Alabama Football: A prediction of Hugh Freeze as the next head coach of the Tennessee Vols and why it should happen.
For most Alabama football fans, making fun of rivals Tennessee, Auburn and LSU comes easy. Tennessee is the most recent of the programs to open the floodgates to ridicule. We are more than happy to comply.
Most Alabama football fans will agree the Vols have a historic SEC football program. Until a few weeks ago, it was honest to admit the Vols were a stronger basketball program than the Alabama Crimson Tide. How fast perceptions change. Not only has Nate Oats apparently turned the tables on the Vols, the legacy of Tennessee football has been tarnished – again.
Before Vols’ football can start doing something right, it must stop doing everything wrong. New AD, Danny White gives Tennessee fans hope. For good reason, Alabama football fans are highly skeptical.
It is clear Tennessee has no intention of removing ‘Interim’ from Kevin Steele’s title and giving him a caretaker season as the head man. Rumors out of Knoxville are Steele has not been given any authority to make new hires. The Vols want a new leader, not named Steele or Pruitt or Fulmer and they want him quickly.
Names circulating for the Vols vacancy include solid coaches; Tony Elliott, Clemson OC and Buffalo Head Coach, Lance Leipold. White hired Leipold when he was the Buffalo AD. Not only conventional hires, both guys, if they are willing to inherit the Vol mess, would excite Tennessee fans. Another name being thrown around is Sonny Dykes, head coach at SMU. The Vols would no doubt offer each man substantial raises; the kind of money it is hard to turn down. But, the prospective coaches might worry about checks from the Vols clearing the bank.
There is chatter the Vols might not be in as much NCAA trouble as previously thought. The investigation leading to Pruitt’s firing might have exaggerated possible NCAA violations to avoid paying Pruitt’s buyout. Either way, a guy in high demand like Elliott has to ask himself, does he want his career tainted by possibly huge NCAA penalties, even with them having nothing to do with him. Worse, does he want to work for a program that might have misstated Jeremy Pruitt’s misdeeds to save itself millions? Tony Elliott does not need Tennessee to be his next career move.
There is a better fit for the Vols and one who would likely jump at the opportunity. Danny White needs to look no further than Hugh Freeze. Just imagine the narrative that could be written about the Vols and Freeze rehabilitating themselves together. Not only would Freeze bring offensive sizzle to Knoxville, he could also talk contrition and repentance, maybe even enough talk to distract attention away from what happened in Knoxville before him.
There is also a practical side to this suggestion. Elliott and Leipold, even Dykes can wait for a better opportunity; one with a better chance for success. At the Power Five level, Freeze is not going to get a better head coaching opportunity.
Alabama football fans would love for the Vols to hire Freeze. Tide fans want more retribution from his years in Oxford. We want Hugh back in the SEC, which is why we lobbied Auburn to hire Freeze before they chose Bryan Harsin.