It was just a couple years ago that Derek Dooley was announced as the new head football coach for the University of Tennessee. There were seemingly mixed emotions among UT fans about the hire at the time. For some it was a questionable move that seemingly was based on his father’s reputation. Then others pretty much had the mindset that anybody was welcome other than Lane Kiffin.
Fast forward to now and UT fans have had 2 years of Tennessee Vols football under Derek Dooley. What is the mindset about what they have witnessed thus far at this point? If you read most of the message boards and hear fans on the radio they are reaching their limit. That is probably to be expected after back-to-back losing seasons.
What exactly has happened to make UT fans out there call for the school to fire Derek Dooley? For starters as mentioned above Tennessee football has had back-to-back losing seasons. They went 6-7 last year and 5-7 this year meaning that he has a combined 11-14 record. Furthermore the last two years they are 3-13 against SEC opponents with the wins coming against Vanderbilt and Kentucky.
When you go back and look at his resume it makes you wonder why the program thought he was right for Tennessee Vols football. In his 3 years at LA Tech his record as 17-20 with just one winning season. That hardly screams of somebody deserving a higher ranking position. While on the subject if you want another stat how about the fact that his teams are 0-20 when trailing at halftime.
When I look at things and whether or not to fire Derek Dooley it comes down to more than just wins and losses. It is also a factor of being competitive even in losses. In the 14 games that UT has lost these last 2 years only 3 games have been within a touchdown. In comparison the worst two seasons under Phil Fulmer more than half the losses were by less than a touchdown.
There are just so many little things that you can point at and see in a negative light. In the worst two seasons under Phil Fulmer they lost by an average of 10 points. These first two years under Derek Dooley they have lost by an average of 18 points. Furthermore in the two worst seasons under Phil Fulmer they didn’t lose a single game by more than 30 points. But in these first two years with Derek Dooley they have lost by more than 30 points in 5 of the 14 losses.
For many fans the loss to Kentucky was just too much and pushed them over the fire Derek Dooley cliff. It wasn’t just that they lost to Kentucky for the first time since the middle of the 1980s. It was the fact that they lost to a Kentucky team that had a back wide receiver starting at quarterback. It was that they lost when the other team only threw the ball 6 times. Everybody in the world knew Kentucky was gonna have to run the ball and yet Tennessee was still unprepared to stop the run.
At the end of the day reason do Tennessee football fans have to say anything other than fire Derek Dooley? Well they do have 11 wins against Buffalo, Montana, MTSU, UT-Martin, Alabama-Birmingham, Memphis, Ole Miss, Kentucky, Cincinnati and Vanderbilt (twice). That is quite the murderer’s row of opponents.