What will UGA fans make of ‘Dooley’s Vols’?

UGA-bred Derek Dooley is a definite step up in class from Lane Kiffin. (Louisiana Tech)

UGA-bred Derek Dooley is a definite step up in class from Lane Kiffin. (Louisiana Tech)

As college football rivalries go, the one between UGA and Tennessee doesn’t have a lot of history (they didn’t play for many years) and it has never had the intensity of Georgia-Florida, or the sibling-like feel of Georgia-Auburn and the season-ending meeting with Tech.

And yet the rivalry with the Vols is the only one in modern memory that saw UGA fans tear down the goal posts in Athens after a win, and it produced one of Larry Munson’s most memorable calls in Knoxville.

I got to thinking about the nature of that rivalry after my son raised the question of how having Vince Dooley’s son Derek as the UT head coach might change how UGA fans view Tennessee.

Certainly, Dooley, who grew up in Athens, played and got his undergrad degree at Virginia and received his law degree from UGA, won’t be the obvious villain in fans’ eyes that loudmouthed Lane Kiffin aspired to be. By all appearances to date, he’s a classy guy who’s more likely to take the higher road like his dad did.

There’s a certain residual affection for Derek Dooley among many in the Bulldog Nation. During his time at Louisiana Tech, I heard quite a few Georgia fans pulling for him to succeed, and his name was even floated from time to time as a likely successor to Mark Richt one day.

But Dooley reportedly is a tenacious recruiter (he was LSU’s recruiting coordinator under Nick Saban), and if he goes so far as to, say, pry a prized five-star commitment away from UGA, that certainly wouldn’t endear him to fans of the Dogs.

Of course, he’d only be doing his job in that regard and I don’t think any reasonable UGA fan could really work up a hate for him over even that.

Still, it is going to be “strange,” as his father said, when Dooley brings his team to play Between the Hedges. “Dooley’s Vols” just doesn’t sound right.

And there’ll be a lot of media hoopla, no doubt centering on what his parents will be wearing and for whom they’ll be cheering. Vince has said Barbara will wear orange and cheer loudly for her youngest son, whereas he’ll have “mixed emotions” and will pull “quietly” for Derek in his private box at Sanford Stadium. Even that has upset some Georgia fans who seem to think the elder Dooley should put his former employer over his own child.

But while the “Dooley” name fronting the Vols might give the annual game against Georgia a bit of the “Bowden Bowl” flavor, overall I’d say having Derek Dooley at UT will cool the rivalry off a bit from what it might have been with Kiffin at the helm. And certainly the young Dooley won’t be as easy a target for ridicule as Kiffin would have been or Phil “the Great Pumpkin” Fulmer was.

What do you think? Will you view Tennessee any differently with a Dooley as coach? And is it high treason for Vince to pull, even quietly, for his son to beat the Dogs?

192 comments Add your comment

UGA 2010

January 29th, 2010
11:02 am

good question?

JR

January 29th, 2010
11:03 am

“the great pumpkin” real original.. great journalism

UGA 2010

January 29th, 2010
11:06 am

i dont kno wut id say if i even saw V Dooley KIND OF cheering. and honestly i think i WOULD in a way resent dooley if he takes a 5 star recruit from us.

Ron Mexico

January 29th, 2010
11:06 am

First! Maybe?

UGA 2010

January 29th, 2010
11:06 am

oh yeah and FIRST!!!

Ron Mexico

January 29th, 2010
11:07 am

I think he will do great in for UT. Good Luck young Dooley!

Ron Mexico

January 29th, 2010
11:08 am

Man I need coffee this morning LOL.

DawgsForever

January 29th, 2010
11:08 am

If he keeps stealing UGA recruits…especially from our own back yard…he will turn into the villain pretty quickly! Shoot we already struggle to win the SEC East with top 5 recruiting classes. How far back do we fall if we drop to top 20 recruiting classes because Dooley steals 4 or 5 of our top home grown players to UT???

