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Monday, November 13, 2006

Plight of the Vol Fan

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egbert Mystic Knight of the T Posts: 356 (11/13/06 16:08) 68.59.57.206 Reply Edit Del All
Fostermom...
...I guess I should have replied in the other thread, but it was getting pretty long so I decided to start a new one. This one will be plenty long so relax, sit back, and enjoy the flight. I sense that you are entering the zone where I was after, oh, say the 2002 season. I was probably in denial that Fulmer was really at the core of what was wrong with the program up until that point, and I had hung onto this unrealistic thought up until probably last year that he would indeed do what was the best thing for the program and upgrade his staff. He never did, and even the Cut rehiring was due to Sanders' self-inflicted departure. I don't know what would have happened had Sanders not resigned, but I doubt that Ainge would have played as well as he has this year; I doubt that the offense would be averaging 30+ points (at least until the Arkansas game was factored in) per game; I doubt the receivers would have become a strength instead of a liability as they were under the previous WR coach because I don't think Troop would be coaching WR's without the cards falling as they did. I don't know for certain if any changes would have been made or if several changes would have been made, but my money if I bet would be on the former. What I think you're going through is what I, and I think so many, have been through -- I'm just at a more advanced stage than you. I finally realized, last year, that the stubborness and arrogance of Fulmer was stronger than his coaching abilities. I don't think he had that attitude prior to 1998 -- I think he was "hungry" and I think his staff was hungry as well. I think once he won the MNC in '98, he became arrogant, complacent, and stubborn. I believe that we're seeing the fruits of that now. And while UT muddled on, winning around 75 or so percent of it's games post 1998 MNC, other programs in the SEC -- Georgia, Auburn, LSU to name a few -- upgraded, either in the head seat or at key positions on the staff like coordinator. What we've seen since then is the result of complacency -- I liken it to GM and Ford before the Toyotas and Nissans of the world became so mainstream. Folks wonder why Toyota does so well -- it's because it passed two slumbering, bloated US car empires in GM and Ford. The same thing, IMO, is happening, and has been happening, at UT. Sure, Fulmer has won enough games at UT since '98 to be considered a "success" at most programs in the country. He hasn't won enough championships since '98 to be considered a "success" at a program like UT -- the second most decorated football program in the conference behind bama. And this is where the separation of most of these programs that ARE winning championships comes into play -- Fulmer has not had to deal with things like probation, etc. Spurrier simply leaving Florida doomed them to a few years of mediocrity. bama is a mess because of it's meddling administration and overzealous boosters. Donnan was never a top notch coach for UGA, and the AD understood it. Auburn has a good coach in Tuberville, but has had even better coordinators -- Petrino, Borges, Chizik for example. LSU hired a guy in Saban who, while a hired gun, closed recruiting borders and coached the talent up. Fulmer just looked at his 8-3, 9-2, 7-5 type teams every year and said "this staff rocks". Indeed, it didn't rock, and people without orange blinders on knew it. In not so distant times, Fulmer saw the best coordinator that UT has had in a long time leave, and elevated a guy who has no business coordinating a top-level SEC offense rather than going out and getting a proven coordinator (thus the inspiration for my scrolled quote below the pic of Ainge, formerly of Cut). Fulmer had the opportunity to go out and get a top notch DC several years ago, and promoted a guy who has no business coordinating a top-level SEC defense (and make no mistake, even Chavis couldn't screw up the talent UT had on hand on defense during the 90's. With a decent DC I think UT could have won at least one more MCN while Manning was our QB). Fulmer then let the offensive coordinator stay for 6 1/2 seasons before said coordinator proactively made the change FOR Fulmer, and Fulmer has let said defensive coordinator stay for nearly 12 full seasons now, getting exposed badly in big games -- and some not-so-big games that turn into slugfests -- just about every season. Top it off with the off the field incidences -- I can't get too mad at him for the bama stuff since I despise bama so much -- but the run ins with the law, etc. have become so commonplace at UT that I wonder, well, when is the next incident going to happen? Your son's recent incident isn't newsworthy in and of itself except that it's a continuation of such things and, quite frankly, it's become an expectation. Off the field issues have become all too commomplace at UT. I wonder what program in the country besides UT would put up with all this stuff. I don't think any would. But then again, I'm 40 years old and this is the same program that has had only 4 head coaches during my lifetime -- Dickey, Battle, Majors, and Fulmer. The latter two comprise nearly 30 years combined. One national title during that time. I think UT can do, and should demand, better. I really, really hoped that Fulmer would be the guy to make things better, and he did for one magical season. What have we done with it since then? Watched the rest of the "big dogs" in the conference pass us by, while our head man worked like heck to get better, all to no avail. Who would have thought that the two biggest jokes of programs in the conference among the big boys for the past few seasons would be bama and UT, the two proudest programs in the conference? Anyway, VFM, sorry for such a long epistle, but that's why I feel like I do, and I hate the feeling, I really do. But I can't deny it either. Every year I hope I'm wrong, and every year I find that I'm not. But at least it gives us all something to talk about.
