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Derek Dooley's days as Tennessee coach seem to be numbered

By Tom Fornelli | Staff Writer
It seems it's not a question of if Derek Dooley will be fired following only three seasons, but when. (US Presswire)

The coaching carousel in the SEC looks like it could be picking up another passenger in the near future. After Tennessee's loss on Saturday to conference newcomer Missouri, there are multiple reports that the Volunteers will be looking to replace Derek Dooley.

CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman wrote in his Big Picture column on Sunday that he's hearing the school will fire Dooley, but that "there are still some issues the school is trying to sort out" before it makes the move official.

There's also a report from Volquest.com -- subscription only -- citing multiple sources saying that the decision to fire Dooley has already been made and that the only question is when the school will make the announcement.

If Dooley is indeed fired, it's not hard to understand why Tennessee would make the move. After he arrived in Knoxville to replace Lane Kiffin, Tennessee went 6-7 in Dooley's first season, losing to North Carolina in the Music City Bowl. Since then, the Vols have only moved backward.

Tennessee went 5-7 in 2011, but all seven of those losses came in the SEC, where Tennessee finished 1-7. This year, Tennessee is 4-6 and 0-6 in the conference -- with games against Vanderbilt and Kentucky to go. Dooley's three-year record in the SEC is 4-18.

For a school that expects to compete for not only SEC championships but for national championships, that record just isn't going to cut it.

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