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.
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:
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.
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.
SOD haz a funny about his supposedly maturing quarterback’s latest troubles.
Later Dooley said: “Obviously, his accuracy isn’t where it needs to be. He missed the trash can.”
Now, I’m as big a fan of gallows humor as there is, so let me say for starters that I approve this message. But can you imagine the reaction Richt would have gotten if he’d have cracked wise about scooters, alleys or withholding middle names from Athens’ finest? Half the Red and Black‘s staff would have had a fainting spell.
Hey, you think the AJ-C will ask Derek’s daddy if a key player behaving like a moron during the summer can have a unifying effect on the team?
SOD wants everyone to know that simply because he’s pushed himself to the front of the queue trolling for Penn State players as quickly as any coach in the country, it shouldn’t be taken as a sign that he’s, um, actually in need of more talent at UT. Because on that front, things are just awesome in Knoxville, thank you very much.
“No. 1, I feel good about the players we’ve signed,” he said. “We’re not desperate.”
I can only imagine his sales pitch to Penn State sophomores and juniors: Come to Tennessee, fellas. If things don’t work out for us this season, at least you’ll have a chance to play for your fourth head coach in three years!
UPDATE: In fairness, SOD may have had to move quickly to the front of the line to avoid being run over by this guy. Although it’s not like anybody’s going to Kansas in the hopes of playing in a BCS game, anyway.
Shorter SOD: When people criticize my track record, I just remember the mean things folks used to say about my daddy and console myself by thinking of how much more money I make than he did.