Dooley’s days at Tennessee are numbered

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Derek Dooley won't get a fourth year in Knoxville, but when exactly will the Tennessee administration pull the plug?

Derek DooleyUS PRESSWIREDerek Dooley is on his way out of Knoxville.

The Volunteers lost a heartbreaker in four overtimes at home to Missouri on Saturday one week after an embarassingly close win over Troy. The Vols' bowl eligibility is now in serious doubt after losing for the fifth time in the last six games.

On Saturday night, Wes Rucker of 247 Sports wrote on Twitter that it is not a question of “if” but “when” in regards to Dooley's dismissal.

It seems likely that athletic director Dave Hart would let Dooley finish the season even if the Vols drop their contest to in-state rival Vanderbilt next week. Perhaps an announcement on his impending dismissal would come before the Kentucky game, though, if the Vols fall to the Commodores. Nonetheless, Dooley won't get a chance to continue to stabilize a program that had fallen on hard times in the final years of the Phil Fulmer regime as well as Lane Kiffin's lone season. If the Vols are able to net a bowl berth, an assistant coach would likely coach the game.

As he nears the completion of his third season, Dooley is just 15-20 with the Vols with no standout victory. He is 4-18 in the SEC and 0-15 against Top 25 teams.

Although I have argued throughout the year that he deserves a fourth season on Rocky Top, confidence in Dooley has plummeted not just throughout the school's fan base but throughout the athletic administration as well.

Email or follow me on Twitter at Miller_Dave

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