Doc Saturday’s turned his “Premature Assessment” spotlight on those lovable Tennessee Volunteers. It’s both restrained – there’s nary a mention of those dreaded secondary violations – and informative.
The Doc thinks there’s one big thing that did in Phil Fulmer.
… Including quarterbacks and tight ends, Tennessee has put exactly one skill player — again, Meachem — on a year-end All-SEC lineup, first or second team, since 2004. In the same four-year span, Georgia has had nine All-SEC skill players; Florida and Arkansas have had seven; Alabama, Kentucky and LSU have produced six; and South Carolina and Vanderbilt can each boast five. Tennessee has produced one. That’s Mississippi State territory.
That’s a solid point, but there’s an omission from his post that I find surprising, considering how able an observer the Doc is. Here’s a clue, from UT’s stats over the past four seasons:
- 2008: 17.3 ppg (SEC, T10th)
- 2007: 32.5 ppg (SEC, 6th)
- 2006: 27.8 ppg (SEC, 4th)
- 2005: 18.6 ppg (SEC, 10th)
Notice a pattern there involving a certain coordinator position? Maybe this will jog your memory:
… With Cutcliffe as his offensive coordinator, Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer was 85-19 with two SEC championships.
Without Cutcliffe, Fulmer is 64-29 with no SEC championships.
Rest assured that Georgia is thrilled to see Cutcliffe in Durham, N.C., right now, because he owned the Bulldogs.
Cutcliffe never lost to Georgia in nine games as Tennessee’s offensive coordinator/play-caller (1992-98 and 2006-07). In those nine games, the Vols averaged 35.3 points and were held under four touchdowns only once.
In the five trips to Athens with Cutcliffe overseeing the offense, the Vols averaged 35.4 points. In the three trips without him, they averaged just 14 points.
So the question I’ve got going forward is simply this – does Kiffin and his offensive brain trust scare you as much as David Cutcliffe did? As a Dawg fan, I’ve got to say no.