By DAVID CLIMER
I keep hearing that this is a critical season for Phillip Fulmer. So what else is new? This just in: Every season is critical for the coach at a top-tier college football program. Failure is not an option when you're being paid $2 million a year. But the suggestion by some reactionaries that Fulmer's job is on the line if
This is not to suggest that there won't be plenty of grousing by Vols fans if there isn't a quick turnaround. The 5-6 carnage of last season left a bitter aftertaste, especially to those who had noted some prior slippage. And, yes, the program has lost altitude.
Certainly, the events of last season served as a wake-up call. Fulmer thought he had assembled the kind of talent that would get the Vols into the national championship hunt. But UT was overrated and under-coached. Credit Fulmer for taking care of one matter that compromised his job security. After years of running a looser ship than Capt. Hazelwood at the helm of the Exxon Valdez, he finally cracked down on UT's off-field antics. The result: This has been a pretty quiet offseason for the Vols. Yes, there has been a hiccup here and there, but nothing like the previous couple of years when the