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Post From An Outsider

  • I hope y'all don't mind me stopping in. Despite my love for Notre Dame, I have always had an affinity for UT; ever since the days of Peyton Manning, the championship run with Tee Martin, Peerless Price, the Travis', Copeland, Shaun Ellis, Deon Grant, Al Wilson, Raynoch Thompson, Goodrich, etc. Incredible team..

    I am sure y'all have had enough about the 'who is going to replace Dooley' talks since the season isn't over and he's still your coach, but I am wondering who YOU want to replace him if it should happen. I know the Gruden talk is out there, but do you want a coach with a proven track record as a HC (i.e. Strong-Louisville, Dykes-LA Tech (I wouldn't blame you for wanting to pass on him for obivious reasons), Briles-Baylor, Mullen-Miss. St., etc.) or do you want one of the exceptional coordinators (Kirby Smart-Bama, Bob Diaco-ND, Todd Monken-Okla. St., Todd Grantham-GA, Mark Helfrich-OU, Chad Morris/Brent Venables-Clemson, etc.)..

    I just ask because as an Irish fan, I've been through the 'man, I hope we hire the right guy. I'm sick of mediocrity' times on a few occasions and as someone who has seen what Rocky Top really is and how special that football team can be, I hope that they nail it this time around. No settling for a 'good' coach and no settling for '8-5 is pretty good'.. Just as in South Bend, the fans of Knoxville are used to being exceptional and not only expect the best, but deserve the best.

    P.S. I am not interested in getting involved in the Brian Kelly to Tennessee argument. If you want him go ahead and say it. I don't blame you. But I have no interest in getting into the 'SEC sucks' and 'Everyone Gives ND everything' BS. Just a football fan looking for good conversation.

    This post was edited by NDGuyinFL 18 months ago

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    Gringo Mafia Director of Recruiting Analysis // POTW --> 5-16-11 / 5-30-11 / 3-5-12 / 12-30-12 / 2-24-13 / 9-1-13 / 9-22-13

  • IF a change is made, you have to get a proven HC IMO.

  • Honestly, if Tennessee lets Dooley go, I'd doubt Tennessee brings in anyone with just a coordinator background. I doubt they would want a lower level head coach because of what has happened the past few seasons.

    I hope Dooley stays. I am in that camp. If he leaves I would be happy with an out of the box thinker like Gus Malzahn.

  • You don't feel that Malzahn is all but locked into Arkansas? I guess that's the gut feeling I've had since Petrino got canned.

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    Gringo Mafia Director of Recruiting Analysis // POTW --> 5-16-11 / 5-30-11 / 3-5-12 / 12-30-12 / 2-24-13 / 9-1-13 / 9-22-13

  • How about someone like Mike Leach? Obviously the Wazzu experiment isn't going as expected, but that program is as shallow on talent as any DI school. He's shown he knows how to win.. Just a thought.

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    Gringo Mafia Director of Recruiting Analysis // POTW --> 5-16-11 / 5-30-11 / 3-5-12 / 12-30-12 / 2-24-13 / 9-1-13 / 9-22-13

  • Not from the sounds of it. Looks like there a few other names ahead of Malzahn.

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  • I'm not sure that is the case. I've heard the separation from Nutt and Arkansas left some bitter.

    He'd be a great hire there as well.

  • I think the coaching carousel could get interesting. There are numerous HC positions that could be open in the SEC. Tennessee, Arkansas, Auburn, Kentucky, and who knows, maybe Missouri even though I doubt it since it's their first year in the SEC and Pinkel would be a tough guy to replace. Not only that, but everyone hears about the troubles between Golden and his players. Despite the sanctions, Miami is a desirable place for a lot of coaches because of the recruiting in-roads. Utah has Willingham who could be on the outs, Tedford looks to be about done at Cal, Skip has a lot of haters at USF, who knows who else..

    Despite their additions to the Big XII and Big East, could this be the year Patterson and/or Petersen leave TCU and Boise?

    Also, I don't know how probable it is, but I really like Kevin Wilson. He was a great OC at Oklahoma and has had a hard time at Indiana, but seems to be turning them around bit by bit. The question is would be leave Bloomington this early if the right big-time school came calling?

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by NDGuyinFL 18 months ago

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    Gringo Mafia Director of Recruiting Analysis // POTW --> 5-16-11 / 5-30-11 / 3-5-12 / 12-30-12 / 2-24-13 / 9-1-13 / 9-22-13

  • Thanks for stopping by..It's always fun to have a good conversation with fans of other teams.

    If UT decides to replace Dooley, I think you have to have a homerun hire...the fan base will not settle for anything less. In addition to having a great win loss record,the new coach will be expected to put butts in the seats to fill up Neyland Stadium. I don't think that an up and coming coach will do that, especially after the struggles UT has been through the last 3 season. Also, after having to "settle" for an up and coming coach last hire, I don't think the VOLS need to or can stand to take another PR hit by hiring anything other than a homerun hire.

    If you don't make the homerun hire, stay the course. I think Dooley recruits as well or better than any other mid-major or up and coming coach, so in order to keep our current class or improve it, a homerun hire will be needed.

