Tennessee Deserves Better
This article was originally published on thesoutheasterner.com on September 26, 2015
For every fan that watched as Butch Jones choked away yet another double-digit 4th quarter lead: You deserve better.
For every player who gave their all for Tennessee in the Swamp: You deserve better.
The Vols deserve better than this and Butch Jones is doing this school, fan base, and team a disservice.
Tennessee is a better football team than Florida. Vol fans know it, Florida fans know it, Butch Jones knows it, and yet, the Florida Gators won in the most crushing way possible on Saturday night. It’s not 2013 so there are no more “this is a building process” excuses. The talent is here and the wins are not.
This is not the fault of the players because every Vol gave everything they had plus some against the Gators. Execution doesn’t matter when the plays being called are wrong. Florida did not beat Tennessee on Saturday night, Butch Jones did.
One play in particular from Saturday’s game explains everything you need to know about Jones. After a physical, bruising drive in the 4th quarter that ended with a 10 yard run by Jalen Hurd to put the Vols up 26–14 and essentially shut the door for a Tennessee victory, an easy decision faced Jones and his coaching staff: Do you go for two and try to go up by two touchdowns, or do you kick an extra point to go up 13?
Every 12 year old kid that’s played NCAA Football on a PlayStation can tell you that you go for two in that situation. Every time. No matter what. There is literally no reason not to.
Butch Jones inexplicably decided to kick an extra point, surrendering a single point. Then Tennessee lost…
by a single point.
Jones might not be the pariah that he has quickly become in the minds of fans if he would have owned this single mistake and simply said he should have gone for two. But Butch Jones did not do this. In his post-game press conference, Butch Jones said he was just doing what “the chart” said and this mystical chart told him to kick an extra point. I’m not sure if he is actively trying to become a laughing stock in the college football world but blaming a chart rather than taking responsibility for your poor decision making is a fast track to becoming Derek Dooley 2.0 to the orange and white faithful.
Don’t insult our intelligence, Butch, it’s unbecoming of someone who is supposed to be leading a team at a school that has a long and rich football history.
And this was just one example in a string of indiscretions carried out by the Vols’ head coach against the Gators. He called timeouts at completely ill-advised times, pulled off the clock management blunder of the decade on UT’s final drive, and, unfortunately, there’s more where those came from. Any of the players’ execution follies are a moot point in comparison to the apparent incompetence coming from the sidelines.
Joshua Dobbs had one of the best games of his career and it was overshadowed by a cataclysmic meltdown from a coach who thus far has only been good at his job from February through August. And that’s a shame.
Jones has eight games remaining this season to prove that he’s not who we all think he is, to save himself, and to save Tennessee. The talent is there for the Vols to still salvage a quality season but what unfolded tonight will not get the job done. The fans and players deserve wins and a coach who will take responsibility for his mistakes. They deserve better than what Butch Jones has given.