Poll: What's the Vols' biggest problem?

Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray looks at the Jumbotron late the fourth quarter of UT's game against Alabama, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012, in Knoxville. Alabama won 44-13.

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Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray looks at the Jumbotron late the fourth quarter of UT's game against Alabama, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012, in Knoxville. Alabama won 44-13.

What is the Vols' biggest problem?

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The Tennessee Volunteers are set to host their first-ever game against brand-new SEC rival Missouri at Neyland Stadium Saturday (12:21 p.m., WVLT), but there seems to be more gloom in Big Orange Country than excitement.

There’s a lot of blame going around for what’s generally considered a disappointing season — blame directed at head coach Derek Dooley, his assistants and/or the players.

Meanwhile, there’s potentially an even darker problem arising: growing apathy among fans and dropping attendance at games.

They stayed away from Neyland Stadium by the tens of thousands last weekend, and university officials have to be concerned. Not only do empty seats represent lost revenue in the short term, once fans decide there are better things to do on autumn Saturdays in East Tennessee than go to a football game, they might be reluctant to come back once the Vols start playing better,

And the Vols will start playing better. In fact, it can be argued they already are. All five of this year’s losses have come to ranked teams, and four of those are in the top 8 of the current BCS standings. Also, say what you will about Dooley’s dismal record as an underdog, when his Vols are favored (notwithstanding last year’s Kentucky game), they typically pull through — even if it’s in ugly fashion (Troy, Akron).

UT would seem to have a decent chance to win these last three games — Missouri, Vanderbilt (OK, that one’s looking scary now) and Kentucky — and if Tennessee sweeps, that would give the Vols a 7-5 regular season record and a likely spot in a bowl.

Not many folks are crowing about that, however. So we ask this simple question: What is Tennessee’s biggest problem?

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Comments » 8

Shake_Bake writes:

Let's stop over evaluating all of this! Win the last three games, win the bowl game,...and then start recruiting the best players we can! Start preparing for next year.

wallingdad writes:

the last two are not problems. they are the result of a problem.fix the real problem and the last two will resolve themselves.

mountainbrook writes:

in response to wallingdad:

the last two are not problems. they are the result of a problem.fix the real problem and the last two will resolve themselves.

Exactly.

iamapotatohead writes:

The biggest problem is the players.

bigdisbig writes:

Tennessee's biggest problem is Dooley simply cannot coach in the SEC. He has yet to beat a decent team in the SEC. His halftime adjustments are pathetic and he has no backbone to address the real problems. Last year the team laid down agains Ky. This year they laid down 2nd half against Fla. One must compare Dooley against the best coaches in the SEC which are Saban, Miles, Spurrier and Muschamp. These 4 coaches do NOT allow their players to lay down like Bray has in the past.
Dooley's play calling is questionable, he has allowed the defense to be an embarassment, and his halftime talks must be discussions about Fun With Dick and Jane. He is the absolute worst coach I remember at UT and if he wins out he is still a loser for he has beaten NO ONE. They will be just as bad next year for no great recruit wants to play for a loser like Dooley. What are his credentials? NONE.

This is what is wrong with UT Football plain and simple. Its NOT the players its how the players are coached.

arkyvol writes:

a blind man could see what the vols' main problem is: coaching. all the rest, recruiting, strategy, morale, fundamentals, etc. come out of that. as i said a blind man could see it.

JWC52 writes:

The problem is several things but I think it starts with coaching. Player talent is an issue too. After several losing seasons it is hard to recruit the 4 ans 5 star players we need to compete with.How to fix the problem is one thing but it needs to be fixed to get this team back to where it used to be.

oldbasshead writes:

It doesn't matter if it is sports team, a business, an institution or department. Leadership from the top is the key to success or failure after sufficient time has passed. The trick is determining the length of sufficient time. Although there have been improvements made, the degree and scope of improvements by the footbal team over the last three seasons seems to point to a leader who is not on top of his game or in over his head. Just about anyone who has spent time coaching at the college level can look good when everything is going well. However, it is the mark of a high quality leader when things are not going well, but the results are still good. We don't currently have that as evidenced by the Dooley era at UT and at LaTech. I don't know if UT is in a position to make a coaching change or even if the next coach would do any better, but it is what it is.

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