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Can Phillip Fulmer find the ‘one’ guy who can unite fan base — and win games?

Phillip Fulmer
COURTESY OF TENNESSEE ATHLETICS

Here are my thoughts on a list of names presented recently by FootballScoop.com, a coach-centric site. They are listed in order of my preferability. These are by no means the only candidates still in play.

SMU coach Chad Morris: Morris has turned SMU into a respectable program after going 2-10 in his first season in 2015. SMU was 7-5 this season. Morris was the coordinator of some good offenses at Clemson, has worked extensively with quarterbacks and has strong recruiting ties in Texas, where he was a highly respected – and extremely successful – high school coach from 1994-2009.

Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables: Considered one of the best defensive coaches in the country, Venables will get his shot one day. But should it be at a school like UT? Venables could be the next Kirby Smart or he could be a complete bust. He received the Frank Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant in 2016 and has coached under Bill Snyder, Bob Stoops and Dabo Swinney. That’s good tutelage.

RELATED: Kiffin, Dooley, Jones: Which Tennessee coach was the worst?

Former LSU coach Les Miles: The only way I’m taking Miles is if he agrees to turn his offense over to a bona fide coordinator. Still, that scares me. He’s said he’d revamp his offense before but never really did so.

Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele: Sure, he’s a UT alum and he has done a great job at Auburn. But he’s been a career journeyman and posted a 9-36 record as Baylor’s coach from 1999-2002.

Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker: I have trouble seeing this being a real possibility.

(You can follow Dave Hooker on Twitter @TheDaveHooker)

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