Playing the lowered expectations game in Knoxville

Give Jeremy Pruitt credit for being proactive about tamping down the excitement for the immediate term.  Pruitt said he expects between 75 and 77 scholarship players on the roster this fall.  That’s probably death for a run at a division title.

On the plus side, Vol fans, he does has experience dealing with a shortfall in roster numbers.

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54 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

54 responses to “Playing the lowered expectations game in Knoxville

  1. A shortfall in numbers isn’t good when you play 6 or 7 games on that cow pasture known as Neyland Stadium.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. PTC DAWG

    I see this benefiting South Carolina the next few years…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bulldog Joe

    Off-season workouts and spring practice will weed out the roster like they did when he arrived here.

    Not everyone will make the adjustment to his way of coaching, especially on defense. But the ones that stay will be more competitive.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lazy grad

    Someone posted a compilation of UTk football fails https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzukonrvMrE

    Like

  5. UGA'97

    He is probably gonna just “Grantham” the holes in the roster and platoon with mercinaries via Juco.

    Like

  6. CPark58

    A change in subject but along similar lines: does anyone else see the balance of power drastically shifting back to the SEC east over the next decade? Alabama is going to Alabama but who knows what happens when Saban is gone and does anyone see good things on the horizon for LSU, Auburn, Arky, Missy St? TAMU is a perennial 8 win enigma.

    Like

    • Too early to tell, IMO.

      UF and UT have a ways to go to recover. Boom will have SC competitive, but that’s about all. The rest of the East doesn’t look that much different from here.

      Auburn’s gonna Auburn. LSU will have to dump Orgeron at some point, but there are too many natural resources for that program to flop over the long haul. TAMU is the richest program in the country and Jimbo knows how to recruit. I wouldn’t sleep on the Aggies.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Granthams replacement

        Agree with TAMU and Jimbo moving to the next level. He has all the $ and recruits in state that he needs.

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        • Bulldog Joe

          And we play them next year in Sanford Stadium.

          Like

          • ugadawgguy

            I’m looking forward to when we play them in College Station. I doubt I’ll be able to afford the trip, but that place has long been on my bucket list (like, dating back to well before TAMU was in the SEC).

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            • CLT Dawg

              That is such a great stadium, with pretty cool tailgate scene. Been a couple times with a Fraternity brother that went to school there. I’d recommend to start saving up now, and don’t miss that one.

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      • ASEF

        Jimbo seems one of those coaches whose successful traits have a built-in shadow side that derails things in weird ways. Sort of like Richt (different particulars, same basic dynamic).

        But no question he can soak up Texas recruits that Saban has been stealing as well as add an L to Bama’s playoff resume with enough regularity to matter.

        Like

  7. TMC DAWG

    It’s gonna be interesting to see the ways and means of Jimbo.

    Like

  8. Cojones

    My opinion is Tennessee has wins they can harvest this season. Ken, Vandy, and perhaps Mizzou (toughest) in the SEC plus a few cupcakes could see them with 6 wins in Pruitt’s first season. And they can scare the hell out of the rest until 4th qtr. Same next year, but the 3rd year can see them begin to prosper. They will do fine in recruiting next year as this was the worst state loss of talent in years attributed to a really shitty coach/admin who saw their talent gambled away.

    Like

    • GruvenDawg

      These are my armchair fan personal opinions. Had a lot to get off my chest on the status of the SEC…

      Tennessee hired a top notch strength and conditioning coach, something they were missing under Butch. In addition Jeremy brought in known quantities as coaches, on those two fronts they will be better then they have been. It was the perfect storm for Kirby to have taken it to the next level with the early signing period and transition at the other traditional powerhouse east programs. It will take UT at least three years to even start to get close from a talent perspective. If Tennessee fans and administration can’t envision a five year rebuild with Fulmer meddling and a hothead coach then Pruitt won’t last past that. In the East SC will continue to play and recruit better but won’t be able to consistently win the recruiting battles and will suffer from lack of depth, they will play hard and manage an upset every year. UF hopefully will be out recruited by FSU and UM and keep Mullen from securing the best in the state and top 5 classes. Very soon consistent top 5-10 classes will be table stakes to try and beat UGA based on the current trajectory of the program. Let’s hope Mullen doesn’t get rolling because his system with top 5 talent is dangerous.

