So much for my bold prediction yesterday
about how the QB position would shake out for the Vols this fall. Yesterday, Phillip Fulmer named the two freshmen co-number one starters
going into the rest of the fall practice and the home opener against UNLV.
It's a bold move for the Vols. Fulmer has never been a coach to start a freshman QB in the past--not even UT's modern legend, Peyton Manning. For him to make this move is, quite frankly, a shocker. It also makes me wonder some things--are these guys really this good or are C.J. Leak and Rick Clausen just not that good? John Adams of the Knoxville News-Sentinel
has an interesting take on all of this
--namely that Fulmer has decided the future is now and he's going after the SEC Championship this year. And having these guys seasoned and battle-tested for the game in Athens against the Bulldogs could be one assett in the Vols' favor in what could prove to be the game that decides the SEC East champion. (First of all, these guys have to do enough to take out Florida at home on Sept. 18th).
It makes you wonder if Fulmer isn't beginning to hear a lot of the criticism by fans and the media that he and the team are under-achieving. ESPN's Marv Alberts took this shot at Fulmer and the Vols recently:
''The heat is on Fulmer. It's time for Tennessee to do something,'' Alberts said. ''They have wallowed in mediocrity for some time. UT's performance in the Peach Bowl was abysmal, embarrassing. There was a lack of motivation. They have the talent, just no motivation. I'm very interested to see what happens. They will either be a lot better, or they will get worse. But they can't get much worse.''
All I can say is--ouch! I don't think it's necessarily that we're that BAD, we just haven't ended the season well . Two losses in the Peach Bowl plus our 2001 collapse to LSU in the second half of the SEC Championship game have left a bitter taste in a lot of fans' mouths (mine included).
's David Climer also has an interesting column
on the situation with C.J. Leak. It was his job to lose--and that's just what he did.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 8/20/2004 09:18:00 AM