Ten years. Ten long years. That’s how long it has been since Tennessee won the Eastern Division and earned a trip to the SEC title game in Atlanta.
Lane Kiffin didn’t get them there. Neither did Derek Dooley. Now you can add Butch Jones to that list.
The next Tennessee head coach will know all about the decade in the darkness in Knoxville, and will understand how things stand in the division.
Despite a loss at Auburn, Georgia is rolling under Kirby Smart. Next season it’s possible that the Bulldogs have three five-star quarterbacks on their roster (although Jacob Eason is a probable transfer candidate).
South Carolina is much improved under Will Muschamp. Missouri can score points in bunches. Florida will upgrade its head coaching spot. Heck, Kentucky has seven wins this season.
The SEC East was as bad as it has ever been over the past few years, and Tennessee hasn’t been able to take advantage. The next head coach will be walking into a tougher division in the years to come.
Oh, and next year? Tennessee gets to play Alabama and Auburn out of the West, the two best teams in that division.
So… it isn’t going to be easy for the next guy to get Tennessee to Atlanta immediately.
That all said, the idea that it takes five years or more to build a program is crazy.
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