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Should we root for Tennessee?

photo credit: govolsxtra

photo credit: govolsxtra


We all know there is a highly likely coaching change anticipated to happen at UK this off-season, but with eight games still on the schedule, it’s hard to forecast at this point which coaches could be available for Kentucky. There are names out there that have been brought up, but without knowing what other jobs will be available (specifically in our league) it’s too hard to tell if someone would be a realistic hire or not. The quality of UK’s next coaching hire all depends on what other schools UK will be competing against for a coach.

Last year, the nation’s top available job was Ohio State, but they had their sights set on Urban Meyer from the very beginning. There simply weren’t many other attractive places for aspiring head coaches to land a year ago, and as a result, Gus Malzahn ended up at Arkansas State and Mike Leach found himself in a mess at Washington State. I wouldn’t rule out either one of those coaches taking a look at another job after just one season at their current homes, but for UK to have a chance on either of those guys or others, it all depends on what other jobs are available, specifically in the SEC.

The fewer jobs available, the better UK’s chances are of pulling in someone big. If Arkansas State can get Gus Malzahn, then UK can get a big name too, if all the cards fall right. We already know Arkansas is one of those jobs in the SEC that UK will be up against. The last thing UK needs is another SEC job to open up in addition to Arkansas. Of course, one of those other coaches on the hot seat is Derek Dooley at Tennessee.

Yes, I’m suggesting we root for Tennessee to win this year. The Vols are 3-1, but they could very well fall to 3-5 after upcoming games at #5 Georgia, at #21 Mississippi State, vs #1 Alabama, and at #6 South Carolina. If the Vols losing streak continues against ranked opponents, they will have to win two out of three games against Troy, Missouri, and Vanderbilt to force another must-win vs. Kentucky to become bowl eligible. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but UK fans need to root really hard for Tennessee to win and make a bowl, so that Dooley will keep his job. Kentucky doesn’t want two other SEC jobs to open up this off-season, and especially not the Tennessee job.

Hopefully, Tennessee does well enough to position themselves in a bowl game well before the Kentucky game and Dooley keeps his job. If Dooley’s job is in question going into the UK game, then UK fans will be in a very awkward position. If it comes down to it at that point, do we really even want to beat Tennessee and give ourselves more competition in the off-season coaching carousel? I don’t even want to think about that scenario. I don’t suggest that any UK fan root against the blue and white vs. Tennessee, but we should all root for Tennessee to get to a comfortable number of wins well before playing Kentucky.


Article written by John Wilmhoff

Former beer vendor, college mascot and ESPN editor. This spring, you can also find me blogging about the Reds on Follow me on Twitter: @JohnWilmhoff

53 Comments for Should we root for Tennessee?

  1. shelbyjoe
    9:33 pm September 23, 2012 Permalink

    I kind of hope UT nad Arkansas both open up – increases the likelihood that Charlie Strong will depart Louisville. I’d LOVE to see Charlie come to UK, but no chance of that due to the friendship between he and Joker … well, that and the fact that we’re a laughing stock and he’d much prefer to go to UT and/or Arkansas.

  2. KyTom
    9:35 pm September 23, 2012 Permalink

    From listening to 104.5 The Zone the sports talk radio people in Nashville, Tn., Dooley MUST win 8 games to have a chance of coming back next year. The days of going 6-6 and going to a bowl, for security is out the window. Just ask Dave Wannestadt, formerly of Pitt.

  3. KyTom
    9:36 pm September 23, 2012 Permalink

    Well, also Strong is from and went to school in Arkansas. I think that job is his, if he wants it.

  4. truth
    9:36 pm September 23, 2012 Permalink

    Who cares, uk football will always blow [email protected]

  5. not so fast my friend
    9:38 pm September 23, 2012 Permalink

    Strong = capable recruiter but very questionable game coach. If you don’t believe me look no further than losses to FIU and Marshall at home last year, as well as near collapses against both UNC and FIU this year. We don’t want Charlie Strong. We need an offensive coach that will excite the masses and put fans back in the stands.

  6. Hate
    9:40 pm September 23, 2012 Permalink

    There is NO FREAKING WAY I pull for Tennessee to win any game. They can go to hell. Any team with the word Tennessee in it can go to hell!!

  7. NO
    9:42 pm September 23, 2012 Permalink

    NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Never ever under any circumstance should anybody with a decent upbringing, friends, and loving family ever cheer for the low-down, dirty, puke-inside-of-a-pumpkin-orange, vols.

