Derek Dooley's subpar beginning to his tenure at Tennessee will soon be forgotten after a season in which the Volunteers will climb their way to contention in the SEC.
Led by junior-to-be gunslinger Tyler Bray, the Vols could boast one of the most lethal offenses in the nation's best conference next season.
Coaching turnover was expected to be a speed bump into the offseason, as seven new assistant coaches will take over, including defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri and four other new coaches on the defensive staff. However, many new additions have gelled nicely and it will prove to be a strength instead of a weakness.
If Phillip Fulmer's final season and Lane Kiffin's backstabbing in recent years weren't all-time lows for this Tennessee team, their final loss of 2011, which knocked them out of a bowl and broke their 26-year win streak over Kentucky, was.
After a brutal schedule that had the Vols facing teams that finished Nos. 1, 2, 5, 9, 19 and 25 at the end of the 2011 season, Tennessee's upcoming schedule looks to be decently lighter and more in the Vols' favor.
With a constructive offseason behind them and the maturation of some top talent, expect the Vols to do what they haven't done in many years: win big games.