Over the last decade, the Tennessee football fan base has suffered. After firing Phillip Fulmer, the program has been just as bad as Vanderbilt. after the firing of Phillip Fulmer.
We all know the story. After Fulmer, the Vols went after Lane Kiffin. Kiffin would have been great if he could have stayed out of trouble.
Derek Dooley was next on the list. After three seasons with the Vols, Dooley had a record of 15-21.
As bad as the Dooley era was, Butch Jones took the program to another level, but in a negative way. Jones was the coach of the Vols for five seasons and led one of his teams to the worst record in program history.
Since it’s Summer and we are still waiting on the start of the college football season, I was thinking about which Tennessee team I’d rather have. Dooley’s 2012 or Jones’ 2016 team?
Derek Dooley 2012
Even though the 2012 team finished 5-7, it was full of explosive talents. Quarterback Tyler Bray threw the ball all over the yard and wasn’t afraid of ant defensive scheme. But, who would be with wide receivers like Justin Hunter and Cordarelle Patterson?
Linebackers A.J. Johnson and Curt Maggitt were team leaders on the defensive end. A lot of the players that made a difference on the 2012 squad had a decent run in the NFL. Defensive back Justin Coleman was the highest-paid Nickelback in the NFL.
Butch Jones 2016
Taking a look back at the roster, the 2016 team was one of the best in program history. At least potential wise. Josh Dobbs was sneaky good and was impossible to tackle most of the time. And, if Butch would have handled it right, having Alvin Karma and Jalen Hurd in the backfield would have been the best duo in the nation.
Defensively, the team was stacked. The group was led by Derek Barnett, Rashaan Gaulden, and Cameron Sutton.
We all know both of these teams underachieved. As painful as both of these seasons were, there was some amazing talent.
If both of these teams played against one another, who would you pick?
In my opinion, in 2012, Tennessee would win. The reason why is one X factor. Big Jim Chaney.
No matter how explosive Josh Dobbs was, Mike Deboard’s offense wasn’t tough to read — not even mentioning that the “so-called offensive line” wouldn’t hold up.
However, it would be a great game to watch. Both teams would easily score 40-50 points.
Prediction: 2012 Vols 45 2016 Vols 41.
After all the talk about our troubled past, Pruitt will have an elite squad that will outmatch both of these teams. If this year’s squad can get consistent play from the quarterback position, it could beat both of these teams.