The Tennessee Volunteers have been on the receiving end of a ton of jokes for what has come from their recruiting violations this week, but the real issue is a much broader one.
On the daily Locked On College Football podcast, Matt Moscona and Kevin McGuire talked about the rumors swirling around Tennessee’s program. Moreover, why this has been a ridiculously unstable decade for the Volunteers.
Moscona: What was once an advantage for them, their notoriety, their championships, their ability to be on TV, that has all been neutralized because everybody is on TV now. Everybody is investing resources. Everybody pays their coaches seven figures and the detriment in Tennessee, like in Nebraska, is that you do not have a built-in recruiting base in your state. You have to recruit nationally. It is also what has hindered Notre Dame over the years. Now, Brian Kelly has won at an elite level. He has played for multiple championships, but it is also why they have not been able to get back to the pinnacle.
It is why schools in the Sunbelt, not the Sunbelt Conference but the southeast, used to dominate because there are so many players here. Like in Pennsylvania, in California, or Texas, you have that built-in recruiting base that is there that is not there in Tennessee. So listen, since they fired Phil Fulmer, they have had Lane Kiffin for a year. They had Derek Dooley who went 15-21. Jim Chaney was an interim for a game. Butch Jones was 34-27. Brady Hoke was the interim for a bit and went 0-2 and then Jeremy Pruitt went 16-19. They have gone a decade, and this is the wrong decade to be unstable because we have seen the biggest evolution in the sport in the last decade where a team like Coastal Carolina can make a legit play to be in a New Year’s Six Bowl. Everybody can be competitive now.