Tennessee Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt may or may not lose his job in the next month.
If this were a normal year, there’s no doubt that Pruitt would be on his way out. The Vols are in the midst of a five-game losing streak that includes losses to Kentucky and Arkansas. And there’s been no signs that things will be getting better anytime soon.
But because of COVID-19 — and the financial hardships that athletic departments are experiencing this fall — it seems unlikely that Tennessee will actually fire Pruitt.
If they don’t, it will be a mistake. Pruitt isn’t the guy that’s going to turn Tennessee around. And it’s not just me that believes that. Rival coaches are skeptical, too.
Here’s what Banner Society’s Steven Godfrey — a well-connected guy in the college football world — wrote about Pruitt this week and how he’s viewed by rival coaches.
Pruitt looks exactly like what most rival coaches in the SEC describe him as: A once-and-future defensive coordinator currently being paid SEC head coach money, because you don’t turn down SEC head coach money.
Coaches rarely say anything negative about rival coaches publicly. It’s why Nick Saban praised Derek Dooley and Butch Jones constantly. The praise for those coaches is the exact reason we shouldn’t pay much attention to Saban’s praise for Pruitt.
Privately, Pruitt appears to be viewed by rival coaches as a lifelong defensive coordinator who probably shouldn’t be a head coach.
If that’s how rival coaches see Pruitt, then Tennessee needs to move on from him ASAP.
Pruitt hasn’t recruited better than Butch. He hasn’t won as many games as Butch. The only thing Pruitt has done is talk with a southern accent. He’s even starting to become cringe-worthy in press conferences (though Butch is still the king of bad quotes).
Pruitt ain’t it for the Vols. It’s time to do what Tennessee does best — pay a large buyout and go coach hunting.
What’s Jon Gruden up to these days?
Featured image via Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports