Will Dooley be given enough time to turn Vols around? Arkansas loss energizes foes of Dooley jh84

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley reacts as Arkansas scores their seventh touchdown of the night at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville on Nov. 12, 2011. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess, ©KNS/2011

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley reacts as Arkansas scores their seventh touchdown of the night at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville on Nov. 12, 2011. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

When I went to hear Johnny Majors speak the other day at the Little Rock Touchdown Club, I took note that Majors really liked Dooley and thought he would succeed. However, Majors said the administration may not give him enough time.

On the way to the Tennessee game from Little Rock on Saturday morning I stopped at a truckstop in Ozark where a bus load of Tennessee fans were. They were in the men’s room talking about Dooley. One said, “We have never been 0-5 in the SEC before in my whole life. We need to get a new coach!!” Several others disputed with that and said that Dooley needed another year to show improvement. We will just have to see what happens.

Below is an article from the Knoxville Newspaper:

Five thoughts on SEC football as the season approaches the two-minute drill:

A tip of the visor to Georgia and Mark Richt. Left for dead — by many of their own fans — after an 0-2 start, the Bulldogs have only one bit of unfinished business left to wrap up their first appearance in the SEC championship game since 2005.

All Georgia has to do is beat Kentucky on Saturday and Richt will be grand marshal of the parade from Athens to Atlanta.

When Georgia lost to South Carolina on Sept. 10, it looked as if Richt might be wearing tar and feathers on a one-way trip out of Athens.

Tennessee fans can only wonder how different things might have been if the schedules had been flipped. The Bulldogs played Auburn, Ole Miss and Mississippi State from the West, who are a combined 5-14 in SEC play.

Tennessee played Alabama, LSU and Arkansas, who are a combined 19-2, the two losses against each other.

Maybe you hadn’t heard about The SEC-Southern Conference Challenge.

What other explanation for Saturday’s schedule with four SEC foes stepping down against FCS teams from the Southern Conference.

There’s South Carolina-Citadel, Florida-Furman and Auburn-Samford. The marquee match is 9-1 Alabama against 9-1 Georgia Southern.

Hey, Tennessee wants in on the act. The Vols would rather play Chattanooga than Vanderbilt this week.

Can a coach get fired after two years?

No, I’m not talking aboutDerek Dooley. Kentucky’s fortunes have declined precipitously since Joker Phillips replaced Rich Brooks.

The conditions that have led to Tennessee’s dire straits have been well documented. Kentucky’s situation has been a picture of stability in comparison, Phillips the coach-in-waiting as Brooks played out his string.

Phillips won’t get fired after two years, but a significant segment of the Big Blue fan base has already cut bait.

There is great defense in the SEC this year, but isn’t there some bad offense, too?

Nine SEC teams rank 76th or worse in total offense, and that includes No. 1 LSU (79th).

Kentucky is 118th, Ole Miss 113th. In spots 96-99 are, respectively, Tennessee, Auburn, Florida and Vanderbilt. South Carolina is 86th.

In scoring offense, seven schools rank 68th or worse, including Florida (82), Auburn (84), Tennessee (102), Ole Miss (109) and Kentucky (113).

Which brings me to UT’s five-game run without a second-half score.

Bad things are repeating themselves.

Exhibit A: Tennessee’s first possession of the second half at Arkansas was sabotaged by a sack (minus-11 yards), followed by a shanked punt that gave Arkansas great field position for a touchdown drive.

We’d seen that sequence before. Against Georgia, the Vols started the second half with a bad shotgun snap (minus-15 yards), followed by a short punt that gave the Bulldogs field position for a touchdown drive.

Exhibit B: Dooley gambled on fourth-and-1 at his 40 against Arkansas and lost. The Razorbacks took over and threw a 40-yard TD pass on their first play.

At Alabama, Dooley gambled and lost on fourth-and-1 at his 39. The Tide took over and threw a 39-yard TD pass on the first play.

While I’m at it, at the end of the first half at Arkansas, Justin Worley threw an interception at the 1. Against South Carolina, he was intercepted at the 2.

Mike Strange may be reached at strangem@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/strangemike44 and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/strange.

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley reacts as Arkansas scores their seventh touchdown of the night at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville on Nov. 12, 2011. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess, ©KNS/2011

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley reacts as Arkansas scores their seventh touchdown of the night at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville on Nov. 12, 2011. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley looks at the point after attempt that put Arkansas ahead 49-7 at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville on Nov. 12, 2011. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess, ©KNS/2011

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley looks at the point after attempt that put Arkansas ahead 49-7 at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville on Nov. 12, 2011. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

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