Last Saturday things seemed normal. Another game against Vandy translates into another win for the VOLS.
“We’re still Tennessee,” said Phillip Fulmer after his next-to-last game as coach at his alma mater. We feel like most of the time we have better players and should win these games.”
I couldn’t agree more. All though there were still mistakes committed in this game by the team, they seem trivial when a win occurs, especially a win against a quality Vanderbilt team.
Even though people say this game is a rivalry game, I for one do not believe that. I mean the head to head record isn’t even close. Let’s go to the grades.
Gee…Crompton was intercepted again and Coleman was less than impressive as well, giving up a pick six. The fact that Gerald Jones & Eric Berry played well in the QB position keeps me from giving a “F-”.
RUNNING BACKS: C
Creer like the majority of the season looked good. He racked up 80 yards on 13 carries, however he fumbled once. Hardesty missed several blocks but had a nice run going over 20 yards. Foster almost looked like the old Foster minus the fumbles.
WIDE RECEIVERS: C-
Look its Stocker and guess what he dropped a pass. Rogers had a nice catch on a key third down. The receivers did an excellent good blocking for the running backs.
OFFENSIVE LINE: B
This might the highest grade they have earned all season. Even though Vandy knew we were going to run the ball, they simply couldn’t stop it. They played with consistency and only had one penalty.
DEFENSIVE LINE: A+
Seven sacks…nice. Ayers played like a man processed. Walker forced a fumble.
Rico McCoy had 11 tackles and again proves how valuable he has been to this team. Nevin McKenzie was all over the field and Ellix Wilson was very productive.
Eric Berry had a beautiful interception that he ran back 45 yards for a touchdown. Brett Vinson had an interception that he back 69 yards.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B-
Rogan had some nice kickoff returns. As usual Colquitt was above average punting. Lincoln Logs hit two field goals.
Again the VOLS defense was dominate in this game however the offense was very one dimensional. I liked the call to have Colquitt attempt a 50 yard field goal on fourth down. At least it was something different. However the choice not to play Stephens was completely stupid.
With this being arguably the worst team Tennessee has put on the field and not having a passing game of any type, Vandy still couldn’t beat them. It’s obvious that Tennessee used the past bye week wisely.
Strength coach Johnny Long shouted to fans as he left the field: “They’re still Vandy, and we’ll always be Tennessee.”
Now that Vandy is bowl eligible for the first time since the early 80′s and coupled with the fact that Tennessee lost to them in 2005, it’s clear that Phil Fulmer is purposely going to lose to them on purpose this coming Saturday.
Fulmer has named Crapton Crompton the starter for this coming Saturday’s match up against Vanderbilt. Crompton is just giddy with excitement.
“I’m enthused,” said Crompton, “I’m going to go out here and do the best I can. We’ve got to go out and win these last two games.”
You know who’s not enthused with this choice? ME! In fact I’m willing to bet that only he is enthused with this decision. Well, actually I take that back. I’m sure the Vandy is equally enthused with his slow reads and our porous offensive line.
Hey I have an idea, why not start B.J. “Huge hands” Coleman? Gerald Jones wouldn’t mind seeing that.
“I think he deserves a chance,” Jones said. “He did pretty good – really good – in the JV game. Why not? Give him a chance and see if he can lead this team from here on out. But I’m not the coach, so it’s not my call.”
“I don’t want to say what’s different, what’s good or what’s better, (but) the difference is Crompton’s a lot slower with his reads than Nick,” Jones said.
Tennessee is actually a 3 ½ point underdog for this Saturday’s game.
Well the rumors are certainly running rampant on an already ravished Rocky Top. All in all yesterday should have been a very good day for Tennessee fans. Marlon Walls said he is sticking with his commitment to Tennessee, Kenny Hall officially signed with the VOLS to play basketball for Bruce Pearl & we learn that Eric Berry is also a Lott Trophy semifinalist.
I believe all those things should be considered great news if you’re a Tennessee fan, however when I scour the message boards all I see is negativity over than fact Butch Davis said he has no interest in Tennessee’s coaching job and will remain in Chapel Hill.
There is this huge debate at who should be the next Tennessee head football coach. For some reason everyone assumes that names like Butch Davis, Mike Leach & Lane Kiffin are all on this list.
