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    by Published on 09-19-2017 12:20 PM  Number of Views: 496 

    Butch Jones, failures covered up by recruiting classes:

    Let’s take a look, starting in 2013, year one for most coaches, year zero for others. We’ll go easy on Butch here, as he took over from an incompetent, well coifed loser in Derek Dooley. He had an all SEC offensive line, what appeared to be a great freshman receiver in Marquez North and a serviceable QB in Justin Worley. What does Butch do?

    He attempts to install a read option based offense with a drop back passer. There were questions about the offense and Worley’s inability to be a threat on the read. Butch defiantly shot them down, saying they were called runs. You’re letting an unblocked DE go free to fly down the line to tee off on the RB? Okay…

    Tennessee vs Florida, 2013. What was once a marquee college matchup has been turned into a one sided streak. Tennessee, coming off a blowout loss to Oregon in Autzen Stadium, decides to start Nathan Peterman at quarterback. It fails. Tennessee has 5 passing yards at halftime. Tennessee loses 31 to 17. Worley is immediately reinserted into the starting lineup after Peterman breaks his thumb.

    Tennessee plays Georgia close, leading by a touchdown with 10 seconds to go. Georgia ties it up and Pig Howard unfortunately fumbles in overtime. Tennessee fans think, hey, this guy may be on to something here. Butch beats South Carolina, who was ranked 13th at the time and people forget how awful the QB situation has been managed.

    Here comes Alabama, who breaks Worley and Dobbs, the last remaining healthy scholarship QB, is up. He scrambles around in garbage time and looks okay doing. A thrashing by Alabama leads Tennessee fans to proclaim “Wait till next year, we now have a mobile QB!”

    Dobbs gets his first start against Missouri. He plays like a freshman getting his first start against, that year, the best pass rushing defense in the SEC. They also finished tops in interceptions. So, the gameplan? Have the true freshman throw it 40 times.

    Tennessee finishes up with a loss to Vandy with a bowl game on the line. Most fans say give him time, some are still trying to figure out why you run a read option based offense with Justin Worley.

    February, the time where hope springs eternal. Tennessee has a top 5 recruiting class and everyone forgets Butch’s coaching decisions in year one.

    2014:

    Tennessee has a lot of young talent and a nice young QB tailor made to run Butch’s patented “throw it against the wall and see what sticks” offense. Justin Worley, instead, is named the starter. He remains the starter until he is unfortunately injured in the Ole Miss game. He has taken a beating, as Tennessee decided Eric Striker is a guy that doesn’t need to be blocked when they played Oklahoma and Robert Nkemdiche should be the read on a no read read option. The recruiting class? You’ve got a 240 lb sledge hammer at tailback, he’s running sweeps and read options out of the shotgun.

    So, after starting the season 3-4, with one of the ugliest losses of all time to Florida on record now, with Worley injured, you’ve got to start the freshman that showed promise in 2013 at QB, right?

    You would be incorrect, good sir, the chart says otherwise. We’re going, against Alabama, with the guy who had 5 yards passing in a half against Florida, Nathan Peterman. Peterman did exactly what you’d expect him to do, nothing.

    Enter Joshua Dobbs, who went 19-of-32 for 192 yards with two touchdown passes and one interception. He also rushed for 75 yards on 19 carries. At one point, it was a ten point game due mainly to the legs and arm of Dobbs. Tennessee lost 34-20, but most everyone forgot the coaching malpractice up to this point due to Dobbs and the hope he brought.

    Tennessee would go on a 4-1 run to finish the season, demolishing a Big 10 team in bowl no one cares about.

    However, there appears to be an identity forming on offense and Derek Barnett has become a superstar.

    February rolls around, another top 10 recruiting class and the majority of the fanbase forgets the coaching, or lack of, showed in 2014.

    2015:

    Tennessee is back! An exciting backfield of Dobbs and Hurd gets a boost with Alvin Kamara, a former Alabama RB who made a pit stop in junior college before becoming a Vol.

    Butch has hired his handpicked offensive coordinator, a new and exciting name who’s previous job was as a secretary for Michigan. What the hell? Lincoln Riley and Matt Canada expressed interest in becoming OC here and you hired a guy who was out of coaching? Seriously? Whatever. Here's Mike DeBord.

    But, Tennessee has a lot of talent returning on both sides of the field plus the second coming of John Henderson and Albert Haynesworth in 5 stars Kahlil McKenzie and Shy Tuttle to bolster a decent defense.

    Tennessee beats a good Bowling Green team in a game that was too close to comfort to open the season. The legend, Colton Jumper, gets on the field extensively over the more talented Darren Kirkland Jr at MLB.

