I was scanning through Twitter on Friday afternoon, as I’m usually doing around that time of day, when a tweet from Barstool Sports caught my eye.
Not because it was the usual loud, wordy title that Barstool typically uses, but because for a moment the headline made me think it was November.
The headline was about Urban Meyer to USC being a done deal.
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) September 27, 2019
Rarely do these rumors come to fruition, but it’s always entertaining to read the latest “scoop”, or message board rumor that connects a prominent booster to a big name coach.
I’m used to seeing this kind of stuff during college football season, but usually not in September. It’s usually closer to the end of the season.
Of course, I shouldn’t be surprised. The “silly season” (as coaching search season is often referred to) has started early this year.
After an uninspiring 1-3 start, there are already some folks (fans, and in some cases national media members) calling for Tennessee Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt’s job.
I mean, I kind of get it. The Vols were supposed to show major progress in Pruitt’s second year. Instead, they appear to have regressed.
But firing him?
That’s just silly.
I’ve been over the reasons (several times) why fans should have hope in Pruitt. It’s really not that difficult. The man needs some more time. A lot more time, actually.
It’s completely mind-boggling that folks have to be reminded of this.
Pruitt is a first time head coach. He’s still figuring out how to build a program. It’s not like a coach is born knowing what to do and what not to do. They learn from their experiences. Nick Saban wouldn’t have been able to turn Alabama into a juggernaut without his experiences with the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns, Michigan State, LSU or Miami Dolphins. Each of those stops made Saban into the coach he is today.
Every situation is different. Every coach learns in different ways.
If it takes Pruitt two or three years to figure out how he wants to build his program, what’s the harm in that?
Tennessee fans are delusional if they think someone is going to waltz into Knoxville and turn the Vols into a ten win program in just a couple of years. It’s not going to happen. Tennessee has won ten games in a season twice over the last 15 years. The last time was 12 years ago.
I’m not sure fans realize just how far the program has fallen. It’s going to take more than two years to undo 12 years of bad decisions.
Think about it like this. If it takes a person six months to gain 100 lbs. It’s probably going to take them two years to lose that 100 lbs (doing it the right way).
Right now, it’s the same situation with Pruitt and the Vols. They lost a few lbs last season by beating Auburn and Kentucky. But they had a big Thanksgiving meal and now they’re a little heftier than they were. Much like weight loss, it’s a journey. There is no short cut and there is no easy button.
It’s going to be a long process that has some setbacks. But eventually, at some point, Tennessee will see the light again.
Right now, the best thing UT fans can do is sit back and hope for the best. Because if anyone thinks Tennessee will be competing for national championships with a different coach in the next two years, they’re certifiably crazy.
Featured image via Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports