Throwaway year in Knoxville?

Remember, Vol fans, it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how well your football coach and athletic director manage expectations.

“The big thing to me is everybody wants to ask about a number,” Pruitt said. “To me the thing is, when you watch a team play, do you say ‘Hey, when the game is over with, that’s my team, I like the way they play, I like their enthusiasm, their toughness, their competitive spirit, they play together as a team they never quit.’

“That’s kind of what I’m looking for, playing the right way.”

I guess that beats five-star hearts and trash cans.

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50 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

50 responses to “Throwaway year in Knoxville?

  1. SemperFiDawg

    Must be the water. That could just as easily come from Butch Jones.

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  2. Spending any time in east Tennessee makes one say some peculiar things.

    It honestly feels like half the problem up there is that they have too many opportunities to open their mouths. Why oh why would you continue the media parade for all the negative publicity they receive. It’s great for the rest of us.

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  3. Spike

    No bathing seminars yet?

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  4. Bill Glennon

    Making the big assumption that Kirby stays on top in the SEC East and wins the Cadillac Eldorado, Muschamp, Mullen and Pruitt will battle for the steak knives.

    We all know what third prize is for the other two. The rest is just blog fodder.

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  5. 3rdandGrantham

    It will be a minor miracle of UT wins 6+ games this year. Not only is the schedule a horror show, but Butch’s recruiting really fell off a cliff the last few years, and simply put Pruitt doesn’t have much talent to work with. More so, he has some huge gaps to fill in many key areas, such as in the secondary and at OL, both positions of which are disasters that will take a few years to patch up.

    And though the whole ‘second year bounce’ for HC’s certainly has some merit, I just don’t see Pruitt getting that either next year due to the glaring lack of talent up there. Instead, in ’19 shooting for 7-8 wins will probably be a more realistic goal.

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    • Sides

      6 wins has to be the goal and they probably won’t get there. They desperately need to find a QB and some offense. SC was in the same place 2 years ago and found Bentley. Tennessee probably has more talent than people think and if they can find some offense a bowl game is possible.

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      • Jared S.

        Agreed. 6 wins will be a great year for them. If I was a UT fan I think I’d be thrilled to see that in Pruitt’s first year and under the state of things there.

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    • DoubleDawg1318

      Falling off in recruiting for UT leaves them in the 20’s on the rankings. That should still be enough to beat Mizzou, Vandy, and Kentucky. If they get competent coaching, they should at least get to bowl eligibility.

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  6. Mayor

    Actually he’s right although he could have said it better. To succeed in football you have to develope a certain mindset of toughness. The Vols lacked that under Sgt. Carter. What Pruitt said here isn’t very different from the “knock ’em back” comment Kirby made his first year in Athens. First you play tough football–then the wins will come.

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    • 202dawg

      I agree. His comments sounded like something Kirby would have said early on. Nothing to see/slow news day.

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    • Cosmic Dawg

      I think it’s very different than Butch. What many of us want to see is a well-coached team that never quits.

      Would almost rather see us play hard and get beat by a good team than see more of those Nichols State / Georgia Southern wins.

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    • DoubleDawg1318

      I agree. He might be downplaying expectations, but I think it sounds like the Process; play hard and compete long before you start talking about wins and losses.

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  7. Cpark58

    Yes, it is a throwaway year in Knoxville to go along with a throwaway decade. They won’t be able to win until they can recruit, no recruiting until they can get some respect again. Tennessee was all hat and no saddle for way too long and Pruitt knows it. Something tells me he isn’t just talking like Butch Jones did but the results after a recruiting cycle will be the judge(assuming he’s not run out of town before then.)

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  8. UGA '97

    Please give a warm welcome and congratulate your new 2018 SEC Champions of Team Spirit

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  9. Actually, that sounds pretty sensible to me. I know we keep picking at these two, but I will not be surprised at all if Pruitt’s team is giving folks all they can handle by the last couple of games.

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    • Greg

      Agree….you can also be sure they are coming hard and heavy at the GA HS talent. Fulmer certainly did, had a lot of key players from Georgia in his championship year. Pruitt knows the state also. Too much tradition there (UT), they will be back in a couple of years imo.

      With that said, I hate the bastids…..the team that I hate worse than any. I hope they fall in a sink hole and never come back. Fock’em!

