Everyone in Big Orange Country is fully aware that the 2012 season is as important as any in recent memory. The results of this upcoming fall will determine the direction of the program for years to come.
Two years into his Tennessee coaching career, Derek Dooley’s teams haven’t produced the kind of results he and all Tennessee fans would have liked. Back-to-back losing seasons, including the program’s first loss to Kentucky in over a quarter of a century, have clearly put Dooley in a win-or-be-fired position.
In 2011, the Vols were very hot coming out of the gate. Tennessee opened with an easy win over Montana, then followed with a dominant offensive showing against Cincinnati. The Vols seemed set up for a strong run until several key injuries derailed those hopes.
The upcoming season has a chance to be a very good season on The Hill, and frankly Dooley needs it to be in order to keep his job. However, Tennessee can’t encounter injuries like it did in 2011 if it wants to be successful.
Here are five Vols that nothing can happen to in 2012.