BREAKING BLOG REPORTS: FULMER OUT

The Great Pumpkin is gone, says Unholy Alliance Alabama-Tennessee blog Third Saturday in Blogtober.

Very reliable sources have informed 3SIB that Vols head coach Phillip Fulmer WILL NOT be retained at the end of the season. Likely, an announcement won't be made until after the Kentucky game. ...

Of course, we have some liberties here on a blog that news outlets don't have. We can just sling stuff up there and see if it sticks and then say, "I told you so." This is not the case. I would never, ever do that if I was not supremely confident in the people I speak to. This is happening. It has happened. Believe us or not. You will see.

Things can change, but from what I hear, there is no going back. The decision has been made, and people have been informed.

More details at 3SIB, which you should go read -- I'm not trying to steal their scoop.

For those of you still stuck with "old media," the Knoxville News Sentinel is saying, "Nothing yet." But they're sticking plenty of wiggle words -- which I emphasize below -- on that "yet."

No formal decision has been made regarding Tennessee football coach Phillip Fulmer's future, an anonymous source who would be involved in such a decision told the News Sentinel on Monday, two days after the Vols lost to No. 2 Alabama in Neyland Stadium and fell to 3-5 overall.

However, the source said that big losses to SEC rivals and an upset loss in overtime at UCLA in the season-opener could prove too much for Fulmer, regardless of what happens in UT's four remaining games. ...

That source said a 6-6 record would result in a coaching change, adding that Fulmer would not be guaranteed to save his job if the Vols go 7-5 this season.

There is no timetable in place to make a public announcement on Fulmer's future. UT officials would prefer to wait until after the season before making a final decision.

Tennessee blogs have been buzzing with this today -- Gate 21 had an early tidbit from the radio about Fulmer's agent meeting with the Vols AD. I'm guessing they weren't talking about a contract extension.

With Baby Bowden already out at Clemson and Washington canning allowing Tyrone Willingham to resign, agents for Will Muschamp, Lane Kiffin and (really stretching here) Bobby Johnson -- not to mention the two Bowden sons who have been head coaches -- are probably already in talks with some teams. That could force Tennessee's hand.

Updates as warranted.

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