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Did Tennessee open up the pocketbook?

Discussion in 'Recruiting' started by Curly Bill, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. Curly Bill

    Curly Bill I'm a shootist

    For a program that rarely if ever wins on a large scale or anything of consequence, Tennessee still manages every few years to haul in an unbelievable recruiting class, and I'm always left pondering how they manage to do it? I confess that much I like I believe Ole Miss managed to haul in its monster class last year by opening up the proverbial checkbook, I assume Tennessee has done the same. Any of you recruiting gurus have any better reasons?

    Disclaimer: I've hated Tennessee for sometime as being a poser in the big-time college football scene, and also because over the years they've managed to beat OU in a few head to head recruiting battles, and even managed to snag Robert Meachem out of Oklahoma years back.

    Addition: I feel much the same way about Clemson, though without the recruiting losses to them that we've had to Tennessee.
  2. Flagstaffsooner

    Flagstaffsooner SoonerFans.com Elite Member

    Tennessee has always had an open checkbook. They are SEC.
    Curly Bill likes this.
  3. Curly Bill

    Curly Bill I'm a shootist

    True...true...but most of the other SEC teams at least accomplish something ever once in a while. Tennessee - not so much!

    And I should add: I think pretty much all major college football programs are cheating in some way or the other, whether it be with the knowledge of the school staff, or just from boosters and those outside the program.
    Flagstaffsooner likes this.
  4. yermom

    yermom Stayatworkdad

    They just haven't in the last few years. They were losing SEC championship games not that long ago

    They could probably use another Peyton Manning
  5. Curly Bill

    Curly Bill I'm a shootist

    Key word being losing. Much like Clemson over the years they've occasionally managed to be in the hunt for something big, but never seem to accomplish the big goal. Yet, here we are, and according to Rivals they have the #3 recruiting class in the nation so far. And say what you will about the value of these recruiting rankings and the like, but if you look at the list of top 10 classes, the one school that makes no sense being included is Tennessee, and not only are they on the top 10 list, but they're #3!
  6. yermom

    yermom Stayatworkdad

    they are a traditional power school though. they fill that stadium somehow. they have a TON of crazy fans
  7. diverdog

    diverdog New Member

    It is a nice school and the stadium is a great recruiting tool.

    Tennessee will always be second fiddle to the Bama and Florida schools. That is their curse.
  8. Curly Bill

    Curly Bill I'm a shootist

    I question if they're really a "traditional power." I have no doubt in their minds they are. And I know about the tons of crazy fans, and I'm sure some of those crazy fans have very deep pockets, which is what I'm getting at - they are not winning in any major way, I doubt recruits see Tennessee as some "destination" such as Miami, southern California, or something along those lines, and yet they're killing it in recruiting. My assumption is some of those deep pocketed fans are spending plenty to make Tennessee a desired destination.
  9. NorthernIowaSooner

    NorthernIowaSooner New Member

    They have won over 800 games. They claim 6 national championships but only 2 were AP championships. Those are a bit conflicting when you think of a "power." They've won a lot, just not a lot of important games.
  10. Widescreen

    Widescreen SoonerFans.com Elite Member

    I didn't think so either but the same Scout analysis that named OU the #1 program since 1936 based on the AP poll has Tennessee as #9.
  11. Curly Bill

    Curly Bill I'm a shootist

    Yeah I get that, but by ancient standards Army might be called a traditional power too.
  12. stoopified

    stoopified SoonerFans.com Elite Member

    You DO realize that the Volunteers have 804 all-time wins? That places them *th all-time in NCAA history. They may have sucked for the last decade but that happens to a lot of teams. Has everyone forgetten what the 90's were like around gere? If TU gets a top coach they will return to relevance.This is not Iowa St. or Vanderbilt or Northwestern or Mississippi. Given the resources,tradition, and facilities ,not to mention rabid fanbase I am surprised they have not attracted a topnotch coach.
  13. Breadburner

    Breadburner Well-Known Member

    Orange ****in sucks.......!!!!!
  14. Curly Bill

    Curly Bill I'm a shootist

    This is what I'm suggesting. That they are in fact using some of those "resources" in an attempt to return to relevance.
  15. Curly Bill

    Curly Bill I'm a shootist

    And I don't care how many all-time wins they have. Until this year the Dallas Cowboys had played in more NFC Championship games than any other team. When is the last time they truly mattered? Same with Tennessee.
  16. 8timechamps

    8timechamps Administrator

    I don't think Tennessee is doing anything different than they have done in recent years. I read at some point that Tennessee spends more on recruiting than anyone in the SEC (and possibly the country). The biggest difference this year (and last) is coaching. Think about it: Butch Johnson seems to have the program heading in the right direction, and as sexy as the SEC has been, he can sell recruits on the opportunity to be a part of the turn-around (and beat the SEC front runners). Tennessee is a lot like OU, in that there isn't a huge pipeline of great players in the state, so they lean on Georgia, Alabama and Florida to pull their talent. Location is always a big seller. Just like OU selling a Texas kid on proximity, Tennessee can sell the recruits in the southeast on proximity.

    Then there's the campus, stadium, facilities and town. Knoxville is an awesome college town, except that it's much bigger than a college town. And the folks there, much like the rest of the SEC, are crazy about their football. They have to be to consistently fill up their stadium.

    So, there's a lot to sell, and a lot of reasons a recruit would pick UT.

    As for them being a "power", I think they are a second tier power. There are a dozen or so traditional college powerhouses, and I don't think Tennessee is in that category. They have won a national title in the last 20 years (98), and continue to put players in the NFL, but I have never really viewed them as "elite".

    Disclaimer: Both of my parents are Tennessee graduates, I lived in Knoxville until I was about 8, and I still have a lot of family there. I don't really have an opinion on their program one way or another, and a loss means the same as a win to me. However, they have had some really good teams over the years, and they've won more games than most D1 programs.
  17. Curly Bill

    Curly Bill I'm a shootist

    This is the way I see em too.
  18. Bourbon St Sooner

    Bourbon St Sooner SoonerFans.com Elite Member

    I went to Tennessee for grad school. The leaves turning in the fall is just beautiful. Actually, to me, the surprising thing is how far down they've been for so long with everything they've got going for them. I'm still far more interested in how ole **** pulled in their recruiting haul last year than what UT is doing this year.

    And, remember, UT stomped thug u back in '85 to deliver us a national title.
  19. 8timechamps

    8timechamps Administrator

    It's one of my top 5 college "towns". I'm sure childhood memories help, but it's just a great place to watch college football (and live). I've also been to Oxford (never for a game), and I understand the grove is a great place to be on gameday, but otherwise, I don't see any attraction to Ole Miss, and I'm still convinced that there was something extra-circular that attracted some of those recruits.

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