Tennessee 2010

Tennessee (2009 Statistics)

  • Derek Dooley is the 3rd head coach of this team in just three years.  That’s the opposite of the stability that Tennessee had been used to for 17 years while Phillip Fulmer was the head coach.  After Fulmer’s “retirement” (like many of these guys, I’m not sure how much of a choice Fulmer had), the Volunteers foolishly hired Lane Kiffin.  I say foolishly because the guy had been fired just four games into his second season as head coach of the Oakland Raiders (he went 4-12 in his first season and was 1-3 when owner Al Davis fired him).  I couldn’t quite figure out why he was so desirable and then I remember it was because he promised to bring his dad with him (legendary defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin).  Kiffin didn’t create miracles in Knoxville, but he did get them to a winning record (just barely at 7-6), which mysteriously prompted USC to hire him away from Tennessee after Pete Caroll left them to return to the NFL!  This makes no sense to me, but I think the Volunteers are the better for it.  So Dooley takes over this year and he has some major rebuilding to do.
  • Just 3 starters return on offense.  Junior College transfer Matt Simms may likely start for Tennessee at Quarterback.  And while Peyton Manning and Eric Couch (don’t look at his NFL statistics) may have played here, the recent quarterbacks have failed to impress me.  In addition, the Offensive Line has no experience and neither do the running backs.  The Receivers are the only ones with any experience playing on this offense and everyone else will be learning to play for this team with a schedule that includes Oregon, Florida, LSU and Alabama.
  • On defense it’s not much better.  They return about 5-6 starters from 2009 but the top 4 tacklers are gone, including Strong Safety Eric Berry (selected in the 1st round of the NFL Draft by Kansas City) and Defensive Tackle Dan Williams (selected in the 1st round of the NFL Draft by Arizona).
  • In 2007 Tennessee finished with a 10-4 record so they’re not that far removed from success.