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      • Mayor

        I agree with everything you said inyour assessment Greg. That said, history teaches us that some top caliber programs fall and never get back up. Army was a top team for much of the 40s and 50s. Navy in the 60s. Duke won national titles in the first half of last century. Minnesota won 3 national championships in the 30s thru 50s. Look at Vandy’s W-L record from the first half of last century. All those teams and more were powerhouses that fell and stayed down. These next 3 to 4 years are critical for the Vols. If Pruitt fails UT could very well become the Kentucky of the 21st century. Personally I hope they do become the new U.K. And fight with Vandy for the cellar in the SEC East for the rest of eternity.

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  10. GATA

    I can remember Bobby Bowden describing his early years at FSU. They (players and fanbase) were used to losing by wide margins. Coach Bowden said that all concerned had to learn how to keep games close He hated ‘moral’ victories (still a loss), but that was a step towards their improvement. Next, he mentioned winning a few close games to instill belief and remove the ‘here we go again’ stigma. They then progressed to winning more than their share. Their last step was to learn how to close / dominate / win big. Once that last goal was accomplished, they were able to maintain a long run of winning impressively (for the most part). While I wish none of this on rocky top, that too should be their mindset. It shouldn’t take as long for UT as it did for FSU as they have a head start in year one. While the comments referenced do sound like Carter, he would be a fool to state a win total publicly. College football (like most thigs in life) is never great, good, or poor. Rather, they are trending towards a direction. Are things getting better or worse? Hopefully, UGA remains in their uptrend while UT can remain drifting lower…

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    • Otto

      I want UT to be was what UGA was under Goff, teasing a East title at times but not beating rivals mixed years barely making a bowl.

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    • artful codger

      Bowden found a recruiting base to go to work with that had as yet been untapped by his predecessors. Vols recruiting depends so heavily on out-of-state, and may have reached its high water mark, never to be reached again, at least in the short term (ie…CJP tenure).

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  11. KCDawg34

    Not that I expect him to do nearly as well, but that isn’t significantly different than what Kirby said prior to his first actual season.

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  12. paul

    I think Pruitt knows that the Tennessee fans expect nothing less than a Kirby Smart performance from him. If he isn’t competing for a national championship in year two the natives will be extremely restless. Jeremy is smart enough to realize he was left with very little talent and recruiting at a consistently high level will take a few years to achieve. He understands that what the fans want in two years won’t be possible in less than three, four or maybe five years. Tennessee will get better. Much better if he’s given the time. Pruitt is a good coach. But their trajectory, even in a best case scenario, isn’t going to be like Georgia’s.

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    • Mayor

      The best thing that could happen for Pruitt and the worst for UT would be for him to do a credible job his first year and then get offered a new gig by a good school–and for Pruitt to take the job. Then UT would either turn to Phat Phil again or hire another SOD.

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  13. Otto

    West Va. L
    East TN W
    UTEP W
    UF L Mullen has more to work with and more experience
    at UGA L
    at Auburn L
    Bama L
    at SC L
    Charlotte W

    Ending the season with 50/50 games which are must win to go bowling
    UK
    Mizzou
    Vandy

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  14. ChiliDawg

    I can’t wait for him to fall flat on his face and for people to stop comparing him to Kirby.

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  15. Stoopnagle

    shrug

    Kirby did the same thing.

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  16. OurADisAGlorifiedBoatAnchor

    I think a ton of fans are whistling past the grave yard on these guys.

    There is simply no way that their talent is as bad as it looked. Same with UF. They aren’t ready to win 9 games but they don’t suck as bad as they looked.

    Both schools were soft quitters. That can be fixed in 2 years. Look at SC. And by “fixed” I simply mean that you are playing to whatever potential you have.

    They have a 6 win schedule. Missouri has Derek Dooley as OC. Vandy is still Vandy with less talent. And UK is coached by a moron who can’t count to 11 with the game on the line.

    Charlotte, East TN and Utep are all cupcakes. It’s not like SC is unbeatable.

    What he said is right. It’s something Kirby would say. Before you win you have to play football the right way.

    Their fans are sick of watching them play like wussies. If they at least put up a fight that’s going to help.

    He’s going to improve recruiting and make them tougher. The Q is. Can he keep from blowing himself up before he turns them around enough to be 10 win competitive.

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    • Otto

      Basically agreed 6 is meeting expectations, 7 is possible, and 8 would be a big year. However, 5 would not surprise me. A win against SC or Auburn (Gus being Gus, he has to reload at RB when the 2nd string RBs did not carry them against UGA round 2) would not completely shock me.

      The mid part of the season will deplete their depth going into the games that should put them in a bowl.

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  17. OurADisAGlorifiedBoatAnchor

    Also, some of this throw away season stuff you are hearing is Vol state Run Media doing exactly what Dantzler was doing the past 2 years here. Trying to ratchet down expectations.

    Remember what UGA looked like vs Ole Miss in 2016. No one left that stadium thinking we would be in the National title game the next year.

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    • Bulldog Joe

      True on the parallel setting of expectations.

      Finding and developing on-field leaders on offense and defense is key. Coming out of Oxford, we had no idea who would become Georgia’s Fromm / Roquan.

      Right now, I’m not convinced anyone at Tennessee knows this either.

      For that matter, it’s not clear who steps into Roquan’s role on Georgia’s 2018 team. However, I am confident Georgia’s coaching staff will create an environment where it will be known by September 1.

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  18. dawgtired

    ““The big thing to me is everybody wants to ask about a number…”

    I totally get his point of view. I think Kirby had something similar to say his first year. The hard truth though, we ARE measured by the numbers. At some point he will have to answer for them. It may not be this year due to the honeymoon and expectations, but year two, I expect the Vol fans will want something similar to what we had. If not a NC run, at least to be in the talk. I don’t think their expectations should be the same as ours because we had more talent for Kirby to work with. If the fans can be patient, Pruitt might just turn that battleship around…but I don’t expect patience from the hillbillies.

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  19. ChiliDawg

    I’m disappointed in the lot of you guys. Since when was it required of us to give the benefit of the doubt to rival coaches? Since when were we supposed to give them credence before they’d accomplished anything? This is TENNESSEE, we’re talking about. Fuck the Vols, fuck their fans and fuck Jeremy Pruitt.

    Swear to god half of you act like you want to start wearing Orange on Georgia’s bye week.

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    • Hill Billy Dawg

      Then there’s this …..I have to agree here. I hate 10-r-c with a passion. I work in Knoxville 6-8 days a month. Kville ain’t a bad town, but the vfl thing is congruent with dysentery. Listen to their sports talk radio a few times,,,,it’s hilarious…”take over recruiting in north Georgia”…God as my witness they say that…If they went 4-8 for the next five years it wouldn’t be enough. The only redeeming value of uT having a 9-3 season would be knowing if we beat them 50-0 in kneeland.

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      • ChiliDawg

        I just get tired of this sense of “he was on staff here, so I hope he does well.” I don’t. I hope he does such a miserable job that he’s shit-canned halfway through the season and Phil Fulmer takes the reigns and proceeds to name himself Ayatollah of the University, creating a dictator nation-state within the city that sees the Vols languish in the 3-4 wins a year category for the next 20 years until Fulmer kicks the bucket and relinquishes the crown to his hereditary heir, a toothless inbred whose experience coaching football is limited to that one time they played Madden on their friend’s Sega Genesis. Meanwhile Pruitt wanders the campus searching for drunk co-eds to ease his pain but just ends up getting arrested for drunk and disorderly and gets his mugshot pasted up on EDSBS with a classic caption that only Spencer Hall could deliver. As a poetic ending, Pruitt’s only job offer afterward is as an analyst on Mark Richt’s staff at Miami where he’s forced to attend church 3x a week as a condition of his contract, and be accompanied by Jon Richt everywhere he goes on campus to tell every girl that Pruitt tries to talk to about that rap video he made with Colt Ford one time.

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  20. Old Cobb Dawg

    Isn’t Pruitt, but AD Fulmer I have a problem with. Expect him to return to “his ways” and begin to report all sorts of false charges to the NCAA against fellow SEC teams. All the while under his rule, TN was getting away with all manner of crooked shenanigans. Never forget the Marietta Journal (TN lovers back in the day), posting a Knoxville Sentinel article which charged UGA with 32 (maybe 36?) NCAA rules violations. The NCAA then proved two: (1) We gave a couple kids who had home emergencies a ride to the bus stop. (2) We gave (or loaned) a visiting recruit a pair of shoes. The NCAA then said that though they couldn’t find anything serious, there was an “air of suspicion” of something to that effect and stuck us good. So much for cooperating with those guys. I fully expect Fulmer has not changed his checkerboard spots. We need to continue our “clean ways”, but maybe an upside….hope he can nail the Auburn bagman. As for Pruitt, wish him well, at least until he starts winning or stealing our ‘Cruits”.

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