Tennessee Volunteers fans should just face the facts. Don’t expect a winning season, a bowl game, or a sudden come around. The Volunteers are deep in rebuilding mode.
The expectations ran high this offseason, with the firing of former head coach Derek Dooley and subsequent hiring of head coach Butch Jones. Jones’ coaching style has worked previously at both Central Michigan University and Cincinnati. At Tennessee, however, Jones doesn’t have the players that Brian Kelly of Notre Dame has recruited. He previously took over both Central Michigan and Cincinnati after Kelly.
These are Dooley’s recruits. There have been glimmers of talent, but overall, the talent is lacking for a team in the SEC. Jones has improved morale, but play-wise, the Vols are lacking. The inconsistencies on both sides of the ball are somewhat appalling. The Vols barely held on to a 31-24 win in Week 5 over South Alabama, a team that didn’t even have a football program until 2009.
It was some of the worst football the Vols have played in a while, as it was uninspired and inconsistent. The least Vol fans can expect is a game where players try, but even that seemed lacking.
This isn’t welcoming news for the rest of the Vols’ season. With Georgia next week, and South Carolina and Alabama after that, the Vols need to face the facts: they aren’t going to win games with uninspired play. They aren’t even going to be able to keep up.
The Vols need to refocus. Football is about winning, yes, but it is also about improving on past performances, learning from mistakes, and taking advantage of opportunities, all of which the Vols haven’t been able to do consistently thus far. Jones has reiterated over and over “brick by brick,” but, unfortunately, the progress in practice and off the field hasn’t translated in game situations. If this uninspired effort continues, the future looks grim.
Let’s hope the debut of the new gray jerseys is the inspiration the Vols need against Georgia in Week 6.
Lahari Subraveti is a football writer for Rant Sports. You can follow her on Twitter: @Lahari_S