Current coach: Derek Dooley | Current record: 4-5
Even Dooley's staunchest supporters are willing to admit that Saturday's near-loss to Troy was unacceptable. But even Dooley's biggest detractors -- a group that seems to grow by the day -- are willing to admit that the program has a better foundation than when he took over three years ago. A team that was already on a slide under Phillip Fulmer grew insanely unstable under Lane Kiffin. Now that ship has been, if not righted, then certainly stabilized under Dooley, a former athletic director.
In the eyes of would-be head coaches, that gives Tennessee -- a program already blessed with ridiculous facilities, history and well-known deep pockets -- an edge over the other schools on this list.
"From outside the business of college sports, this might read a little nuts when I say this, but Tennessee has some momentum going right now," the SEC athletic director said. "Are they ready to win the BCS or even the SEC? No. But they've already bottomed out and are headed back up. You look at some of these other jobs and they are headed down first before they can come back up. UT has already been there. Derek has done all the heavy lifting. The next guy will reap the benefits from that."
McGee apparently called around and conducted an informal poll among athletic directors and coaches for this ESPN Insider story. There's significantly more to the story overall, but this is probably about as much as I can post under fair use. Vols, others could see quick turnarounds.