Tennesee Football Finally Does the Right Thing for Phillip Fulmer

phillip_fulmer Phillip Fulmer’s Volunteers Won the First Ever BCS National Championship Trophy
The Tennessee Volunteers won the inaugural BCS National Championship Game with Phillip Fulmer at the helm in 1998.  A decade later, coach Fulmer agreed to step down after a 5-7 season in 2008. Tennessee won ten games the year prior to his dismissal. Especially with the benefit of hindsight, it is clear the University of Tennessee was too quick to pull the rug out from under Phillip Fulmer.

Since his departure, the Volunteers have been dwelling in mediocrity.  With the exception of 2009, Tennessee has not had a winning season since they fired Fulmer.  ’09 was the infamous year of Lane Kiffin in Knoxville, and he left ole Rocky Top as soon as the University of Southern California came calling.  One can justifiably surmise USC now wishes Kiffin did not answer the phone.

Derek Dooley Tried, but the Rebuilding Work in Rocky Top was too Much
Derek Dooley went 6-7 and took the Volunteers to a bowl game during his first season in Knoxville in 2010.  Unfortunately for Barbara Dooley’s baby boy, it was all downhill from there.  The junior Dooley notched only one conference victory per year during ’11 and ’12.

Derek Dooley was fired following the 2012 campaign, on the heels of back-to-back 5-7 seasons. The highlight of coach Dooley’s three years in Knoxville may have been the win that wound up being a loss against LSU in 2010.



Butch Jones: Rebuilding Tennessee Football one Burned Bridge at a Time
According to Bleacher Report, Tennessee coach Butch Jones invited Phillip Fulmer to football practice a little over a week ago.  The article notes that coach Jones also requested that the once proud Volunteer speak to the team.

No matter how Jones fares at Tennessee, his invitation to Fulmer was a classy move that had been long overdue.  Neither Derek Dooley nor Lane Kiffin afforded Fulmer the chance to associate with the program that he coached for 16 years.

Legendary broadcaster Keith Jackson called Phillip Fulmer “Tennessee to the core.” Coach Fulmer is in the College Football Hall of Fame, and it is nice to see that Tennessee is finally making an effort to honor a man who put his heart and soul into the University of Tennessee.

Closing thought: Maybe Butch Jones can invite Lane Kiffin back in a few years?  I doubt Hell will ever get that cold.

Lucky Number Seven for the Southeastern Conference

alabama_trophy

Alabama Will Defend Their BCS Championship Crown
The Alabama Crimson Tide collides with the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame tonight as Nick Saban’s bunch look to claim a second straight national championship.  The Tide rolling over Notre Dame would also mean an unprecedented seventh straight BCS championship victory by the SEC. To round out the championship implications for Alabama, another crystal ball would be their third in four years.

A Players Only Meeting Will Awaken the Tide
CBS Sports reports that certain members of the Alabama football team called for a players-only meeting late last week. That is all I need to know to be assured that Alabama will not overlook Notre Dame in anticipation of another coronation. While the Fighting Irish are technically higher ranked, Notre Dame was a missed field goal away from losing to Pitt. The Irish also struggled to beat the same Max Wittek led USC Trojan team that lost to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl.

Notre Dame is No Fluke
Brian Kelly has done an exceptional job leading Notre Dame back to prominence, but Alabama has been a dominant force in college football for the better part of the last five years. Last season when Nick Saban was hoisting a crystal ball, Brian Kelly and company had already capped off an 8-5 season by losing to Florida State in the Champs Sports Bowl.

Alabama Will Run the Irish Into the Ground
Alabama is fresh off racking up 350 yards on the ground against Georgia. With all due respect to Manti Te’o and Notre Dame, the Irish have not faced a team nearly as big, fast, or athletic as the opponent that awaits them this evening. I fully expect Alabama to control the line of scrimmage for four quarters while Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon carry the will of the Irish on their back to the end zone.

Prediction: Alabama 31, Notre Dame 17
Notre Dame has had a remarkable year, capped off by an undefeated regular season. Even so, the Irish will have to save their best for last, and have the luck of the Irish to stay close to Alabama for the whole game. Nick Saban has coached discipline and completing the process since the day he arrived in Tuscaloosa. Washing over the Irish is the only thing that stands between the Crimson Tide and finishing the ultimate goal in college football.

We leave you with a somewhat strange video of Nick Saban getting a Gatorade bath.