    Then, the awakening for a lot of Vol fans. Tennessee leads Oklahoma 17 to 0 eighteen minutes in to the game. Tennessee looks to be physically imposing their will on an overmatched Big 12 school. A team that moved the ball up and down the field the first half went ultra conservative and handed the game back to Oklahoma. In what appears to be coaching not to lose, Tennessee’s offense shut down and Baker Mayfield engineered the comeback, winning it in two overtimes.

    The Tennessee faithful wail and gnash teeth. “They’ll learn from this” most say, others are ready for a moving van.

    Two weeks later, Tennessee goes to Gainesville . Leading 20 to 7 in the 3rd quarter, Butch Jones called time out with the Florida offense facing a 4th and 6. Florida, using this to their advantage, runs the offense out there and converts.

    Early in the 4th, Hurd scores to give Tennessee a 26 to 14 lead. Conventional wisdom says go for two and make a two touchdown game. The chart is mentioned here for the first time by Butch. His quote, from the ESPN game recap: “We have a chart that's pretty standard in football, that maps it out," Jones said. "We just felt at that stage of the game, we had great confidence in our defense of getting off the field. We felt very comfortable with that decision."

    Then, still firmly in control in the 4th quarter, with 2 minutes left, Dobbs runs a called QB keeper into the teeth of the Florida defense. No attempt to get the first down, just “trying to run clock”. Florida gets the ball and scores on 4th down. Florida wins 28 to 27.

    Egregious coaching errors cost Tennessee games over two ranked opponents so far in 2015.

    The following week, Tennessee jumps out to a 14 to 0 lead on Arkansas. Arkansas comes back to win 24 to 20, giving Bret Bielema his best win in his Arkansas tenure.

    Fans are pissed. They’re ready for blood. His newly hired OC seems to think the first half is all that matters, as the Vols are inept in the second halves of games.

    Mark Richt does Mark Richt things, allowing Tennessee to come back and win a nail biter 38 to 31. Most seem to forget the egregious coaching errors leading up to the Georgia game and are all in on Butch.

    A close loss to Alabama, a game that saw Derrick Henry run through, around and over Tennessee in the 4th quarter, is explained away as inexperience by Butch and company. Nevermind it’s year three.

    Tennessee goes on to win 6 straight, demolishing a Big 10 team in a bowl game no one cares about.

    February rolls around and the recruiting isn’t that great. He’s got a top heavy class with some good players, but there’s a lot of filler too. Cracks are showing.

    2016:

    Year Four! Tennessee is back, again. The youth excuse can’t be used, as there’s juniors and seniors every where. Tennessee has one of the better quarterbacks in the SEC in Dobbs, a pair of talented tailbacks (even though, for some reason, Kamara rarely touches the ball) and one of best defensive ends in the SEC. Tennessee has hired a heralded defensive coordinator in Bob Shoop. No more meltdowns for the defense.

    Tennessee fans get a sobering reality check that Butch Jones is still the head coach at Tennessee in game one. A team that looks uncoached plays Appalachian State way too close and wins in overtime, narrowly avoiding a loss.

    Then, “It’s Bristol, baby!” Tennessee declares itself champions of Bristol, beating an out manned Virginia Tech team after a slow, sloppy start. Darrell Taylor becomes a legend, claiming “We gonna whoop their ****ing asses” to a television audience before kickoff.

    Tennessee loses future NFL CB Cameron Sutton in the next game against Ohio, as well as future NFL LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin.

    Florida, 2016. A Tennessee team looking uncoached again, comes out and is losing 21 – 3 at the half. Much like Virginia Tech, Tennessee comes out in the second half and blows Florida away, winning 38 – 28. Jauan Jennings becomes a hero, proving ducks pull trucks, torching Jalen Tabor and causing the voice of the common fan Tim Priest to proclaim “Get’cha some of that Jalen Tabor” as the Vols pull away.

    Georgia is next. Tennessee, once again looking uncoached, falls behind 24 to 7. Tennessee rallies to take the lead with 11 seconds. Jacob Eason manages to launch a bomb to Riley Ridley, in what appeared to be the game winning score. A personal foul and and an Evan Berry return later, the Dobbnail Boot. Jauan Jennings' legend grows as he catches a Hail Mary with 0 seconds remaining to beat Georgia.

    This is when things start getting odd in Knoxville. Preston Williams recently declared he was leaving Knoxville. The former 5 star wideout is rarely on the field. He eventually ends up at Colorado State.

    Jalen Hurd, who fumbled as he appeared to coast into the endzone against UGA, was yanked for Alvin Kamara. He scored on a pass later in the game, then didn’t see the field until the onside kick Tennessee recovered.

    Butch said "lower body injury" then someone said "concussion".

