Butch Jones’ name has appeared on just about every hot seat list imaginable this offseason. Whether he’s been at the top of the list or somewhere closer to the bottom, or even if he’s been predicted to be fired before season’s end, Jones’ job security has come into question many times already this year.
Now Jones is on another hot seat list. But not in the way you might think.
Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports ranked every FBS coach’s job security on a 0-5 scale in a recent article. Here’s what the breakdown of each number means according to Dodd:
1: Safe and Secure
2: All good…for now
3: Pressure is mounting
4: Start improving now
5: Win or be fired
And according to Dodd, Butch Jones’ hot seat rating is only a 2, which means he’s safe for now at Tennessee and not in any imminent danger of being fired.
Dodd doesn’t list any reasoning behind his rankings of any of the coaches, but Jones’ score of 2 is one of the lowest in the SEC. Nick Saban is, unsurprisingly, a 0, which means he’s untouchable at Alabama. Jim McElwain and Kirby Smart both earned a 1, and Jones joins Bret Bielema, Ed Orgeron, Dan Mullen, Hugh Freeze, and Will Muschamp with a score of 2 in Dodd’s ratings.
Interestingly, Dodd gave Mark Stoops of Kentucky a score of 3 despite the Wildcats making their first bowl appearance since 2010 last season. Derek Mason, Barry Odom, and Gus Malzahn all received a score of 3 as well. Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin is one of only two coaches in all of college football with a score of 5 according to Dodd. The other is Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly.
Every time a new college football hot seat list comes out, Vol fans expect to see Butch Jones’ name appear on that list. This time, however, a national writer is showing a little more faith in Jones and doesn’t believe 2017 will be the last time he coaches Tennessee.
The Vols begin their 2017 season on September 4th in Atlanta when they take on Georgia Tech. Butch Jones and his team will finally be able to prove the national writers wrong or right starting in two months.