How far down the list are we again?

Saturday, December 2, 2017
Jason Peevyhouse, State Gazette sports editor

It appears something big happened in Knoxville last weekend. Something to do with a potential head coach getting hired to replace the recently departed Butch Jones.

Oh yeah, that’s right, it’s all over my Facebook, your Facebook and probably even found its way onto President Donald Trump’s infamous Twitter feed.

Since many of you who will read this are likely to be Volunteer fans and know of the events of the past week (probably participating in the previously-mentioned outcry on social media), I will go ahead and skip to the heart of the matter.

Even with the removal of now former athletic director John Currie, the situation is Knoxville is not one you’d like to see if you prefer to wear your orange and white on Saturday - and that’s putting it lightly.

Granted, getting former head coach Phillip Fulmer on board as the school’s new AD is going to help stem the tide of what has been a, well, toxic situation over on the other side of the state.

The problem for me in all this is not as much that the fan backlash which happened about a week ago. After all, college football fans in the South are especially passionate and social media has given everyone a platform to voice their opinion. That being said, for those who blame what happened back on Sunday - the Schiano debacle - on the outcry from social media, you’re pointing your finger at the wrong people. After all, how long did Facebook and Twitter feeds fill with “Fire Butch” posts before the ax finally fell.

No, the problem for me is too many of the fans who were being vocal seem to expect the Tennessee job has the luster it had back in 1998 when new AD Fulmer was the head coach and the Volunteers won the national title.

Let’s be real here, folks. The only way the Volunteers are getting back to 1998 would be to give a call to good old Doctor Emmett Brown and have him bring his DeLorean with him.

 Though the list of potential candidates for the head coaching job is getting shorter (mainly because it appears Tennessee is being used to get raises for other program’s coaches), the plan I see getting talked about by people outside of the media that would be easy to get behind is this.

Fulmer is already the AD. Who’d he win a national title with at quarterback? Current USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin.

Granted, a lack of head coaching experience is a concern but every coach I have talked to in my years in sports media always points to hiring a great staff of assistants as being a key to their success.

Hmm, sounds like a plan to me.

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