HOUNDSTOOTH HOMO

January 29th, 2010
11:08 am

I LOVE NICK SABAN’S HAIR AND MY 473 NC!!!

uga_b

January 29th, 2010
11:09 am

Definitely not treason to pull for family. He pulls for the Bulldog family the rest of the time. As far as I can tell, this makes UT the second team in the East I hope does well replacing UK I guess. I still want UGA to beat them up and down, but I won’t root for them to lose as much. Hard to root against a good person and a good family. We need people like Derek to succeed and people like Kiffin to fail.

VolAlum

January 29th, 2010
11:10 am

I’m just glad to get rid of Kiffin. Dooley is a class act.

Dean

January 29th, 2010
11:10 am

I will respect Dooley and will lay off the vols as much as possible while he is there. But, given the way they treat their coaches give him a 7-5 season and they will be trying to run him out of town. There is a serious misunderstanding of how college football ebbs and flows with the fans from Knoxville. I do wish he had chosen a classier fan base and a school not in the SEC to make his name.

Paul H

January 29th, 2010
11:12 am

Whether it’s Dooley or Kiffin, Tennessee is still Tennessee and my opinion on them remains the same.

HOUNDSTOOTH HOMO

January 29th, 2010
11:13 am

NO STORY…..

I wish I was on ole...

January 29th, 2010
11:16 am

It is absolutely as easy to hate the Vols today as it was one month ago. If he does pull Da’Rick Rogers away from UGA, any positive emotion displayed by Dawg fans towards Dooley the younger will vanish. His job is to beat our beloved Dawgs. Period. Also, do not forget that current UGA freshmen and sophomores were born AFTER Dooley retired from UGA. They care as much for him as most middle aged UGA fans care for Wally Butts. That is to say, there is some respect there, but a general apathy. It won’t be hard for them to despise Dooley 2.0, especially if he beats us next year.

Finally, I understand that Auburn and GT or our two oldest rivalries. The GT game actually had to be canceled for a while in the early 20th century due to violence between the two fan bases. However, since the SEC was split into two divisions, our priorities have changed. Yes we want to beat AU and GT, but we HAVE to beat UT and UF to succeed, thereby making them our two most important (and bitter) rivalries. In closing, when you’re sitting in Sanford next fall, and you’ve just heard Rocky Top for the 36th time, and its still the first quarter, you’ll remember why you hate the cream sicles. To hell with Tennessee.

Volman

January 29th, 2010
11:19 am

Are you kidding Dean? You guys were ready to run Richt out of town this past year. UT is no different than any other SEC school. Mediocrity is not tolerated. I won’t even mention how my wife was spit on the last time we were in Athens. Get out, see the world and don’t be so delusional.

JB

January 29th, 2010
11:20 am

Volman, you can go to ANY SEC venue and have problems ( my father in law had to leave a game in your house at half time because of a little to much booze by some of your finest). It happens. 95% of our folks are great and yours are. don’t paint with a wide brush.

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

January 29th, 2010
11:20 am

Having D Dooley as head coach will for sure make it harder to despise the Vols. But somehow I think I’ll be up to the task. Especially after talking to a few of their fans. In Tn there is a saying ” you can tell a Vol fan, but you can’t tell him much” Best of luck to the UT nation, you got better than you deserve

Ryan

January 29th, 2010
11:24 am

Still hate Tennessee, don’t hate Dooley. Every coach needs a stepping stone before they make it to a class program like UGA.

Mikey in the SAV

January 29th, 2010
11:27 am

Rocky Flop is still Rocky Flop but I will miss Lame Kitten.
He was entertaining.

PMC

January 29th, 2010
11:27 am

Don’t hate the coach hate the laundry.

