Update: While there are certainly a fair share of Tennessee football fans that want Jeremy Pruitt gone, as it turns out the plane in the photo flying over Neyland Stadium was photoshopped. It has been written up by a number of prominent college football websites, and it wouldn’t be the first plane to fly a banner like this, but this one is fake. We regret the error.
Original Post: After a strong finish to the 2019 season, expectations were pretty high for Jeremy Pruitt and Tennessee football entering 2020. They pretty definitively failed to meet them.
An all-SEC schedule made things more difficult, for sure, but Tennessee only managed to go 3-7 on the year, with wins over Missouri, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt. The Tigers were the only team that finished at .500 or better, and the only with a better record than the Vols, that Pruitt’s team managed to beat.
Entering the season, most expected this to be a pretty quiet coaching carousel. That has not really been the case. At the Power Five level, Auburn’s Gus Malzahn, Arizona’s Kevin Sumlin, Vanderbilt’s Derek Mason, Illinois’ Lovie Smith, and South Carolina’s Will Muschamp have all been fired so far. While that may be a bit fewer than a normal year, the SEC looks as active as it would usually be.
Some Tennessee football fans want the Vols to join that list. This afternoon, a tweet is going viral depicting a plane flying a banner that reads “Fire Pruitt” over Neyland Stadium. Even if their wish doesn’t come true this year, it is becoming increasingly clear that Pruitt will have one of the hottest seats in the sport come 2021.
This plane has been flying over Tennessee’s campus for the past hour. pic.twitter.com/apC3tZbQ7C
— Richard G. West (@RGW_News) December 29, 2020
Tennessee was set to play in the Liberty Bowl against West Virginia, with bowl game record requirements waived for the year. The team backed out of the spot after Jeremy Pruitt and others within the team tested positive for COVID-19. That opened up a bowl spot for a much more deserving Army team.
In three seasons, Pruitt has gone 15-17 with some pretty shocking losses, even for a program that was in rough shape when he took it over. The team looked to be heading in the right direction in 2019, winning seven of their final eight games including the Gator Bowl against Indiana. Now, that goodwill has largely eroded.
The Vols are set to open their 2021 season on Sept. 4 against Bowling Green. We’ll see if Pruitt is on the sideline for that one.
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