Tag Archives: Son of Dooley

SOD it, Missouri.

An alternate history, via Paul Myerberg’s Tennessee preview:

Tennessee was a few first downs, a third-down conversion, a fourth-down stop, a two-point conversion and an errant pass away from reaching bowl eligibility last fall, the program’s third year under ex-coach Derek Dooley. These missteps – a few of many on the year – all came in the second half against Missouri, a game the Volunteers gave away on the second Saturday of November.

Let’s say UT wins that game, doing one or two of the above to move to 5-5 with two games to play. Perhaps the Vols still lose to Vanderbilt; the Vols still beat Kentucky to reach six wins. Now, let’s say UT wins its bowl game to finish with seven victories. Let’s say the university sees enough progression to give Dooley another year – and that’s a stretch, but stick with me.

Meet the one loss that might have changed the entire future of Tennessee football: Missouri 51, Tennessee 48.

Damn it, Tigers!  Your first year in and that’s your legacy?  Barbara’s never gonna forgive you.

By the way, this line from Myerberg is Envy and Jealousy-worthy:  “Vanderbilt texted with friends as it toyed with the Vols in a 41-18 win.”

8 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

Tuesday morning buffet

Tasty nibblets abound this morning.

  • Just when you thought the NCAA/Nevin Shapiro mess couldn’t get any weirder, it does.
  • Pete Fiutak thinks SOD failed at UT because he “was way too nice and way too decent to be able to crush and kill in the cutthroat world of the SEC.”  So how come he had a losing record at La. Tech?
  • Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t find this list convincing.
  • Mark Emmert goes on record saying a fourth college subdivision for the haves could work.
  • Brian Cook looks at Big Ten recruiting and finds that Kentucky and Tennessee are wrecking havoc.
  • Michael Elkon rips Tony Barnhart’s selection committee proposal.
  • Wisconsin’s 2015 conference schedule is a piece of work.  At least fans will be able to stay home and see what’s on the Big Ten Network.

37 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Big Ten Football, Gators, Gators..., Media Punditry/Foibles, Recruiting, The NCAA

Delicate fee-fees in Knoxville

This is amusing on a number of levels:

… Former Vol players won’t miss Dooley either after they say he turned them away from attending practices and being connected to the program.

“No one expects red carpet but we do expect to be able to go watch spring practice,” said former UT QB Erik Ainge, who hosts a radio show on Tennessee Sports Radio 1180. Ainge said one time Dooley reached out to him to be his “spin doctor” in the media. “I sat in front of his office with his secretary and we talked for 45 minutes. I knew everybody over there better than he did. His dry cleaning wasn’t done properly, so he was making them re-starch his drycleaning. And I just sat there for 45 minutes.

“He made it really hard. Tennessee fans are begging for you to give ‘em something to get excited about. It’s as much a part of the culture here in East Tennessee as anything. You got Dollywood and UT. He made it really hard even for the die-hards to get on board.”

SOD evidently never learned the first rule of head coaching:  It’s okay to be an asshole.  As long as you’re winning.

28 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

Duh.

Now this is helpful.

With keen insight like that, it’s hard to believe SOD no longer has a job.

14 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

In hindsight, maybe this wasn’t the best decision.

I bet when SOD looks back on what went wrong, the Sal Sunseri hire will eat at him the most.  Sure, he had to do something, since most of his 2011 staff bailed on him, but it’s not like there wasn’t plenty of relevant history about how SEC defenses switching to a 3-4 scheme do in their first season.

Surely there was a 4-3 guy out there who would’ve done better than this.  If Dooley had hired a new DC who merely held serve from the previous season, it’s likely he’d be getting his team ready for a bowl game today.

36 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

Okay, so now you tell us.

A couple of hindsight is always 20/20 stories for your amusement:

First, we learn that the high school coaches nearest to SOD Country never had much use for the guy, because he didn’t have much use for them.  There’s a lot of hurt feefees on display, as well as sour grapes.

“I didn’t like that staff, to be honest,” Price said. “I grew up in this state and I would go to the games about every week and wanted to support them. I’m a Tennessee fan, but we never heard anything from them. Not even a visit just to introduce who was recruiting our area or a call or anything. It was like they didn’t care whether they had any relationship with us at all, so how would we ever feel good about sending a kid there once we had one they wanted?

“I’ve been coaching a long time and dealt with a lot of coaches at every level, and those guys were the worst as far as feeling like they wanted to work with you or have any relationship at all with the high school coaches.”

Sumbitches!  And here’s the best part:  “The lack-of-communication complaint was echoed by all 37 coaches who responded to the poll, and each said the staffs under former coaches Phillip Fulmer and Lane Kiffin seemed to care more about building a working relationship.”  Hey, great!  And how did that work out for Tennessee?

But that’s mild stuff compared with Kevin Scarbinsky’s don’t-let-the-door-hit-you-in-the-ass farewell to Gene Chizik.  It’s a classic of the genre.  Even if just half of what’s in there is true, it’s hard to see how Jay Jacobs still has a job this morning.

My favorite part:

Newton, Fairley and the seniors received plenty of credit for the national title. So did offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn, whose attack set school and SEC records. People close to Chizik believe he felt slighted in the afterglow even though he deserved and earned praise for his steady hand as allegations of recruiting violations threatened Newton’s eligibility.

Chizik seemed to change after the national title. It’s not uncommon for coaches to write books after that kind of season, but his – “All In: What It Takes to Be the Best” – was far more about him than about the team.

I guess they should have read his book more carefully.  They can probably get a cheap copy of it now, though.

34 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Gene Chizik Is The Chiznit, Recruiting

Derek Dooley’s biggest problem

Optics.

Hart may not be talking, but he surely saw the 35,000 to 40,000 Alabama fans in the stands on Saturday night and that the UT portion of the crowd exited by the close of the third quarter.

When your athletic department is already swimming in red ink the last thing you want a national television audience to see is your stadium filled with Bama crimson rather than Clorox Orange.

At that point you begin to wonder if replacing your coach is more a matter of “can you afford not to” than the other way around.

I’m not sure November is going to be good enough to turn that around.  Ending Kentucky’s one-game winning streak isn’t very sexy.

16 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

Musical palate cleanser: down, down, down

The first thing I thought of when I saw this…

… was this:

Bonus track:  if you’re a FoW fan, you’ll get a kick out of this number by Robbie Fulks:

10 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

SOD’s sense of hue-mah

You may remember that unfortunate tweet young Master Bray popped out after his team lost another game to a ranked opponent.  At least Bray had enough sense to pull it and apologize.  His coach thinks he may have overreacted – all that was called for was a little judicious editing.

The second part?  That would be the egging part.  After all, that was so funny when it happened!

The amazing thing is that there are some people who still think SOD is bound for Athens someday.  That may be true, but it’ll only be to visit his parents for Thanksgiving.

23 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

Coaches’ corner

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.

18 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange