|Loss proves UT made right decision |
|Posted: Friday, November 14, 2008 10:30 am |
| Thankfully, the end is in sight |
If there was ever any doubt that Tennessee men’s athletics director Mike Hamilton, UT President John Petersen and the major donors and boosters of Tennessee football made the right call last week, the loss to Wyoming last Saturday was conclusive proof that it was time for a change at the top of the program. Tennessee football has reached rock bottom, it is but a shell of the powerhouse program that was a force to be reckoned with back in the glory days of the 1990s.
It is one thing to lose a homecoming football game; it is absolutely a total meltdown to get whipped by a Wyoming team that came in with an offense ranked 119th out of, you guessed it, 119 teams in the NCAA’s latest statistics.
Some have bemoaned the fact that the announcement of Phil Fulmer’s resignation under pressure could have been handled in a more gentle and diplomatic way. Frankly speaking, there simply are not many options available when Fulmer displayed an attitude of total entitlement to the job for as long as he chose to keep it. If the move caught Fulmer off guard, it should not have. He had been given three years to right the ship following another disastrous season in 2005, but failed to put the program back among the national elites.
Saturday’s embarrassing fiasco was just the culmination of a downward spiral that now has the Volunteers buried deep in the basement of the SEC’s Eastern Division. All hope for a berth in a third-tier bowl was squashed by the upstart Cowboys and certainly it would not be out of the question that this team could limp to the finish line with the worst regular season record in the storied history of Tennessee football. The football players talked all week about winning out for Fulmer, but that was just chin music. The Wyoming game was low lighted by terrible coaching, poor preparation and lackluster effort by the team. It may be one of the top five most forgettable train wrecks in over 100 years of Tennessee football.
The hope here is that things can’t and won’t get any uglier than they already are. Vanderbilt and Kentucky won’t feel the least bit sorry for the Vols and would like nothing better than to secure this team’s place as perhaps, the worst in UT history. If they go down in the last two games, please let it be said and written that they fought like wounded lions till the final horns.
Coaching search in full swing
Several names have surfaced as Hamilton’s search committee attempts to identify a coach who can come to Knoxville and quickly reverse the sagging fortunes of this downtrodden program. Some in the Knoxville media claim that North Carolina head coach Butch Davis is the leading candidate for the job.
Other coaches who are apparently coveted by various Tennessee officials, media and boosters include Texas Tech’s Mike Leach, former Southern Cal and Oakland Raiders coach Lane Kiffin and Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp. There is no timetable that we are aware of for naming the new coach. It could be within the next week or it might take another month to iron out all the details and satisfy contract requirements on both ends of the deal.
In the meantime, we might suggest turning your attention to Bruce Pearl’s talented basketball team.