“26-0 Losses at the Front and Back Ends of His Career”

What head coach at Tennessee began his Vol coaching career with a 26-0 loss to Mississippi State and ended it 21 games later with a 26-0 loss to Vanderbllt?

That piece of coaching trivia belongs to Harvey Robinson, the bridge between Bob Neyland and Bowden Wyatt, who had the thankless task of following Gen. Neyland, especially since Neyland held out the possibility he might return in 1953, Robbie’s first season, or maybe even in 1954.

Then there was Wyatt on the horizon, another Tennessee legend who was tearing things up as head coach at Wyoming and Arkansas, who seemed to be the “people’s choice,” should Neyland decide to make a change.

Robbie finished 10-10-1, with those bookend defeats making his record unique. There was also a four game losing streak at the end of 1954, in which the Vols were outscored 85-20 in games against Georgia Tech (28-7), Florida (14-0), Kentucky (14-13), and the afore-mentioned game against Vanderbilt.

On the plus side, Wyatt did bring Robbie back in 1960 to be backfield coach. The affable Robinson coached at Tennessee through the 1963 season.

It was definitely an interesting time in Tennessee football history.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

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