The Tennessee Vols are in a weird spot right now.
Tennessee lost their third straight of the season on Saturday, falling 48-17 to Alabama. The game was never close. Alabama took control early and cruised to an easy win. The Crimson Tide even managed to get in some reps for Bryce Young, their freshman quarterback.
After the blowout loss to Bama on Saturday I think it’s safe to say that Tennessee isn’t any closer to competing with Alabama than they were in 2018 (which was Jeremy Pruitt’s first season as UT’s head coach).
And that’s a problem.
Look, I didn’t expect Tennessee to beat Alabama on Saturday. And I didn’t really expect the Vols to be at a point where they’re competing at the same level as Alabama in year three under Pruitt.
But I expected better than this.
Even Butch Jones was further along than this in his third season at Tennessee.
I have no idea if Pruitt will be successful in Knoxville or not. I have no idea if he’ll eventually lead a program to a championship.
That’s also a problem.
After the Missouri game, I felt pretty confident that Tennessee was on the right track. And then the Georgia game happened.
The Vols have been terrible over their last 10 quarters. Tennessee isn’t playing physical, the secondary is a mess and the offensive play calling has been abysmal.
I can’t think of any reason that a UT fan would trust Pruitt right now. He’s burned through any equity he built last season.
Pruitt, however, can still turn things around. Having a capable quarterback would certainly help (Jarrett Guarantano is terrible and shouldn’t be an SEC starter).
But he’s going to run out of time if it doesn’t happen soon.
Pruitt is confident in his abilities as a head coach. And that’s a good thing for the Vols moving forward.
But confidence doesn’t matter without results.
And so far, the Vols aren’t getting the results under Pruitt that everyone expected.
There are five games left in the season. Pruitt needs to win at least four of those games to win back some trust.
And if he doesn’t win four of those games?
Well, don’t be surprised when the hot seat talk starts.
Featured image via Knoxville News Sentinel-USA TODAY NETWORK