“Another day, another downer.”

It’s pretty obvious they haven’t reached bottom on the Tennessee football program yet.

But given all the talent that’s already moved on — running back Eric Gray, linebacker Henry To’o To’o, linebacker Quavaris Crouch, lineman Jahmir Johnson, lineman Wanya Morris, defensive back Key Lawrence and kicker Brent Cimaglia, to name but seven — it’s hard to see any way for Tennessee to win more than four to five games a year over the next two seasons at the very least.

Not exactly the recruiting pitch Heupel needs to attract the best and the brightest wanting to compete for championships from the get-go, is it?

Maybe all this was necessary. Maybe the violations are bad enough that the only way to save the football program in the longterm was to all but destroy it short-term. Maybe, also, Heupel is a miracle worker who can create an offense capable of eating up both enough yardage and clock to protect a suspect defense and steal a win or three between now and when things eventually return to normal.

Yes, that’s a lot of maybes there.

So, question for you:  what’s a realistic time frame for Tennessee football to be… well, if not back, at least relevant?

64 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

64 responses to ““Another day, another downer.”

  1. elbertadawg

    Never again

    Liked by 11 people

  2. mddawg

    When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east. When the seas go dry and mountains blow in the wind like leaves.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It won’t be relevant anytime while the Mays boys are playing for the Vowels.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. It’s one of those situations that kinda feels like Heupel is best case scenario their Mike Shula where maybe he comes in and stabilizes things enough for the next guy to actually make them relevant again.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. armydawg

    I say three years minimum to be competitive and 4 to 5 years to be able to beat the Kentuckys and Mizzous. He has to steal at least 1 or 2 games a season in his early years to crank up recruiting to build his skill positions and depth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Down Island Way

      Does the current hc get an extension through the first 3 years, does the ad cut him loose after 3 years for the next shiny toy to head up big urnge football, knowing good and well that program is 5 years away from being competitive…does the ad keep the current hc cause he was a good soldier, is the next big urnge cuntry hc first on the list or 5th on the want to hire, if that is the case, big urnge football ain’t coming back any time soon……

      Liked by 2 people

      • armydawg

        I think the AD has to be patient and have the Regents supporting him. With the current HC & AD they have a chance, but they have to take the same approach that Kentucky did with Stoops. If not, they may as well implode that dinosaur of a stadium and play Basketball.

        Liked by 3 people

      • theotherdoug

        Honestly the AD needs to cut him right as they’re starting to turn the corner and out the NCAA violations behind them. Like Ole Miss firing Luke to bring in Kiffin.

        They’ve managed this rally poorly from the start though, so it’s likely they will give him a massive extension after an upset.

        Like

  6. Hogbody Spradlin

    General Neyland is rolling in his grave.

    Like

  7. Faltering Memory

    Long enough so they will widen the seats to be able to say they have a sold out stadium.

    Liked by 10 people

  8. If I am being realistic then I do not think they ever come back to being consistantly relevant. IMO they have crossed into Nebraska territory. Not saying it can’t happen, but if I had to put money on it then I would bet against it.

    Liked by 10 people

    • 3rdandGrantham

      I don’t personally think that the Nebraska comparisons are fair, as UT still has many advantages over them. For one, Nebraska is playing in a conference that does not suit them and is still very new for them. Next Nebraska as a state is windy, cold and in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do. It is also almost entirely white and has seen its population stagnate over the last 30 years.

      Tennessee, meanwhile, is one of the fastest growing states in the country. And while I don’t like ut, I’ll even admit to Knoxville is a far more attractive of a place than Lincoln. If they ever get the right administration in place and land the right coach who stays, they can get back to being a power. Well that said, as years go by the prospects of such continue to dim.

      Liked by 1 person

      • classiccitycanine

        Nashville is also exploding. At some point that likely leads to improved talent and financial support for the program.

        Like

      • The problem Tennessee has is that their high school football talent base practically sits 2 states away in Memphis. Until Nashville or Chattanooga high school football gets better, they have to convince kids from west Tennessee that Knoxville is a better option than multiple programs that are closer to home. Fulmer made his hay in Atlanta and northwest Georgia, and the Atlanta pipeline has dried up.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You can’t be serious with your comment about Nebraska playing in a conference “that does not suit them.” Hell, damn near everywhere in the Big Ten is cold and windy. That’s funny.

