Is Phillip Fulmer Losing His Coaching Touch?

Dusty FloydCorrespondent ISeptember 19, 2008

Over the years, the Tennessee Volunteers haven't played with as much fire as they used to. Florida linebacker, Brandon Spikes, accused the Vols of giving up in their 59-20 loss against Florida.

If Tennessee loses this weekend against the Gators, it will be their second straight season with a 1-2 start. Vols fans will be calling for head coach, Phillip Fulmer, to be fired as usual. Although, last year he responded to the criticism with a SEC East division title and a win over Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl, Fulmer's last BCS bowl was back in 2000 in the Fiesta Bowl, the year after they won the national title.

They haven't won an SEC championship since 1998. That will upset many Tennessee fans.  

The home game against Florida is a very important game for Tennessee. It will give them a large boost of momentum going into SEC play if the pull out the victory. The last time they beat the Gators was back in 2004.

Florida has talked a lot of trash, which will most likely pump up the Volunteers even more.

"Yeah, we do well in these situations," said Tennessee linebacker Rico McCoy. "But more than anything, we have to make up for what happened last year, to ease our minds. That wasn't us. You'll see what we're about on Saturday."

Hopefully the Vols arent' just all talk and will step up their game from last year.

Tennessee has definitely had a lot of skill on their past teams, but it just hasn't worked out for them. For example, in 2006, when Florida won the national championship, Tennessee only lost to them by a score of 21-20. Erik Ainge, Arian Foster, Robert Meachem, and Jerod Mayo are all NFL-caliber players, but it never clicked.

Even though Phillip Fulmer gets criticized by many fans, he is actually a great coach. Many other schools would be ecstatic with a 147-45 from 1992-2007. It's just the long tradition of winning at the University of Tennessee that keeps the pressure on the head coach.

If the Vols hold on to him for a little while longer, Tennessee will have great success in the future.