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What does not winning the SEC in almost a decade get you? Check inside..


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Commentary: Fulmer is going nowhere.

Phillip Fulmer's wife and kids have asked him the question. Tennessee fans ask all the time. And just last week, recruits asked him directly about it.

How long will he be UT's head football coach?

On Saturday, he got to the point.

"I think it's a fair question when you start closing in on 20 years," Fulmer said, driving home from UT's annual high school football camp. "As long as I enjoy it, and as long as we continue to have success, I'm committed for another eight to 10 years. At least."

Reassuring words for his backers.

Scary words for his detractors.

But Fulmer's comments are particularly timely. He currently makes $2.05 million a year and is in his 16th full season as UT's head coach. In the coming days, Fulmer will get a big raise. His total compensation package is expected to be between $2.6 million and $3 million. And if the whispers are true, he will receive a seven-year extension, the longest of his career.

"It's never been about money; it's never been about fame," Fulmer said. "I just enjoy the job."

No retirement plans

Outside pressures will not influence Fulmer's decision to call it quits. It's always been about his inner circle. Fulmer said his wife, Vicky, has not urged him to retire.

"She's never said the first word about it," Fulmer said. "She's extremely involved with the recruits and our players. Now that our children are kind of out of the house, she's even more involved."

Then, with a laugh, he adds, "She's kind of going the other way."

Smart woman. Imagine Fulmer in retirement, heading to Home Depot, picking out paint swabs for the kitchen, intensely questioning an employee about the quality. Later, with a roller in hand, he recites General Neyland's Maxims of Football before popping the lid. It's enough to keep your husband at his day job.

Family is one thing. Outside influences are another.

Fulmer's haters will point out blowout losses to Florida and Alabama last season. Fulmer's backers will counter with UT's smack-job of Georgia, an appearance in the SEC Championship game and a New Year's Day bowl win.

Unspoken goal

Then there's his legacy. Fulmer, 57, won't publicly admit it, but there is a personal record he aspires to reach. For a man who has spent 60 percent of his life on the UT campus as a player and coach, he knows UT's tradition more than anyone.

Fulmer is 27 wins away from passing Neyland as UT's all-time winningest football coach.

"I really try not to get into those conversations," Fulmer said. "I thought winning 100 games would be a big deal, but that lasted about two minutes. The national championship was the ultimate, but you get up and go recruiting the next day. That's just the way I choose to operate."

Success on the field will ultimately decide Fulmer's long-term plan.

But like it or loathe it, cheer or cringe, Fulmer is here to stay.

The new deal will cement it.

Now it's time to deal with it.

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Jgator (6/19/2008)
and in the rest of the SEC East there was great rejoicing!

Why would the SEC East be rejoicing after Fulmer just won the SEC East?

:laugh:

Brilliant.

Another thing I find funny about you singling out SEC East teams as being happy.

SEC East titles in the last 10 years for Tennessee: 4

SEC East titles in the last 10 years for Florida: 2

That means Tennessee has "blocked" Florida from going to the SECCG 4 times.

Why would that make you happy? Tennessee and Georgia have both kept Florida from getting that far 8 times.

Man, oh man...Particularly when talking about how much talent the state of Florida has, can you say "underachievers".

2 out of the last 10 years...Jeez.

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jdu00743 (6/19/2008)
Jgator (6/19/2008)
and in the rest of the SEC East there was great rejoicing!

Why would the SEC East be rejoicing after Fulmer just won the SEC East?

:laugh:

Brilliant.

Another thing I find funny about you singling out SEC East teams as being happy.

SEC East titles in the last 10 years for Tennessee: 4

SEC East titles in the last 10 years for Florida: 2

That means Tennessee has "blocked" Florida from going to the SECCG 4 times.

Why would that make you happy? Tennessee and Georgia have both kept Florida from getting that far 8 times.

Man, oh man...Particularly when talking about how much talent the state of Florida has, can you say "underachievers".

2 out of the last 10 years...Jeez.

Ok actually we've been 3 times in the last 10 years. The funny thing about that is we've won our last 2 championship games while you guys have lost your last 3. If you want to hang your hat on East Championships as aposed to winning the SEC itself then go right ahead. We'll take our 6 SEC championships since Fulmer started coaching at UT and be ok with that. He can enjoy his 2.

