Yahoo’s Pete Thamel served up his thoughts on the Butch Jones situation at Tennessee in his weekly takeaway column. Thamel essentially said that he thinks Jones will get the boot, but he doesn’t believe it’s going to happen in the next several days.
After Tennessee gets blown out at No. 1 Alabama on Saturday to fall to 0-4 in the SEC, don’t expect Currie to react. The end is coming for Jones, just not as fast as some may like.
Thamel describes Currie as being the “opposite of reactionary” here.
John Currie would best be described as a hardline pragmatist. Currie is the opposite of emotional or reactionary. Put it this way: Currie wouldn’t have hired Bill Stewart after winning the Fiesta Bowl as an interim coach as West Virginia administrators once did.
However, he makes an interesting point. Currie’s time at Kansas State with Bill Snyder forced him to be on his toes and ready to make a move if his 78 year old coach decided to hang it up suddenly.
Currie spent his final years as Kansas State’s athletic director preparing to someday replace Bill Snyder, a common-sense approach when your coach is in his 70s. Few athletic directors have worked harder over the years networking with up-and-coming coaches, getting to know established ones and generally navigating the intricate football coaching market.
For me, I’ve had the Sunday after the Alabama game circled in my head as the potential place to move on. Last Saturday’s loss strengthened that notion. Assuming Tennessee gets blown out by Alabama, the Vols are going to be 3-4 coming off a likely embarrassing loss. They’ll be 0-4 in SEC play.
I’m just not sure how you spin the program positively after that. Making a bowl will be the new priority, which is a far cry from what was and is expected in Knoxville. And let’s not forget — making a bowl will be no easy task.
At this point, barring a miracle turnaround, it feels inevitable. Like Pete said, the end is coming for Butch, we just don’t know when. There is a new wrinkle in all of this with the early signing being implemented this year. Maybe that speeds things along a week or two, but we don’t really know. This is the first time we’ve been through a coaching cycle with the new rule in place.
We also have no idea what to expect out of Currie, who is still in his first season. A decision like this was probably the last thing he wanted to be faced with, but here we are. Let’s hope Thamel is correct with his comment about Currie networking with up and coming and current coaches.