Is Tennessee Done So Soon?

c dockensCorrespondent IOctober 2, 2008

For the first time in 14 years, Tennessee is 1-3 (0-2 in the SEC). The last time that Tennessee started this poorly was Phil Fulmer's second year as head coach. That 1994 Tennessee team was able to rebound and finish 8-4, 5-3 in the SEC.

However, there have been many changes in the SEC East since 1994.

Tennessee's whipping boy, Ray "Goof," is no longer the coach at Georgia. Current Georgia coach Mark Richt is 4-3 against Tennessee. 

Gerry DiNardo isn't the coach at in-state rival Vanderbilt. Instead, Bobby Johnson is coaching a Vanderbilt team that is thus far undefeated in 2008. 

Steve Spurrier is now at South Carolina and has yet to beat Tennessee at South Carolina, but he owned Tennessee while at Florida.

Current Florida head coach urban Meyer is yet to lose to Tennessee. Urban Meyer embarrassed Tennessee in the Vols' SEC opener this year.

Looking ahead at Tennessee's schedule, the Vols have Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Vanderbilt. Three of those are on the road. Even if Tennessee just loses two of those games, their hopes of winning the SEC East are over.

Realistically, Tennessee should lose to Alabama and Georgia. Vanderbilt games have been close for Tennessee recently. There are likely three more losses ahead for Tennessee. If those losses are to the right teams, in-state rival Vandy could take the third spot in the East from Tennessee.

If Tennessee is to turn things around this year, they need to learn how to move the ball. This starts with better play from under center. Junior quarterback Jonathan Crompton just isn't cutting it. He is unable to manage the offense—a talent that is essential in the SEC.

Tennessee fans, don't get too upset. I believe this is just a rebuilding year. The past couple of NFL drafts have contained a number of Tennessee players, including star quarterback Erik Ainge, wide receiver Robert Meachem, and defensive standout Turk McBride.

But no matter the reason for the abysmal start to the season, fans in Knoxville are sure to be calling for Fulmer's head by season's end.