The State Of Football In The Volunteer State Two Weeks Into The Season

Greg Arias

People in the State of Tennessee love their football, but things aren't off the best start for two of the four D-I programs in the Volunteer state.

The Vanderbilt Commodores and Tennessee Volunteers are both winless two games into the season while the Memphis Tigers are 2-0 and the Blue Radiers of MTSU stand 1-1 at the moment.

Commodore fans are stinging from their team's horrible performance against Purdue, but that's not so bad considering. 

Vanderbilt athletic director Malcolm Turner is still settling into his position and has already made a coaching hire in new basketball coach Jerry Stackhouse. Of course Tim Corbin and the Vandy baseball program are fresh off a College World Series National Championship.

That's not necessarily the case in Knoxville where second year head football coach Jeremy Pruitt is feeling the heat from Vol fans who are calling for his head, and an ahtletic director who could have designs on getting his old job back.

John Adams of the Knoxville News Sential has spent the last 32 years covering UT athletics for the Sentinal penned an article on Monday that suggested Vols athletic director, and former football head coach Phillip Fulmer could be set up to be the coach in waiting.

"Tennessee is off to an 0-2 start with a pair of losses to non-Power 5 conference programs. That’s bad enough, but look what’s coming after Saturday’s game against Chattanooga.

The Vols will play four consecutive games against Florida, Georgia, Mississippi State and Alabama. A 1-6 start is a possibility.

You know what that means.

Former UT football coach and current athletics director Phillip Fulmer never has been so close to getting his old job back. "

Fired as head coach in 2008, Fulmer was exiled from the program and has worked behind the scenes and in advisory roles until being named athletic director in 2017. 

Fulmer is responsible for hiring Pruitt and could well be the one to fire him less than two season into his tenure.

While there is no guarantee Fulmer will pull the trigger on a coaching change, Adams "theory" suggests that Fulmer, who is known to have stabbed former UT head coach Johnny Majors in the back might have pulled out the preverbial "knife" to help him into his current position in Knoxville.     

Yes the Commodores season is not off to the best start, but the current situation in the athletic department in Nashville is far better, and more stable than the one to the east. 

That's something for Vandy fans to be proud of and hold onto as this season unfolds.