Once again, Tennessee fans have convinced themselves that Jon Gruden, of THIS GUY and NFL something something fame, will be named head coach of their school once Derek Dooley is shown the door. You may recall hearing this rumor before Derek Dooley was hired at Tennessee, as well as during just about every other coaching search in college football because message boarders and lazy journalists just know that Gruden is ITCHING to get back into football.
Anytime a school has a chance to bring in a guy who hasn't been in college football since 1991 as a receivers coach at Pittsburgh, has been out of all forms of football for 4 years, a career record of just 14 games over .500, 6 winning seasons out of 11 total seasons, and runs an offense that is notoriously difficult to run well in college, they HAVE to jump at that chance.
Because, clearly a guy who was traded ass-backwards into a team with one of the best defenses in the league and won a Super Bowl based on said defense in which he had no part in building, then went 45-51 in the next 6 seasons, making the playoffs only twice and losing both times in the wild card round, would be a TREMENDOUSLY SUCCESSFUL college coach. If science has taught us anything, it's that mediocre NFL coaches make great college coaches.
However, because I am what you might call a "severe non-Tennessee fan," I hope a Gruden rumor finally turns into fact and in 3-4 years Tennessee is back in the head coach market, with its fans assuring each other that Mike Shanahan is on his way to Knoxville. Or, if things go perfectly, Dave Wannstedt. OH SWEET MERCY THIS NEEDS TO HAPPEN.
But lost in all the Gruden talk is the much smaller rumor of bringing Phil Fulmer disciple David Cutcliffe back to Tennessee from Duke, where he is in the middle of terrorizing the ACC with a 3-1 conference record as of last weekend. And if the Vols are willing to do that, why not bring more of the Fulmer family home.
Randy Sanders will soon be out of work as Kentucky's offensive coordinator, Taylor's towel-waving run with Gene Chizik is racing towards its end, and, of course, Phil Fulmer, when he isn't telling reporters he's interested in jobs, is doing nothing.
Sounds like the perfect opportunity to GET THE BAND BACK TOGETHER:
(right-click to embiggen)
PLAY IT, FELLAS