  8. chris
    9:45 pm September 23, 2012 Permalink

    no one believes me that the game will be close on saturday

  9. roll damn tide
    9:48 pm September 23, 2012 Permalink

    this video explains why we should not root for them. even though the coaching competition would be a lot easier without them in the mix

  10. Gene Chizik
    9:49 pm September 23, 2012 Permalink

    The Auburn job will be open too.

  11. mashburnfan1
    9:57 pm September 23, 2012 Permalink

    Does not matter who we root for. UK will not win an SEC game this year. UT wins no matter how hard we root for or against them.

  12. Funky Monkey
    10:04 pm September 23, 2012 Permalink

    Good article JW,… but I could never pull for UT. 7-5 and he keeps his job at UT, 6 and 6, he’s gone. #10 is right, Auburn should be open, but Strong at Ark. for sure.

  13. Bobby Petrino
    10:05 pm September 23, 2012 Permalink

    Dont fret guys, I have already bought a horsefarm in Lexington.

  14. lol
    10:05 pm September 23, 2012 Permalink

    You realize that when Tennessee came open last time every big time coach available quickly said no thanks. That’s why they have Dooley. In any case there is only one name I want and that is Petrino. It’s likely no big school will offer him since he is such an ass. I don’t care about him being an ass, I care about winning without cheating and he does that well. He can screw the whole volleyball team if he wins games.

  15. macon_volfan
    10:10 pm September 23, 2012 Permalink

    #7-I have a good family, and at least 1 friend.

    #10-You are right about the reasons that Dooley got the job. That was a special circumstance, as CLK left a dumpster fire for the next coach. Everyone knew it. Even Dooley knew it, but he’ll be fired and paid millions in the process. Vols have some players now, and a good coach will have them back in the top 15-20 in no time.

    Question is, who will the coach be? I still, actually, think that coach could be Dooley.

  16. gridiron_cat
    10:14 pm September 23, 2012 Permalink

    My brain functioning properly will never allow such a thing.

    “It’s not that orange you can sit with, it’s that puke inside of a pumpkin orange, and I hate pumpkins.” – LOVE that youtube video #9, thanks.

  17. Katdaddy
    10:16 pm September 23, 2012 Permalink

    I agree #4 and if we have to worry about other schools wins and losses, then its not a good chance that we’ll ever have a big name coach here! And why would a big name coach want to come here anyway? we’ve never had one before! Bear bryant in 1940.

  18. blitzedanddazed
    10:28 pm September 23, 2012 Permalink

    Come on people! Is this what we have reduced ourselves to? If you beg like a dog you will be treated like a dog.

  19. UKBlue
    10:45 pm September 23, 2012 Permalink

    I want to see our next coach out getting crazy after big plays & getting into the game. Even though they lost, I wish our defense was like Florida International defense, the kids were freaking nuts hitting UL players.

    Joker should be so embarrassed, you would think he would at least have enough self respect to end the humiliation & just quit. Then again, Joker probably believes all that crap that he told Matt about you’ve got to believe. I believe Joker ass is beyond fired.

    Say what you want, Petrino will end up back at Arkansas. Their boosters spent way too much money redoing their stadium for the mess they have now. Petrino made them relevant again, and the boosters want him back.

    Tennessee fans hate their coach; he isn’t exciting, their football isn’t exciting, and the future doesn’t look bright as long as he is the coach.

  20. BPsycho
    10:53 pm September 23, 2012 Permalink

    “Should we root for Tennessee?”

    Ok, kill him!

    #6 & #7 The Gospel +1

    #14 Hey now, not the “whole” team.

  21. 84Cat
    10:54 pm September 23, 2012 Permalink

  22. maconvolfan
    10:55 pm September 23, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t care about ‘exciting’ #19. I just want the Vols to win and be part of the national conversation again. Johnny Majors wasn’t exciting. He won. Phillip Fulmer is the antithesis of exciting. He won the first BCS championship. Lane Kiffin was exciting. Very. Look where the Vols are now. A coach doesn’t need to yell, or carry on like Muschamp does to embarrass himself and his team. Is any coach less ‘exciting’ than Saban?