The truth of the matter is only Mike Hamilton knows who’s on the list. Neither Tennessee nor Hamilton has said in a official capacity who is on that list. All anyone hears seems to come from “sources.” I’m not saying these sources are incorrect but I am saying that as for as we the average fan (and the real lifeblood of the program) knows these sources could be wrong.
Rumors will always swirl around coaching vacancies. That’s life. Here is UT’s plane log according to this blog and look yesterday it flew to Raleigh-Durham airport, why doesn’t a certain former offensive coordinator coach there? Hey a certain former super bowl winning NFL coach lives there as well.
Did you see how easy that was?
All I’m saying is folks relax and enjoy the men’s basketball team and this to shall pass.
Now in attempt to be humorous I present to you some other coaching candidates that for reason or another aren’t getting as play as those on this mythical list. I call it Mike Hamilton goes on a vision quest. Enjoy.
Severely shaken up over the news the Butch Davis is “adamantly” denying any interest in the Tennessee coaching job, AD Mike Hamilton has an epiphany and realizes that he needs to go on a vision quest to stir up names to add to the ever growing wish list.
Hamilton takes a paper bag and grabs some Big Orange colored spray paint and sprays some in the bag. While taking deep slow breaths Hamilton chants:
“Oh spirit of the Behr please come to me now.”
After 45 minutes and 2 spray cans worth, the ghost of Behr Bryant appears to Hamilton and says:
“What the hell do you want? I was busy getting my drink on” to which Hamilton replied “You’re always getting your drink on Behr but I need your help!”
“You see” Hamilton begins “there are members of the Tennessee wish list saying no this early and I need some candidates to help the rumor fire similar to what Alabama went through before hiring Satan…err Saban.”
“You interrupted my daily dosing of Jim Beam and Jack Daniels for this?” Bryant asks.
Hamilton looks sheepishly down while tears form in his eyes.
“Oh God! Fine you girlie-man I’ll help you come up with candidates but I’m not helping you hire anyone!” Bryant says with disgust, “Come with me to my lair formally known as hell and we shall conjure some names for this list.”
“Hell? I thought I saw you in heaven in a dream I had. I’m not selling my soul to you Behr!” Hamilton replies.
A demon that strikingly looks like Logan Young suddenly appears from behind the Behr.
“We don’t need to buy your soul it’s not like you’re a five star football recruit” it mockingly says to Hamilton and disappears.
“He’s right you know” say the Behr “Besides what you saw in heaven was God wearing a hounds tooth hat, he just thinks he’s me. Now close your eyes we’re going to my lair”
Moments pass and Hamilton hears the Behr say “Ok weasel boy you can open them again.”
Hamilton looks around and says “Where am I? This certainly doesn’t look like hell.”
“It’s a place called Shreveport, La. & get used to it cause it’s possible you’ll be coming here for a few seasons and then you will see why I call this place hell” replied the Behr.
“Ok here are some more names to place on your wish list” say the Behr and hands Hamilton a piece of paper.
On the paper is collection of names that of people are not mentioning such as:
Charlie Strong: Current Defensive Coordinator at Florida.
Steve Sarkisian: Current Offensive Coordinator, Assistant Head Coach, and Quarterbacks Coach at Southern Cal.
Kevin Wilson: Current Offensive Coordinator at Oklahoma.
Kyle Whittingham: current coach at Utah who is undefeated.
Hamilton looked up at the Behr and gave his thanks and asked “How do I get back home?”
“Just click your heels together three times and say ‘There’s nothing like firing Fulmer’” the Behr replied.
Hamilton did just as he said and awoke sweating profusely on the floor of his garage and holding the phone in his hand.
He quickly places the phone to his ear and says “Behr is that you?”
“What the hell are you talking about? I’ve been giving ideas for replacement coaches for the past 30 minutes!” a very frustrated Doug Dickey said, “Have you been huffing spray paint again?”
Quickly Hamilton hangs the phone up. He gets up dusts himself off. He feels a great weight off his mind and plans on enjoying the evening watching reruns of Laverne & Shirley.
The following video surmises what it’s like being a Tennessee fan over the past couple of days.
