There were have been five head coaching changes in the SEC, and two of those hires are viewed in very different lights by Yahoo.
In a story by Pete Thamel on Monday, he labels Tennessee as one of only two schools labeled as the “biggest losers.” The other school in that category was Arizona State, which caught a lot of people by surprise by hiring Herm Edwards.
Thamel cites the Vols’ dizzying coaching search and the fact that Tennessee didn’t bring in Greg Schiano and Mike Leach, two men he views as “exponentially more accomplished and better qualified for the Tennessee job.”
Pairing Phil Fulmer and Jeremy Pruitt as athletic director-head coach will allow Fulmer to exercise control over the program from Thamel’s point of view.
He takes his criticism a step farther by saying other SEC ADs are “giddy” that Fulmer is in charge as he won’t hurt other schools in the conference from that position.
“Expect Tennessee’s glory to remain faded,” Thamel writes.
Meanwhile, among the three “biggest winners” is Mississippi State. Thamel praises athletic director John Cohen for planning ahead of Dan Mullen’s departure to Florida and moving on former Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead quickly.
He believes Cohen got his man in Moorhead, an offensive-minded coach “who can harness the potential of a program that could return 18 starters.”
In Thamel’s mind, the Bulldogs’ coaching search was drastically different than those at Tennessee or Arkansas, schools who he says “waited and whiffed.”