If you’ll remember back to early July at the start of SEC Media Days, SEC Network analyst and former LSU defensive lineman Booger McFarland gave a rather scorching opinion about Tennessee head coach Butch Jones.
Fast forward another month, and McFarland is still not a believer in Jones as Tennessee’s head coach. And this time he said so on the Paul Finebaum Show.
McFarland was asked about the Vols while on the show, and he gave his thoughts specifically about Jones, which led to this quote:
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) August 14, 2017
His thoughts on the Paul Finebaum show echo what he said back in early July, albeit a little less inflammatory than what he said then. McFarland stated at the start of SEC Media Days that he believes the Vols’ season will be “abysmal.” McFarland also said at the time that he believes “the people at Tennessee are going to have to make a decision at the end of the year.” Words he said almost verbatim during his interview on Monday.
McFarland was a huge fan of the Vols before the 2016 season and had high hopes for them. But after their collapse, McFarland has become sold off of Butch Jones as a viable head coach for Tennessee. McFarland doesn’t state that Jones is a terrible coach, but he believes he’s not the one to get them “over the hump” as he said.
The Vols had suffered back-to-back 5-7 seasons before Butch Jones took over as head coach. In fact, Tennessee hadn’t won more than 7 games in a season for half a decade before Jones took over. Jones’ Tennessee teams would go 5-7 and 7-6 in his first two years, but he’s helped the Vols have back-to-back 9-4 seasons in 2015 and 2016.
But not all 9-4 seasons are built the same, and last year’s 9-4 record was a disappointment considering the expectations heading into the year. It’s still improvement from when Jones took over, but it’s not the type of season Vol fans wanted or the type of season the Vols should’ve had.
Jones helped rebuild the Vols, but he’s not the one who will take them to greater heights. At least in the eyes of Booger McFarland. Only time will tell if he’s correct.