Are the Tennessee Vols going to fire Jeremy Pruitt after a disappointing third season?
That’s the question on the minds of many Vol fans as we enter the final week of the 2020 regular season.
I feel like Pruitt likely saved his job by beating Vanderbilt 42-17 this past weekend.
Pruitt, however, shouldn’t feel safe. Auburn’s decision to fire Gus Malzahn — a coach who has never had a losing season at the collegiate level — could force Tennessee to make a move with Pruitt.
The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman — one of the most well-connected reporters in college football — suggested this week that Malzahn’s firing could impact the Vols’ decision.
From The Athletic:
One thing to keep in mind with Freeze and perhaps a few of the others mentioned above is the impact the Auburn opening could have on Tennessee. Word is the Vols would prefer not to pull the plug on Jeremy Pruitt after just three seasons. He was Phil Fulmer’s hand-picked choice, but the Vols are really, really struggling. Pressure is mounting. It’s no secret Freeze has been enamored with Tennessee football from long before he was ever a college coach, and he would be seen as a splashy hire. Does Tennessee now pivot to try and make sure Auburn doesn’t snatch away someone they really want?
If Tennessee manages to upset Texas A&M this weekend, then Pruitt almost certainly won’t be fired. If the Vols keep it close, I think he’s also safe.
But if the Aggies win big, it could be the end of the Pruitt era at UT.
There are rumblings that Fulmer wants to keep Pruitt, but others within the athletic department are open to making a move. It’s silly season right now, so these “rumblings” will probably be all over the place over the next several days.
This is a massive decision that will have a far-reaching financial impact on Tennessee’s program. It’s understandable that folks could be going back and forth on what to do.
The only thing that’s certain right now is that no one knows what’s going to happen with Pruitt after the Texas A&M game.
College football. Wild as always.
Featured image via AP