It’s time for Butch Jones to go.
Not tomorrow. Not after an inevitable Alabama blowout. Not after the year. Now.
My theory on coaching is that once you’ve lost a fanbase, you never get them back. The test case for Jones at Tennessee is simple, what would he have to do to earn the trust of the Vol faithful? And more so, what is the likelihood of it happening?
Jones would need to finish the rest of this season undefeated - and win a bowl game - to post his best record on The Hill. Let’s break those games down one by one (with my personal percentage chance of victory) to figure out how likely Jones is to pull off a seven-game winning streak.
South Carolina (50%) – Yes, the game is at home. And yes, the Gamecocks are not that good. Aiding the Vols is the likely absence of South Carolina’s best player – Deebo Samuel. Here’s the problem – Jones has never beaten Will Muschamp, current South Carolina coach. Even with a much better team last year, Jones managed to lose to Muschamp’s Gamecocks. This year’s game is a complete toss up.
Alabama (1%) – Cue Lloyd Christmas’ famous line – “So you’re saying there’s a chance?” The last time Tennessee traveled to Tuscaloosa, the Vols held a fourth-quarter lead over the eventual 2015 national champions. This Tide team may be better, and this Vols team is a lot worse.
Kentucky (50%) – Tennessee has lost to the Wildcats exactly one time since I’ve been alive (dating back to 1986, for the record). And yet, a series that has been 29-1 in Tennessee’s favor is no more than a coin flip this year. Even that may be generous considering the fact UT will be coming off a Bama game, which has notoriously slowed every SEC team in the last five years.
Southern Miss (90%) – Let’s put it this way: Even if I was coaching the Vols, they should still beat Southern Miss. I’m sure LSU fans said the same thing about their game with Troy.
Missouri (60%) – Tennessee should get a win here. Missouri can’t play defense, which should help the offense-optional Vols.
LSU (25%) – Yes, LSU just lost to Troy and looks like just as big of a dumpster fire as the Vols. Here’s the rub: Jones has never beaten an SEC West school at UT. Why is this year different?
Vandy (50%) – Jones is 2-2 against Vandy in his tenure at Tennessee. This is probably the best Commodores team he’ll face.
At this point, Jones would need coin flips to go his way four different times, pull off an upset against LSU and hope for a miracle against Alabama.
It’s not happening. Bring on the next coach.