He got JACKED UP. (Hoots and hollers) The University of Tennessee has just offered this kid a full ride.
Yesterday was particularly rough for my fellow Tennessee fans.
Freshman point guard Daniel West has been ruled ineligible for the season
Tailback Jarvis Giles became the latest to rescind his pledge to be a part of UT’s 2009 signing class
Jon Gruden said he isn’t interested in leaving his job to come to UT
D.J. Swearinger de-committed from the 2009 signing class.
However I have some great news for fellow Tennessee fans. I got a FAT raise yesterday! W00t!!!
To celebrate that fact I offer this photo of Hailey and Hanna Nutt, the 20-year old twin daughters of Ole Miss Coach Houston Nutt.
Oh man, I think I'm going to bust an Orgeron.
Here’s something that might make your brain hurt. Florida State safety Myron Rolle will miss the November 22 game against Maryland … because he has to interview for a Rhodes Scholarship. Seriously. [SI.com]
Even though this is dated I’m writing about it anyway. The election has passed and we have a new president elect. Now I could care less who you voted for, but the follow photo should classified as hate speech. Whether you supported McCain or not you have to admit that labeling him as a fan of Oakland Raiders is just plain wrong.
On November 8th in 1958 the Tennessee Volunteers lost to Chattanooga by the score of 14-6. The loss resulted in fans attempting to tear down the goal posts, fighting and police intervention. A major riot soon followed, involving paddy wagons, tear gas, and fire hoses. Those were the good ole days.
How ironic this past weekend marked the 50th anniversary of that loss. These are dark days to be a Volunteer fan. Tennessee is 3-7 and will not be going bowling this season, worse than that they lost to Wyoming on their own home field.
The players were so angered by the firing of Phil Fulmer that they vowed they would play better and try harder. However words mean nothing when there are no actions to back them up.
Northern Illinois took the Vols to the brink a few weeks ago before falling 13-9. Horrible UCLA beat them. 27-24 in a great overtime battle that was suspect in retrospect.
All of this makes me wish it was 2005 again. Sure it was a losing season but not as bad as this season. This season proves what rocky bottom really means to such a storied program such as Tennessee.
Let’s go to week’s depressing grades. God this team is bad.
Stephens looked horrible. He was 3 for 9 with two interceptions. Crompton really wasn’t any better. He was 11 for 27 and looked bad. At least put Coleman in…Jesus.Both Stephens and Crompton threw the ball erratically at best and both were ineffective managing the offense.
RUNNING BACKS F
With Foster out with a leg injury, Creer never ran the ball with power. Poole looked good at times but never went over eight yards.
Briscoe and Rogers had key drops. Jones scored the only TD but also had a holding penalty that wiped out a decent running play.
OFFENSIVE LINE F-
Little pass protection however there were no penalties either. Run blocking was non-existent. Honestly the way they played it looked like they didn’t even want to be on field.
DEFENSIVE LINE F
There was little containment that let Wyoming to pound the ball between the tackles. In fact Wyoming ran for 167 yards.
While Rico McCoy had 10 tackles however there were so many other missed tackles I literally lost count! Tennessee could not fill in the gaps to stop the Wyoming running backs.
Praise God that Rogan and Berry chose Tennessee. Rogan had eight tackles and a fumble recovery. Berry had five stops. The Wyoming passing offense never completed a pass longer than 26 yards nor did they have 100 yards worth of passing.
SPECIAL TEAMS B-
Colquitt had an excellent day punting and Rogan had 80 yards worth of punt returns.
If there was an offensive game plan it was lost somewhere along the way to the stadium. The offense is stale, old and very vanilla. However like most years the defense was solid but never provided any spark.
This was sad. The players cry for their coach but yet actually play their worst game of the season. This was one homecoming game that might keep me away for quite awhile.
As coaches line up to say no to Tennessee, I’m sure some fans are wondering why considering a job has not been offered to them. That’s really a simple question to answer. Whether you like it or not, in 10 years Fulmer will be revered as a legend. He’s already an institution and no body wants to be the guy to follow a legend. Just ask Ron Zook about that.
Steve God Spurrier, Butch Davis & David Cutcliff have all publicly said that they are not interested in the Tennessee coaching position.