JB

January 29th, 2010
11:27 am

The Vols don’t know how lucky they are. Dooley may not take them to where they want to go, but the next guy won’t have a mess to clean up. Kiffen would have brought BIG TROUBLE to Tennessee in the long run. I think Dooley will do well, but like us with Richt, 10 wins hardly gets it anymore. Dooley could go 30-6 his first three years, and you’ll hear drums beating. 20-12 he’s gone.

egeagle

January 29th, 2010
11:29 am

The only fanbase that seems to hate UGA so fiercely as Tech would have to be UT, but that’s only based on my reactions to people on these blogs. It’s tough to pull for a coach you admire and like when he takes over a program you despise. I’ve got this in double dose because I like PJ and loathe Tech and I like young Dooley but abhor UT. I guess it depends on how successful each is against my beloved Eagles or Dawgs.

JB

January 29th, 2010
11:29 am

20-16 he’s gone…..just one more math class would’ve helped.

GET OVER IT

January 29th, 2010
11:31 am

Kiffin left, get over it. You don’t see SC crying in their milk because Carrol left, and he won 2 MNCs. Kiffin was building a winning program in TN and he would have been successful. He got an offer anyone would envy and he took it. Now he has a winning program and he leads one of the premier programs in all of sports. USC didn’t have any involvement in the Reggie Bush deal. The University didn’t commit any violations, only Bush did. The most that will happen in the loss of wins in the 2005 season, maybe a few scollies. The program will not only be fine it will thrive; under Kiffin SC will win multiple NCs in the coming decade, COUNT ON IT.

rural dawg

January 29th, 2010
11:33 am

“the great pumpkin” huh… my personal favorite was “Philopotamus”

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

January 29th, 2010
11:34 am

Maybe young Dooley does good and beats fla which is something we can not seem to get accomplished so if he can beat fla and we can beat UT maybe we can make it back to the sec championship one day if fla picks up another loss along the way , but Auburn is going to be extremely tough also I alomost wish we were in the acc nope its not that bad yet

Nick

January 29th, 2010
11:40 am

Its not treason to pull for your family. I would expect Coach Dooley to pull for his son I would pull for mine.

As for stealing recruits thats another story. That will get him to the Kirby Smart list pretty fast.

Cuz

January 29th, 2010
11:40 am

Well it was fun having the Phans of Phat Phil, til he beat our eyes out.

It is perfectly acceptable to me that Coach Vince cheer for his son. But if he had become head coach of Georgia Tech…………

Volman

January 29th, 2010
11:43 am

JB, that was the point of my post. Every fan base has redneck fans.

Have no doubt

January 29th, 2010
11:48 am

that if Derek starts beating the Dawgs, they won’t hesitate to portray him as an evil person. The class, or lack thereof, of the Bulldawg Nation will be exposed.

Funny how things go

January 29th, 2010
11:51 am

Its pretty ironic that a Dooley will be going against the Dawgs every year. 41-17

Hoof Hearted

January 29th, 2010
11:52 am

As a Dawg fan, I’m disappointed by the hire. I think Dooley is a class act and good coach with great potential. I think he’ll do much better long term (maybe even short-term) than Kiffin. I would much prefer to face the jack-ass Lane Kiffin. That made Tennessee that much easier to hate. Now, not so much. So, I think his hire will definitely cool some of the animosity in the rivalry.

Anyone who faults Vince or Barbara for openly cheering for their son is a moron or doesn’t have kids. If Vince was still coaching, or the AD, it would be different. However, he’s retired. As a dawg fan, imagine your kid being a football starter for Tennessee. Are you telling me you would be pulling for Georgia to win that game? I’m not saying it would be easy, but come on.

Bryan G.

January 29th, 2010
11:53 am

It feels weird to me because I can’t help but pull for Derek. If Vince pulls for his son, I honestly don’t have a problem with that. As a matter of fact, I think it would be kind of odd if Vince WASN’T pulling for his son. Vince isn’t the AD anymore and he’s done more for UGA than anyone else ever has. UGA owes him way more than he owes us.

jeepers creepers

January 29th, 2010
11:57 am

nuthin sucks like a big orange – GO DAWGS!

Brucemac

January 29th, 2010
12:10 pm

It won’t be hard to pull for DD, he is a UGA grad and son of VD plus he is a likeable sort. Of course we won’t pull for him when they play the DAWGS but noone expects that. I guaranty you the fans in Red and Black will be on his side versus the Gators. He will get some Georgia recruits and so would any head coach of the Vols, they don’t have enough players in Tennessee to compete. Why should we hate DD just because he is doing his job.

