Tennessee Volunteers Experience Historic Lows with Derek Dooley

Daniel HudsonCorrespondent IIINovember 18, 2012

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 17: Head coach Derek Dooley of the University of Tennessee reacts to a call during a 41-18 loss against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Vanderbilt Stadium on November 17, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

The Tennessee Volunteers were delivered one of the most embarrassing losses in school history (yes, school history) Saturday night against Vanderbilt. Fans are understandably at a loss for words. Never before have they seen the Vols have such a futile run of football.

That's because the last time Tennessee experienced such a run, none of them were alive.

From 1909 to 1911, Tennessee changed head coaches three years in a row, resulting in the team's last run of three consecutive losing seasons until now. Some things are better left in the past.

The 41-18 thrashing made Derek Dooley just the second head coach in Vol history to have three losing seasons in his career. He has the 10th-most games coached but fourth-worst win percentage of the 24 head coaches in Tennessee history.

The Volunteers haven't lost to Kentucky or Vanderbilt in back-to-back seasons since 1981 and 1982. That 1982 game was also the last time the Big Orange lost in Nashville.

Since 2009, the Vols are 0-12 against Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. They're also just 3-2 against Vanderbilt and Kentucky, hoping to make it 4-2 next week.

I say this all not to further depress the Vol faithful but to help put things in perspective. It was no fun having "Rocky Top" sung to me by a "rowdy" group of Vandy fans on the way out of the stadium, and the program needs to have a serious sense of urgency when it makes its next move.

Things are historically bad on Rocky Top. The stats are bad enough, but the body language is even worse. There are times when the attitude on the field is a disgrace to the Power T. But the real travesty is that there is an incredible amount of offensive talent that is being wasted.

I believe the end to the Derek Dooley Era will come this week before the Kentucky game. At that point, the most important moment of at least the last 50 years will come upon the football program.

Who's the next guy going to be?