Dear Smokey Claws: My Wish for the New Tennessee Head Coach

John WhiteCorrespondent IIINovember 19, 2012

Dear Smokey Claws,

I only want one thing this year, a coach to rebuild by beloved Vols.

I have looked high and low, and despite all the deals that will present themselves for Black Friday, I still haven't come across any good deals. The last time I checked, Jon Gruden was making seven million dollars a year with his contract and endorsements from ESPN. He is living the good life, and for the first time in his career, he has a home life that provides time for his family.

As much as he wants a return to coaching, I honestly believe he is just biding his time until the Dallas Cowboys become desperate enough to roll the dice on his icy stare.

I thought about Charlie Strong, and despite all of his attributes, I just don't know if the Vols will accept an Urban Meyer assistant at the helm. Yes, I know he's the neatest thing since sliced bread, but can the Vols embrace a guy with Arkansas roots and Notre Dame loyalties?

Is Kirby Smart the guy for the Big Orange? An Alabama native that played and coached for Georgia, then put himself under the very same wings as Derek Dooley, maybe we should just accept that all points say no. I just can't for the life of me see him running through the T.

So where do I look Smokey Claws?

Should we look to fallen heroes? I hear that good ole Phil still wants to coach. He as much as threw his resume into the circle last year, but even desperate programs shied away from the former BCS champion coach from Winchester. I mean, after all, he won 152 games. Even General Neyland would say why not? Alas, the SEC Hall of Famer would upset far too many fans and dredge up way too many memories of complacency.

I am so torn; where do we turn? Should we look to the west? The last I heard, Chris Petersen at Boise State was 80-8 since 2006. I mean, he only makes two million dollars, but UCLA offered him four million dollars and he said his family was comfortable where they are. There is defined loyalty in his personality, but does he have a price? And, would the chancellor give Dave Hart a blank check with enough zeros?

Maybe Gary Patterson; he's done great things for TCU. In 12 years, he's gone 115-34, and he's 7-4 in bowl games. He has ties to Tennessee too. He earned his masters at Tennessee Tech in educational administration, so you know he knows how to further his athletes.

Oh, and in his last four seasons, he is 47-5 with one undefeated season and a BCS Rose Bowl win. He only makes three million dollars right now, so surely Dave Hart would at least talk to him, right?

Sorry, I know the elves are busy and I am taking up way too much of your time. But, one last thing if we have to settle on what we get, then maybe...just maybe, the Sooners are tired of good ole Bob Stoop. He gave them a BCS trophy in 2000, but he has kind of fell short in the last few years. He is 147-36 overall and 7-6 in bowl games. He makes $4.3 million, but could you even persuade him for a higher paycheck? He at the least could restore a fight in the Vols.

Still, he did head up Steve Spurrier's defense for four years. Could the Vols swallow their pride for him?

So what does that leave us? Peyton, are you out there?