By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard
January 10th & 11th may not seem like great days if you’re a University of Tennessee football coach, player or fan but they may very well turn out to be. During those two days, Vanderbilt Head Coach James Franklin left for Penn State and Alabama hired former Tennessee and USC Head Coach Lane Kiffin.
Here are the facts; James Franklin made Vanderbilt viable. A 24-15 record with back-to-back nine win seasons and beat Tennessee the last two years. Vanderbilt hasn’t beaten Tennessee in back-to-back years since 1925. He made Vanderbilt the top football team in the state of Tennessee.
He’s now gone.
To say that Lane Kiffin is “hated” in the Tennessee football community would be an understatement. He left the program for his “dream job” at USC which he slowly drove into the ground. Now he’s at Alabama as their new Offensive Coordinator. While he is considered to be a very good X’s & O’s coach he’s also a liability. He’s been brought up on recruiting violations more than once and has never endeared himself to the media. The second half of that doesn’t really matter when Nick Saban is in charge but the first half of that is a huge liability for Bama.
Butch Jones, many believe, has Tennessee on the right track but here are the facts; Tennessee hasn’t been to a bowl game since 2011, have had only one winning season in the last six years and won a grand total of four conference games in the last three years.
Tennessee is on the road back to relevancy. That road got a little bit easier when one of the best up & coming coaches in the country leaves not only the state but also the conference and a former head coach with a history of recruiting violations shows up at a long time rival.
Yep, things are looking up at Tennessee.