The annual SEC spring meetings in Destin, Fla., give coaches an opportunity to discuss a variety of off-the-field issues, as well as the state of their program as teams get set to begin their summer workouts at the beginning of June.
Butch Jones took the podium on Tuesday afternoon and had a – we’ll say interesting – take on Tennessee’s quest to win a championship.
Butch Jones: “The first element that goes into winning championships is contending to win championships and our program has done that.” Hmm.
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) May 30, 2017
Jones’ definitions are a little shaky here, according to many that reacted on social media.
Yes, Tennessee has won eight regular-season games each of the past two year and has been much closer to some form of a title than in prior years, but the Vols still finished a full two games out of first in the SEC East the past two seasons.
They were, however, still in contention in the SEC East until Nov. 19 of last season when Florida clinched the East with a road win at LSU. So perhaps that’s what Jones is getting at with this comment, or maybe he’s just referring to the fact that Tennessee has finished tied for second in the East the past two years.
Either way, his definition of contending for a title is off the mark of what Tennessee fans are hoping for. Getting to Atlanta to play for an SEC title or even to the College Football Playoffs are more in line with what the fan base is expecting from Jones at Tennessee, but so far the Vols haven’t gotten to that point in four years with Jones.