At the time of writing this on Sunday afternoon, the University of Tennessee and had fired Tennessee coach Derek Dooley. And there was a rumor that Bobby Petrino had agreed to a 6 year, $33M deal to become the new Tennessee head coach. As you are reading this, that rumor may be debunked. Or it could be fact. No matter what, the fact that rumors are out linking Petrino and Tennessee are sure to infuriate about half the Kentucky fan base.
To be honest, I am on the fence about Petrino. I just want someone in here that can install a winning tradition at Kentucky. But the rumors of Petrino to Tennessee are sure to flame the vocal part of the fanbase that feel simply that Tennessee is a better job than Kentucky. But are they really?
I know they have the TRADITION, the better facilities and the memories of a football national championship, but for a coach hopping into the job, is Tennessee really better? Both teams have fired their coaches after just three years on the job. Let’s look at the on the field product:
KENTUCKY: JOKER PHILLIPS
SEC RECORD: 4-19
vs Top 25 RECORD: 1-13
TENNESSEE: DEREK DOOLEY
SEC RECORD: 4-19
vs Top 25 RECORD: 0-15
With a UK win on Saturday, Kentucky has a better head to head record, better SEC record, and just one less win overall than Tennessee over the past three season. You can argue that Tennessee has much better players, but whether it is Dooley’s fault or not, this is not reflected in the record. We can argue talent all day long, but IF Kentucky beats Tennessee on Saturday, two straight wins would say UK is the better team. And Kentucky will be fielding one of the nations youngest teams.
And there is one other big factor that may prove the point that the Kentucky job may be better than Tennessee at this time.