I don’t think Tenn is desperate enough to hire DD. If they are, then so be it. Unlike NC State, they won’t give him 5 years to get to 8-4 and spend some of the year in the top 25. He’s got 3 tops. He’s going to have to up his game quickly.
While I don’t think DD is particularly smart, he’s not dumb either. If he fails at NC State, he won’t get another head coaching gig that is going to pay like ours. He’s got two options:
1) Leverage whatever market value he has to get the most guaranteed dollars from us. That’s base salary, but more importantly buy out.
2) Get as much as he can out of UT in base and buy out. If he can make more in 3 years there with the buy out than he could in 5-7 here if successful, then he’d be a fool not to take that.
The good thing for Tennessee fans is that they know on some level that if DD (or another candidate) doesn’t work out, they’ll be proactive in solving the problem. At NC State, we’ll give a guy like DD a lifetime contract and build him a statue made from the muffler bowl participation trophies.
It could work for both parties. Tennessee has so many built in advantages that the talent alone (and money for assistants) could allow DD to show quick improvement. I’m also not convinced that the conference is as good as it was 5 years ago. Sure it is top heavy (Alabama, Auburn, Georgia were all good this year), but the bottom isn’t scaring anyone. UT isn’t exactly going up against a murderer’s row of coaching talent either, and the East isn’t what it was 20 years ago. Florida is down. Is Smart the real deal at Georgia? Will Muschamp? Vandy and Kentucky? Looks ripe for the pickings to me. If I were DD and Tennessee offered me the numbers that worked with my calculations, I’d take it.