Tennessee Exceptionalism
The Movement Starts Now!
Posted: 7-10-2017, 8:16:53 PM
When we last spoke, Tennessee was about to spank Nebraska in the Member Berries Bowl. The bowl wasn't great but as someone who watched the Huskers steamroll Tennessee twice, it was nice to get a win over Nebraska.

Since then, Tennessee has gotten a new offensive coordinator, several new assistant coaches, a new chancellor and a new athletic director.

A lot of people think highly of Larry Scott. I'm willing to give him a chance. The new assistants all seem to be upgrades. Beverly Davenport is weird, quirky and elitist, but she should provide a lot more entertainment than Jimmy Cheek. I'm not sure how to feel about John Currie yet. At first, I really hated the move. I thought Blackburn was the obvious choice and I heard from several people that Currie was a real prick. I have liked the moves he has made so far. I am now willing to give him a chance but I will call him out when I hear of instances of him being a douche.

The SEC Media Days began today and I am having a hard time getting excited for Tennessee football. Maybe it's because it's early July. Maybe it's because Butch Jones is still our coach. I can remember growing up the anticipation for the next football season that really began after the bowl game. Then it got more intense when the spring game came around. And by the time summer vacation came I was counting the days until kickoff and the wait seemed like an eternity. I don't have that anticipation right now and it's a shame. Everything I know about football tells me that 8-4 is about as good as I can expect Tennessee to do this year. This is year 5 for Sergeant Slogan and no one is expecting better than 8-4. That's pathetic. That's failure.

Now there are some reasons to hold out hope for a better season but they aren't based on actual evidence or stats.

1. Larry Scott could be a natural at offensive coordinator. If this is true, Sgt. Slogan would still have to trust him and stay out of the way.

2. Either Dormady or Guarantano could be phenomenal quarterbacks and lead the team like Dobbs did.

3. In year 2, Bob Shoop's defense is much improved and they stay healthy. A top 25 defense for Tennessee would go a long way.

So the season isn't totally without hope, but if I'm keeping it real, Tennessee will likely miss Josh Dobbs way more than people think.

Now, as promised on Twitter for the past few days, I will now introduce a new phrase and together we will begin a movement to take back our program and demand more of a program that ranks among the elite of college football historically.

Tennessee Exceptionalism. We need to make this phrase rank up there with the likes of "Big Orange Country" and "Give Him Six".

What is Tennessee Exceptionalism? It is the belief that Tennessee football belongs among the elite of college football. Tennessee's rightful place is competing with the likes of Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Texas, Florida State, Florida, USC, Penn State, and Nebraska. If Tennessee isn't performing up to that standard, it is up to us to demand it. There is no excuse for the length of time Tennessee has wondered in the wilderness. The really bad times began in 2008 but Tennessee hasn't been nationally relevant since 2001. Credit to Butch Jones, he has brought us back to 2002-2007 levels, but we haven't really been close to elite in 16 years. SIXTEEN YEARS! This is unacceptable. We are currently in our longest ever SEC Championship drought. It doesn't appear that that will end under the current coach. Granted, Alabama is currently enjoying the greatest dynasty in modern college football history, but this drought predates their dominance.

My fear is that a lot of Tennessee fans are beginning to think they can't really expect much more than 8-4. I fear they are starting to think the 90's were just a blip on the radar. It turns my stomach to hear people like Erik Ainge's little sidekick Brian Rice talk about being realistic and trying to make the case that Butch Jones is a great coach that we should feel lucky to have. I don't follow Brian Rice, but somehow he found his way into one of my conversations on Twitter about the recent list where Butch Jones ranked in the 50's among all coaches. He asked if there were really that many coaches better than Butch Jones out there that Tennessee could get? I proceeded to name a few off the top of my head. My list included Chip Kelly, Les Miles, Gary Patterson and Bobby Petrino.

This coach worshipping doofus said that Bobby Petrino wasn't an upgrade and Chip Kelly wouldn't work because he didn't have any recruiting experience in the South. Then he said the rest weren't coming.

To be clear, I am aware that Petrino has a lot of baggage and he wouldn't be my first choice, but to say he wouldn't be an upgrade is moronic. Look at his record and look at Butch's and also look at the talent each had to work with and get back to me.

His "retort" to Chip Kelly (who would be my first choice) was even more ignorant. Chip Kelly's thing is offense. That's what he does. He can hire a staff of recruiters with experience in the South and he's good. Anyone can recruit at Tennessee. Even that moron Dooley got some really good talent. With Chip Kelly's style of offense, I really don't think he would have any trouble recruiting.

And the way he dismissed Chip Kelly was even more laughable. To paraphrase, it was something along the lines of "Yeah, hire a guy with no recruiting experience in the South. Makes sense." This imbecile was just oozing condescension. Stupid people who think they are smart are hilarious but this one happens to have a big platform on State Run. He is pushing this propaganda and Ainge usually agrees with him.

It's people like him that will say things like "Tennessee only averages 8 wins a year for their history". This is such a stupid "argument". Tennessee has a winning percentage of .680. If you apply that average to a 12 game schedule then Tennessee averages 8.16 wins per year. So that stat is close to accurate. The problem is what they omit. Michigan has the highest winning percentage in major college football at .731. Applied to a 12 game schedule, Michigan averages 8.772 wins per year. Alabama averages 8.616. Ohio State averages 8.664. USC averages 8.4. That's not really a big difference. Why can't we demand more out of our program? Michigan doesn't tolerate mediocrity. Alabama doesn't tolerate mediocrity. Ohio State doesn't tolerate mediocrity. USC doesn't tolerate mediocrity. Why should we have to tolerate it?

It's time to start a movement. It's time to demand Tennessee Exceptionalism. Any new hire made at the University of Tennessee should firmly believe in Tennessee Exceptionalism. Any fan who loves the Vols should firmly believe in and demand Tennessee Exceptionalism. If you see examples of Tennessee not trying to be exceptional, call it out. If you hear some sheep fan making excuses for unexceptional performance, try to show them how special Tennessee really is and that Tennessee deserves to be exceptional. Convince them that their loyalty should be to the program above any coach or administrator. People like Brian Rice are out there to try to convince you that Tennessee should just be happy to win 8 games. We have to make our voice heard. We have to demand Tennessee Exceptionalism. Hashtag it on Twitter and Facebook. #TennesseeExceptionalism Spread the word. We can be great again. We just have to demand it.

That said, I AM NOT calling for Butch Jones to be fired right now. I am willing to let the season play out and see how it goes but make no mistake, if Tennessee isn't striving towards Tennessee Exceptionalism at the end of the season, I will absolutely demand it. During the course of the season, I will demand Tennessee Exceptionalism and I will be vocal if I don't see it. I encourage all of you to do the same. Let's get our program back and make our voices heard.

I appreciate all of you who took the time to read this and I humbly ask you to get this movement started. Hashtag it. Tell your friends. Spread the word. It is up to us to demand Tennessee Exceptionalism and make our voices heard.

You can find me on Twitter @Joshes_Blog


Have a great Summer everyone. I will update soon as the season approaches. God Bless and Go Vols!

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