KNOXVILLE — After a 50-17 loss at Missouri that raised even more questions about when John Currie will address the direction of the Volunteer program, it is clear that progress has not been made and a sixth season is highly unlikely Butch Jones.
Ever since a last-play loss at Florida — a game filled with numerous questionable offensive decisions — Tennessee has been on a downward spiral.
Now sitting at 4-6 (0-6 in SEC Play) the Vols will need to win their final two games to receive a bowl game bid. Don’t count on it, even with home games against LSU and Vanderbilt remaining.
Tennessee's most recent game vs each SEC team:
Alabama – L 45-7
Arkansas – L 24-20
Auburn – L 55-23
Florida – L 26-20
Georgia – L 41-0
Kentucky – L 29-26
LSU – L 38-7
Mizzou – L 50-17
Miss State – L 41-31
Ole Miss – L 34-3
SCar – L 15-9
Texas A&M – L 45-38
Vandy – L 45-34
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) November 12, 2017
The Vols now hold current losing streaks to every SEC school and that is unacceptable for the richest program in the conference.
There is only way to get better as a program, as a whole, and that is for UT big money booster Jimmy Haslam to get serious about spending top dollars and commit to winning. Haslam being the CEO of Pilot Flying J and owner of the Cleveland Browns with a net worth of $3.6 billion; money is not a question in luring a coach like Jon Gruden to Tennessee.
The setting is present for Currie, with the help of his top-dollar booster, to replicate what former Alabama athletic director Mal Moore did when he landed Nick Saban to return Alabama to the top of college football.
Since the 2010 season, Tennessee has been historically at their worst with only three winning seasons.
It’s now time for Currie and Haslam to go all-in on Gruden. It’s the perfect time for him to come home where he launched his coaching career as a graduate assistant in 1986.
The timing for Gruden to guide Tennessee back into national prominence is ideal with the shortcomings of the football program since the end of the Phil Fulmer-era. The shortcomings coincide with ESPN’s layoffs hitting the worldwide leader and is a perfect time for the Super Bowl champion head coach to get out of the broadcast booth and back on the sidelines where Big Orange faithful are pleading for him to be throughout social media and radio airwaves.
Tennessee is wasting time it doesn’t have.
The Vols already have suffered four decommitments from the 2018 recruiting class, including legacy 5-star offensive lineman Cade Mays. The move away from Jones should have been on par or even sooner than when Florida parted ways with Jim McElwain.
Now during a time that indicates going head-to-head with SEC East rival Florida in a coaching search battle, Gruden can trump any move the Gators can make and Haslam should provide any dollar amount if he wants the next generation of Tennessee football to be on good standing.
Questioning Gruden’s coaching abilities should not be a worry with him being away from the game since 2008 and has not been on a college coaching staff since 1989 while at Pacific. The Super Bowl champ is still around the game and lives and breathes the sport while accumulating connections with all 32 NFL teams to help sell recruits in coming to Tennessee nationally.
If Tennessee wants to reclaim national prominence instantly overnight, then the likes of Haslam need to either step aside and allow other big money boosters help make the program better or loosen their own control and not allow Gruden to say no.