Yesterday and today have been pretty tough. Yesterday's press conference was a huge punch in the gut--not because I didn't think "change" was going to happen this season or soon after--but because we saw a man who was facing the reality that the Institution that he loved and served nearly his entire professional life didn't love him quite as much. Judging from yesterday, the day each of us have to face that type of reality is a sad, sad day.
I'm not going to argue against the decision. People who are paid to make the objective, tough choices made this decision and I'm sure there was a thorough "process" that fully examined whether this needed to be done. Fine. I can will have to live with that.
Here is what bothers me. What now? For my entire life, Tennessee has been run by a Tennessee man. Say what you will about the two, but Phillip Fulmer and Johnny Majors were absolutely all about and all for Tennessee. My worry is that the era of the coach that lives to serve has been replaced by the era of the coach that is going to get paid. Are we going to find the captain that leads this team for the next decade plus? Or are we going to find the stop gap that leads this football team with an eye constantly out for his future. Is there a candidate out there that can embrace Tennessee or is it full of candidates that are chomping at the bit to have "Head Football Coach, Tennessee" as a sexy, yet temporary bullet point on their resume?
I'm worried. Very worried. We saw what Florida, Alabama, Nebraska, and Notre Dame went through during their extended search for a coach. I'm worried that the Volunteer State is about to experience the same thing.