Many fans and sports analysts gave up early on the Tennessee Volunteers.
After a 2-6 start and a winless campaign in the SEC it's understandable why some may have had doubts on what this team and coaching staff could accomplish.
Apparently the team didn't buy into that attitude or the first year coaching staff at Rocky Top.
"We never flinched within the organization," Dooley said. "We never doubted what we could accomplish. I'm so proud of this team, my coaching staff and everyone involved in our program."
With their proverbial backs against the wall to make post season play, it was a group of seniors and their outstanding leadership that kept this ship afloat.
"I hope our recruits see that Tennessee isn't going to stay down for long," Dooley said after his team won four straight games to become Bowl eligible. "We have too many resources here, we have the facilities and we have the tradition here at the University of Tennessee."
Tennessee had to win four straight games to garner an extra game, that's just what the Vols did, giving Volunteer fans a November to remember.
Now this young UT team gets a chance to continue to practice and continue to grow, improve and mature.
"Getting those extra practices are a big advantage, especially with how young we are," Dooley said earlier. "It's like getting an extra spring practice session."
The Vol football team is also thankful for an extra game.
"We never quit," Prentiss Waggner said. "It was big for our young players to give our seniors one more game."
True Freshman Channing Fugate agreed with Waggner.
"It's going to feel good to play another game," Fugate said. "Instead of being home and not playing football for a month, it's going to feel good to continue to get better."
Now the Tennessee coaching staff will take a week to focus on recruiting while the players focus on closing out with final exams.
The Vols will have to wait a week to officially find out their destination, while most expect the Vols to stay in state and play in the December 30th Music City Bowl in Nashville.
This team has come a long way this season, the main reason for major optimism for all Vol fans is how young this team actually is.
With over 15 true freshmen seeing action this fall, the future is definitely bright. A victory in the Vols upcoming bowl will match last year's record.
Many thought if Dooley led this team to a Bowl game in his first season he should be voted the Coach of the Year in the SEC, he definitely gets my vote.