As Tennessee fans are acutely aware, Fulmer hasn't won an SEC title since 1998 and hasn't played in a BCS bowl since '99. After going 45-5 (a .900 winning percentage) between 1995 and 1998, his Vols have gone 70-30 (a .700 percentage) in the eight years since.
Regardless, here is Athlon's "hot seat" list:
1.Phillip Fulmer, Tennessee
2.Ed Orgeron, Ole Miss
3.Al Groh, Virginia
4.Tommy Bowden, Clemson
5.Tyrone Willingham, Washington
And here's what Athlon has to say in explaining Fulmer's ranking:
"The Vols haven't won an SEC title since their national championship season of 1998. Speculation around Fulmer only increased in the spring when athletic director Mike Hamilton told a sports-talk radio station that Fulmer would not be getting a raise. Quarterback Erik Ainge is back but Fulmer has some holes to fill on the defensive line."
On a positive note, Athlon rates Tennessee cornerback Eric Berry among the top five freshmen for 2007. Here is that list:
2.Joe McKnight, RB, Southern Cal
4.Everson Griffin, DE, Southern Cal
5.Eric Berry, DB, Tennessee