all VOL, y'all.

Derek Dooley Has Hip Surgery? What About a D Replacement?

So, last night, we get news that Derek Dooley just underwent hip surgery.

I know. I didn’t see that one coming, either. I mean, hell, I knew he needed a D replacement, but I always assumed his hips were just fine.

I’d say that this is another weird twist to what’s already been a weird season except for one thing: this season really hasn’t been that weird. I mean, so far, we’re right where I thought we’d be. Tough losses to Florida and Georgia, heading into a must-win situation down in Starkville.

What has been weird, however, is the way in which we’ve lost. If you’re a statistic geek, and you were tracking the Vols’ likelihood of winning the Florida game, the probability of victory was the very highest right after the fake punt we stopped. First and ten in plus territory deep into the third quarter with a seven point lead at home in a nationally televised night game against a team that was having a hard time containing our passing attack — in front of a smitten ESPN gameday crew to boot. I’d say the percentage chance of any team in that spot getting the W is 95%.

Hey, losses happen, right? So, sure, 1 in 20 teams will somehow lose that game. But of all the 1-in-20 teams that do lose, I bet only 1 out of 1000 of them end up losing it by 17. My point? What you already knew — that game against Florida was a meltdown of such gigantic proportions as to almost defy statistics. (I was under the impression there’d be no math?)

I’m going somewhere, and it’s here: we defied the odds that night thanks to a combination of borderline unprecedented defensive breakdowns and the overall sphinctering of our offense. Fast forward to Georgia and the Vols’ offensive unit did its part by holding it together in a tough situation, but the D was the still giving up enormous play after enormous play.

If Tennessee is going to get the win against an unproven Mississippi State team on the road, the defense CANNOT allow such plays. They just can’t.

But back to Dooley’s hip surgery. According to, the procedure went down yesterday at the Knoxville Orthopedic Clinic at the UT Medical Center. It turns out Dooley’s been experiencing a pain in his hip for the past couple of months, hence the MRI on Friday which revealed the hip was actually fractured and in need of immediate surgery. I’m no doctor, but I’m guessing the pain must have been intense, which kind of makes you wonder how Dooley didn’t realize any sooner that he had a serious medical situation on his hands.

I have a theory, though. He probably confused the pain in his hip for the intolerable pain in the ass that dealing with his 70-year-old helicopter mom must be.

Anyway, one thing’s for sure — he’ll be coaching from the booth. Which means you can cue the jokes about it being easier to count the number of players on the field from up there.

But while we’re all ha-ha, ho-ho over that one, let’s not forget that this team and its staff has suffered from numerous communication issues during the Dooley era. Adding another layer of complication to that communication probably isn’t the greatest thing in the world.

Nor is having to contend with such a significant medical issue as you head into what many believe is the most important game of your coaching career.

But look at it this way. At least Dooley will have a seat to sit in.

Even if it is an awfully hot one.

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

facebook comments:

  • NorthKnoxVol

    Maybe if the players are visibly out of touch with their emotional basket-case of a head coach they will themselves better maintain composure. I believe if Dooley can act like half the fearless leader the Great General was the team would have the mental toughness they lack, and our conversations would shift greatly. Coaching from the box may provide an opportunity for a young coach and his team to mature…

  • Pingback: SEC predictions for week 7: I'm on a damn roll()