    Fans are getting loud. They look past the terrible coaching decisions and forget the last three years of head scratching play calling and substitutions, yelling “We’re back”.

    A gift from John Chavis doesn’t pay off, as Tennessee loses to TAMU in overtime. Jalen Hurd doesn’t make the trip. Six turnovers during regulation helps the Aggies out. However, John Kelly has his coming out party here.

    Fans are anxious, but a win over Alabama will make things right. Alabama wins 49-10.

    It’s okay, fans say. South Carolina is terrible. Butch beats them, Tennessee is still leading the east. Butch blames mid term exams as South Carolina wins 24 to 21. This is Jalen Hurd’s last game in Orange. Florida clinches the east with a win in Baton Rouge.

    Injuries pile up, as Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Shy Tuttle, Kahlil McKenzie and Dylan Wiesman are out. Darrin Kirkland Jr and Cam Sutton are on the mend, but aren’t 100%.

    Tennessee rattles off wins against Tennessee Tech, Kentucky and Missouri. Tennessee takes an 8-3 record into West End with a Sugar Bowl bid on the line.

    Derrick Mason beats Butch, sending his all time record against Vandy to 2-2. I consider this a fireable offense. No Sugar Bowl for the Vols.

    Tennessee beats a Big 10 team in a bowl game no cares about.

    February rolls around, recruiting isn’t as good as it’s been.

    2017:

    It’s a new year at Tennessee. Butch replaced DeBord with Larry Scott, Mahoney with Walt Wells. Butch is also replacing Dobbs, Hurd, Kamara, Malone, Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Cam Sutton and Derek Barnett. It’s a lot, but he’s had top 10 to 15 classes. He’s completely revamped the roster and has brought talent back.

    It starts oddly. Georgia Tech runs for 500 yards and dominates the game, but John Kelly carries the team to victory.

    Newly anointed starting QB Quinten Dormady does just enough after a rough start. Jauan Jennings is lost due to injury, but Marquez Callaway, a guy with one catch in 2016, shows out, with 4 catches for 115 yards and two touchdowns.

    A trashcan on the Tennessee sidelines is the biggest story coming out of the game.

    Quinten Dormady is a pocket passer once again being shoe horned into a read option offense. Jarrett Guarantano, an elite dual threat QB recruit in 2016, is on the sidelines looking completely uninterested in the ball game.

    A win over Indiana State proves nothing, and we’re on to Florida.

    Florida, 2017. The day Butch lost the fanbase. Four years and three games of ridiculously stupid personnel decisions, terrible coaching and stupid clichés come to a head. An inept Florida offense, missing its two biggest playmakers, do just enough to win.

    A curious decision to not once run the ball with your superstar tailback from the Gator one yard line seals the deal. Tennessee, in seven attempts from inside the Florida 10, never hands the ball off to the guy averaging 7 yards a carry. The voice of the common fan, Tim Priest yells "Dammit!" on the air as we all nod in agreement.

    John Kelly had 19 carries for 141 yards and one touchdown. John Kelly had six catches for 96 yards. Butch Jones decides to not hand him the ball. Sandra Bullock knows to run the ball, your wife/girlfriend knows to run the ball. Butch does not.

    As this wall of text demonstrates, Butch not knowing what the hell to do on Saturdays isn’t a new thing. He was bailed out by Joshua Dobbs, Derek Barnett, Jalen Hurd, Cameron Sutton, Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Evan Berry, Alvin Kamara and John Kelly.

    The man is 2-5 in the last seven SEC games he’s coached in. He’s 14-19 overall in the SEC. He’s bad.

    Riley Ferguson, a former Vol QB who transferred from Butch, beat UCLA last weekend with six passing touchdowns. Nathan Peterman, the guy with 5 passing yards in 30 minutes against Florida? He's the second string QB for the Buffalo Bills. He can't win games and he can't develop quarterbacks. He went two seasons without a paid QB coach on the staff. He can't coach.

    I haven't brought up 5 star hearts, life championships or his infallible system. His coaching is enough to want him gone. He's a loser, without the hair or the orange pants the last loser had.
    Published on 06-30-2015 08:29 AM  Number of Views: 6141 

    The phasing out of the “Lady Vols” brand has stirred up negative feelings among the more dedicated supporters of the women’s teams. This is understandable, as change from the familiar is hard. But let’s try to set emotion to the side for a moment. Why would anyone want to phase out the “Lady Vols” brand? The answer is simple: a stronger, monolithic Tennessee is better than a mosaic of incongruous orange pieces.


