Ten (Vol) Commandments

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Some of the key lessons Butch Jones should know as he embarks on his first year as Tennessee's head football coach aren't printed in the media guide. They aren't carved in stone, either, but maybe they should be.

That said, what follows are one man's Ten (Vol) Commandments:

1. Thou shalt show improvement. Sorry, but Vol fans do not have the patience of Job. They expect visible results in three years, and the clock is ticking.

2. Thou shalt fill seats. With an official capacity of 102,455, Neyland Stadium is the third-largest on-campus facility in college football. Keeping it filled is a big deal around here. Ask Phillip Fulmer and Derek Dooley of the CCC (Canned Coaches Coalition).

3. Thou shalt win regularly at home. Tennessee won 30 consecutive home games between Dec. 8, 1928 and Oct. 21, 1933. Counting ties, the Volunteers played 55 consecutive home games without a loss between Oct. 3, 1925 and Oct. 21, 1933. No one expects you to win 30 consecutive home games with today's parity but three or four in a row would be a nice start.

4. Thou shalt compete for SEC championships. Tennessee ranks second to Alabama with 320 conference victories. The Vols were 1-7 in league play each of the past two years, however, which is another key reason Dooley is now a member of the CCC. P.S. — The last of Tennessee's 13 SEC titles occurred in 1998, and the natives are getting restless.

5. Bowl money is not the root of all evil. Tennessee has posted 25 bowl victories but has made just two post-season appearances in the past five years, losing each time. Verily, verily, I say unto you: This requires your immediate attention.

6. Thou shalt not not lose to Vanderbilt or Kentucky. Period.

7. Respect the rock of ages. If students begin writing snide messages such as "Fire Fooley" on the legendary campus rock, you might want to take a close look at the buyout clause in your contract.

8. Thou shalt not surrender half-a-hundred. If campus traffic cops are recording more stops on game day than your defense, you've hired the wrong coordinator.

9. Honor thy orange and thy white. If you dislike loud colors, wear white with orange trim. Do not wear black on a daily basis unless you plan to bolt after one year for your "dream job" on the West Coast. P.S. — The orange pants are purely optional. They didn't help the last guy one bit.

10. Remember the Game Maxims and keep them holy. Unlike the orange pants, General Neyland's game maxims are mandatory. Do not merely mouth them. Memorize them. Embrace them. Embody them. They will ensure that your cup runneth over, especially the one about pressing the kicking game.

By the way, the Sears Trophy is not considered a graven image.

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