        Like

    • ericstrattonrushchairmandamngladtomeetyou

      If you look at the history of CFB you will find it strewn with the carcasses of once championship programs that have fallen to the bottom. Duke under Wallace Wade won national championships. Illinois, Minnesota. Closer to home Georgia Tech won National Championships and numerous conference championships under John Heisman, Bill Alexander and Bobby Dodd. Look at them now—a pathetic shell of what they once were. Many other examples. UT has fallen and they can’t get up. Fuck ‘em. They’re getting what they deserve and I think it will be permanent. Certainly hope so.

      Like

  9. ApalachDawg aux Bruxelles

    SmU has had a few good seasons since the pont express left town. so what did that take like 30+ yrs?
    will rocky top become teams HC games now instead of vandy or uk?

    Like

    • It took 30 years, the collapse of the SWC, and a drop down to the Group of 5. Even then, they had to scratch and claw to be relevant in the American. I don’t see Tennessee doing all of that in the SEC unless Heupel is a whole lot better than his record would indicate.

      Like

  10. dude beat me to it. Tennessee has entered a Nebraska type of dark place and have no one to blame but themselves. There have always been a lot of parallels between the schools … demanding but loyal fan base (more loyal at Nebraska, more demanding at Tennessee), deep tradition of winning in another era, terrible home recruiting base requiring a national model, and a tough neighborhood to regain past glory.

    That recruiting mode requires winning or McDonald’s bags. Neither is winning anything of significance, and Tennessee is proving the Mickey D’s model comes with a big risk.

    Liked by 8 people

  11. MGW

    10 years. Anything quicker would have the Vatican’s little miracle inspection team sniffing around Knoxville.

    Like

  12. If they don’t right the ship soon all of the kids they are recruiting will have never seen then be relevant. I’m guessing 4 years at best. If they aren’t Heupel might get a 5th year because of what he inherited but after that the cycle starts all over again.

    Like

  13. practicaldawg

    I’m not seeing how they get to 4 or 5 wins. I mean this is the same team program that lost to BYU and GASU in 2019 with far more talent than they have now. I’m thinking maybe 1-2 wins in 2021 then maybe 3-4 in 2022.

    Like

  14. 86bone

    Maybe Peyton can come down to the trash heap next season as the band conductor and bring them some luck

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    I would like to revel in Tennessee’s misery, because I hate ’em. But it is dawning on me that having to play them every year, plus Vandy, plus South Carolina is going to hurt our strength of schedule.

    Like

  16. Tennessee will not be truly relevant again until Nashville produces about 3 times its current number of P5 recruits, and they can own it.

    Fortunately for the Big Orange, Nashville is trendy, and there is a chance….buts its a couple of decades away.

    At least.

    Liked by 1 person

    • originaluglydawg

      Memphis State is the best college football team in Tennessee. Followed by MTSU. With the growing improvement and excitement at Arkansas and the closeness of Old MS and Jr., western Tennessee and the Memphis will be tough for Heupy to recruit for even marginal talent. MTSU is a good program and is close to Nashville, which has a lot going on for kids to enjoy. I don’t see what UT’s big draw will be…unless it’s their tradition, which as some have pointed out is stale and getting kind of moldy.
      Thus the McD bags, I suppose. But that ain’t happening again.
      I wonder if Kiffen really made overtures for the job. If so, he dodged a bullet. (Old Miss ain’t a bad place for a single guy).

      Like

  17. 3rdandGrantham

    “what’s a realistic time frame for Tennessee football to be… well, if not back, at least relevant?”

    Hopefully never.

    Ironically enough, it was Tennessee who was leading the charge on the portal front last year, and they were espousing what a great idea it was and how we should implement such a program immediately. Like all things UT, they were very short-sighted in their thinking at the time, and naturally this is come back to burn them very badly.

    Record wise, Tennessee’s OOC schedule over the next few years is a total joke, and they pretty much have four layup wins yearly. I mainly mention this because we are only 10 wins behind UT for all-time program wins, and I hope or expect to pass them within the next few years. Overall, with the Pruitt fiasco, they have pushed back a date until they have any reasonable chance of being respectable again until 2025 at the earliest.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Its REALLY hard now to advance on the all time wins list. And we are going to go ahead of UT in 2 years. To hell with them. Also, if I am a “cupcake” id go all in to beat UT. give me a million, and we beat you.