It’s even gone so far that Charlie Sexton, the agent for both Fulmer and Butch Davis, has publicly said that Davis was staying put. Of course anything can happen and money talks.
I’m sure most of you know that Lane Kiffin was in Knoxville recently and was spotted playing golf with a prominent Tennessee booster. I hate to remind people of this but it means nothing.
ESPN’s PTI stated that John Gruden is rumored to be in Knoxville this weekend. Again even it that was true it means nothing.
Mike Hamilton the Tennessee AD stated yesterday that:
“I think it’s more important that you hire the right person than you put a timeframe on it,” Hamilton said on Thursday. “I do think that we’ll efficiently and expeditiously tie it up as quickly as possible but I’m more concerned about the who than how long.”
He is right of course but it’s also funny how on Monday he stated a new coach would be hired within a matter of weeks.
The bottom line is honestly the Tennessee job isn’t as appealing as some fans seem to think. It may not even be as appealing as some of the other jobs that are open this year.
How attractive is it to a candidate knowing Tennessee just fired a coach who has been there for 17 years and only had 2 bad seasons? The candidates can’t help but wonder what if they go 6-6 or 7-5; will they be the next one to go?
Whoever takes the Washington job will be held as great coach for going 6-6.
Though Clemson might have a stadium the size of ours they have a great fan base and a softer schedule that should propel them into a BCS bowl. Tennessee, on the other hand, plays in the SEC East which is the gold standard of college football.
Look at the requirements someone would need to have in order to be the new coach:
Leadership skills beyond norm: Must be battle tested to be a leader in the toughest conference in the country.
Recruiter: Enough of talking about not having the richest recruiting grounds. Must have energy and the ability to sell UT in any environment. UT used to recruit well even in GA & FL. If you have a winning program the recruits will come to UT
Character: This is without question the biggest part of replacing Fulmer that will be tough. We do not need the NCAA breathing down our necks, we do not want to continue to read about our players in the crime section more often than we do in the sports section. None of the win at all cost. We want a coach who leads by example and will not accept the tough discipline necessary to win in this conference.
Thinks outside the box: I know this is used too much these days but it is true more so today in college football than ever. The teams that are winning have expanded their play calling to become less predictable and keep there opposition guessing.
Passion: Must be passionate not only about winning but winning at UT. Needs to understand the tradition and how passionate one of if not the largest fan base is concerning their football team.
Thick Skinned: Face it if you coach here and you don’t come out the gate running you will be judged harshly. Beating GA, UF, UA, LSU, & AU is not an option. It is necessary in order to win the SEC and that is the low bar for this job. The high bar is of course a National Championship. A goal we believe we should at least be considered to have a chance at every year.
With other coaching opportunities out there like Syracuse, Washington & whatever else might come open, you can see why finding a coach is a lot harder than you think.
Soon UT fans will forget the last few disappointing seasons and remember Fulmer in the big picture. The guy spent his life at UT and bled Orange. That is rare in these days of coaching carousels and contract buyouts.
As Tennessee fans we expect a lot from the coach and quite possibly we expect too much. Potential coaching candidates understand all this. So stop the talk about bringing in Butch Davis or Bob Stoops.
What are reasonable expectations for the Tennessee program, anyway?
Who knows maybe we will land Kiffin, Muschamp or even Gruden, but realize this, it’s possible they aren’t the right candidate to begin with.
Also realize that history shows us that whenever a coach like Fulmer is replaced it takes years to find the right replacement. Look how long Alabama had to wait before Stallings got there and look how long they waited after Stallings left before they found Saban.
Nebraska, Texas A&M are still searching for that coach. Oklahoma replaced Switzer with Gary Gibbs and Georgia replaced Dooley with Ray Goff.
Whatever the case may be one thing is certain, I wouldn’t want to be in the shoes a Mike Hamilton right now.
Yesterday was a very bittersweet day for me. A change in the coaching definitely was needed but like most fans; I’m very scared of what the future could bring.
Yesterday at work when I first saw the story I immediately e-mailed the members of the Big Orange Roundtable. I would have posted something but you know I have to work.
I spent a lot of time yesterday contemplating on what I was going to write.