Also my post was more just towards the fact that I know what Phil's record against UF is. You want to qoute that for us? After you do think about how many SEC Chamionship games you giuys might have played in if he could manage a winning record against us underachievers. Heck even Ron Zook got the best of him. That is truly getting blocked.

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Jgator (6/19/2008)
jdu00743 (6/19/2008)
Jgator (6/19/2008)
and in the rest of the SEC East there was great rejoicing!

Why would the SEC East be rejoicing after Fulmer just won the SEC East?

:laugh:

Brilliant.

Another thing I find funny about you singling out SEC East teams as being happy.

SEC East titles in the last 10 years for Tennessee: 4

SEC East titles in the last 10 years for Florida: 2

That means Tennessee has "blocked" Florida from going to the SECCG 4 times.

Why would that make you happy? Tennessee and Georgia have both kept Florida from getting that far 8 times.

Man, oh man...Particularly when talking about how much talent the state of Florida has, can you say "underachievers".

2 out of the last 10 years...Jeez.

Ok actually we've been 3 times in the last 10 years. The funny thing about that is we've won our last 2 championship games while you guys have lost your last 3. If you want to hang your hat on East Championships as aposed to winning the SEC itself then go right ahead. We'll take our 6 SEC championships since Fulmer started coaching at UT and be ok with that. He can enjoy his 2.

Also my post was more just towards the fact that I know what Phil's record against UF is. You want to qoute that for us? After you do think about how many SEC Chamionship games you giuys might have played in if he could manage a winning record against us underachievers. Heck even Ron Zook got the best of him. That is truly getting blocked.

OK 3 times in the last 10 years, I forgot about 1999. That is still less than 4 if I'm remembering correctly.

I'm not bragging about SEC East Championships...SEC Championships are much more valuable and meaningful.

However, I find it hilarious that you are saying SEC EAST people everywhere are rejoicing when he has actually won the SEC EAST more than Florida has over the same period of time.

Of course a byproduct of Tennessee winning the SEC EAST is that Florida, conversely, did not.

Just seems strange to me, that's all. Seems to me the rest of the SEC EAST would be pissed considering Fulmer, along with Richt have completely dominated the division.

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You were right Sac he did get excited!

we just wanted to mess with ya buddy. We were laughing about it in a chat. I know Phil is a good coach. I just like someone elses coach other than mine get so grief now and again just so I dont have to right threads like you were.

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NOthing better than seeing Tennessee and Florida fans bicker...Now if we could just throw an Auburn fan in the middle of this, I could die happy. I'd like to hear from all the fans here one thing...If your team only wins 1 game, who do you want that one game to be. I feel like Florida fans list goes

1. FSU

2. Tennessee

3. Auburn

4. Georgia

5. South Carolina

6. LSU

However, that comes from just talkin to my friends down here in GVille, I'm sure that changes based on your location and knowledge of the past.

For this Georgia fan it goes

1. Florida

2. Florida

3. Florida

4. Fine, I guess I'll say someone else...Tennessee

5. South Carolina

6. Auburn

7. LSU

8. Georgia Tech

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Jgator (6/20/2008)
You were right Sac he did get excited!

we just wanted to mess with ya buddy. We were laughing about it in a chat. I know Phil is a good coach. I just like someone elses coach other than mine get so grief now and again just so I dont have to right threads like you were.

:rolleyes:

I am a bit sensitive these days.

:D

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Vince DiLetto (6/20/2008)
NOthing better than seeing Tennessee and Florida fans bicker...Now if we could just throw an Auburn fan in the middle of this, I could die happy. I'd like to hear from all the fans here one thing...If your team only wins 1 game, who do you want that one game to be. I feel like Florida fans list goes

1. FSU

2. Tennessee

3. Auburn

4. Georgia

5. South Carolina

6. LSU

However, that comes from just talkin to my friends down here in GVille, I'm sure that changes based on your location and knowledge of the past.

For this Georgia fan it goes

1. Florida

2. Florida

3. Florida

4. Fine, I guess I'll say someone else...Tennessee

5. South Carolina

6. Auburn

7. LSU

8. Georgia Tech

I grew up in Gainesville and Tampa, Florida.

When you're a Gator fan living in Florida it is impossible to hate anyone as badly as you hate Florida State. When I moved to Georgia, it took me about 3-4 years to realize that I hate Georgia more than I could ever hate Florida State. Especially due to the fact that FSU is so irrelevant now.

Next year, if we lose 3-4 games but beat Georgia, I will be a happy man.

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