Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Great Debate

It’s no secret that ever since the conclusion of the World Cup we’ve just been counting the days and trying to survive until the start of football season. Fortunately, we at least had the British Open, and we still have the PGA to look forward to. Other than these two brief diversions, however, the pickings are slim right now. So, at the suggestion of a few loyal readers I’ve decided to debut a new feature here on The WAD: The Great Debate. What is The Great Debate? Well, for the next few weeks at least, and hopefully throughout the football season, I’m going to pose a question (or questions) related to either college or pro football and leave it up to you guys (and gals) to carry the day with what I hope will be inspired, insightful, and often times hilarious debate. In addition to giving me a built in easy day each week (c’mon, you knew this was part of the motivation), I hope this will serve as a means for everybody to get involved. I figure that nothing is more likely to lure new blood into the comment pool than a little football talk.

So, enough with the big introduction and explanation. Here’s the first edition of The Great Debate:

In his thirteen seasons as the Head Coach for the University of Tennessee, Phillip Fulmer has racked up a staggering resume. He is the winningest active coach in college football with a .799 winning percentage. Over the past ten years, UT has won more games than any other program in the SEC. In his tenure, the Vols have won two SEC titles, a national title, and six SEC East titles. In addition, Fulmer has sent 72 players into the NFL draft, including 12 first rounders. Not to mention, the Vols have played in 11 January bowl games under Fulmer, including three BCS Games.

Sounds pretty amazing on paper doesn’t it? Well, the reality, however, is that all is not so rosy in Knoxvegas for the Big Pumpkin. What the numbers above don’t tell you is that UT hasn’t won the SEC since its national title season of 1998, and the Vols haven’t made their way to a BCS game since the 1999 season. Then, last year, with what many people viewed as his most talented team to date, Fulmer and the Vols stumbled their way to a 5-6 season, including a humiliating loss to Vandy in Neyland Stadium. As a result, Fulmer now finds himself firmly planted on the hot seat. And yes, that is a very large seat.

Now, considering everything above, the first question up for your consideration is actually a two parter:

1) Does Fulmer deserve to be on the hot seat; and

2) What do the Vols have to do this year to save his job?

Let the Great Debate begin.