    And winning football is exciting football. I’d love an old-fashioned run-run-run I-formation offense that busted the other team in the mouth every play. That’s not ‘exciting,’ but it’s awesome (and also leads to much shorter games…..who has 4 hours for a football game?)

  23. BlueTexan
    11:04 pm September 23, 2012 Permalink

    TOTAL idiotic post from KSR!!!!!!!!!!! ‘Cheer’ for UT so we won’t have more competition for a coach??????????? Not even worth commenting.

  24. Duuuuuude
    11:05 pm September 23, 2012 Permalink

    Folks, until the legislature and administration can get their heads together to allow proper funding for championship facilities at UK, we will never be able to attract the quality coach you seem to think we can get. I mean, to suggest we could get Charlie Strong if not for his friendship with Joker is silly. I doubt seriously we could even be a destination for a guy like Taggert or even Pitrino. We are at a point where we are going to have to settle on a coach in the twilight of his career like a Fullmer, not a person at the dawn of a promising career. Until we get the funding, we will always be a coaching grave yard.

  25. catfanran
    11:05 pm September 23, 2012 Permalink

    With that up coming schedule the only game they may win is Miss. St. the others are losses plus
    they will probably lose to Vandy so Dooley is gone and that position is open, Ark. will be open, and auburn will be open when was the last time Aub. lost 3 games before the end of Sept. If Mitch pulls the trigger (and I am not convinced he will)look how long he stuck with Brooks. I think they should use the 5 million they have and go after the coach at TCU or Boise St. Not
    Fulmer, NOT Leach, NOT Tressel but either of these two coaches…………..CFR

  26. Vol Hater
    11:22 pm September 23, 2012 Permalink

    Did hell freeze over? This KY girl will NEVER cheer for UT. They will hire Petrino because he fits in perfectly with all the other TN scum bags.

  27. Jarred
    11:33 pm September 23, 2012 Permalink

    Didn’t read the article just read the title.
    And i don’t need to read the article.
    The answer is no.

  28. gukats
    11:49 pm September 23, 2012 Permalink

    #23 best response yet.Also #6,i’m with you.

  29. brb
    12:16 am September 24, 2012 Permalink


  30. Big blue Parrothead
    1:31 am September 24, 2012 Permalink

    never never never never cheer for the orange!!!” Go get Terry Bowden..

  31. L2C8
    2:05 am September 24, 2012 Permalink

    I didn’t even read this post. I just read the headline, and the answer is a resounding “No!”

  32. Scott
    2:13 am September 24, 2012 Permalink

    #25 – you’re absolutely delusional if you think either Patterson or Peterson would consider Kentucky. Those guys are coveted every year by programs much better than ours. It simply won’t happen.

  33. Scott
    2:16 am September 24, 2012 Permalink

    Seriously, we need to try something different. Read about the new coach at Carolina Coastal, who was a big time CEO in corporate America and has a football background. He knows how to run an organization and put people in the right place to do their job.

    We need to get Calipari to Frankfort to work on the legislation. If anyone can sell the need for the bonding access and all that, its Cal.

  34. putinrichie
    5:23 am September 24, 2012 Permalink

    A few things:

    – Charlie Strong is NOT coming here and he’s also not a very good football coach. The guy has lost to more mid-majors at UL than Joker Phillips has at UK. He will definitely be a finalist for the Arkansas job if he wants to be though.

    – While I see where this article is going, I’m not going to pull for UT. Even though UT is a much more attractive football destination than UK is, I don’t think the guy who ends up as our coach will be on UT’s short list.

  35. Tom Seaver
    7:18 am September 24, 2012 Permalink

    So UT fires Phil Fulmer, the winner of a National Championship and 2 SEC Championships, while averaging 9 wins a season, and Derek Dooley, first coach to lose to Kentucky in over a quarter of a century, only has to win six games to keep his job? That’s about as smart as saying Gillispie only had to get to the NCAA Tournament his second year to save his job.

    Sad attempt at being incendiary. Perhaps you should try the “Root for Loserville. That will make the Administration focus on football.” approach. Or better yet, not try again.

  36. Tim
    7:51 am September 24, 2012 Permalink

    UK fans are freaking hilarious!!! If Charlie Strong is such a terrible coach then you guys should be hoping he stays at U of L and continue doing the “lousy” job he’s been doing. BTW, there is NO chance that Bobby Petrino would ever come to Kentucky. He wants to be TOP DOG and that’s not going to happen at UK as long as John Calipari is there. My guess is Petrino ends up at Auburn or back at Arkansas.