Yesterday was a sad day in Knoxville. Coach Fulmer has given his heart and soul to the University, and most Tennessee fans know he’s a good man. Change was needed, however, I am proud to have had Phil Fulmer as the head coach of this storied program, and hopefully things will get turned around in the near future.
Phil has brought Tennessee;
A National Championship
2 SEC Titles
A record of 45-5 from 1995-98, the most victories over a four-year span in school history.
9 – 10 win seasons in 15 years and four 10 win seasons in the 2000′s.
Unbelievable consistency with no in state players to recruit
1 down year when bigger programs had several
Double the future # NFL Hall of Famers than the program had in its history
76% winning percentage
Six seasons finishing in the top 10 nationally and 13 seasons ranked in the top 25.
Seventeen Tennessee players have earned first-team All-America honors
Sixteen first-round NFL selections since 1993 and a total of 90 players selected overall. The team’s five first-day 2007 NFL Draft picks were the most of any school and UT has led the SEC with the most players on opening-day NFL rosters each of the last two seasons.
Fifteen bowl games have welcomed the Vols, including 12 January bowl invitations.
In two of the last three seasons, Tennessee football has led the SEC in Academic Honor Roll recipients.
Many trips to Atlanta for the SEC championship game
Dominance of the main historical rivals GA & ALA
11-5 vs. Alabama
11-5 vs. Georgia
3-3 vs. Auburn
15-1 vs. Vanderbilt
16-0 vs. Kentucky
14-2 vs. South Carolina
1-0 vs. Ohio State
1-0 vs. Michigan
1-1 vs. Miami
4-4 vs. LSU
Tennessee had a run in the 90′s that this program has never had. Most programs have never approached. Is it fair to compare his current run that is still better than most and better than this program’s history, to his unprecedented run in the 90′s? When he retires, and he should break Neyland’s record, and he is a Hall of Famer, this program might never see that type of success again.
So be careful what you wish for because often the “known” is better than the “unknown.” Tennessee may some day have a “better” coach, but we will never find one who loves the Tennessee program as much as Coach Fulmer.
For Tennessee this will be a very important hire and possibly the most important hire in the history of the program. Remember how Texas A&M shoved R.C. Slocum aside because they believed Coach Fran would save the day? It will take years for A&M to recover from that mistake, so let’s hope and pray Tennessee doesn’t make the same mistake.
What was unique about Fulmer is the fact he was the only SEC coach that played & graduated from the respective school that they are employed by.
Now what are the ramifications of Coach Fulmer’s stepping down?
Coach Fulmer’s departure is the right thing to do for the program and his press conference was both emotional and graceful. This departure could have been uglier like with other programs like Alabama, Oakland Raiders and West Virginia.
Look for that highly ranked recruiting class to bow out.
Look for the media & other fan bases to chastise the Tennessee program and the Big Orange Nation.
Fulmer could take a job at a school such as Memphis and coach against Tennessee.
The possibility of current players transferring to other programs.
The future is uncertain and scary. What isn’t uncertain is the fact that Coach Fulmer gave 34 years of his life to the University of Tennessee and for that he should be thanked by the school and the fans alike.
Whatever the winds of change might bring in the future one thing is certain: Coach Fulmer is a damn fine man.
Has anyone ever seen the movie Magnolia? I was conned into seeing it by a former girlfriend. It’s like three hours and eight minutes of tortuous hell. This Tennessee football season certainly reminds me of that. There never seems to be an end in sight.
This past Saturday’s game was yet another double digit loss and yet another three plus hours of watching mistake after mistake.
Unfortunately asshole Steve God Spurrier said it best in his press conference yesterday.
“The Tennessee band was there last night, weren’t they?” Spurrier said Sunday afternoon in his weekly conference call with reporters. “I’m used to hearing ‘Rocky Top.’ . . . Maybe they only play that when they score. Usually when you play Tennessee, you hear that ‘Rocky Top’ so often it’s ringing in your brain.”
Fulmer’s focus is clearly on winning out however it will not save his job. A 24-23 loss by Tennessee to the Gamecocks in 1992 was one of the main reasons Coach Fulmer’s predecessor, coach Johnny Majors was fired.
No one on the team cares anymore; there was no emotion on the sidelines, even when Berry intercepted the ball when the game was still in reach. It looked like everyone was at a funeral and maybe they were.
