Alright, Tennessee, let’s try this again.
Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano won’t be Tennessee’s next head coach after an unprecedented social media onslaught derailed John Currie’s plan to sign him.
Now, the Vols are in the most precarious situation possible. With the fan base lashing out in such a harsh manner, hiring a head coach at the University of Tennessee just became much harder.
That is, unless Currie decides to hire one of Tennessee’s own — USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin.
Martin is the recipient of universal praise in Knoxville due to his role on the 1998 championship team, for which he was the team’s quarterback.
His coaching experience is limited. He’s been on Southern Cal’s coaching staff in 2012 and has been the program’s offensive coordinator since 2016. Over the past two seasons, the Trojans are 20-5 with one of the nation’s top offenses, thanks in large part to the services of quarterback Sam Darnold.
Before we start dubbing Martin a quarterback guru, it’s important to remember that Darnold is an elite talent in his own right and is more of a product of head coach Clay Helton, who is the team’s de facto quarterback coach.
But being around Darnold certainly doesn’t hurt Martin, who could take what he’s learned from being around the future top-overall pick and apply it to the play of Jarrett Guarantano, Tennessee’s supremely talented soon-to-be redshirt sophomore quarterback.
Logically, it wouldn’t make too much sense to hire Martin, however. He’s never been a head coach before, and if his first job is under the microscope of Knoxville, his experience won’t always be pleasant.
However, nothing in Rocky Top is logical these days.
Because Martin is deeply connected with the University of Tennessee, he’ll always have an accurate understanding of the fan base, which has never been more on edge than they are currently. He also understands the expectation — after all, he helped create the lofty expectations by winning a championship.
Currie’s approval rating is at an all-time low. In fact, there are reports that he might be forced to resign due to yesterday’s circus.
While I don’t see Currie resigning, I do see him potentially hiring Martin, who Bruce Feldman reports has a legitimate shot at landing the job.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) November 27, 2017
It’s not a hire that’ll catapult Tennessee over Georgia and Florida. Those programs will run the SEC East for the foreseeable future. But right now, Tennessee’s athletic department needs to be more concerned with finding a way to cool the fan base after its PR nightmare.
Martin will cool most heads. He’ll approach the podium, reminisce about the glory days of the 1990s, and talk about bringing the 1990s back.
It might not lead to division titles, but at least there won’t be as many angry Tweets.