Any Volunteers?


Wow, what a crazy few days in Knoxville. First Lane Kiffin bolts, students riot and then everybody turns Tennessee down.

Well, not everybody. I’m hearing the plan is to hire Derek Dooley, Vine’s son at Louisiana Tech, but first Kippy Brown gets an interview to give the appearance UT considered a minority.

Dooley was 4-8 last season, but had done a good job at LaTech, going 8-5 the year before. I met him when he was a young man while I was covering Georgia.

Wil Muschamp, Troy Calhoun, David Cutcliffe an Kyle Whittingham all said no to Tennessee. Is it a top 15 job or not?

Your thoughts on the hiring? And check out my preseason top 25 in Saturday’s paper.


  1. Based on recent events with football and basketball players, perhaps UT should hire a “public defender” staff before they hire any more coaches. Cheap shot, I know. Actually, they should see if Bruce Pearl knows anything about football..the man can certainly coach and motivate players.

  2. Well, you’re out of the dog house Pat. I guess I’ve been reading your work for too long to stay mad at you.

    I think UT is getting what it deserves. they “sold their soul to the devil” with Kiffin, turning a blind eye to all of his propaganda. It was alright though – he was just trying to get the UT name out there. Well, that he did and now the real coaches want nothing to do with that name.

    I wonder if they still feel cocky about the mighty Gators rolling into Knoxville this Fall.

    “Watch what you ask for; you just may get it”!

  3. I think tenn has dicided to cut bait because it is so late now to try to find a quality coach. Loved the top 25. Didn’t notice uga in the mix. I would maybe put them there @ 25. Interested to know which game you feel might be the one loss for ‘bama. I’m thinking maybe the @usc hangover game or maybe the @lsu game. I’m saying after a year with a few tough losses the mighty Gators put it together late and knock the tide off in the SEC champ. game and take that momentum into 2011 for another NC run!

  4. How low has Tennessee fallen? Coaches from Utah, and Duke turn down the head coach job? Do they think the administration is terrible, the team is terrible, or worried about NCAA sanctions? Or all of the above? For what used to be a top program, they do not seem to be going in the right direction.

  5. Thanks for your insights, Pat! It’s hard to imagine how far down Tennessee has fallen. Derek Dooley comes from good parents, good values apparently and his media conference unveiled a young man significantly different in tone and substance than Lane Kiffin. Not sure if Derek will be enough of a coach for the Vol Nation’s demands, and it should take Tennessee awhile to repair all the damage of the last couple of years. Still, we thrive on a good rivalry with UT and I wish Dooley some measure of success in restoring an old, proud Southern football mainstay. Like the Very Early Top 25, but I would put North Carolina about 15. Virtually everyone returns and offense will improve.

  6. No it’s not a top 15 job and here’s why.
    1) You have to play Urban Meyer and his Gators every year.
    2) You have an athletic department, headed by the man who will be your boss, that has exercised some very questionable judgment in the last year. Hiring a pompous, self-absorbed, liar who has NEVER proved to anyone with the slightest knowledge of what it takes to lead a football team to consistent victories to be your Head Ball Coach, let me repeat that, your HEAD BALL COACH is absolutely asinine. Why would anyone want to work underneath an idiot? Trust me, I’m doing it now and it ain’t fun.

    Oh yeah, did I mention before he hired the liar that he fired the man who had not more than 1 month before won their division in one of the toughest conferences in the nation, thus putting the school in the conference championship. I guess they saw something I didn’t. I’m glad it worked out for them.

  7. okay, as for UT, I truley think that they will be fine. Maybee this is not the year that they are a competitive team in the SEC but I definatly think that they will have a chip on their shoulders and shouldn’t be overlooked. I also want to add to your Alabama 1 loss coment. I think its a 2 loss team and I woulnt be surprised if an SEC team doesnt make it to the big show this year at all. I think that the 2 teams that would have a chance both have schedules that wont allow them to get there with less than 2 losses. It should be a 10-2 Bama vs a 9-3 UF in my opionion. Go Gators!!!!

  8. Did anyone notice that Alabama lost 8 starters from their defense? Or that they will have only one senior starter returning on defense? I know Hightower returns but players sometimes take a step backwards after major knee reconstruction. Colin Peek is also a pretty significant loss to their offensive scheme. But then again the only challenge in a pretty mediocre 2010 SEC will be UF. But I see UA and the Gators in a similar circumstance: lots of new players in key positions that are expected to do well but haven’t yet demonstrated consistent performance as starters.

  9. You rated Miami above Florida? What, you’re playing the expectations game with the 305? You were feeling the need for a little extra attention?

    As certain as the sun rises, it seems as safe to say that Florida has better talent, and much better coaching.

  10. Coming from a Gator fan, this may prove to be a great hire for Tennessee. Dooley seems polished, well mannored and a complete 180 from the last clown TN had in the fold. This guy may be the surprise of the conference in a couple of years. Not hoping, just saying.

  11. Tennessee really tarnished their brand when they hired and then supported and defended Kiffin and his antics. I think his claim that he was just trying to gain UT publicity was all made up just to justify his actions. Pat, I am shocked that their A.D. is still there. As far as Derek Dooley, I think he will make a concerted effort to bring integrity back to the program but as far as a wins and losses coach, he is a real reach. I think they hope he turns out to be another Bruce Pearl. Anything but another Lane Kiffin. Yes, Dooley may well bring back stability and respect for tradition of UT football but the bottom line is, can he win?? Let’s put it this way…he ain’t Urban Meyer!!