volunteerfostermom Suzy Sunshine Posts: 752 (11/13/06 16:46) 129.24.158.185 Reply Edit Del
egbert...
Wow.... I'm at work, but I'm going to chew and digest this long post and respond this evening. Thanks for it though....lots to think about.
GhenghisVol Khan Posts: 2863 (11/13/06 16:51) 70.153.222.165 Reply Edit Del ezSupporter
Egxcellent post!
Quote:
what program in the country besides UT would put up with all this stuff
Not many, Florida State comes to mind. For the life of me I dont know why dinosaurs like Bowden, Fulmer, and Paterno hang on as long as they do.
ChattanoogaVol Mystic Knight of the T Posts: 985 (11/13/06 17:12) 198.51.179.254 Reply Edit Del
Fabulous post egbert. Just fabulous!!!
(This message was left blank)
- - - - - - - - - “I like the sarcasm because it's usually adult enough for me to appreciate. I like the humor because it is some of the very best of any internet humor I've been privy to. Most of all I like and respect the vast array of football knowledge here. This knowledge is truly second to none. I don't mind saying that anywhere”. – fostermom on www.outermonvolia.com 8/15/2006 "You all make me proud to be a part of this board with the way you continuously do the right thing as a whole. I'm touched". - fostermom on www.outermonvolia.com 8/15/2006 "Nobody holds back on OM. I respect and appreciate it. What I like most of all is that NOBODY is exempt from the ass whuppin's that take place here. (My behind is still sore from the ones I got here last week)". - fostermom on www.outermonvolia.com 10/2/2006 "I think all of you are looney! But it's that very charm that keeps me coming back"! - fostermom on www.outermonvolia.com 10/30/2006
volunteerfostermom Suzy Sunshine Posts: 753 (11/13/06 17:20) 129.24.158.185 Reply Edit Del
Chatt....
Shouldn't I be gettin' paid for that free advertisement???
HermitageVol Acolyte of Unlimited Posting Power Posts: 42 (11/13/06 17:23) 68.53.117.12 Reply Edit Del
Re: Fostermom...
I think Fulmer was so obsessed with Bama, he forgot about everything else. Everything from that point on started to slowly errode away. Calgon--take me away!!!
ChattanoogaVol Mystic Knight of the T Posts: 986 (11/13/06 17:31) 198.51.179.254 Reply Edit Del
Probably...........
Those are good quotes fmom, and seeing as your "famous" and all, I thought they would make a good sig.
- - - - - - - - - “I like the sarcasm because it's usually adult enough for me to appreciate. I like the humor because it is some of the very best of any internet humor I've been privy to. Most of all I like and respect the vast array of football knowledge here. This knowledge is truly second to none. I don't mind saying that anywhere”. – fostermom on www.outermonvolia.com 8/15/2006 "You all make me proud to be a part of this board with the way you continuously do the right thing as a whole. I'm touched". - fostermom on www.outermonvolia.com 8/15/2006 "Nobody holds back on OM. I respect and appreciate it. What I like most of all is that NOBODY is exempt from the ass whuppin's that take place here. (My behind is still sore from the ones I got here last week)". - fostermom on www.outermonvolia.com 10/2/2006 "I think all of you are looney! But it's that very charm that keeps me coming back"! - fostermom on www.outermonvolia.com 10/30/2006
egbert Mystic Knight of the T Posts: 357 (11/13/06 18:06) 68.59.57.206 Reply Edit Del
Shoot, VFM...