Any & all discipline is now gone, I saw how Stephens turned away from Fulmer when he got into his face, there is no respect for the coach because no one cares, they feel like the season is already over.
The amazing thing about this season is the fact the incoming recruiting class is phenomenal. On Saturday afternoon Phoebus quarterback Tajh Boyd announced his commitment to Tennessee. Boyd is ranked as the top QB in Virginia. The Vols so far have what is considered to be a top five class shaping up. However if and when Fulmer is fired will we keep any of those recruits?
“Anybody that likes Tennessee and cares about what the product looks like on the field is frustrated,” Fulmer said, echoing comments from this year. “I’m disappointed that we haven’t played well. I don’t think I’ve let it show on the practice field or in meetings. The players, they’re disappointed and frustrated, but they haven’t let it show in the game. We continue to get effort and haven’t seen a whole lot of finger pointing or anything like that.
“They’ve done what we’ve asked them to do and what they should do, and that’s continue to work and stay positive, play hard and look forward to what the next challenge is.”
My main goal is to get Coach Fulmer elected to the white house. As you can see below I spared no expense and sponsored a car in yesterday’s NASCAR race.
OK let’s go to the grade book.
Maybe we need to start B.J. Coleman. I wonder if the whole offensive system is broken. Rumor has it that 75% of the offensive plays are being changed by Coach Fulmer. If that is the case then he needs to allow Clawson to call the game against Wyoming and keep mum about the play calling. Regardless of the system no team can overcome to stupid mistakes that both quarterbacks seem to have made this past Saturday.
Running Backs: F
Creer’s fumble set up a touchdown that put the game out of reach. Foster ran hard and averaged around 4 yards per carry. He was very fortunate to get the ball over the goal line for a touchdown just moments before losing the handle on it.
With Jones and Moore on the bench there was zero explosiveness. South Carolina’s secondary was not challenged.
Offensive Line: F
Just when you thought Tennessee was going to start running the ball effectively the O-line would fail. There was no pass protection. The O-line gave up six sacks and of course penalties were again a problem.
Defensive Line: A-
With an injured D-line, the Vols still recorded three tackles for a loss and a sack.
Welcome back Rico McCoy. He had nine tackles and one was for a loss. Ellix Wilson had six. Nevin McKenzie had four, one for a loss.
Two words: Eric Berry. I’m willing to bet Chuck Norris wears Eric Berry underroos.
Special Teams: F-
Rogan’s fumble during a punt return was inexcusable.Demetrice Morley was called offside during a field goal attempt that prompted South Carolina to go for it on fourth down. And let’s not fail to mention the 67-yard punt return that almost scored.
Discipline is dead and of course there were to many conservative calls.
Tennessee is consistent…consistently awful and embarrassing. This loss could go down in the books as the worse loss in this decade.
As this football season lumbers painfully on for Tennessee fans let’s not forget it must be painful for Coach Fulmer as well. He has been associated with the University of Tennessee in some shape or fashion for the last 34 years.
For many fans all they know is Fulmer. While nothing has been officially announced the majority of the big orange nation knows a change is coming.
In this uncertain and dark economic time I would hate for anyone to lose their job. After some brainstorming I believe I have solution that will cure both the problems of firing Fulmer and choosing a presidential candidate.
It’s time to:
ELECT FULMER AS PRESIDENT
It’s a win-win solution for everyone and what five star football stud could say no to the president of the United States when he comes recruiting for Tennessee?
Let’s look at the issues:
A pro-growth, pro-jobs strategy to get our economy back on track by working like heck.
Our nation’s future security and prosperity depends on the next President working like heck that will break our nation’s strategic dependence on foreign sources of energy and will ensure our economic prosperity by meeting tomorrow’s demands for a clean portfolio.
The most sacred responsibility vested in a president – the commander in chief – is to work like heck “preserve and protect” American citizens.
Fulmer will work like heck to secure the borders of Alabama (America’s own third world country) and deport all Alabamians back to their country while rescuing the poor trapped Americans that might be behind enemy lines.
Unless they play for Tennessee, Fulmer will work like heck to put them behind bars.
It’s time to wake up America and elect a leader that can endure the criticism of a fickle SEC fan base for 14 years.