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Vols Win, but Butch Jones Still on Hot Seat

Holden Carter, Sports Writer

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This is Butch Jones’s 5th year as head coach of the Volunteers, and his seat has never been hotter. Tennessee finished with a record of 9-4 last year. Not bad right? Well the fact is Tennessee should’ve undoubtedly been in the SEC Championship last year. They had enough talent to not only compete for the SEC East title, but also to win it. However they did not and would end up playing in the Music City Bowl. Most of Butch Jones’s success at Tennessee has been from recruiting. His classes are consistently at the top, with many commits that have 4 and 5 stars. Unfortunately, Jones hasn’t turned those high recruiting classes into big wins. He can talk about being the self-titled “Champions of Life” any day, but that doesn’t mean he can beat Alabama or any other team with a reasonable amount of talent.

This week, Tennessee won in a game they frankly shouldn’t have won. Georgia Tech basically dominated the game with over 500 yards rushing, but would ultimately lose because of miscues and costly mistakes including two missed field goals and a fumble in the redzone. Georgia Tech had the game won, twice. It had the ball in the redzone and was about to go up by two points with 3 seconds to go in regulation but had a field goal attempt blocked. You can call Tennessee a team that is resilient or one that plays with grit all you want, but the Yellow Jackets gave that game away.

Jones said following his team’s double overtime win, “Maybe our program has great character and grit.” These types of quotes have become commonplace and have been received as patronizing by Vols fans. These quotes where Jones wants his fans to look on the bright side are somewhat stereotypical of a coach. Last year after it was obvious Tennessee wouldn’t be playing for a SEC title and fans showed their anger mostly via social media, Jones responded by stating his team was the champions of life. He might have been more scrutinized for that comment than for Tennessee’s failing to win the SEC East and would of course become an internet meme. Last night a Tennessee assistant was holding a trash can on the sideline for when a turnover was picked up by the Volunteers. This was of course made fun of by other teams’ fans and was probably not a smart idea for a team and a coach that is under fire from its own fanbase.

Butch Jones isn’t the only Tennessee coach on the hot seat. Defensive Coordinator, Bob Shoop had months to prepare for this game against Georgia Tech, and the Tennessee defense still allowed over 600 yards. Shoop said after being hired by the Volunteers, “No one will run against us.” Well that’s all Georgia Tech did, and no team has ever rushed for more yards against the Tennessee Volunteers in their history of over 100 years.

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Vols Win, but Butch Jones Still on Hot Seat