It’s been an interesting week leading up to Gameday 9 in Vol land.
In surfing the chat boards this week, it appears to be more angst among
Vol fans which is probably natural after two straight beat downs by SEC
rivals. It appears that many fans are now reaching conclusions on if Dooley
is the right guy or not to rebuild the Vols. I’m seeing the comparisons
with Buzz Peterson, “nice guy but his team just can’t get it done.” Other
fans are defending Dooley and equally adamant that he will get it done.
And then there’s the camp I’m a member of, those fans that choose to see
how things play out over the next 2-3 years. I really don’t know how things
will turn out but I told my buds before the season that Dooley got a pass from
me for this seaon and for next season to the extent I’m not going to judge his
team based on wins & losses. I’m not happy with everything I’ve seen in the first
7 games this season but I don’t recall Tennessee football ever being the
mess it was when Dooley took over earlier this year. I personally believe it will
take 2-3 more good recruiting classes to shore up a ridiculously thin depth chart.
I do expect the Vols to improve on the math part of the game and be able to get 11
players on the field consistently next season. And I expect to see more competitive
games with most teams on their schedules compared to the 2H blowouts the Vols are
suffering through this year. In 2012, I’ll begin to look at the win/loss column
with more scrutiny. While I hope for a winning record in 2011, I expect one in 2012.
Time will tell if things work out for Dooley but I expect by 2012, we should have a
much clearer idea than any conclusions that have been reached by fans after only 7 games.
Regardless, I’m pulling for Dooley 100% because if he is a mistake, no telling how
many years it will take to get Tennessee football back among the elite. To get
there in a reasonable time following another coaching change, Tennessee just might
have to go buy Saban away from Bama. Ouch!
Now for today’s Gameday 9 matchup in Columbia, on paper it’s almost as bad as last
week’s matchup with Bama. But, there’s hope against SC for the Vols. SC has been a
flaky team this season and almost as prone to 2H meltdowns as the Vols. Will good
Garcia or Bad Garcia show up? The answer makes a big difference. Will the Dr. Jekyll
SC team show up or the Mr. Hyde SC team? Again, the answer makes a big difference.
Will Alshon Jeffrey have a career game similar to Julio Jones last week? That answer
may depend on the first question, will good or bad Garcia show up today. If
the Vols find Bad Garcia and Mr. Hyde SC in William Brice Stadium today, they’ll have a
good shot to pull the upset. After today, the matchups get much more reasonable
for the Vols for the November games. I believe it’ll be a long shot that they win out
in November but they’ll have a decent shot at the W on each November gameday. As for
today, let’s hope that Bad Garcia and Mr. Hyde SC takes the field in Columbia or this
could make the 3rd straight gameday beat down for the Vols. The Vols & their
fans need a break from another of those outcomes.
Vols Gameday 9 info
Vols-SC matchup analysis
What to watch in Vols-SC matchup
Vols keys to the game
Vol fans just need to chill, laugh a little
This Vol team to young to quit
SC will be tough challenge for Vols
Gerald JOnes talks past & future for Vols (video)
Good news for Vols is that October is almost over
Gameday news from Columbia
Lady Vols will start season at #4
Not a good year for college football in the state of Tennessee
Around the SEC on Gameday 9
Halloween in the SEC
SEC gameday 9 factoids
Superstitions rampant in college football
Some perfect seasons about to end
The Lane Kiffin Fan Club