It’s inevitable based on last year’s unpleasantness that James Franklin and Todd Grantham would be a big part of the story leading up to Saturday’s game. But if we’re lucky, the following week in Athens may see us blessed with another big coaching story.
So let’s evaluate where the Vols go from here. Akron should not be that much of a problem on Saturday, but the trip to Georgia — to Dooley’s hometown, no less — is shaping up to be the defining moment of his career.
Yes, it seems that Dooley’s Vols have a defining game or a season-shaping chance every other week, but so it goes when a coach and a program are searching and starving for a statement moment and a helmet-hanging win.
Good coaches can regroup a team amid challenges, and great coaches can regroup them amid great distractions. The inverse of that is true, too, and if these Vols do not respond with an inspired effort in what will surely be the biggest game in Dooley’s coaching career, then we all will see exactly what kind of presence Dooley has in the UT locker room.
The Georgia game represents Dooley’s next chance at making UT fans believe he is worth the emotional investment.
It could be one of his last chances.
Cue the groundhog.
Will there be that much drama? Who knows. I’ll just settle for it turning out to be another non-coaching moment for Tyler Bray.