Today’s guest is Rivals.com and yahoo sports college football expert Olin Buchanan. What’s Olin’s take on the Vol’s program? check it out by reading more…
1. What did you think about Coach Lane Kiffin’s departure from the University of Tennessee? What effect do you think that had on the program as a whole?
I have no issue that Kiffin wanted to leave for USC. He’d lived in LA before and perhaps his family was happier there. My problem was that he and his staff were unethically trying to convince guys who were on campus as Tennessee recruits to go to USC and were reportedly calling recruits on behalf of USC on cell phones provided by Tennessee. That’s sleazy anyway you look at it. I think Kiffin’s exit is just a step back for the Tennessee program because it’s starting over again.
2. What do you think of the Derek Dooley hire? What do you think of his job so far from the two staff retentions and spring practice and recruiting?
My question about Dooley is whether he’d have gotten hired if he had a different last name. Seriously, Louisiana Tech had one winning season in three years under Dooley. I’m not saying he’s a bad coach, but shouldn’t a program like Tennessee have a coach that had more success. That said, I think he did very well in recruiting considering the late start he got.
3. What do you think of the Tennessee Head Football coach job in general? Is it a top tier job? What is the biggest advantage and biggest disadvantage of the position?
The Tennessee head coach position is a top tier job if you define that as one of the top 10 or 15 in the country. It’s not one the top five. The advantage is its history, tradition, fan support and the funding. It’s main disadvantage is that it has to rely heavily on out-of-state players to win big.
4. What do you think of Neyland Stadium and the renovations being done to it? What do you think about having the best facilities and how much of an advantage does it give a program?
I’ve been to Neyland Stadium a couple of times and I love it. The atmosphere there is great. I wouldn’t say Tennessee has the best facilities in the nation, but it’s facilities are among the best and that’s good enough to compete at the highest level.
5. How long do you think it will take for the Vols to be competitive again in getting to a bowl game? SEC East? SEC overall? National Championship?
Tennessee will have a shot at bowl eligibility next season, though it’s not a sure thing. Winning the SEC East is a few years away. There is just too much that needs to be done in the defense and offensive line. And do I even need to bring up the quarterback situation. I’d want a proven, experienced quarterback before expecting Tennessee to win the East. So, that’s probably at least two or three years away. I wouldn’t even bring up the national championship at this time.
6. What do you think of Bruce Pearl and the job he has done at the University of Tennessee Basketball program? Do you think he can maintain this success?
Bruce Pearl has made Tennessee men’s basketball relevant and interesting. Yeah, there were some good years before his arrival, but now you expect Tennessee to be good every year. I think he will continue to be very successful.
7. What do you think of conference expansion and who should the SEC add if we go to 14 teams? 16 teams?
Conference expansion is probably inevitable. If the SEC expands its first target should be Texas and Texas A&M because of proximity, competitiveness and the large TV markets that follow those teams. If the SEC feels compelled to look for two teams in the west and two in the east it should then pursue Florida State and perhaps Clemson. But maybe the SEC could lure Maryland away from the ACC and pick up (in theory, at least) the Washington D.C. and Baltimore TV markets.
8. Will you predict the Vols record this season?
6-6 in regular season.