Tennessee Football Coach On The Super-Hot Seat After 1-3 Start
If there’s one thing bigger than Phil Fulmer’s substantial gut, it’s his ego.
The Big Pumpkin hired Jeremy Pruitt and now may face having to fire him a year and a half into the job. But can Fulmer – who muscled his way into being athletic director – admit he is wrong and make the move?
This is an interesting situation for Tennessee and its losing-patience fans. On the one hand, Fulmer is likely to dig in until things become impossible to ignore before he takes any action. After all, the fan base was stunned when the team lost its opener to Georgia State and then went into a complete state of shock after the Vols had BYU pinned back on its goal line with 20 seconds remaining yet managed to grab defeat from the jaws of victory.
At The Swamp, Tennessee simply had no chance and was uncompetitive in the second half against what is ranked as Top 10 team but is really a mid-tier squad.
On the other hand, Fulmer has wanted to be the Vols coach ever since he got fired and if he gets rid of Pruitt, whom do you think will be wearing the head coach’s headset?
One thing is certain: it won’t happen before the Third Saturday of October. That’s the Alabama game and there is no way Fulmer will want to take an undermanned team into Tuscaloosa and get routed by the program he hates the most. If you ask me, the only reason he hired Pruitt in the first place is that he felt it would hurt Alabama as much to lose its defensive coordinator as Tennessee would gain from it.
The Alabama game also comes at the end of a brutal SEC stretch that includes a game against Georgia and why take those hits when your hired hand is available to take the heat?
The most likely time would be before the Vols play another University of Alabama team – UAB – on Nov. 2. Perhaps a change will breathe a little life into the program and the team will respond and produce a couple of wins against the remaining teams on the schedule, which are Kentucky, Missouri and Vanderbilt.
And if UT wins them all, then will Fulmer’s ego get in the way of what’s best for the program and retain himself? Don’t be surprised if it happens.
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