Wonder if UT fans will now give Dooley a pass if they lose this game. He's 0-19 or something like that against ranked teams. Rarely does anyone outside Tennessee pay attention to what's going on in Knoxville, but when they do it will be when Dooley is fired.
An MRI on Friday revealed why Derek Dooley had been feeling pain for several months — he had a fracture in his hip and needed immediate surgery. That surgery came yesterday. And because of it, Dooley’s fracture may be a bad break for a second reason.
Heading into what’s possibly the most important game of his career Saturday night in Starkville, the coach will miss practice today and could miss practice again tomorrow. He’ll also have to coach Saturday night’s game against Mississippi State from the press box.
For a team desperate for a win, the Vols will now have to deal with not having their head coach on the sideline with them.
As The Knoxville News Sentinel points out, the last UT coach to preside over a game from the press box was Johnny Majors in 1992 as he returned from heart surgery. Majors was forced out at the end of that 9-3 season and replaced with his assistant Phillip Fulmer.
Dooley — whose seat is hot to begin with — will have to hope the press box situation isn’t a bad omen for him. Or a distraction for his 3-2 team. With Alabama and a road trip to South Carolina coming up, Tennessee probably needs a win over MSU to avoid what on paper looks a whole lot like a four-game slide. (UT lost to Georgia 51-44 in its last outing.)
There’s no word yet on who will be the point person on the sideline in Dooley’s absence.
We wish Dooley a speedy recovery.