...I was at work when I wrote it! I just came home to grab a coke, read the board, and started typing! I do want to say this, after re-reading my post -- I'm not trying to convince anyone of how to feel about Fulmer. He's obviously done some good things at UT, and it hasn't been all that long ago that I was one of his, to borrow a phrase, "apologists". I always thought that Chavis was a horrible decision for reasons mentioned in my post, but the talent was there enough to make Chavis, well, not an asset but at least not an insurmountable liability. I think the return of Cut has exposed Chavis once again -- only the presence of Sanders could make Chavis look good by comparison. But I digress. Or degress, however you spell it. Fulmer is what he is. A coach who is probably somewhat better than many on here give him credit for being, but certainly not as good as his record, if that makes sense, which it probably doesn't. His one standout forte' has been recruiting, and I'd rather have great talent and mediocre coaching than vice versa. When you combine mediocre recruiting with mediocre coaching, you get 2005. He needs to finish in the top 10 every year for UT to be in contention, not just once in a while. That's my opinion, anyway. Anyway, again, I'm not trying to convince you in any way to like or dislike Fulmer. Nor to trust or not trust him. You know him a lot better than I do -- I spoke to him once on Vol Calls back when I was drinking the kool-aid during the 1996 season, and that's it. I do think he cares about your son, and all of his "kids", as you as a parent should demand from the caretaker of your son for the four years he's in college. I don't think he loses games, or throws away leads in games only to win by the narrowest of margins, just to hack me off. I do think he keeps Chavis around just to mess with me, though.
Ray In The Way Acolyte of Unlimited Posting Power Posts: 74 (11/13/06 18:27) 74.224.83.214 Reply Edit Del
I expected Penn and Teller to leap out at the end...
pull Egbert through the screen and say: "Well, Ray, you picked Fulmer in '93 didn't you? And put him back in the deck without looking, right? Now for the last 5 or 6 years, you just can't figure out why they heck you're feeling the way you do about your beloved VOLS, right? Well, let's open this box and show you what Egbert's written...now, does it all make sense? Sure it does. It's all so simple. Let Teller and Egbert show you how the trick was done...here, sit down and read it again. Remember: there's no magic...only a fat magician! Thanks, Egbert. Well done.
SFOVol Mystic Squire of the T Posts: 239 (11/13/06 19:42) 64.161.139.66 Reply Edit Del
Excellent summation of how many of us feel Eg....
as you well know, you and I are of a like mind on this whole issue of the state of UT football and the current coaching staff. One thing that your post triggered for me was ongoing concerns about Fulmer's ability to recruit as effectively as in the past. As you pointed out, the inability of our current staff to "coach 'em up" means that we MUST have a talent advantage to win games in the SEC. Fulmer has indeed had such an advantage for most of his years as head coach (esp. 94-99), but the rest of the SEC has now caught up and/or surpassed us in the talent department. If this trend continues (and there is no reason to believe it won't) we are basically relegated to 2nd tier status in the SEC. We will not win any championships and will basically become on par with South Carolina and Arkansas on a regular basis, with an occasional bright spot year (2001,2004) mirrored by just as occasional a very down year (2005). And basically no championships unless we get a perfect storm of things to go our way. When it comes to our recruiting, it basically comes down to how well UT can recruit the Southern states. Sure, we recruit nationally and will reel in a big fish periodically from outside the South, such as a Stallworth, Meachem, Munoz or Ainge, but for the most part we have to recruit the South well. The years that we have had big success have been based on the play of guys from the South - Shuler, Manning, Martin, Lewis, Pickens, Coleman, Grant, Henry, Stevens, Wilson, Witten, Henderson, Haynesworth, Allen - all guys from the South who were recruited nationally but chose to stay near home because of the chance to play for a national power like the Vols and a likely ticket to the League. Fast foward to today and the picture of UT recruiting in the South is pretty bleak. A brief subjective breakdown of the southern states: Tennessee - Well we should have success here since it is the home state. I don't read a lot in to the departure of guys like Patrick Turner, because we will lose the occasional big fish. As we all know though, we can't make a national power out of strictly local talent. Alabama - While the Tide is down, Auburn has had a lot of success beating UT in recruiting (Cadillac Williams, Ronnie Brown) of late and they are a better draw than us right now. If Bama ever truly comes back, we can expect to be shut out here for all the top rated talent. Georgia - with as many SEC championships as Fulmer in 1/3 the amount of time, Richt has effectively shut Fulmer out of Georgia by consistently beating him and by hiring his #1 recruiter (Garner). Florida - we have little chance for long term success here, especially with the 3 big programs there and with Meyer being able to beat Fulmer on and off the field. South Carolina - we have gotten a lot of talent out of SC (Haynesworth, Steven and Hefney to name a few). I think we will continue to get an occasional player from there, but Spurrier will eventually shut us out of this state for the top talent if he has decent success. North Carolina - We have had some good success here (Shuler, Crompton, Pickens, Hardesty), but not for all the effort we have put in here,IMO. We always seem to lose 1-2 top guys