    Bottom line to me is: either hire a homerun coach, and do it no later than the Monday after the last game or leave Dooley in place and move forward for next year.

    Again, thanks for stopping by and feel to drop in anytime..our home here is really a great place to visit!!

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  • A. Nice post OP, you had me at Peerless.
    B. I said this in another post, but look at what Lane is doing at USC (6-2, big game to go against Oregon and ND, not exactly great considering all those seniors came back) and I am in no rush to bring in someone new at this point. Elite coaches are hard to find, and this years pool has a lot of question marks.
    C. UT has some added difficulties for a few reasons, lack of in-state talent, not being a national brand like ND, and being surrounded by all the other big programs in the SEC. That is why Leech wouldn't work IMO, our coach needs to win recruiting battles against Saban, Saint Mark, Muschamp, Spurrier, etc despite not being the home state school.
    D. I think our next coach needs to be a star. Hiring a coordinator won't work because the fanbase won't let someone learn on the job. IMO, Strong isn't a proven upgrade IMO (They are winning close games against other bad teams, and if Bray switched places with Bridgewater in the 4th QTR, we would be 7-1). So long story short, I think you go after Gruden and if he says no, you wait.

  • I appreciate the hospitality. It's always good to talk to other fans.

    I agree with you that UT needs a home run, but I'm wondering who you would consider to be in that category (other than Gruden, of course). Also, despite what some lack in HC experience, others have proven to be exceptional recruiters. Where does the balance swing? Do you take a less-proven coach who is a home-run recruiter?

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    Gringo Mafia Director of Recruiting Analysis // POTW --> 5-16-11 / 5-30-11 / 3-5-12 / 12-30-12 / 2-24-13 / 9-1-13 / 9-22-13

  • I think that with so many people latching onto the Gruden rumors, anything less would be a major disappointment. The issue is that if Dave Hart was to use that as an indicator of which direction to go, the pool of candidates is severely limited. You'd be looking at a very short list, because coaches such as Saban and Miles would be off the table completely, and other coaches (Tressel, Petrino) carry too much extra baggage to be a palatable option.

    Other than Gruden, I don't really see any "splash" hires that would be available based on what is known at this time. Strong has a good thing going at Louisville, and neither Harbaugh nor Pete Carroll would leave the NFL for the SEC willingly (and Carroll has the same negative baggage as Tressel and Petrino).

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  • Haha. Thank you. I always wondered why Jermaine Copeland never (at least to my recollection) got a shot. He was the ying to Peerless' yang. Also, that defense with Ellis, Darwin Walker, Ratliff, Wilson (still one of my all-time favorites), Thompson, Stevenson, Grant, Goodrich, and Lott deserved a lot more credit then they got. They were dominate.

    I can see your thoughts. I guess it just depends on where you sit with Dooley. If you feel his ceiling is 9-4, are you better off replacing him and starting over in the hopes of going 5-7, 8-5, 10-3, and finally 14-0 with a new coach or just settling for 9-4 every year with him? I'm just curious as to what you think.

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    Gringo Mafia Director of Recruiting Analysis // POTW --> 5-16-11 / 5-30-11 / 3-5-12 / 12-30-12 / 2-24-13 / 9-1-13 / 9-22-13

  • IMO, at this point it's hard to say who would be a homerun hire becuase we're not sure who is going to be available. I think with each passing week, the list should become a little more clear to our AD and whoever is involved in the decision about our staff.

    If UT goes the NFL homerun hire route, I think the name and reputation would be as important or more important that his recruiting ability because the asst coaches are responsible for most recruiting duties so the head coach would have to get a good staff of recruiters.

    If your homerun hire is someone from the college ranks, then he already has the reputaion and recruiting skills to get the job done.

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  • I support CDD because I think he is building a team that will compete with UGA, UF, and Scar every year. To me, the difference between a 11-1 and 9-3 is a lot of luck, and teams tend to be luckier when there is some continuity.

    I don't mean this as a negative towards ND, you guys are real good, but Purdue, Michigan, Stanford, and BYU are all games that could have gone the other way for ND this year. I mean look at ND last year, 4 close losses; and I don't believe Brian Kelly all of a sudden learned how to coach.

  • bavw..

    I have to agree with Lou Holtz (Lord forgive me!!)...luck is when preparation meets opportunity.

    Vols have had the opportunities, but have not been properly prepared. I agree that continuity plays a big part in that, but I think that something is causing us to not be ready...just widh i knew what it was..really wish that Dooley knew what it was so that he could fix this thing and get it headed the right way.

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  • Pretty impressive when a fan of another team remembers that many players from our team from 14 years ago.

  • Haha. Thank you. At that point, I was an 11 year old kid who didn't get too many TV channels so I watched NBC (Notre Dame) and whatever games were on CBS and ABC. Usually it was the Vols because they were dominating and so every game was a big one. I remember the SEC title game against LSU where (and correct me if I'm wrong please) JaMarcus got hurt and I was sure UT was going to the championship game and Matt Flynn led them to the win. I was tearing up and slept on my couch because I couldn't believe it. I was crushed.

    I honestly think what led me more towards Notre Dame was Casey Clausen. I remember watching UT games and them talking about Casey being good, but he had a little brother named Jimmy who was even better (as a teenager) so I started following Jimmy, he signed with ND, and I've been diehard ND since, but I still love the Vols.

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    Gringo Mafia Director of Recruiting Analysis // POTW --> 5-16-11 / 5-30-11 / 3-5-12 / 12-30-12 / 2-24-13 / 9-1-13 / 9-22-13

  • I agree to a point. I think CBK finally got his team to believe they could win and they started playing to win rather than not to lose. That's a tough switch to flip. Also, our defense has taken on a new mentality and mindset this year under CBD and they not only only take pride in holding people out of the endzone, but they have the mindset that points at all are unacceptable. That itself has won us games this year that last year we didn't.

    -Purdue was closer than it should've been, but Rees came in and led a great drive and Brindza nailed the winner.
    -BYU was much of the same. Rees making plays.
    -Michigan was about causing turnovers from a sporatic at best QB who was uncomfortable in the pocket.
    -Stanford was a great goalline stand.

    We could've lost them, but the preparation of our defense and our 'closer' Rees led to wins. I don't know if you can necessarily say it was lucky. ANYWAYS.. we could debate that all year long. I understand what you're saying, but disagree to an extent. Fair enough?

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    Gringo Mafia Director of Recruiting Analysis // POTW --> 5-16-11 / 5-30-11 / 3-5-12 / 12-30-12 / 2-24-13 / 9-1-13 / 9-22-13

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  • dirtyred

    Enjoyed reading the post. I think Dooley will turn the corner soon but I'm not convinced he will get us back into title contention. If he wins out I think he has earned another year. If not he's gone. The bowl game will not be a factor because it is played so late and I don't see us going into a coaching search that late. All the sure hires will have been taken. This thing has to turn next season for Dooley, if not he's in trouble and we have another brutal schedule starting with the Ducks. He has all the tools to be successful. State of the art facilities, support staff etc... not much more you can ask for as a coach
    but it will be time to reward the fans, boosters, alumni with some success. Good luck to the Irish this year, y'all have a sound football team in all phases. Kelley has done a great job.

  • Thank you sir.

    I do agree with you. He has to win out and I'm still not convinced that will save him. They have disappointed over and over again versus SEC rivals and I don't know how much more the boosters, or the fans, can take seeing UF beat UT (I know I hate it.)

    It will be interesting to see what transpires.

    I'm going to go out on a limb and make a complete guess.

    Dan Mullen will be the next coach at UT.

    Why? I don't know. Why not? He is an SEC coach who has done a great job, I think he has peaked at Mississippi State, and the resources there are nowhere near what he would have at UT. He knows how to win and I think could take UT to the next level. However, he is going to need a big raise to leave, but I don't think that should be an issue.


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    Gringo Mafia Director of Recruiting Analysis // POTW --> 5-16-11 / 5-30-11 / 3-5-12 / 12-30-12 / 2-24-13 / 9-1-13 / 9-22-13

  • Mullen just doesn't excite me, perhaps it should, he HAS done a very good job over at MS State, But I just don't care for him.

    I honestly think we're best served waiting til after Oct next year to make a change if things are still playing out the same as this year. Our Defense was going to struggle with the new Defense anyhow. The loss of several starters and players on the 2 deep has hurt the defense further. Just have to think we'd be sitting with only 1 or 2 losses at this point had the Defense played better in any of those 5 losses. As if that wasn't enough adversity the Offense just completely blows my mind at times.

    Of course if a "Gruden" type could be had this year I could live with Firing Dooley tomorrow. Just dont think it's what's best right now... 4 wins buys another year for Dooley to figure it out. We will know if he has by the end of October 2013.

  • I don't think that will happen. I believe Mullen is happy with what he's doing at Miss State. I also believe that Tennessee needs to win fast. We all too well remember what happened the last time Tennessee switched to a spread offense. But I like your bold choice. I honestly don't know what to think. Part of me wants to keep Dooley. The other part wants to move on.

  • I'm firmly in the camp that believes Dooley has done all he can. I think alot of times I come off like I'm bashing him which is not the case. I think he is a very good person, and a descent football coach, just in over his head in the SEC. Obviously supporters will argue that we've had some close loses that could have gone the other way, but IMO too many men on the field, clock managment, and play calling are coaching issues and a better coach could have turned those close losses into wins.
    I'm a big supporter of Mullen and Strong. I think both have tremedous coaching ability and would be an upgrade over what we have currently. Strong could potentially come at a little cheaper price, and I think he is just as good if not better then Mullen. Most on here do not consider Strong a homerun hire, it'll be interesting to see if anybody changes their minds if Louisville goes 12-0 and heads to a BCS bowl ranked about 6th in the country. (not saying that'll happen.)

  • Not a fan of ND at all, and never have been. I have actively rooted against ND numerous times, but bc of what I quoted above and other posts in this thread, I will be pulling for them this year. Probably not what u want to hear from a vol fan. We are pretty bad luck right now, but you sir, have earned the respect of this vol fan from the knowledge of the vols in your posts in this thread. Hope ND can do good things for you this year.