I like Tony Barnhart, but he annoys me at times when the unreconstructed traditionalist in him gets loose. Such is the case with his claim that Tennessee hiring Derek Dooley is a "triumph of substance over style." Barnhart's evidence for Dooley's substance:
1. Dooley gave up on a legal career to coach. Something tells me that if I quit legal practice and announced my candidacy for head coaching positions in the SEC, I wouldn't get very far. But then again, my last name isn't Dooley, and that's the point.
2. "But in the final analysis, the younger Dooley is not only the right kind of coach, he is the right kind of MAN that Tennessee needs to lead its football program at this point in history." And your evidence for this is...what?
Look, I'd be fine if Barnhart ran a piece that said that he has a good relationship with Vince Dooley and he's happy that Dooley's son got a major head coaching gig in the SEC. I have no problem with a personal, "I'm feeling good" piece. I do have a problem when Barnhart takes his subjective feelings and turns them into a ham-handed attempt at an objective argument. There is no objective way to justify Tennessee hiring a guy whose head coaching experience consists of going 17-20 in the WAC. Tennessee just got burned by hiring a coach who was most noted for being the son of a great football mind; what in G-d's name are they doing repeating the same mistake? Maybe Dooley will do well and illustrate the maxim that we never can be sure which coaches will succeed and which will fail, but there is no good reason to think he will right now. Sorry, but I'm not persuaded by Tony vouching for Derek's character. Gerry Faust was also a great guy.