Tennessee Vols Football: Fightin' Smokies

Bo FawbushContributor ISeptember 6, 2010

ATLANTA - DECEMBER 31:  Tennessee Volunteers mascot Smokey IX howls during pre-game introductions before the Chick-Fil-A Bowl against the Virginia Tech Hokies at the Georgia Dome on December 31, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  Virginia Tech beat Tennessee 37-14.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

Fightin’ Smokies

Aside from the 2nd quarter, Derek Dooley’s first game as the Vols coach was fun to watch. 

Tennessee seemed well-prepared.  They played smart, and they played with a respectable degree of class.

The Vols did NOT “dumb it down” to the level of their competition, as was “modus operandi” during the Fulmer era.  Tennessee also refused to go the way of the Gators in their matchup against Miami University on Saturday.

Tennessee played hard, and that speaks volumes in regards to the coaching staff.  They could have probably dialed this one in and still won by 4 TDs, but one constant throughout the evening was EFFORTI am grateful for that.

I am also grateful that Dooley seems passionate, serious, and motivated.  I believe this will speak volumes in recruiting in the coming year(s) because even if the Vols W-L record is not impressive, I seriously think they will sway some big-time recruits by the way the Tennessee fights hard the entire season.

This aspect was missing in Fulmer’s final few years.  Dooley brings a laser-like intensity to Knoxville, and it will be very surprising if the Bluetick Coonhounds aren’t back in the national hunt within a couple of years.