Aside from the monsoon, perhaps the most memorable moment of Tennessee’s 30-10 loss to LSU on Saturday was this video:
Look at his reaction to this. We got Gruden boys. pic.twitter.com/bOP563ESA3
— Titan Up (@RollTitanz) November 19, 2017
What words come to mind? Embarrassing? Pathetic? Creepy?
Twitter has done its magic and blasted this guy for approaching John Currie and awkwardly following him. Yet, Twitter loved it when Jon Reed went to an airport and Periscoped the landing of a plane in case Jon Gruden was on it.
Both videos are entertaining. I love both videos. However, the point is this — John Currie shouldn’t care about anything the fans have to say regarding Tennessee’s coaching search.
Fans are important to any program, but I hate to break it to you, it’s NOT because of coaching search expertise. It’s because you spend money. It’s because you invest time into watching the games.
But when it comes to hiring a new head coach, Currie should ignore Vol Nation, especially when there’s an abundance of unwarranted slander of Dan Mullen and misguided praise toward Gruden, who some Tennessee fans view as the potential kryptonite of Nick Saban, to which I laugh at.
And let’s ignore some of the more ridiculous names thrown out there, such as James Franklin, Chris Petersen, and Dabo Swinney. To suggest any of them would leave their incredibly comfortable situations for Rocky Top is patently absurd.
Vol fans are understandably desperate after a decade of coaching that’s ranged from mediocre to disastrous. They’re especially desperate after the toxicity of Butch Jones, a coach that was supported by the majority of fans for four years before this season left so many at the point of no return.
Which ushers in my central point — Tennessee fans really don’t know what they want. If they want Gruden, it’s likely because of his celebrity, which would bring an added layer of excitement around the program. If they don’t want Mullen, it’s because he hasn’t toppled college football’s greatest dynasty while coaching Mississippi State, despite being the most successful coach Starkville has ever seen by a country mile.
They’ll ignore the good coaches out there because “they’ve never heard of them” or because they don’t coach at a major program. Yet, they support a Justin Fuente, who hasn’t notched a single marquee win at Virginia Tech.
It takes an intricate series of mental gymnastics to pinpoint the logic behind what Tennessee fans want, which is why Currie should continue to ignore them.
The former Kansas State AD should continue searching in the shadows. He shouldn’t let the potential negative backlash deter him from a candidate. Instead, he should focus on candidates who possess qualities the fan base can’t see on the surface.
Because regardless of who Currie hires, it doesn’t matter if the Vols are winning underneath the sunshine or getting crushed in a hurricane — the fans are showing up to Neyland Stadium on Saturdays anyway.