Tennessee Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt was probably expecting his team to be 3-1 heading into an early October showdown with the Georgia Bulldogs.
Instead, the Vols are 1-3 with their only win coming against Chattanooga.
As a result of Tennessee’s less-than-ideal start to the 2019 season, there’s already some hot seat chatter surrounding Pruitt.
While I think it’s a bit early to be talking about firing Pruitt (this is a big rebuild project and firing coaches hasn’t exactly worked out for Tennessee in the past), there are some folks in the media who don’t feel the same way.
ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg, in fact, believes Pruitt is on the hot seat.
But that’s not the most interesting thing Rittenberg had to say.
Nope, that has to do with athletic director Phillip Fulmer.
According to Rittenberg, sources have told him that Fulmer “wouldn’t hesitate to coach again”.
He also quoted a source as saying “There’s no doubt Coach Fulmer wants to be back on the sideline”.
This could get really, really interesting as Pruitt enters an extremely tough stretch of games.
The Vols will likely be 1-6 by the time they play South Carolina on October 26. If the Vols fall to 1-7, it wouldn’t shock me if Pruitt gets canned.
But I don’t think that would be a wise move. I think Tennessee needs to stay the course. No one of note wants the UT job. If Pruitt is fired after less than two years on the job, even fewer people will want the job. The next hire would just be a hope and a prayer.
As far as Fulmer goes, I’m not so sure about that either. Sure, the idea is romantic for longtime Vol fans. But this is a guy who hasn’t coached in over ten years. The game has changed a lot. The way coaches interact with players has changed a lot. Coaching a college football team in 2019 is nowhere near the same as it was in 2008.
Of course, no one knows what will transpire as this season unfolds.
But one thing is certain — Tennessee is never short on drama.
Featured image via Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports