Orange blood still bleeds

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What’s going on with the Vols?

Win, lose or draw (is a draw possible with OT), my blood runs orange. Tennessee orange to be exact. I have a diploma on my wall from the University of Tennessee that says I am qualified for a job in journalism with a minor in business. I loved the time I spent in school in Knoxville during the early 70’s. Tradition jumps out and grabs you on every single inch of that storied campus. Some of my classes were even in classrooms beneath the stadium seats.

Tennessee sported one of the winningest college football programs then and it was a disappointment when they did not win the SEC championship.

That’s just the way it was. Why can’t it be like that again?

Losing to Georgia State seemed to me to be a combination of being out-coached and the fact that the Panthers just seemed to want to win more than Tennessee did.

The next week showed better effort and coaching for three quarters but in the end Brigham Young seemed to be the team that wanted to win.

With the Cougars backed up in the shadow of their end zone and some 90 yards away and the clock ticking down inside 10 seconds, and Tennessee nursing a three-point lead why did the Vols not space out eight defenders back as far as about 40 yards to make the tackle way short of field goal range? A 64-yard catch and run put them in easy field goal range to send this game into OT.

I could sense a momentum change when Jarrett Garantano threw an interception deep in UT territory. Until that point all the “mo” was with Tennessee.

Pre-season prognosticators predicted the Vols would win 7, maybe 8 games. After two weeks they are 0-2 and a brutal SEC schedule just a couple of weeks away. These were two of the games they were supposed to win.

I just don’t understand it. Perhaps the Vols have been down so long they just don’t know how to get back up.

We pay millions in annual salaries for coaches to teach them how to win. It is time to start.

I am not saying “fire Jeremy Pruitt”. I think he’s a good coach. I certainly do not have enough knowledge to teach these guys how to win.

What have the new coaches got to lose? If they get fired, then there’s another several million dollars in contract buyouts.

They can lose them all, watch as attendance dwindles to where Neyland is a quarter full, and live comfortably off of the buyouts. The situation is way past serious. And it is disgusting to this true blue UT fan.

The UT head coach is widely-publicized as the highest-paid state employee. It is time he and the staff took that seriously.

I won’t stop watching the Vols on TV … even if they lose every game. I will still attend when I have the opportunity. And I will wear orange.

Why, oh why can’t this coaching staff get the players ready to play both mentally and physically? And win!

That’s the almost $30-million-dollar question.

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