Jaguars vs. Titans: Which Francise Is in Greater Disarray?

Nate DunlevyGuest ColumnistDecember 28, 2012

Something about Bud Adams is just a little off.
Something about Bud Adams is just a little off.A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images

The Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans square off at LP Field in Week 17 in a desperate race to see which franchise has a sadder end to its 2012 season.

To say that both teams have been disappointing is an understatement.

The Jaguars were never expected to be good, but more often than not they haven't even managed to be competitive. Everyone expected the offense to be terrible, but the defense regressed as well, leaving them with the worst record in football.

The Titans opened the year with a glimmer of hope for a playoff run, but the season came unraveled and the end result has been nothing short of embarrassing.

So, which franchise is in more disarray?

The short answer is: The one that makes the fewest changes this offseason.

The momentum in Jacksonville seems to indicate that general manager Gene Smith will be fired in a few days. Whether or not this means the end of Mike Mularkey's tenure as head coach, a new GM should go a long way toward restoring the roar in North Florida.

Jacksonville has seemingly already arrived at the correct conclusion that they don't have a franchise quarterback on their roster. While there don't appear to be any good offseason options, the fact that they are aware of the problem speaks strongly to their long-term ability to correct course.

The Titans' future is murky at best.

Despite every possible justification, there's still doubt as to whether Bud Adams will clean house at the end of the year. Even if he does fire Mike Munchak, the rest of the Titans' brain trust will likely emerge unscathed.

Don Banks of Sports Illustrated doubts even Munchak loses his job. If so, the future doesn't bode well for the Titans. They aren't any closer to knowing if Jake Locker is the long-term solution at quarterback, and with an embattled coach still at the helm, it wouldn't be a surprise if the team had another down year in 2013.

Ultimately, the real hope for the future for any franchise lies at the top of the organization.

The Jaguars have a smart new owner in Shad Khan. He's promised to revitalize the fortunes of the team, and every indication is that he's a smart, savvy businessman who won't sit by and let the franchise rot.

The Titans have Bud Adams, who in many ways personifies rot.

Jaguars fans can put their faith in an owner who has yet to let them down.

Titans fans still have Bud Adams.

Weighing all the factors, it's clear that Jacksonville, despite three fewer wins, may have a brighter long-term future than the Titans. While they don't have nearly the talent base the Titans do, the organization seems to have a better handle on where the fault lies than do their Nashville counterparts.

It doesn't matter if the Titans win the battle on Sunday. The Jaguars may well yet still win the war.