Tailback U

January 29th, 2010
12:12 pm

You cant fault Vince for pulling for his son for sure. But he can
at least give him some jazz in the years they lose to the Dawgs.
I guarantee you if Vince Dooley did it publicly no one would hold a
grudge if he wore the ugly orange T hat to the Florida game for
instance.

gadawgs

January 29th, 2010
12:14 pm

I don’t care who coaches TN I still do not care for them. So what if it’s a Dooley it’s not Vince so I do not care. I will have no problem continuing my distaste for all things orange.

Wozzo the Wonder Dog

January 29th, 2010
12:18 pm

Just another UGA grad doing well. I assume there’s a good chance he will be one of the highest salaried in his law school class, unless somethere is a plaintiff’s attorney with some good cases lined up in the group. Nice to see Smart and Muschamp also bump up the average-UGA-graduate salary numbers as well. Muschamp also ending up as king-maker, helping to place both Derek and Grantham.

mexdawg

January 29th, 2010
12:18 pm

This guy is gonna become one of the best coaches in the nation and will recruit a lot of great players out of Georgia.The good news is that when CMR retires he will become the next head coach at UGA.Mark my word.LET THE BIG DAWG EAT.

The General Feeling

January 29th, 2010
12:25 pm

Momma Dooley has already said she will wear daisy orange and cheer for the Volunteers. That’s all you leg humpers need to know…

superDawg

January 29th, 2010
12:30 pm

tenn. got a good man and like the post above may have saved them alot of heart ache.I for one will never pull for anything orange.Good luck to Dooley who knows it may take him to a school with class.

commonsense

January 29th, 2010
12:35 pm

Funny how nobody blames Archie Manning for cheering for the Colts even though he lives in New Orleans and played many years for the Saints. But isn’t Vince in basically the same boat? He didn’t even graduate from UGA for crying out loud. This is his SON! I got a feeling he will be a little more vocal than he thinks on game day.

Dawgs2010

January 29th, 2010
12:37 pm

If he wears Orange, he is the enemy. Enough said!

Dawg Fud

January 29th, 2010
12:41 pm

i hope Derek is successful in Knoxville (but not when he’s visiting Athens on official business).

i think he will do very well at Tennessee.

Scout Dawg

January 29th, 2010
12:42 pm

I will love him and wish him much success, after all he is one of our greatest legacies, AS LONG AS WE BEAT THEIR A$$E$! GATA!

Bright Idea

January 29th, 2010
12:43 pm

Like his daddy and coaches Billy Henderson and George Welsh Dooley will respect his opponents and try like heck to beat them.

Dawg Fud

January 29th, 2010
12:45 pm

The General Feeling…you call Georgia fans “leg humpers” yet ol’ smokey trolls your sidelines.

moron.

Red

January 29th, 2010
12:53 pm

Derek Dooley couldn’t care less about what UGA fans think about him. He was hired as a football coach at an SEC divisional rival and will do everything possible to beat UGA. UT has been soundly beating the Dawgs with alot less talent on paper in recent years. If squeaking out a win is a “Hobnail Boot”, than the recent beatdowns UT has done to the Dawgs must be getting run over by a truck.
As far as ridiculing coaches, if I was a UGA fan I would be ridiculing Mark Richt for taking repeated Top 10 recruiting classes to the Weedeater Bowl.

Dawg Fud

January 29th, 2010
12:53 pm

Hoof Hearted,

as an alumnus, i am always pulling for the DAWGS. if my child goes to another school, more power to them – that’s their decision and i will support it.

HOWEVER, i am not going to root against my school because my child attends and/or plays for another. i just could not do it. plus, i think there can be healthy competition within a family. there used to be this thing called “sportsmanship” and you did not have to ridicule or have have wayward animosity towards your opponent.

if my child’s school beat UGA, i would be the first to tip my cap to them and give them a bug hug.