Does anybody else want to see UT finish the season strong and get to a bowl game? I have to think Fulmer is on the hot seat and I do not want them to come knocking on Coach Cut's door. That's the one gig that makes me nervous for when that position comes open. Coach Cut is the man we have all been waiting for.
Doesn't Cutliffe have a contract for more than 1 year with Duke ? He seems like a guy with high standards and I would be very surprised if he did not honor his contract.
We are jumping way ahead of ourselves. We have only played 4 games as has Tennessee. Let us enjoy our new found optimism and this season.
I'd be surprised if Tennessee were to make a serious run at Cutcliffe. They are roughly the same age and, from all appearances, roughly the same coach. After all, Cutcliffe was the QB coach at UT while Fulmer was the OC, then promoted when Fulmer became the head coach. Both are tremendous coaches but if UT decides to make a change, one would guess that it would go in a completely new direction, if for no other reason, to rejuvenate a recruiting effort that has hit some serious walls.
My Grandparents live just outside of Knoxville, and I have been a UT football fan for years.
With that said, I kind of want UT to tank this year. I do not like Fulmer, who has just been coasting since winning the NC 10 years ago. So I would like UT to make a move and get relevant again.
But I don't think it will be Cut for a couple of reasons. One, the age/health issue. For Duke, his upside outweighed his risk, given how desolate our program was. For UT, they need a coach who will be there for a LONG time, and Cut probably isn't it. He might be, but he might not be.
The Triangle team that needs to worry about UT is UNC Chapel Hill. When UT tanks, I think they will make a run at Butch Davis, and I think he will listen, hard. UT has far more talent on hand than UNC will have for the forseeable future, and UNC is now, and ever shall be, a Basketball School. UT is a football school in the best football conference in history. It is a glamor position with national games on a weekly basis. UT has enough talent on hand for a genius like Davis to compete on a national level from Day one on campus. UNC might still be 4-5 years away from being a national power.
But, for the above poster who said that Cut is the kind of guy to honor a multi-year deal, wake up. Cut got fired at Ole Miss after his first bad year, and knows that Duke could fire him at a moments notice. If a better paying, higher profile position were to come up, at a school where recruiting is much easier, he would be a complete fool not to seriously consider such a job. If he left, I would not blame him at all. Now, he might decide that Duke's lack of pressure and expectations are more attractive than UT's win or else mindset, but he might not.
But that contract is not worth the paper its written on if either side wants out, and everyone needs to be cognizant of that fact.
Besides, if UT were to snatch Cut, he has proven that Duke is a viable position, and Duke has shown that we are committed to winning. I think another good option could easily be had.
But the underlying point is probably correct. If Cutcliffe turns Duke around, it's likely the offers will come.
I think Diddy has the best read on the situation. I agree that age and health issues would make Cut an unlikely successor to FUlmer (although with Butch Davis' battle with cancer, not sure he's the guy they go after either).
But I think dcarp might underestimate the high regard that Cutcliffe is held in Knoxville. I do NOT think he and Fulmer are regarded as the same coach. Instead, many Vol fans seen Cutcliffe as the genius behind Fulmer's success.
I don't have a link, but when Duke signed Cut, I read an article that tracked Tennessee's offensive production in the years when Cut was there and when he wasn't. There was a huge dropoff at Tennessee when he left for Ole Miss and an immediate revival when he returned. I suspect that this year's offensive meltdown in his absence only reinforces his stature ...
I had a friend suggest that Cutcliffe is to Fulmer as Mark Richt is to Bobby Bowden. That's not a bad analogy.
After his first year, he had lots of folks looking at him, and rightfully so (given his record and 7-0 start). He said he was not interested and wanted to stick with Duke. Four years later, he might have regretted that choice, but I think it's pretty tough for any coach to leave a job (and a well paying one) after one outing. Those that do only look good in the eyes of the hiring school, but lose respect from plenty of others.
As much as I hate to say it as a Duke fan, I personally have no doubt that if Tennessee fires Fulmer, Cutcliffe is bound to get a call. That's not saying he'll definitely get the job, but he'll be one of the top candidates. What he's done at Duke so far makes him even more of a candidate.
Just because he was the OC under Fulmer doesn't mean he is Fulmer. The bottom line is that he's familiar with the university and the program, having been employed by them on 2 different occasions and the fans love him. It would be a much more seamless transition to hire Cutcliffe. Every time Fulmer's struggled at UT, it's been a result of Cutcliffe not being there. Like Olympic Fan said, many fans view Cutcliffe as the guy behind Fulmer's success in Knoxville.
I'm not a UT fan or expert on UT football but I'd be willing to bet a lot of money that everyone in Knoxville would be interested in seeing Cutcliffe return.
I just hope he stays at Duke. Forever .
If you start worrying about this sort of stuff four games into his Duke tenure, then you're going to go stark, raving bonkers.
All I know is I've heard him discuss his plans for the future and those plans seem to involve him coaching at Duke. He's building for the long haul and I see no reason to think otherwise.
This reminds me somewhat of when my beloved Red Sox won in 2004. From that point forward, we sox fans don't know how to accept success. Always expecting disaster around the corner, we became paranoid. With counseling, I'm now OK with the Sox winning and not worrying about A Rod for 2009. (I must admit, the sense of entitlement is not unlike the Cameron Indoor atmosphere)
Let's enjoy the ballgame Saturday. Go Devils. Don't worry about the Vols, don't worry about who's dialing up Coach Cutcliffe, and leave the paranoia to Al Davis.
I don't think we have anything to worry about, at least as far as Tennessee goes.
Right now, Fulmer is maybe the tenth or so best coach in the SEC. In a league that already features Saban, Petrino, Spurrier, Meyer, Miles and Richt and where large, multi- multi-million dollar contracts are becoming the norm, the Vols will be under a lot of pressure to hit a home run with their hire just to keep up.
I think Cut is a fantastic coach and great for Duke, and I honestly think he could succeed at UT if they tapped him for the job, but the Vols are going to be looking for both a big name and someone completely divorced from Phillip the Hutt's regime. I also can't see them hiring Mississippi's sloppy seconds, which is how a Cutcliffe hire would be perceived, fair or not.
Look for the Volunteers to go after some very high profile guys, possibly NFL guys. If I was a wagering man I'd put serious money on Lane Kiffin being the man at Tennessee next year. Another name I've heard mentioned is John Gruden, who has ties to the program and will qualify for his NFL pension after this season.
Guys, we're 3-1 in Cuts 1st year with a ton of football to be played. We could end up 3-9 or 4-8 and I dont know too many places who are interested in a 3-9, or 4-8 coach. Worry after our 1st bowl win.
Kevin White understands the dynamic of facilities vis a vis attracting and keeping coaches. His priorities might be slightly different that Cut's. When he first arrived, he commented that Yoh was a good facility, but that the stadium required immediate attention. Cut's push was for an indoor practice facility first. I think K. White wants to relocate the track, lower the field and bring seats down to the field. Alleva's bluestone paver plan for the concourse was not visionary. Lipstick on a pig, as long as the track remained. And the plan eliminated the possibility of seating expansion along, above the concourse.
Re the shovel of dirt, fundraising has started to relocate the track and lower the field. The University previously committed $5 million of U funds to help start the stadium fix up. Jarhead, living down there in golf course heaven, probably has more of the skinny. Its going to happen, even if our guys may have to practice in the rain for a little while longer in the harshly intemperate weather of RDU.
Gruden, OTOH, would be a real coup for the Vols, if he was interested enough to get involved with recruiting.
Who says Fulmer's going anywhere in the first place? Wouldn't the smart money be on his being there for a while?