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THIS WEEK IN SCHADENFREUDE: Tennessee, with ‘nothing left to burn down,’ must hire Bobby Petrino

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Your tour of the most honking-mad in college football internet begins with a cry for help from Knoxville.

Florida v Tennessee Photo by Donald Page/Getty Images

Welcome back to THIS WEEK IN SCHADENFREUDE, your tour of the most upset and desperately conspiratorial in college football internet. This week’s tour spends most of its time in one place and then takes a quick whip-around other corners of the sport.

Tennessee got routed by rival Florida, 47-21.

When Tennessee hired Jeremy Pruitt at the end of the world’s most chaotic coaching search last December, patience was one of the words of the month. The Vols’ fanbase understood Pruitt had a long rebuild after the carnage wrought by Butch Jones.

Let’s see how that mindset’s holding up, with a visit to the VolNation.com message board.

Should athletic director Phillip Fulmer fire Pruitt and replace him with himself? Yes.

No Way Out - Let’s Burn it Down With Phil

Tennessee football is over. We can’t recruit in Knoxville. We can’t run it on ETSU. We won’t win a game in the SEC for two years in a row. It will be a decade or more before we see a 10 win team.

So let’s give the keys back to Fulmer. I mean can it get any worse? We couldn’t win the OVC. At least he’d “work like heck!”

On another note, I think we should install luxury couch seats in the stadium. Every fan gets a 6 foot sofa seat. Maybe then we could fill our stadium on a couple of games in the next few years.

But Fulmer choked against Florida a lot himself, someone replied.

I’m just saying if your gonna die in a foxhole, let’s do it with someone we like. I would have kinda liked to see the postgame pressers with Leach.

But a more obvious problem emerged:

Nothing left to burn down.

But, there’s an obvious way around that:

Good point. Maybe we can just kick around in the ashes of what used to be with a familiar or fun coach.

In the coaches show we could just replay old games and relive past glory. We just like current games didn’t even take place.

Another thread merely posits, in Week 4: Pruitt has lost this team.

The case for Fulmer is rooted in one attribute the 68-year-old brings that Pruitt doesn’t: an ability to inspire Generation Z to get to work.

This thread explains what the Vols are so badly missing:

Click here For an obvious answer to what’s missing

Ed. note: Drumroll here.

Ed. note: Let’s proceed.

Leadership.

We haven’t had a true leader as a coach since Fulmer. Pruitt may be that guy, I don’t know yet, but when there’s a void of leadership in anything there’s a lack of production in everything. We saw first hand last night that we don’t have a single leader on the field. No one willing to call out a teammate, no one willing to gather everyone on the sideline and no one willing to leave it on the field. (I believe a lot of it is because of this “snowflake” generation but I’ll leave that for the political forum.)

If Pruitt is fired, I can think of a certain 2-2 coach in Kentucky who would only represent UT with integrity.

Bad hire

We need to spend the money and hire a head coach ASAP!!!!

Moments later, a follow-up on who that might be:

Let’s go after Louisville head coach ASAP!!!!!

Ironclad plan.

That’s all funny, but the same thread gets really dark if you keep reading.

The sad fact is based on what we’ve seen so far...we are no better off with Pruitt than we were with Butch. In fact...we are WORSE.

Actually, it gets even darker if you click over to this commentary.

I am afraid that Pruitt is our Muschamp

I see many similarities between the Gators hiring of Muschamp and our hiring of Pruitt. Neither one had ever been a head coach at any level and cut their teeth as DB coaches. Both were DCs at three big time schools where they had top defenses.

I think Muschamp wasnt ready for such a big time program but learned a lot from his time at Florida and has used it to his advantage at South Carolina. I am hoping that Pruitts time at Tennessee doesnt result in a similar situation where he learns on the job here and then excels at Ole Miss or something.

Someone help these people.

Are Tennessee’s players conspiring with one another to win their starting jobs and then not try during games? One has to wonder.

Are the players gaming the system?

By playing well enough in practice to get the start, then not showing on game day.

I have trouble believing none of the folks on the bench could do better.

Is Pruitt being played?

(Pruitt did tell a player to leave the stadium after that player didn’t want to enter the Florida game, Pruitt claimed (the player denies it), so maybe this theory warrants a deeper investigation.)

(It does not.)

Vols fans who were actually at the game had the worst experience of all.

Let’s run through some highlights.

This particular Vol had an eventful Neyland Stadium experience.

I got thrown out!

I walked out the entrance, threw my water bottle against the wall, and started down the ramp. The cops ran me down and kicked me out. WTH? I didn’t say anything to anybody, didn’t argue with the cop. Oh well, that was the 2nd quarter and I knew it was over. Didn’t miss anything but a beatdown. Worst football team I have ever seen.

He wasn’t shown any sympathy.

Do the cops have any eligibility?

This Redditor tried to make a comparison that’s honestly too flattering to Tennessee, given the events of the past week.

Our winless streak in the SEC is 672 days. The Cleveland Browns have won two games in that stretch. We are the Browns of the SEC.

But in one sense, the parallel is on the money:

And both teams are owned by the Haslams!

You could probably get decent action on this in Vegas:

I wonder what happens first? The Browns going at least .500 or TN winning an SEC game?

Head coaches don’t usually make it into this chronicle of fan misery, but Pruitt is included by rule after kicking a whiteboard.

The catch-all response that works for anything right now:

Elsewhere, Virginia Tech lost to Old Dominion, an 0-3 Conference USA team that had never won a Power 5 game in the history of its program.

Then the Hokies kicked maybe their best defender off the team, and by Sunday, he’d made his Twitter profile picture a headline about them losing.

Let’s take the temperature of the folks at the Tech Sideline message board.

Specifically, how are they sizing up Tech’s season now that the Hokies have dropped to 2-1 and still have to win a mighty ACC Coastal that includes Miami and, uh, other teams?

Very well:

Never thought I’d say this but would take Belk bowl bid now!

Someone cautioned:

Assuming bowl eligibility is reached

But at least there’s this possibility ...

I hope they get the potatoe bowl in Boise ID at this point

Any bowl would be an accomplishment this yr

... which could be made even better ...

With Dan Quayle as the MC :>)

Or the Hokies could just go to the ancestral homeland of all fallen ACC powers:

Shreveport has a nice ring to it :>)

Someone had a helpful reminder for Justin Fuente.

Hey Coach, you ain’t at Memphis No more!!!!!

Earn your freaking pay

Accurate. Memphis won 10 games last year and played in its conference title game.

This diehard was even more direct:

Ok - just burned my VT flag, I’m over it now

On the bright side, Virginia Tech’s loss created an opportunity for this fan to vastly improve their information security practices.

Changing my password to everything now so Hokies don’t appear anywhere

And Mississippi State lost to Kentucky, who might be good.

The problem is that Joe Moorhead is too nice. Let’s make a stop at the EliteDawgs.com forum before we turn the page to Week 5.

I?m definitely questioning this hire. This is pathetic, and yes, we are average.

Moorhead’s in over his head in this conference. His approach to being sweet to his kids will produce undiscipline play on the field. Bama, LSU, and AU might drag us big time.

After just one loss to a team that might be pretty good, you might think the masses would immediately rush to the coach’s defense. You would be wrong:

This was a garbage hire. We in big trouble.

Disappointment at Moorhead’s stoicism is a full-blown thing. Someone else noted:

I haven’t seen Moorhead get pissed or emotional

One time this season. He should’ve been in some refs asses tonight.

There’s only one thing left to do: get fired up.

Coach Steve Bartman better find some inkling of fire and soon. Headset Joe approach does not work down here. Show some life pal.

Clanga.