The Tennessee Volunteers are not used to losing like they have over the past four seasons. Tennessee has posted four straight losing campaigns, with the Vols’ last winning season coming in 2009 under head coach Lane Kiffin.
That seems like a long time ago to most football fans, but it seems like a lifetime ago to the Big Orange faithful. Since that time, Kiffin left Knoxville for the USC Trojans (where he was later fired) and Derek Dooley was hired to lead the Tennessee program. That experiment lasted all of three seasons and produced only one bowl bid (a loss to the North Carolina Tar Heels in the 2010 Music City Bowl).
Before last season, Tennessee hired Butch Jones to try to breathe some life into the program. The problem that Jones encountered was that Dooley’s poor recruiting had left minimal talent on the roster. Therefore, Jones had to fix that issue right away.
Jones’ first season in Knoxville was largely unspectacular. Tennessee went 5-7, winning one game it shouldn’t have (over the South Carolina Gamecocks). However, Tennessee found its way to be on the losing end of blowouts against the Oregon Ducks, the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Missouri Tigers.
It has been proven that the Tennessee faithful, and the administration, are not patient. Dooley was run out of town after only three seasons. If Jones wants to stick around, his team will need to show improvement in 2014. The talent level has improved under Jones, but it’s now time for Tennessee to win on the field.
Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for RantSports.com and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.