    A common argument I’ve heard regarding the branding change is that the “Lady Vols” brand is famous the world over. I admit that I think this belief is a laughable idea construed from a few anecdotal experiences. In reality, very few people outside of the US know of anything much about American college athletics, whatsoever. But for the sake of this discussion, let’s say this is true: the “Lady Vols” brand is known far and wide.
    Would any “Lady Vols” fan be willing to claim that the “Power T” brand is not known at least as well and as widely? I do not believe such a claim could be reasonably made. Now, do these brands have an identical footprint? Probably not, but there is at least a sizeable overlap in people who know each brand. By combining the brands, it brings more visibility to all teams attached to it. It better represents the single university all those teams play for.
    Maybe this is not a convincing reason for some. Perhaps they relish having an identity separate from any perceived negative events with other teams. I have bad news: these teams are in the same athletic department. They play with the same name written across their jerseys. The players attend the same classes. There is no University of Tennessee-Lady anymore than there is a University of Tennessee-Football. The association is already made. Even if an association were not made, there is not a men’s or women’s sports team on campus that hasn’t had a student make a bad decision at some point. Or a department. Or a classroom.


    Tony shared a remark on his show Friday that a woman against the brand change had made to him. She commented that the logo without “Lady Vols” looks like Texas, and thus shouldn’t be changed. Her observation is quite accurate regarding Texas’ “T” but she is apparently unfamiliar with the University of Tennessee’s primary logo and has accidentally demonstrated one of the brand issues being addressed by retiring the “Lady Vols” brand. Take a look at that logo. The “T” behind “Lady Vols” is not a Power T at all. It’s the “T” that hasn’t been used anywhere else at the university in decades, not since the interlocking “UT.” Why do we not use the interlocking “UT?” Because Texas had begun using something similar, and eventually it was decided that each school would move away from using it at a national level in favor of distinctively different brands. Eventually, Texas rolled out their longhorn logo, and Tennessee elevated Johnny Majors’ Power T design from the football helmets. Through all this the Lady Vols logo retained the old “T” from before 1977, which is not very distinguishing from Texas, Temple, Texas Tech, and many other schools that start with “T.” Any criticism of the Lady Vols logo looking like another schools’ without having “Lady Vols” written over the top of it is actually pretty good evidence that rebranding of some kind is necessary.


    The use of the term “Lady…” in sports teams is completely unnecessary, anyway. What is it about a “Volunteer” in the framework of “a student, alumnus or friend of the University of Tennessee” that somehow requires further specification of their sex? The term “Lady Vol” didn’t come about until the 1970’s as the Women’s Athletic Department was created presumably in response to Title IX. The combining of the athletic departments and the retiring of the anachronistic “Lady…” is in many ways the final fulfillment of the spirit of Title IX: equal access and status regardless of sex to any federally funded activity or program. Some may have grown attached to the segregated identity of the women’s programs over the last thirty years, but future generations of female athletes should not be condemned to forever be “lady athletes,” any more than Tennessee should have “lady students” or “lady professors.” Sex is no longer a meaningful adjective when describing one’s station in society, and it is well past due that the last vestiges of those times be retired.


    My next item for consideration is practical yet prickly. The financial reality of college athletics in general and Tennessee athletics in particular is that there are only a few programs that generate meaningful revenue. The programs that provide a significant surplus are even fewer in number. Regardless of one’s personal feelings of attachment to a particular sports program, no Tennessee sport exists as a competitive member of the NCAA without the money coming from the football program. Even when there were two separate athletic departments Tennessee sports programs functioned as a family that shared infrastructure, facilities, and yes, the steady income from the bread winner. We have always been one Tennessee, and it is time to conform to a structure that not only reflects that but also embraces it. If the thought of just being the “Tennessee Vols” upsets someone, perhaps they were never really cheering for Tennessee, but something else.


    The University of Tennessee as an academic institution now uses the Power T as its primary logo. Combining all Tennessee athletics under one logo strengthens recognition between the teams and the one school they play for. We are living in a time when athletic teams have become the national face of universities and unifying the entire university under one logo is what is best for the school. This should take precedence over the traditions or legacies in any single sport.


    And so shame on Dave Hart and Joe DiPietro. Rather than doing the right thing and retiring the Lady Vol logo completely, they undermine the many great reasons to create one brand by keeping the logo and moniker for the women’s basketball team. It takes what is actually a step towards progress and gives the impression of a slight to other women’s programs. The comments and reactions from former Tennessee volleyball, softball, and soccer players are understandable. Hart and DiPietro have committed a major failure of leadership by playing favorites. They now must decide whether to do the right thing and stick to the building of a stronger Tennessee while falling on the sword, or to back pedal into the fan base fiefdoms of the past and save their skins. Some are mad because they feel Hart and DiPietro went too far. Their real mistake was not going far enough.

    IP
    8th Maxim

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