Here’s a fun fact: Tennessee is 7-7 in its last 14 games!
I personally challenge Butch Jones to spin zone that one, like he has his entire coaching career!
— AtoZSports Nashville (@AtoZSports) October 14, 2017
For the very few Butch Jones supporters out there, it’s time to wake up. Just look at what South Carolina fans were wearing yesterday:
When opposing fans make these shirts you have to fire your coach yesterday pic.twitter.com/haW2q7BeFs
— Big Cat (@BarstoolBigCat) October 14, 2017
In a span of just two years, Jones has ascended Tennessee football into a realm of promise and optimism into a black hole of despair. Saturday’s 15-9 loss to South Carolina was the cherry on top for Jones’ tenure in Knoxville, but for those who are stuck in the year 2015, here are five games that prove Jones was way in over his head when he accepted one of college football’s most prestigious jobs.
2015 vs Oklahoma, 31-24 2OT loss
This was Jones’ first showcase game. The game that proved to the college football world that his brick-by-brick mentality was thriving in Knoxville.
For three quarters, he looked like a genius. The savior Tennessee football needed.
But then, the fourth quarter happened, and Baker Mayfield happened, and the Vols blew a 17-3 lead despite controlling the vast majority of the game. Eventually, Tennessee lost in double overtime, 31-24.
2015 at Florida, 28-27 loss
This was the moment Butch Jones became “Botch Jones.” After scoring a touchdown to take a 26-14 lead in the fourth quarter, conventional wisdom suggests attempting a 2-point conversion because kicking an extra point yields literally zero upside. But Botch read his chart — which probably reads “do the dumbest thing humanly possible in this situation” — and opted to kick the extra point.
Florida eventually won, 28-27.
2016 vs South Carolina, 24-21 loss
This loss probably stings the most.
Tennessee entered 2016 as the overwhelming favorite to win the SEC East. After a 5-0 start, that reality appeared inevitable. After back-to-back losses to Texas A&M and Alabama, doubt began creeping in, but the East was still gift-wrapped for the Vols.
However, after a bye week, Jones took that gift and set it ablaze, as Tennessee was stunned by South Carolina, 24-21.
Adding insult to injury, the Gamecocks started a quarterback who was technically a senior in high school and had recently made his debut against UMass, whom he struggled against.
2017 vs Georgia, 41-0 loss
Not much to describe here. The worst loss EVER in Neyland Stadium. The worst loss at home for Tennessee since 1905. An absolutely colossal failure on multiple fronts.
It’s one thing to lose to your rivals. It’s another to show zero signs of life.
2017 vs South Carolina, 15-9 loss
This past Saturday was the final straw.
The Vols have now gone ten quarters without a touchdown. That’s right, their last touchdown came in the first half against UMass, a game Tennessee won 17-13.
Currently, Tennessee is 0-3 in the SEC. In the Butch Jones era, the Vols are 14-21 in conference play. They’re 5-9 combined against Florida, Georgia, and Vanderbilt.
It’s safe to say that the progress from 2013-2015 has come to a screeching halt.