Is this the most importunate opening game for my beloved Vols (and my tepid love of Dooley) in a really long time? More important than Cal? Colorado?
In 1988 Vols lost first 6 games finally winning against Memphis, BC, MS, KY and Vandy. There was lots of pressure on the team and coaches during the off season. 1989 started with a close win over Colorado State but momentum carried on to SEC Championship going 11-1 with a wild win over Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl and Chuck Webb could still be rushing for touchdowns because they could not stop him.
The 2008 opening game against UCLA was huge for Coach Fulmer even though Vols had been in SEC Championship the year before, there was much unrest and fan apathy due to losing season in 2005 and substandard performance compared to the great run in the 90’s. The loss to UCLA did not finish Fulmer but it made it very difficult for him to succeed. I expect everyone on the team from Dooley on down to prepare and play with a chip on their shoulder. They just need to read press clippings from the Kentucky game for inspiration. The game may not be for 7 months but Vols better start getting their hate on now. Fortunately we get to play Kentucky again this year along with other opportunities for pay back but first we must beat North Carolina State.
- Dooley’s hot seat (loserswithsocks.com)