  37. IrishPokerDog
    7:59 am September 24, 2012 Permalink

    There has been only two prerequisites for being a UK football fan…. Cheer for UK at all times, and cheer for anyone playing UT….with the latter requirement sometimes waived if UT is playing non-conf, and their win would make the SEC look good. The sun will burnout in the heavens long before I start pulling for UT in football

  38. asdf
    8:22 am September 24, 2012 Permalink

    Timing is everything for coaching hires, and it’s clear that Dooley is eventually going to get fired at UT anyway, whether it’s this year or next year, so why not? It’s the same situation with us last year, where Joker winning the UT game probably saved his job and sent Mike Leach off to Wash. St., after he had spent months not-so-subtly lobbying to be the first guy in line if the UK job had come open. But now, a year later, Joker is going to be fired anyway, so all that win did for us in the long run was to take our best option off the table. Hopefully, UT will share our luck this season and win just enough to keep Dooley around until next year.

  39. asdf
    8:24 am September 24, 2012 Permalink

    31, Terry Bowden is a great idea. Proven winner, great pedigree, class act, highly respected by both coaches and the media.

  40. tltaworl
    9:03 am September 24, 2012 Permalink

    No. And further more Matt, please get this guy out of here. Don’t EVER suggest we root for Tennessee.

  41. tltaworl
    9:04 am September 24, 2012 Permalink

    Jim Tomsula – next coach at UK

  42. tltaworl
    9:05 am September 24, 2012 Permalink

    34. I like this guy at Coastal. Cal and he would have CBS drooling over putting us on the 3:30 timeslot.

  43. tltaworl
    9:07 am September 24, 2012 Permalink

    37. You think Petrino is going to end up back at Arkansas. That makes total sense.

  44. Confused
    10:07 am September 24, 2012 Permalink

    I’m confused about the animosity towards UT in the comments. Did they rat us out to the NCAA at some point? We don’t have a “hot” rivalry in football or basketball. Most UT fans historically speak about Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and to some extend Vanderbilt as the rivals. Heck, the real reason Missouri wasn’t moved to the West and Auburn to the east was preserving the UT-Bama game.

  45. bobby bowden
    11:12 am September 24, 2012 Permalink

    Hire my boy Terry! He’s drooling to get back to big time football

  46. John Wilmhoff
    12:10 pm September 24, 2012 Permalink

    Of course I expected a backlash with the title, but that is part of the fun here.

    But 38 gets it. It is that simple.

    I realize Dooley has to win more than 6 games, but they are 3-1. They have the chance to win 8 or more at this point. As I pointed out in the post, that is unlikely. For them to win more than 6, they are going to have to win a few of these tough games coming up. It’s UK’s best interest that they do.

  47. UT Blows BUT
    12:11 pm September 24, 2012 Permalink

    Dan Hawkings built Boise and is available. It’s hard for us to do it but the post is spot on. We do not need the UT job open. We will be going after the same coaches and let’s be honest if a coach has no ties to either school he will pick UT.

  48. JB
    12:44 pm September 24, 2012 Permalink

    NEVER root for UT!!!

  49. Blueneck
    1:16 pm September 24, 2012 Permalink

    Heres how you avoid the situation of competing with those bowl bound schools for a coach and go after a top candidate (TRESSEL!!!)…just fire Joker with only two games left and go after said coaches immediately.

  50. G
    1:20 pm September 24, 2012 Permalink

    Who cares whether you losers root for UT or not? Just take your medicine this November and watch the new streak start all over again. I know most of you are pissed that you live in the cesspool otherwise known as Kentucky, and you’re gonna be even more pissed when UT whips that rear in Rupp this year.

  51. Biglaw Dawgin'
    1:23 pm September 24, 2012 Permalink

    No way. I don’t care if Tennessee winning would somehow result in Vince Lombardi coming back to this earth to coach the Cats, I just can’t bring myself to do it. Just… no.

  52. WestPointCard
    2:45 pm September 24, 2012 Permalink

    I think Mario Cristobal at FIU could be a good hire.

  53. maconvolfan
    8:05 pm September 24, 2012 Permalink

    #44. Most UT fans enjoy beating UK as much as anything, save Bama probably. Vols didn’t even play UGA every year (in football, at least) until the divisional split in 1992.