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Commodores sink the Vols. Anchor down to rock bottom.

Vanderbilt beats Tennessee

Derek Dooley walks of the field for the next-to-last time as a Vol after Vanderbilt beats Tennessee

Vanderbilt beats Tennessee

The Vanderbilt Commodores dismantled Tennessee on Saturday by a score of 41-18 in what can best be described as a public shaming. If you watched, you saw the Commodores sink the Vols, alright. An act which must have left many wondering if the Vols have finally hit rock bottom. With the loss, Tennessee finds itself ineligible for a bowl game in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1978. They also clinched their fourth losing season in the past five years — their fifth in the past eight.

The story lines are many. From 30,000 feet, we see a once-proud program reeling recklessly out of control. From 20, 000, a coach who has won just one SEC contest in his last 14. From 10,000, a team that’s lost time and time again to teams with inferior athletes. From 5,000, yet another in a long list of curious coaching decisions — this one to bench Tyler Bray in the first half.

And on ground level we see what will go down as one of the worst defeats in the history of Tennessee football.

The next few days will be ugly. If you thought there was negativity surrounding the Vols in previous weeks, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. If you thought Dave Hart’s silence has been erie, you’re about to be deafened by it.

Because the calls for Dooley’s head will only grow louder. The Grumors will only grow stronger. And Hart’s silence will only grow longer.

But don’t mistake that silence for standing idly by. Because the hunt for Tennessee’s next coach is most definitely in full gear. If not already concluded.

In the meanwhile, Dooley will carry on in his impossible role as dead man walking. He’ll continue to field questions for which he has no answer. He’ll continue to try for his first SEC victory, even as he prepares for his last game of the season.

For his last game as a Vol.

He, too, will be deafened by the silence. Forced, like us, to wait for what feels like forever to learn the inevitable news.

For him, it’s when. For us, it’s who.

And I suspect we’ll both get our answers, perhaps in rapid succession shortly after the Kentucky game. Immediately following the sound of the faint, murky thud of a coach and a program called Rocky Top finally coming to rest at the rocky bottom. Or so we can only hope. For how much further could a program possibly sink?

Anchor down, indeed.

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facebook comments:

  • NorthKnoxVol

    Feel pretty sure there has been a contingency plan in place since last year, and that an active search began midway through this season. Dooley’s fate is sealed and his legacy recorded. Now it is time for our AD to define his legacy at UT. I am betting he hits a home run.