ESPN’s Booger McFarland made headlines prior to SEC Media Days in July when he dished out some harsh criticism of Tennessee head coach Butch Jones. Now, with 20 days remaining until Butch Jones and Tennessee kick off year five of his tenure in Atlanta, McFarland again made some remarks reiterating his criticism of Jones from a month ago.
McFarland took to The Paul Finebaum Show on Monday afternoon and let his opinion of Jones be known again when asked about the Vols heading into the 2017 season.
"Sometimes coaches can only get you to the hump & not over the hump. Tennessee may have to make a decision after the season" - @ESPNBooger pic.twitter.com/o3LyqsyMYx— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) August 14, 2017
Back in July, McFarland stated that Tennessee was in for an “abysmal” 2017 season and that officials at Tennessee are going to “have a decision to make” by the end of Butch Jones’ fifth year. And while he hasn’t stated that Butch Jones isn’t necessarily a bad coach, he believes that he is not the coach to get the Vols “over the hump” despite back to back 9 win seasons.
Jones’ has certainly proven that he has rebuilt Tennessee into a consistent top 25 program once again, which is a far cry from where they were just 5 seasons ago. However, the standard at Tennessee is different than many programs around the country, and fans and those associated with the program expect to be competing for an SEC championship year in and year out.
While many in the media, including McFarland believe the Vols will have a down year based on the players that left, they do return some talent and experience on the defensive side of the ball, as well as the offensive line. Maybe being in Atlanta twice this season isn’t in the cards, but saying Tennessee will be “abysmal” is a stretch.