Johnny Majors: 4-7 (1-5)
No postseason accomplishments
Before 2017, Tennessee football’s worst season in the modern era was 1977. And the crazy part was it was an offseason of insane excitement. Johnny Majors was UT’s favorite son at the time, having won an SEC title in 1956 and been robbed of the Heisman.
Majors, as a head coach, had just won a national title with the Pitt Panthers in 1976, going undefeated in his fourth season there behind Tony Dorsett. Now, on the heels of that, he was coming home to Knoxville to fix the Vols.
Rocky Top was crumbling its last two years under Bill Battle, as it was become evident that Condredge Holloway was just delaying an inevitable slide. After he left in 1974, things bottomed out. Battle still enjoyed two winning seasons, going 7-5 in 1975 and 6-5 in 1976. But they weren’t enough to qualify for a bowl game, and he lost to North Texas State and Duke those two years.
So Majors arrived, and Vol fans received a dose of reality. It started with a loss to the California Golden Bears. Wins over the Boston College Eagles and Oregon State Beavers followed that and an Auburn Tigers loss, but a losing streak to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Alabama Crimson Tide and Florida Gators made them 2-5.
Losses to the Ole Miss Rebels and UK are why they finished 4-7, and only two losses, a 14-12 loss to the Auburn Tigers and 21-17 loss to the Kentucky Wildcats, were even close. So they missed a bowl for the third straight year.