Doug Dickey: 4-5-1 (1-5-1)
No postseason accomplishments
Again, losing seasons at the start of a coach’s tenure are different from ones at the end of them. So when Doug Dickey took over in 1964, his losing season was forgivable. In fact, Butch Jones and Dickey were similar with how they started off for Tennessee football.
Both guys were installing new systems that were fashionable at the time, Jones the spread and Dickey the T-formation. They also installed new traditions, Jones’s being Checker Neyland and the Smokey Gray uniforms, and Dickey’s being the Power T and running through the T. And both had losing records their inaugural season.
Of course, Jones became a disaster while Dickey had great success. But that’s a different story. In 1964, UT had gone six straight seasons without a bowl appearance. With Dickey’s changes in the offense but not the personnel to run it, things got difficult.
However, the Vols did get off to a 3-1 start, beating Chattanooga, the Mississippi State Bulldogs and Boston College Eagles while only losing to the No. 8 ranked Auburn Tigers. After losing to the No. 3 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide, there was no shame in being 3-2.
Then, in back to back games, they had their signature outings by tying the No. 7 ranked LSU Tigers and then upsetting the No. 7 ranked Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. All of a sudden, this team was 4-2-1 and had a great shot at a bowl.
But like Jones’s 2013 team after upsetting the South Carolina Gamecocks, Dickey’s team couldn’t maintain momentum. The Vols lost their final three games to the Ole Miss Rebels, Kenucky Wildcats and Vanderbilt Commodores to miss a seventh straight bowl game. That’s an unfortunate record that still stands on Rocky Top since the 1938 season.