      In the west Texas A&M is a sleeping giant from a resources perspective and a talent rich state. Lucky for us it coincides with Herman getting UT back near the top in Texas recruits minds. I lived in Texas in the early 90s and kids want to play for UT. OU and to a certain extent A&M was always the backup plan if UT wasn’t doing well for a in state kid. Add in the other Texas schools and Fisher better identify them early and sell the SEC to get the kids. LSU’s Ogeron experiment is going to blow up in their face and they still don’t have a QB and will begin to fall behind A&M soon. The Gus bus is going to find a way to get players, just not top rated prospects here and there from Georgia like they did in the past. Pretty sure Kirby shut him out on his targets this year that UGA was also after. Then there is the king. Bama is Bama, but they are mortal and it is the waning days of that dynasty. They will be elite until 2020 with their current talent. The question I want answered is will Sabah hang it up after one more title…his window is closing on when he will have the most talented roster on the field in the SEC championship game and a national championship game and he knows it.

      Like

    • Bonzdoc

      It all depends on how much meddling there is by Phat Fulmer

      Like

  9. W Cobb Dawg

    I find it incredible that any head coach would penalize himself by having less than a full 85 player roster. CJP has a lot of work to do.

    Thank goodness Kirby put a quick end to that annual farce by landing Maurice Smith, JR Reed, Nizialek, Crumpton and Marvin, and a batch of preferred walk-ons, not to mention 3 excellent recruiting classes. I just don’t see how CJP, or anyone else for that matter, can outwork or outsmart Kirby when it comes to assembling a team.

    Like

    • Mike Cooley

      Agree. Why can’t people just enjoy this alignment off the stars and moon dawg grade it? Mullen and Pruitt have huge holes to dig out of and have to try to do it while we are surging which compounds the gulf between us and them. I don’t believe for one second that either of them is capable of doing it.

      Like

    • Hogbody Spradlin

      I think Pruitt was saying 75 to 77 on scholarship. He’ll fill out with non-scholarship players.

      Like

    • Tony Barnfart

      because you don’t want to do a Richt and award 6-7 guys a scholarship that shouldn’t have a scholarship at UGA. You play man-down for a year so you can give those empty slots to guys with more talent.

      Like

      • willypmd

        Kirby would have signed 10 grad transfers.

        Like

      • tbia

        no, again, you don’t realize what Richt was doing. Signing hacks to fill a scholly for 5 years killed Richt. Once you could not sign guys to get to 85, you might as well give a scholly to a senior walkon with a hell of a GPA to boost your apr score or whatever its called. Kirby just doesn’t ever give up on finding a real player to fill the spot.

        Like

  10. Mike Cooley

    I may be wrong but Jumbo, regardless of resources, is Dan Mullen to me. Fair to middling coach who for some reason gets more credit than he deserves because of anamoly type players that he had in the past. Mullen is thought of as being better than he is because of Tebow and Garvin who were both anamolies who he isn’t likely to have anything close to again. Same with Jumbo and Jaemis.

    Like

  11. Mike Cooley

    I may be wrong but Jumbo, regardless of resources, is Dan Mullen to me. Fair to middling coach who for some reason gets more credit than he deserves because of anamoly type players that he had in the past. Mullen is thought of as being better than he is because of Tebow and Harvin who were both anamolies who he isn’t likely to have anything close to again. Same with Jumbo and Jaemis.

    Like

  12. Mike Cooley

    Sorry for the double post.

    Like

  13. Hogbody Spradlin

    Didn’t we have about 69 or 70 on scholarship in 2012? And won the division with/in spite of Todd Grantham?

    Like

    • ASEF

      Yes but….

      Where is their Aaron Murray? Gurley? Multiple NFL players on D?

      And the SEC-E at that time I guess had SC at a high water mark, but 2012 SC hardly seems in the same realm as 2018 UGA looks on paper.