here at the end. Virginia - See North Carolina. Lots of effort (Brooks, Parham) with little success. West Virginia - don't know if we have ever signed anyone from here, or if there is much talent worth pursuing there. Louisiana - Like South Carolina, we have landed some big time talent from here (Manning, Wade, Carey). Saban basically shut us out of the state, and there is no reason to believe that they won't fire Miles soon enough to correct that mistake and keep anyone (UT, Texas, Arkansas) from having any real long term success there. Kentucky - While we've landed some good players from there, we never seem to dominate Kentucky like it seems we should. Arkansas - Well we used to pretty much get whoever we wanted here - Houston, Smith and Shelly to name a few recent ones, but after last weekend there is no reason to believe it won't become like Georgia, where a few losses in a row to the Hogs means we will basically be shut out of the state. They are on target for a top 10 and/or BCS bowl finish this year, meaning that Fulmer is going to have a hard time convincing guys to leave the state to play at UT so they can finish 3rd in the SEC East and not go to the NFL. Mississippi - Ah, our last and best hope for continued dominance of any of our in-state SEC brethren. Since both Ole Miss and MSU are in such a downward spiral themselves, UT should be able to cherry pick some good talent from Mississippi. This may be the main motivation for hiring the otherwise unheard of Matt Luke and Curt Roper. In a nutshell, our best hope from where we are right now is to recruit Tennessee and Mississippi well and hope that one of the other big states (Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana) has a coaching change that allows us to start having success in those states again, or we will continue to be stuck in mediocre land with no end in sight. The scariest part of our downward spiral is the hopelessness that we will ever be able to win championships in the SEC without a drastic turn of events in recruiting. All of the above leaves me with not much hope that Fulmer can pull us out of this tailspin, or how long it will take someone new to do it when he is eventually replaced.
BrassVols Mystic Knight of the T Posts: 1155 (11/13/06 20:50) 70.144.59.205 Reply Edit Del
Lot of common ground there eggie....
a lot of what you wrote resonates with me. I had a few other "data points" along the way that tended to crystalize the situation with Fulmer to me: - 92 (3 games temp) - 98: Early on I loved PF as a HC because he was the anti-Johhny. A players' coach and an assitants' coach. Johhny went through staff like no one else. I liked the fact that Fulmer was going to establish a more stable staff. What also stands out about this period was a definite elevation of our program from one that occasionally won an SECC but had no clout on the national level to one that became a national program, in several respects. Primarily, with the signing of Heath Shuler and afterwards of Manning, we were no doubt a hot commodity in the eyes of most top tier HS recruits. Success begets success in recruiting. - The promotion of Chavis from within was an absolute stunner to me and the inner circle of Vol friends I had back then, and some of those friends had contact/dialog with the staff very often. We were totally befuddled, as it came out of the blue. The resulting Baptism of John by SoS, who scored 83 consectuve offensive points on his ass between the 2nd half of the 95 game and the 1st half of the 96 game was all the prima facie evidence I needed to know Fulmer had made a terrible mistake. I don't care how good Danny Weurffel et al were, no other defense in the SEC got RAPED like that by SoS. - Obviously the Sanders promotion was deja vu all over again. No need to beat that dead horse. - Loosing Rodney Garner to UGA was a milestone in the decline of this program. It may not have been avoidable, but it was still a milestone - a strategic body shot. - I initially became very concerned about PF's ability to maintain the programmatic momentum he had built after winning the NC when I got reports from people who had very close and frequent interraction with him and his staff about recruiting in early 99. Basically, what I heard was that the staff, certain assitants who will go unnamed, one in particular who has been discussed a great deal here recently, were displaying an extremely arrogant attitude about recruiting. "We're Tennessee, we're national champions, we'll take who we want", shit like that. That to me was an example of an organizational attitude that if it persisted would eventually destroy the success the program had achieved. - The defection of Chris Simms. I don't care how you spin this, this lead us to starting a true freshman at QB in 00, a year that saw many of the common problems pop up that we saw for years after that. - 99 team exhibited the fat dumb and happy complacency that was 180* out of phase with the team from THE YEAR BEFORE. We made an All American out of Alex Brown by neglecting to even attempt to block him, then lost to an underdog Arky team when we were ranked 3rd in the nation with a win putting us in the SECCG and subsequently NC game. This with a roster STOCKED FULL of experienced, upperclassmen NFL studs. - The final straw for me was the SECC in 01. Another squandered SECC and shot at a NC, with Chavis just getting his ass kicked and being unable to adjust to soimething that LSU did over and over and over. - The 02 UF metdown game, getting our asses kicked in Neyland by Miami, then the embarassing no-shows in the 02 and 03 Peach Bowls, getting drubbed by mediocre ACC teams was all the evidence even the most CLUELESS sheep should have needed that massive staff overhaul was in order. Fulmer's subsequent non-actions were just more nails in the coffin for me - evidence of a dysfunctional, inept, irresponsible leader.
