CBS Sports has released their annual head coach rankings heading into the 2017 season. Unsurprisingly, Butch Jones took a hit after his disappointing 2016 campaign. Jones checks in at 52nd overall, down from 33rd last year.
Here’s the excerpt from Tom Fornelli.
I think 52nd is fair. You’ll learn this, but I’m not a Butch Jones guy. I give him all the credit in the world for restoring the football talent in Knoxville and getting them somewhat back on the map, but I’m convinced he’s limited as a coach. I don’t think he’s the guy to take you to the next level.
From the terrible quotes (Five star heart, life champions) to the in game disappointment — 52nd is about right for Butch. Injuries were there, sure, but the simple fact of the matter is that he lost two games he absolutely had to have last season. South Carolina and Vanderbilt will haunt me for years to come. If he finds a way to win those two, we are having a much different conversation within this post.
You can look at this the other way too. Butch was lucky to get out alive against App State, Georgia and even Florida. Things could be a lot worse for him right now.
Interestingly enough, Vanderbilt’s Derek Mason checks in just one spot behind Butch. You could certainly make the argument that Mason has done more with his limited talent than Butch has done with his abundance of talent. I think we can all agree that these two are going in opposite directions on their career arcs.
Some names of interest ranked ahead of Butch Jones: Former UT OC Dave Clawson at 46, Tennessee nemesis Will Muschamp at 37, former Memphis head coach Justin Fuente at 34 and Tennessee native Mike MacIntyre at 30.
Do you agree with the CBS ranking of Butch Jones?