Most Vol fans don’t have any love towards Butch Jones after how his tenure played out at Tennessee. The Vols never won more than nine games in a season under Jones, failed to win the SEC East in 2016 despite being tabbed the favorites and jumping out to a 5-0 start, and had the worst season in program history last year.
Vol fans have ripped Tennessee’s former head coach on a multitude of occasions due to his poor decision making and lack of big wins. And now an opposing coach has gotten in on the action.
The annual Lindy’s SEC football preview magazine hit shelves on Tuesday of this week, and per the Times Free Press, an anonymous head coach interviewed for the magazine thinks both Jones and Tennessee’s roster are abysmal.
The coach faced Tennessee last season, but he spoke on condition of anonymity for the interview. And he not only said Jones did a “complete horse (expletive) job” while at Tennessee, but he also believes the players on the Vols’ current roster aren’t good either.
“And I don’t think they have very good players,” the anonymous coach said. “Tennessee is supposed to have talent. I think South Carolina has better talent than Tennessee, and that should never happen.”
The Vols’ roster for this season is primarily comprised of the 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 recruiting classes. Those classes earned an average national ranking of 13.8 according to 247Sports. South Carolina’s recruiting classes in that same range earned an average ranking of 21.3 by those same metrics.
But Tennessee has had a large amount of attrition from those recruiting classes. Only 11 of the 30 signees from the 2015 class are still on the roster, for example.
And that, along with other factors, is why the anonymous opposing coach thinks the Vols’ roster is so bad. In fact, he called Jones’ recruiting efforts “fake news.”
“To say Tennessee has had top 15 classes under Butch Jones, that’s fake news,” the anonymous opposing coach said. “I think it was a combination of the classes being overrated and the coaches not developing the talent.”
Butch Jones is long gone from Tennessee. He’s now an offensive analyst/intern at Alabama, and Vol fans are glad to see him gone. He was a mere 14-24 in SEC play as Tennessee’s head coach and finished his tenure with a 2-2 record against Vanderbilt, a loss to Kentucky in 2017, and a combined 3-12 record against Florida, Georgia, and Alabama.
Now Vol fans have former Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt as a head coach, and most are happy with that move. Pruitt is already securing commitments from highly-rated players, and there were signs of early development from players in the spring.
Time will tell if the anonymous coach is right about Tennessee’s roster. But Vol fans are hoping UT’s troubles were more because of a lack of development rather than a lack of talent, and they’ll find out this fall when Tennessee takes the field.