      Like

  18. Rameses II

    Define “relevant”. They’ll always be relevant inasmuch as a perpetual laughingstock is relevant. But relevant as a threat to beat somebody? I honestly doubt that ever happens again. That program is too far gone.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. The nice thing is the time needed to rebuild is greater than the time the fanbase will be patient. So they could be in this loop for awhile.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. MudCat's Mechanic

    A decade plus if ever.

    Like

  21. RangerRuss

    Maybe the vols will be back when the Valkenvania coal mine fire burns out. Until then? Nothing But Trouble.

    Like

    • Got Cowdog

      That…reminded me of this…and may be the best analogy yet.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centralia_mine_fire
      The only thing that would make it more apt would be if Phil had been seen playing with matches around the dump, 1962ish…

      Liked by 1 person

      • RangerRuss

        “the population dwindled from around 1,500 when the fire started to 5 in 2017.” After fifty years of the UTK dumpster fire do you reckon their fan base will have dwindled in proportionate numbers? Do you factor in those hillbillies breeding like the flies buzzing around the brown stain on Lulu’s orange stretch pants?

        Like

        • Got Cowdog

          That was actually a pretty good read. Shady leadership cuts a corner and starts a slow burn, then in order to cover it up they employ a steady progression of idiots who keep making it worse until finally they just have to shut the whole fucking thing down, pay the buyouts, and go somewhere else leaving literally a smoking crater. The resemblance to vowelnation is uncanny.
          It’s a shame, it really is.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Got Cowdog

          And…
          Eeeeww.

          Liked by 1 person

          • RangerRuss

            Speaking of volnation population, it’s amazing how the signs and indicators of rootn tootn fried possum pootn Tennessee orange have disappeared along with their success on the gridiron. The big, blighted orange and white T mailbox up the road that used to get destroyed and replaced once a year is now simply a black mailbox.
            It’s a shame.

            Like

  22. Their best hope is to be a Lou Holtz smoke and mirror team that maybe beats someone once. They are in a bad, bad, way.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. uga97

    heupel has a good qb in bailey. just needs some skill guys and large TE WRs to run his warp speed offense. no one plays d anymore so it’s not farfetched to could be relevant in another year with a lot of help & late adds from the transfer portal & jucos/grad transfers. covid pushed lots of guys down the depth chart so next 3 months will be interesting to see how UT stacks up the jimmies & joes.

    Like

  24. Derek

    Have any of the “big six” of the sec been this far down? I don’t think there is another similar situation to compare it to AND among those six, UT has the least reliable recruiting base. They may trade cellar dweller status with Vandy for quite a bit.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. whybotherdude

    3 years for bowl eligibility.
    5 years before 10 wins.
    7 years before completing for SECC
    That assumes Heupel stays, does a good job and can recruit. Every HC change ut goes through adds two years and changing both coordinators in the same year adds 1 year.
    Heupel better be able to recruit if he has any chance to win at ut. They are so far behind after loosing an entire class. Richt never was able to recover from that year he had a bad class and constant low scholarship numbers and that helped cost him his job.

    Like

  26. spur21

    Tenn will be relevant when Biden and Trump join forces and win a second term – put another way it ain’t happening.

    Like

  27. poetdawg

    They need to hire Ed “Straight Arrow” Gennaro of the “Fighting ‘Dillos” to turn this around (reference “Necessary Roughness”)

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Texas Dawg

    It’s hard to tell. They have yet to hit rock bottom, and the slow climb back up won’t begin until they do. The only thing I can say with assurance is that it will be a loooooong time.

    Like

    • tiredofidsearch

      Yeah depending on how big the NCAA hammer is, they may not be able to recruit a full class (much less top shelf recruits) for a few years.

      Like

  29. Dawg in Austin

    At least 4 years.

    Like

  30. rigger92

    The staff hires that Heupel has made so far don’t really point to a quick 3-4 year turnaround to having what could be a complete team, do they? And by complete team, players in their “true” positions, different units with competent players, not just bodies.

    Like

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