The More Things Change in Knoxville The More They Stay The Same

Joel Barker@joelabarkerSenior Writer IApril 23, 2009

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 22: Quarterback  B.J. Coleman #18 of the Tennessee Volunteers warms up before the game against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Vanderbilt Stadium on November 22, 2008 in Nashville, North Carolina.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Surely you’ve heard by now that Tennessee backup QB B.J. Coleman has decided to leave the Vols so he can actually play somewhere.

Talk about going from cloud nine to the depths of the grave in five days.

After Saturday’s Orange and White game and Tuesday’s Big Orange Caravan stop in Chattanooga, local Vols fans were absolutely giddy about this upcoming season.

These new coaches had injected life into a faltering program and a bored fan base.

Now with Chattanooga area high school football hero, BJ Coleman’s decision to leave the University we’ve been brought down to the depths again.

It’s not necessarily because our local golden-boy decided to leave. It’s mainly because Jonathan Crompton’s main competition is now gone.

Jonathan Crompton was absolutely awful last season. No, awful does not begin to describe how terrible Crompton was.

Yet after a four-week stint as the No. 2, QB Crompton was reinstated as the starter. BJ Coleman got a grand total of 10 snaps during Crompton’s absence.

All we heard about Kiffin and staff was that it no longer mattered who had seniority. It was all supposed to be about the most talented guy on the field.

Apparently we believed a lie, and if any of my fellow Volniacs can dispute that by saying that Crompton is our best option at QB, please show me the proof.

The previous staff were completely politically motivated. There was never a question about that.

Conspiracy theories swirled all of last season. They ranged from Heath Shuler’s involvement with Jonathan Crompton during the recruiting process as being a factor in Fulmer’s lovefest for the QB, to Crompton’s family allegedly giving big bucks to the program in return for the starting position.

Of course those conspiracy theories were ludicrous.

The real problem is that no one knows what these coaches see in Jonathan Crompton.

Then-redshirt-freshman-Crompton had one good game while filling in for Erik Ainge in 2006. He nearly led the Vols to a victory over JaMarcus Russell and his LSU Tigers.

So when the 2008 season started, Vol fans had reason to be optimistic. That is, until the UCLA debacle. Crompton not only threw over, around, behind, and under in that game.

He continued that until he was finally benched four games later, after the Auburn game. He was then reinstated as the starter four games after that when Nick Stephens proved too inconsistent. 

The fact is that Crompton ran his mouth after doing absolutely nothing against Florida in the season's third game. He ran his mouth off about the fans, but never improved his game so the fans would stay off of him. 

He is arrogant. Which is fine, if you are good enough to be arrogant. He is not. 

Yet, for some reason this brand new highly paid coaching staff is picking up where the Fulmer regime left off—with Crompton getting the first team reps and no other QB having a chance. 

Some Tennessee fans think that Kiffin and Co. wanted to keep the senior as the starter so they could secure the services of a five-star QB recruit this offseason.

They figure if sophomore B.J. Coleman were the starter, then the unnamed star recruit would not want to sit behind him for two years while waiting to take over the team's offense.

The only problem with that is that according to's Top 100 there are zero five-star QBs this year, and the top four-star recruit, Blake Bell, is already committed to Oklahoma for 2010.

So we're back to asking why. Why is Crompton so good in two different coaching staff's eyes yet is the worst Vol QB in history when it counts?

In six starts and eight total games, Crompton went 86-167 (51.5%), 889 yards, four TD, five INT. Those stats dont actually show you how badly Crompton missed wide-open receivers, threw right into defender's arms, and fumbled multiple snaps and handoffs.

If Crompton is not much better this season it's going to be yet another long season in Knoxville. Who knows, maybe it was going to be like that anyway.

At least five days ago we knew there was competition to keep that from happening. Now we have no competition and most likely no chance of winning in 2009.