Head Coach Phillip Fulmer believes the root cause of the 2005 losing season was over-optimism and lack of emphasis on the details:
“You go back to the great optimism everybody had in August and how excited everybody was about our football team,” he said recently. “It’s up to me to do a complete audit. We’ve done a lot of good things and had a lot of success before this year. So, you go back and look and say, ‘Why did things change? Why did we lose 6-3 (to Alabama)?”
After replaying all 11 games in his mind, Fulmer now admits the Vols weren’t as disciplined or as detail-oriented as they needed to be.
“As you study it, it goes back to individual drills, individual meetings, getting the message across as far as discipline and consistency,” the head man said. “I don’t think it was that we didn’t play hard or that we didn’t have great work ethic.”
Basically, he thinks the Vols bought into the hoopla about how good they were going to be in 2005 and conveniently forgot how much hard work is required to reach such lofty goals.
As Fulmer put it: “This season reflects some of the assumptions that were made: ‘Oh, we’re going to have a good football team,’ and we didn’t take care of the little things well enough as a team.”
I’ve said for some time that over-optimism is the Vols’ biggest enemy, and I started referring to the problem as The Spotlight Effect back in early October, 2005.