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Vol Villains Round One: Ed Orgeron vs. Dave Clawson

This picture was taken in a game his team lost by 44 points while being outgained by 483 yards.
This picture was taken in a game his team lost by 44 points while being outgained by 483 yards.

The most diabolical assistant coaches in Tennessee history, though I'm pretty sure only one of them was actually trying to be.

Ed Orgeron

  • Replaced our own David Cutcliffe at Ole Miss in 2005. The Rebel decision makers who forced Cutcliffe out were rewarded with a 10-25 run from 2005-07, including 3-21 in the SEC. Orgeron beat two teams with a winning record. Both of them were Memphis.
  • Chose the Vols over LSU thanks to a late recruiting push from the Kiffins. Orgeron looked like he was in a great situation here: he could recruit, he wasn't in charge of anything significant on gameday, and he could get defensive linemen to the NFL (like Dan Williams). This clearly wasn't a guy you wanted as your head coach or even your defensive coordinator, but the role he served with UT made him so easy to like without having to worry about him really hurting the program. Which made what eventually happened so much worse.
  • When Kiffin left in the middle of the night - and don't worry, we'll get to that tomorrow - Orgeron called early enrollees and told them not to go to class so they could eventually enroll at USC. He was either too stupid to realize or too brash to care that some of them were in a team meeting at the time, playing his ridiculous call on speaker phone for the players to hear.
  • As the recruiting head of the chimera, he is significantly responsible for landing the #10 overall class in 2009. His "We're not angels, and we're not going to recruit a bunch of angels" comment suggests he is also significantly responsible for the character judgments of the players who made up that class; eight of the top twelve recruits from that class are not with the team today.
  • If you made up the most creative rumor about something spectacularly, flagrantly illegal he did on the recruiting trail while at UT, my first response would be, " could be true."
  • Has destroyed my ability to enjoy the Colonel Reb is Crying video.
  • "Maybe Orgeron is Kiffin with even less self control, maybe he's just Ron Zook with a worse record, but either way, perhaps no one person has done more deliberate damage to the Tennessee program while offering less tangible value in return." - Doug Gillett in our Rocky Top Tennessee 2010 annual

Dave Clawson

  • Made us spend the summer of 2008 fantasizing about the Clawfense and The Incredible Flipping O-Line. As Joel put it on a podcast earlier this year, "It was going to be so complicated that only we could understand it."
  • First part was right on the money: the 2008 Vols were 111th in scoring, 89th in rushing, 107th in passing, and 116th in total offense.
  • At UCLA, Arian Foster and Montario Hardesty averaged 6.48 yards per carry. But Clawson went to Jonathan Crompton for 41 pass attempts, of which he completed only 19. The Vols lost.
  • In The Battle of The Worst Offensive Coordinators of All-Time, Tennessee was down 14-12 at Auburn in the fourth quarter. The Vols started four consecutive drives between the UT 43 and the Auburn 40, needing only a field goal to win. The result: four straight three and outs.
  • Ultimately, the person most responsible for what happened to Phillip Fulmer is Phillip Fulmer. But Dave Clawson is next in line.
  • Think about all the terrible things you and I said about Jonathan Crompton. After the second half of 2009, how many of those things would we go back and adjust to make less about Crompton and more about Clawson?
  • Both looks like and knows just as much about football as Jimmy from Bull Durham (or Pete "Dead Meat" Thompson from Hot Shots!, if you like).
  • Became the head coach at Bowling Green after Fulmer was fired, because apparently no one in their athletic department owns a television or has the ability to read a box score. The Falcons' final offensive numbers in 2010: 99th scoring, 120th rushing, 51st passing, 115th total offense. GIVE HIM TIME!