________________________________________________________________________ "Sheep (and a few smart people) post on VolChat. Smart people (and a few sheep) post on A51. Really smart people (and no sheep) post on the site BK refers to as "moronville." The people on that site are so smart that BK won't dare post there . . . although he does lurk". BTalley, comparing the intellect of Vol chat sites. ________________________________________________________________________
BrassVols Mystic Knight of the T Posts: 1156 (11/13/06 20:57) 70.144.59.205 Reply Edit Del
Re: Egxcellent post!
Quote:
what program in the country besides UT would put up with all this stuff
This actually needs to be stated: "what program in the country with the financial, facility and fan base resources of UT would put up with all this stuff". Answer: Penn State is all I can think of. FSU hasn't sucked bad enough long enough to qualify (but they're getting close).
________________________________________________________________________ "Sheep (and a few smart people) post on VolChat. Smart people (and a few sheep) post on A51. Really smart people (and no sheep) post on the site BK refers to as "moronville." The people on that site are so smart that BK won't dare post there . . . although he does lurk". BTalley, comparing the intellect of Vol chat sites. ________________________________________________________________________
AtlantaVol Banned MOFO Posts: 2011 (11/13/06 21:25) 66.32.255.29 Reply Edit Del
Additional info on Garner
1)Fulmer kind of put shackles on Garner and put him as TE "coach" as I recall which is nothing but a poor blocking OT in Fulmers "system". Its a wasteland for a coach. Now Garner, to his credit, wanted to advance past the "recruiting guru" crown that he was labeled. Fulmer would not let him. Now how much of that is Cutcliff not allowing him to coach another position I don't know. Garner has progressed to where he has put Seymore, Stroud, Grant, and Pollack into first round of NFL draft. He has Johnson and Moses who will be likely 2nd rounders this year. The guy has turned into a decent position coach but he would have NEVER been given that opportunity at UT. 2)But I did hear from pretty good sources at the time that our boy Wavy Chavy was very jealous of Garner and looked at him as a hired recruiting gun and NOTHING else. Wavy Chavy was jealous of the pub that Garner was getting. And I think that feeling spread at least thru the defensive coaches at UT who were beholden to Wavy Chavy. They even floated the rumor that Garner would get UT into recruiting trouble. UT and Fulmer I really really really feel were "relieved" that Garner left. 3)And 3rd problem was that Fulmer kept him on the usual UT assistant paygrade which is based on longevity to UT instead of VALUE to UT. Richt flew back from the Hawaii SR Bowl last year and left them hanging without a HC- just because Garner was thinking about moving on. Richt threw a title and a bunch of moolah at Garner to keep him at UGA. I think garner makes up around 250K which is double what Trooper Taylor makes at UT. And in point #2 and #3 above I see and hear the EXACT SAME THING with Trooper Taylor as what happened to Garner. I hear Wavy Chavy doesn't like his enthusiasm and the defensive coaches snicker at him behind his back. Fulmer has refused to budge off the seniority pay scale of UT assistants and give TT another 50-75K to show him UT appreciates what he is worth.

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