Tennessee Football: Winners and Losers from the Week 12 Game vs. Vanderbilt

Stephen WilliamsContributor IIINovember 18, 2012

Tennessee Football: Winners and Losers from the Week 12 Game vs. Vanderbilt

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    It's been an eventful last 24 hours on Rocky Top, as the inevitable has finally happened. Derek Dooley was let go as head coach of the University of Tennessee on Sunday, but anybody around the program has known that this was coming for weeks or longer.

    Saturday night's embarrassing performance against the Vanderbilt Commodores was the icing on the cake for what has been a very disappointing three years under Dooley.

    As much as it may pain Tennessee Volunteers fans to revisit Saturday night, let's take one final look at Derek Dooley's last game in orange and white.

Loser: Derek Dooley

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    There isn't much explanation needed here. Many people believed Dooley's fate was sealed before the game even kicked off in Nashville Saturday night. If there was any question about it, Saturday night finished it off.

    The rough part about this firing is not Dooley losing his job. Coaches know that is a possibility when they take every job. The people to feel bad for are his wife and kids. They are the ones who are the most affected by all of this.

    For more on Dooley's firing, check out this article or this one.

Loser: Tennessee Fans

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    Some Tennessee fans may look back on Saturday night and consider themselves winners because they finally got what they wanted: Derek Dooley fired as head coach. However, Vols fans had to endure three hours of Vanderbilt running up and down the field against Tennessee.

    This rivalry has been one of the most lopsided in college football, and Tennessee fans have always considered Vanderbilt to be the "little brother."

    That "little brother" was big enough on Saturday night to put a beating on the Vols.

    Fans in orange and white were pouring out of the stadium in the third quarter and for good reason.

Loser: Tyler Bray

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    So far this season, Tennessee has gone up against Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and several other teams with stout defenses. Of all the teams the Vols have played, the defense that made Tyler Bray and Tennessee look the worst was none other than Vanderbilt.

    Yes, the Commodores made the Tennessee offense look so bad that Tyler Bray was benched in the second quarter.

    Bray's final line reads 11-of-29, 103 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

    There's not much more that really needs to be said. The numbers speak for themselves.

Loser: Tennessee Defense

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    Add another one to the list of games in which the Vols have allowed 35 points or more. This time it was Vanderbilt that rung up 41 points against Tennessee.

    For the second straight week, Tennessee actually played pretty well in the first half. The Vols allowed just 152 yards in the first 30 minutes, 72 of which came on the opening play from scrimmage. However, much like the week before against Missouri, the floodgates opened up in the second half and Vanderbilt put it on Tennessee.

    This defense is historically bad. The good news for Tennessee fans is there is only one more game left to suffer through with it.

Winner: The Future of the Tennessee Program

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    There were portions of the program that were heading in the right direction under Derek Dooley. However, winning wasn't happening. In today's college football world, if winning isn't happening, then a change has to be made.

    That change was made on Sunday, and now the university has an opportunity to make a hire to put the football program back on track.

    The program is in a better place than it was three years ago when it was searching for a new coach, and the future is brighter now than it has been in awhile, assuming the Vols make the right hire.