      Like

    • McTyre

      True, but I doubt Pruitt has a Murray, Gurley, Ogletree and Jarvis Jones on his roster.

      Like

      • Cojones

        Who is to say he won’t have a Fromme-like player? Performance on the field has yielded many surprises for us and is not out of consideration to think that they can field a scrappy team with surprises as well, while a team with bigger talent may have less players surprising (although this 2018 UGA team is stronger than any others at the top of the 4*s and is probably going to have some big positive surprises).

        Having laughed at and enjoyed UT’s ongoing football foibles, I think that posting Pruitt out there without considering his D-background and his ability to lead a team is selling him short without any evidence. Putting Pruitt negatively into our projecting/guessing minds for this upcoming season isn’t reasonable when you look at his recruit HS players’ backgrounds and possibilities of properly motivated returning players. One only needs to conjure up Appl. St/ UM to know what can happen any given CFB weekend. People should think of UT as they would of Boise St; not as good on paper, but can (when properly motivated) kick your ass.

        Like

        • Cojones

          Btw, Pruitt has been defensively responsible for two NCs while on differing teams within 5yrs and that ain’t chopped liver. Come to think of it, some of the most successful teams during that period were led by former D coaches before they became HCs.

          Like

        • Tony Barnfart

          well, i agree. But in any case, consider all the ways you just described them (app st/ boise/ spunky) … and then consider we ripped the goal posts down for beating them in 2000. I’ve enjoyed the changes the past 2 decades have brought. And they don’t freak me out. Especially in Sanford Stadium.

          Like

          • AthensHomerDawg

            I had end zone seating for the game. I sat with my youngest son (7), my best friend and his little girl. We still talk about that game. It was a hoot!!!

            Like

    • Jim

      Yeah but we had a lot more talent than UTk does

      Like

  14. Mike Cooley

    Yes. Coincidentally we had one of the best quarterbacks in school history and one of the best running backs in school history, along with one our best pass rushers of all time on the team at that time. Neither Mullen or Pruitt has any of those advantages right now much less all three.

    Like

  15. Bright Idea

    I’m just hoping we are approaching the territory of we don’t give a damn how good Florida, UT and USCe are, we’ll be better. Same with non conference schedule.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tony Barnfart

      we are there. Look, if you wanna talk superstitious JuJu, i spent the first 18 years of my UGA fandom always waiting for the other shoe to drop. This year, from Miss State onward, I adopted a policy of swagger… and i think the whole program did, and it certainly paid off.

      I really do believe in self-fulfilling thought processes in a big way

      Like

    • willypmd

      That’s the thing: at one point in Bama’s run Miss State, Auburn, A&M, Ole Miss, and LSU were annually top 5-10 teams and Bama still dominated the west because of recruiting at such an elite level.

      If Kirby continues with these type of classes it won’t matter what the East does

      Like

  16. UGA'97

    Just one more note about UT & Pruitt, many of the Defensive players we just went to the Natty with were Pruitt’s recruits, plus I recall our scoring and pass Defense improved pretty good under CJP (maybe rush D too?)
    Also, Fulmer was not the AD who went through 7 coaches, before that hire, so not really sure we can say UT just “settled” on the 8th. Not to mention how many Jimmy Sexton-like agents released their client/coach’s names into the media just to leverage against the UT opening…no one really honestly thought The Mullet and party was really considering uprooting from OSU to come that shit-show in Knoxville. Any HC knew UT was a tough job, and the devoted alumni who still have Fulmer attachment, probably trusted that Phil made about as good a hire he could under the circumstances. Plus it’s always a 2nd bird killed with 1 stone when you yank your toughest competitor’s DC away -which was easy to sell to the UT base. Yes Pruitt has a ton more work to do, but he is relentless and in “your face guy” who will likely get UT competitive enough to keep a few games close, and maybe steal some that he shouldnt.

    Like

  17. Mike Cooley

    @Bright Idea, I think we are about here now. But some of our fans are dragging their feet. They seem to almost want Tennessee and Florida to be better than they actually are.

    Like

  18. OhioDawg

    75-77 scholarship players, huh? Is that before or after he runs off half the secondary?

    Like

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