Coach Phillip Fulmer plans to take some time to reflect after this season of football — his last with Tennessee after 17 years.
Fulmer, who is being forced out of his job at the end of this season, said he's spoken with former Tennessee coach and athletic director Doug Dickey, former Tennessee coach Bill Battle and recently retired Michigan coach Lloyd Carr about what his next step should be.
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"They all encourage you, don't do anything too fast or don't do anything," he said.
The coach has already had a few weeks to reflect. Fulmer and Athletic Director Mike Hamilton announced Nov. 3 that he wouldn't return after the end of the season.
Fulmer said that "the fires still burn real deep to coach," but acknowledged that his family has paid a price for the time he's spent dedicated to the profession for the past 35 years, including the time he spent as an assistant.
Hamilton has said he's asked Fulmer to stay at Tennessee in some sort of administrative capacity, but the coach hasn't said if he's interested.
"I've used the phrase 'coaching is what I do, it's not who I am,' " Fulmer said. "I think there's a lot of things I can do. I'm gonna take some time and reflect and try to figure that out.
"If a great opportunity came up that I really felt good about, certainly I would look at that," he added.
But he's not saying what kind of opportunity would classify as great, at least not while Tennessee (3-7, 1-5 Southeastern Conference) has games remaining against Vanderbilt (6-4, 4-3) on Saturday and Kentucky the following week. After that, good luck finding him.
"(For) two weeks, it's this team. Then you're going to have to really look for me," he said.
■ Tennessee Athletic Director Mike Hamilton made an appearance on a WNOX radio show in Knoxville on Wednesday, even though he said he would not be speaking to the media while his coaching search is ongoing.
Hamilton said he has conducted a few interviews and felt the search process was going well.
He also noted that he hoped to name a new coach sometime between early- to mid-December so that players and prospects would have a sense of who their future leader would be.
■ Arian Foster, Tennessee's leading rusher, will return to action Saturday against Vanderbilt but Montario Hardesty will be the starter at tailback.
Foster sat out the Wyoming game Nov. 8 with a deep thigh bruise. Foster, a senior, needs 189 yards to become Tennessee's all-time leading rusher. He leads the Vols this season with 458 rushing yards.
Georgia Tech runs over Miami
Hold off on Miami's return to national prominence. The Hurricanes ran into a huge roadblock: Georgia Tech's triple-option offense.
The Yellow Jackets ran No. 23 Miami ragged in a game that could have moved the one-time powerhouse to the cusp of playing for the Atlantic Coast Conference championship and a spot in a major bowl. Georgia Tech piled up 472 yards on the ground — the second-most ever allowed by the Hurricanes — in a 41-23 rout Thursday night.
Jonathan Dwyer ripped off 128 yards with just 10 carries in the first half, including a 58-yard touchdown on a play that typified a Miami defense that looked as though it had never even seen film on Georgia Tech's unique, run-oriented scheme.
By the end, the Hurricanes (7-4, 4-3) could do little more than huddle around heaters on a chilly night in Atlanta, totally outclassed in their first game as a ranked team in more than two years.
Georgia Tech (8-3, 5-3) takes over first in the convoluted Coastal, but the Yellow Jackets will need some help because three other contenders would win on a tiebreaker.
No decision on Arkansas QB
Arkansas Coach Bobby Petrino still isn't saying much about who the starting quarterback will be this weekend at Mississippi State.
Casey Dick, the senior who has started all season, is still a candidate this week. But so is his younger brother, redshirt freshman Nathan Dick.
"I haven't decided who will be the starter just yet," Petrino said Thursday. "I kind of have it in my mind who it will be, but we'll go through meetings tomorrow and continue to work to get ready for the game before we announce it."
Petrino said the decision would be made Friday and the starter would have enough time to prepare for the game.
Richt likes Obama's playoff
Georgia Coach Mark Richt probably won't be giving his thoughts on a bailout for the auto industry any time soon, but he said he doesn't mind having President-elect Barack Obama chime in with some thoughts on college football.
In fact, Richt said he agrees with Obama's proposal for a college football playoff.
"I think eight is the limit of what I think would be wise, but I'd be all for it," Richt said. "I really would. There's just too many good teams out there that you just get one trip and you're out. It's tough if everybody's thinking national championship or bust."