Posts Tagged ‘Vols’

November 19, 2011. Jordan Rogers threw a pass to start the overtime period that was intercepted by Eric Gordon and returned 90 yards for a touchdown for Tennessee. Neyland Stadium went crazy as Tennessee Volunteer players ran on to the field to celebrate their 27-21 victory over Vanderbilt. It was one of the hardest losses for Vanderbilt to take. It was the first time in a long while that Vandy had been favored to win in this one-sided neighborhood rivalry. Yet once again, Vandy found a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

To add salt to the wound, a tape surfaced days later with a recording of Derek Dooley saying after the game that “Tennessee always beats the sh&$ out of Vanderbilt”.

Here is a link describing the situation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1En2uf5gdk

In the video you can see James Franklin’s response once he was made aware of this video. He says that he’ll discuss it next year.

Well….it’s next year. And again Vanderbilt is favored against their hated rivals from the East. At 6-4, they are in position to have their best season since 1982. At 6-4 they are in position to have a chance to play in a New Years Day Bowl. Such accomplishments seemed unimaginable only 2 years ago before Franklin arrived on campus. James Franklin is telling the media all of the right things about the video. But don’t be fooled. He is definitely reminding his players about the scene that took place in the UT locker room one year ago. About the pain they felt when they walked out of Neyland Stadium knowing they let one get away.

There is plenty of motivation for Vanderbilt to play hard Saturday. This game Saturday could send a message across the state. Tennessee is hobbling in with a 4-6 record losers of 5 of their last 6 games. They have not won a SEC game yet this year. They just lost in 4 overtimes to a Missouri team that Vanderbilt defeated 19-15. Reports on the radio are saying that Tennessee could not sell all of its share of tickets for the game Saturday and their head coach will more than likely be fired at the end of the season. But none of that matters Saturday because Vandy has only beaten Tennessee once (2005) since 1983. Stats & records mean nothing this week. The only thing that will matter is the score when the clock hits zero. Can Vandy get over the hump? Can Vanderbilt seize the day?

It is not a secret that Derek Dooley is on the hot seat in Knoxville, TN. Now with the Tennessee Vols losers of three straight SEC games talks of replacing Dooley are becoming louder each week. Inside information is now starting to leak out from within the headquarters of the Tennessee Vols athletic department. For the most loyal and in-tuned fan, this may not be new news. But to everyone else, here is what is starting to leak out concerning Derek Dooley’s future as the University of Tennessee’s Head Football Coach.

The word is that Derek Dooley’s firing may come as soon as early next week. Even if he beats South Carolina this weekend, he could still be fired Monday or Tuesday next week. There has apparently already been discussions with Monday Night Football commentator Jon Gruden to replace Dooley as UT’s next head coach. Jon Gruden is a former NFL Head Coach with the Oakland Raiders and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was a graduate assistant at the University of Tennessee from 1986 to 1987. Whether or not Dooley is allowed to coach the rest of the season is still unknown. Tennessee may decide to go the Ohio State route & announce a new coach while allowing the current coach to finish the season. Apparently it seems that the prospect of going 7-5 will not be enough to save Derek Dooley’s job.

Gameday is coming to Knoxville and so are the Gators. Tennessee plays Florida on September 15 in their annual showdown Saturday. While this game will not be shown on CBS like normal, it still is as big as ever. The importance of the outcome of this game is biggest for Tennessee’s Head Coach, Derek Dooley.

Derek Dooley’s on the hot seat. For anyone living in the Volunteer state this isn’t new news. Everyone knows this is the third year of his deal and the year of no excuses. So far this year Dooley has past the “Third Year, What Have You Done For Me Now” test with flying colors. But now comes the game that is circled on the calendar every year. The game that folks in Knoxville haven’t celebrated afterwards since 2004. The game that can potentially be seen as the beginning of the end of the Derek Dooley era in Knoxville or be what solidifies him as Tennessee’s Head Coach for years to come.

Derek Dooley

If Derek Dooley beats Florida in Neyland Stadium, he will get a cotract extension. Look at the schedule. The win will make UT 3-0 with Akron coming to town, 4-0. Next is the meat & potatoes of the campaign. This portion includes a game at Georgia, at Mississippi State, home to Bama, and finally at South Carolina. Worse case scenario, UT is 4-4. But more than likely UT should come out of this stretch 5-3. The final leg is Troy, Missouri, at Vandy, and home to Kentucky. 3 of 4 wins here making the 2012 Tennessee Vols record 8-4. An 8-4 record with a win over Florida means Dooley’s back for a few more years. (Like it or not…..some in Knoxville still might not want him back)If Dooley loses Saturday, who knows what mayhem could come from this. A less than impressive Florida team coming into Knoxville lead by the un-predictable Jeff Driskel who has to constantly worry if Jacoby Brissett will replace at any point. Florida’s vulnerable and definitely beatable. They rank 107th in the nation in passing and 42nd in rushing. Their resume includes a 13 point victory over Bowling Green and a 3 point victory over a Texas A&M squad replacing NFL first round draft pick Ryan Tannehill at quarterback. Tennessee has the better athletes, the better players, the better team. But will they have the better coach? We’ll know a lot after Saturday.