As if 2020 could get any worse, the Tennessee Volunteers are coming off a disastrous loss to the Arkansas Razorbacks. Arkansas was long thought to be one of the easiest games on Tennessee’s schedule. However, considering the direction each program was trending, the end result shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Sam Pittman took over a much more unfavorable situation with Arkansas, yet somehow has his team competing and performing at a higher level than we have seen in three years on Rocky Top.
The most surprising part of all of this are the fans’ reactions. Being angry and upset is perfectly fine and expected. That being said, apathy appears to be kicking in for many fans and that is the worst thing that can happen to a coach. Once the fans stop caring, the coach has officially lost them and it is extremely difficult to win them back.
Looking ahead, there is only one win remaining on the schedule.
Despite everything that happened this year, a 3-7 season just isn’t going to cut it. This shouldn’t come as much of a shock, though. Jeremy Pruitt is only continuing his trend of underperforming every year that he has been at Tennessee.
In year one, the Vols were in prime position to go bowling with a 5-5 record coming off an upset victory against Kentucky. With two games left, Pruitt got blown out by Missouri and Vanderbilt. The Vols had two big wins that year over ranked Auburn and Kentucky, but Pruitt was unable to close the season strong and ended the season on a sour note.
Fast-forward to 2019 and we all remember how that season started. Georgia State came to Neyland and handed the Vols one of, if not the worst loss in program history. Follow that up with the collapse against BYU and season two is already a disappointment. Sure, they went on to finish the season strong, but we know that was just fool’s gold and not an accurate depiction of where the program was headed.
Now, in 2020, we are all watching the team we all love get embarrassed by our rivals and underperform across the board. This is not a new thing, or just something we can chalk up to it being a “COVID Year.” Pruitt has done nothing but under-achieve in three years and there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight.
Obviously, Tennessee is in no position to fire their coach right now.
Still, as long as Pruitt is here and this trend continues, he will continue to lose more and more fans. We all want the football team to be good and competitive again, but it doesn’t even look like Tennessee is on the right path. The fans are starting to notice this too.
We all better buckle up, because it is going to be a long, long ride.