Fateful day at Neyland

InsideTennessee goes the extra mile in covering Vol football. Check out this in-depth recap of the events that led to Tennessee's coaching change:

Derek Dooley and Butch Jones will long remember Sept. 10, 2011 ... but for different reasons. That was the day they crossed paths and changed paths.

Sept. 10, 2011 was the high point of Dooley's head coaching career at Tennessee. His Vols trounced visiting Cincinnati 45-23, improving his Big Orange record to 8-7. He appeared to be a rising star in the coaching ranks.

Conversely, Sept. 10, 2011 was the low point of Jones' head coaching career at Cincinnati. That 45-23 loss to the Vols dropped his record with the Bearcats to 5-9. He appeared to be a flame-out in the coaching ranks.

Appearances can be deceiving, however, as that fateful afternoon proved to be a turning point for each coach. Jones got his act together, going 18-5 with the Bearcats through the end of the 2012 regular season. Dooley, meanwhile, saw his career unravel, going 8-14 with the Vols through the end of the 2012 regular season.

Then, in the ultimate irony, the victim of Dooley's career highlight replaced him as Tennessee's head coach on Friday. Introduced at an afternoon news conference, Jones had little to say about his previous stop in Knoxville except to note that Neyland Stadium is "the greatest venue in all of college football, and obviously when we came here last year that just solidified everything. What a great home-field advantage."

For history buffs, here's a time-line providing a game-by-game recap of how Dooley's freefall and Jones' steady climb unfolded following their fateful meeting on Sept. 10, 2011:


Sept. 17: Jones' Bearcats trounced Akron 59-14, while Dooley's Vols lost 33-23 at Florida.

Sept. 22: Jones' Bearcats dumped North Carolina State 44-14 in a Thursday night game. Dooley's Vols were idle that week.

Oct. 1: Jones' Bearcats shut out Miami of Ohio 27-0, while Dooley's Vols beat Buffalo 41-10.

Oct. 8: Dooley's Vols lost 20-12 at home to Georgia. Jones' Bearcats were idle.

Oct. 15: Jones' Bearcats beat Louisville 25-16, while Dooley's Vols were drilled 38-7 by LSU.

Oct. 22: Jones' Bearcats won 37-34 at South Florida, while Dooley's Vols were ripped 37-6 at Alabama.

Oct. 29: Dooley's Vols suffered a fourth consecutive loss, 14-3 versus South Carolina. Jones' Bearcats were idle.

Nov. 5: Jones' Bearcats won 26-23 at Pittsburgh, while Dooley's Vols beat Middle Tennessee 27-0.

Nov. 12: Jones' Bearcats lost 24-21 to West Virginia, while Dooley's Vols were hammered 49-7 at Arkansas.

Nov. 19: Jones' Bearcats lost 20-3 at Rutgers, while Dooley's Vols notched a 27-21 overtime win against Vanderbilt.

Nov. 26: Jones' Bearcats won 30-13 at Syracuse, while Dooley's Vols lost 10-7 at Kentucky in a game that proved to be the beginning of the end for Tennessee's coach.

Dec. 3: Jones' Bearcats beat Connecticut 35-27. Dooley's Vols were idle.

Dec. 31: Jones' Bearcats beat Vanderbilt 31-24 in the Music City Bowl to cap a 10-3 season. Dooley's Vols did not qualify for a bowl due to a 5-7 record.


Aug. 31: Dooley's Vols dumped North Carolina State 35-21 to briefly energize the fan base. Jones' Bearcats were idle.

Sept. 6: Jones' Bearcats drubbed Pittsburgh 34-10 in a Thursday night game. Two days later, Dooley's Vols thumped Georgia State 51-13.

Sept. 15: Jones' Bearcats beat Delaware State 23-7, while Dooley's Vols squandered a halftime lead and lost 37-20 at home to Florida.

Sept. 22: Dooley's Vols pulled away late and beat Akron 47-26. Jones' Bearcats were idle.

Sept. 29: Jones' Bearcats beat Virginia Tech 27-24, while Dooley's Vols lost 51-44 at Georgia.

Oct. 6: Jones' Bearcats drubbed Miami of Ohio 52-14. Dooley's Vols were idle.

Oct. 13: Jones' Bearcats dumped Fordham 49-17, while Dooley's Vols lost 41-31 at Mississippi State.

Oct. 20: Jones' Bearcats lost 29-23 at Toledo, while Dooley's Vols were blasted 44-13 by Alabama.

Oct. 26: Jones' Bearcats suffered a 34-31 overtime loss at Louisville in a Friday night game. The next day Dooley's Vols lost 38-35 at South Carolina.

Nov. 3: Jones' Bearcats beat Syracuse 35-24, while Dooley's Vols outlasted Troy 55-48.

Nov. 10: Jones' Bearcats won 34-10 at Temple, while Dooley's Vols lost 51-48 in overtime to Missouri.

Nov. 17: Jones' Bearcats lost 10-3 to Rutgers, while Dooley's Vols fell 41-18 at Vanderbilt.

Nov. 23: Jones' Bearcats beat South Florida 27-10 in a Friday night game. One day later the Vols trounced Kentucky 37-17 with Jim Chaney serving as interim head coach.

Dec. 1: Jones' Bearcats won 34-17 at Connecticut to conclude a 9-3 regular season. The Vols already wrapped up a second consecutive 5-7 season.

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