Sports 56 WHBlog Q

September 29, 2008

Ugly.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Peter Edmiston @ 12:34 pm

It’s the only proper term for what unfolded in the 4th quarter in Auburn. Ugly for the home team, much uglier for the visitors from Knoxville. Courtesy Dr. Saturday, here is the ugly truth:

Like I said...ugly.

12 total yards in the 4th quarter????!?!?!? ZERO first downs???!?!?! That was an eminently winnable game, and coupled with the losses by Florida and Georgia, it would have put Tennessee back in the hunt for another trademark Fulmer Back Door SEC East Title (FBDSECET). instead, Tennessee falls further back, and is now staring a 7-5 season squarely in the face (and maybe worse – Georgia and Alabama are losses, and South Carolina and Vandy are no guarantees now). Disastrous. Where to begin after that?

It is clear that the hype surrounding the overmatched Jonathan Crompton was clearly – CLEARLY – just that…hype. He is worse than Rick Clausen, and that is hard to imagine. It is also clear that he seems to be oblivious to a large degree to his own ineptitude. The QB spot is now an open battle, and it should be, as Nick Stephens has thrown the best pass of the season by a Tennessee quarterback.

It is clear that Tennessee’s newfangled offense – the Clawfense – brought to you by the innovative Dave Clawson, is pretty much exactly like every other Tennessee offense run by Randy Sanders, David Cutcliffe, Phillip Fulmer, et al. It gives you a solid mix of wasting talent (Brandon Warren is the new Jason Witten in this regard), not throwing the ball farther than 10 yards downfield, and running constantly with a fumble-prone back despite better options behind him. Great job, Dave Clawson! Sign me up for more of that!

It is obvious that changes need to be made, starting with the biggest change of all. It is well past time for Phillip Fulmer to be reassigned within the athletic department. He has done too much good for the university to be outright fired, but his time has come and gone. I have seen the future and it is not pretty (Bobby Bowden). Fulmer built his name and reputation on rock solid offensive and defensive lines, great recruiting, and solid QB play. All of those foundations are washing away year by year. The talent in the lines has diminished, the recruiting continues to slowly slide toward mediocrity, and the QB play…wow, the QB play just really isn’t very good at all. Fulmer used to be able to take talent consistently from the surrounding states – Jamal Lewis from Georgia, Travis Henry from Florida, Albert Haynesworth from South Carolina, etc. – and now that simply isn’t happening as often or with as talented a player as it used to. Fulmer’s style of play is not based on scheme or gimmicks that can mask a lack of talent. Thus, a drop in talent level is fatal to Tennessee’s chances. Fulmer simply must go.

Who would be the best man for the job? I’ll tackle that a bit later in the season.

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