” Jones from Cincinnati. While Jones has hit the ground running and appears to be doing “ALL THE RIGHT THINGS” off the field. You know he inherited “A MESS”. Now, before you jump off the deep end, I know he walked into a better situation “TALENT WISE” than Dooley did. He inherits probably the best offensive line in the country for next year to start with and that’s always a good starting place to win big in the SEC ( THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE). Unfortunately Tennessee doesn’t have a running back or a quarterback that will be able to take advantage of this O-Line. What a waste.
But after watching Saban and Bama get their third National Title in four years, and then reeling in another outstanding recruiting class( They are on automatic pilot down there) I can’t wait for next year to get here. I know we have a chance to land players we never did with the previous recruiting staff ( we still have a lot of work to do and the next couple of years are going to be tough but exciting ones.
But I remember the “GOOD OLE DAYS” when we were fighting to get to Atlanta and top ten finishes every year…and now we are talking about going 6-6 and being happy…
Anybody still want to bitch about 8-4 and 9-3?
I was a ring leader in the Fulmer/Chavis have got to go crowd. and we hired Kiffin and he broke it off in us…Hamilton jumps through his own hoops and hires Derek Dooley…Kiffin baling when he did and the hiring of Dooley set this program back 10 years..Like it or not..we got set back 10 years..
We have got to be patient guys with Butch Jones. NO, He wasn’t my first choice. But he appears to be doing everything RIGHT so far even though he hasn’t played a game…The guy wins every where he goes so I imagine he will win here…We have got to be patient. He has us in on some key recruits. We aren’t going to finish in the top 5 in recruiting you guys can forget that. Got to learn to crawl before you walk. Winning isn’t something THIS GROUP AT UT” is used to. Losing is.
The mind set has to be changed. practice habits have to be changed..Discipline and Pride on and off the field have to be there. We have got to get some players in here. to build for the future and you do that by winning.
Give the guy a chance, fellows He can’t do it over night. He’s walking into a program that’s been put behind the eight-ball for 10 years. It’s going to take time..