The last three weeks have not been good to Butch Jones. He managed to blow a winnable game in the swamp after a number of questionable coaching decisions. His offense managed just 17 points against a truly terrible UMass team (Ohio scored 58 on them this week). Tennessee then capped all of that with a miserable performance against Georgia where they were shut out for the first time since 1994.
Tennessee may be 3-2, but I don’t know how anyone has any confidence in this group going forward. Things are going to get worse.
For those wondering, Jimmy Hyams laid out the terms of Butch’s buyout a couple of weeks back. Here are the highlights.
- The buyout is 2 million per year for each year left on his deal. Jones has three years left on his deal after this season.
- Depending on the timing, it would cost Tennessee between 6 and 8 million to fire Butch Jones. It’s unclear whether or not the school would have to pay his buyout in full for this year if he’s fired in season.
- UPDATE: USA Today reports that the buyout would be $8,125,000 as of December 1st, 2017.
- Cleaning out the entire staff would cost Tennessee between 11-13 million.
If a move were to be made in the season, now seems like the most logical time with the bye week upon us. It just doesn’t feel like it’s likely. As bad as they’ve looked, Tennessee is still 3-2. It feels much worse than that, but it’s probably not enough for John Currie to pull the trigger.
I don’t think things are going to get better this year, though. How many games can Tennessee win with the state of this offense? South Carolina is probably better than Tennessee right now. Alabama is going to do unspeakable things to the Vols in Tuscaloosa. Vanderbilt is better than Tennessee. A trip to Kentucky even seems tough.
Who knows what you’re going to get with LSU in November. Southern Miss and Missouri are probably the only games that I would feel comfortable saying Tennessee will win. Even then, those aren’t locks.
It’s up to Currie to take the pulse here. Have the players quit on Butch? I don’t think so, but how will they respond with a couple of weeks to think about this 41-0 loss?
To me, Butch has proven that he simply doesn’t have the talent on the roster to compete in the SEC East in year five. You can argue injuries all you want, but you’ve got to be ready for them. They hit every team. We’ve heard all this talk about Butch Jones the recruiter, but that team yesterday simply didn’t have enough talent on the field.
That tells me all I need to know.