No Sleep Till Football

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Tennessee: A Titan of College Football Vanquished?

In the his latest chat on ESPN, Bruce Feldman got a question about Tennessee & Derek Dooley and it really raised my eyebrows:

Sam C. (Tennessee): How long will it take Dooley to get the Vols back up top of the SEC?

Feldman: A long time if ever. There are a lot of big dogs in that yard.

That’s an incredible statement. You are talking about a program that ranks 9th in the history of college football in wins. The only other SEC team with more victories is Alabama who has 19 more. Georgia is the next closest with 41 fewer victories than the Volunteers. To give you an idea of how far behind the Bulldogs are, they’d have to be 4-games better than Tennessee for a decade just to catch them.

The SEC is a ridiculously tough conference when it comes to head coaching. SEC country is like no other country when it comes to college football and there is a massive array of talent at the HC spot within the conference. To be successful you not only have to recruit like a top-10 program, but you have to coach like a top-10 coach. Right now at least Tennessee has neither.

I know Dooley has massive SEC ties with his father being Vince Dooley and Tennessee really is a destination job when it comes to college football, but if you are a young coach wanting to build up a program into a consistent winner that competes for conference championships, the SEC is the last place I’d be looking. It’s possible that Derek Dooley is another Saban or Meyer, but it’s more likely that he’ll be in the Mark Richt/Les Miles class of coaches (if even that high) and those 2 are on shaky ground simply because neither can compete with their more dominant division rival.

The bottom line at Tennessee is that it’s never going to be good enough to be 8-4/9-3 every year. If that’s Dooley’s top end then he’s going to be run out of town. They ran Fulmer out of town for the same crimes and if they can do that to Fulmer, they can certainly do it to Dooley which keeps the carousel spinning and spinning.

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July 25, 2010 - Posted by | History, Tennessee

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