Butch Jones’ long-term job prospects look grim. His defensive rant about negative coverage and “fake news” after narrowly beating UMass did not help matters. To commemorate Jones’ often awkward relationship with the media, here are some of his defining catchphrases, memes and moments that encapsulate his time in Knoxville.

The 2-Point Conversion Chart

There was no more characteristic “Butch Jones” on-field happening than the 2-point conversion snafu against Florida in 2015. Jalen Hurd scored a touchdown with 10:19 remaining in the 4th quarter. The score put Tennessee up 26-14. Instead of going for two to make the lead 14, Jones kicked the extra point to go up 27-14. Florida, of course, scored touchdowns the next two drives and won the game 28-27.

The decision was inexplicable. Neither of Jones’ explanations made sense. In the same answer, Jones said that Tennessee consulted its standard chart and opted to go for the extra point. No correct iteration of the 2-point conversion chart would tell you to kick an extra point up 12 with 10 minutes remaining. Jones also asserted that he trusted his defense, which did not explain why he did not try to secure the team’s chance to win.

The Weird Culture Press Conference

Eight women filed a Title IX lawsuit against Tennessee claiming a “hostile sexual environment” at Tennessee. The lawsuit alleged that Jones told wide receiver Drae Bowles he was a “traitor to the team” for helping a woman who said two of his teammates raped her and that Bowles, who later left the program, was punched by linebacker Curt Maggitt over his actions during the incident. Tennessee settled with the women for $2.48 million.

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Tennessee sports betting officially launched on November 1, 2020. Tennessee was the first SEC state to legalize sports betting.

The lawsuit filing led 16 Tennessee coaches, including Jones, to hold a weird, rambling press conference without AD Dave Hart present asserting that the “culture” at Tennessee was still virtuous.

The Life Championship

Tennessee had the best team in the SEC East in 2016. The Vols did not win the SEC East. Florida did. Tennessee had the tiebreaker after beating the Gators but squandered a game against an underwhelming South Carolina. After Florida secured the division, Jones asserted that his players had “won the biggest championship” which was the “championship of life.” A meme was born.

Inspired Tennessee players went out the next week and lost the rivalry game to Vanderbilt. They were not even champions of Tennessee. The defeat cost Tennessee what would have been its first trip to the Sugar Bowl since 1991 and first “BCS Bowl” since the 1999 Fiesta Bowl. You can’t spell Music City without “U-T.”

The 25 Points Mantra

Jones loves a good catchphrase. Tennessee’s mantra after 2015 was “25 points.” The Vols went 9-4. The previous five losses, including a 2014 loss to Missouri, were one-score losses that added up to 25 points. First, this was a messaging fail. The mantra should have been “10.” The Vols were 10 points in regulation from going undefeated. That sounds a lot better if you’re going to make that argument.

Second, this was a dumb argument because it can always be flipped: 21. With one-score wins over Georgia (+7) and South Carolina (+3) and a (+11) win over Missouri, Tennessee opponents were 21 points away from making the Vols go 5-7 and miss a bowl game. Third, many of the failures were explicit coaching failures, not player mistakes. The Florida 2-point conversion was included in that tally. So was Jones opting to kick a field goal on 4th-and-goal from the 1 minutes into the first quarter against Oklahoma.

The Trash Can

Sideline props have been in vogue this year. Miami has a blinged out turnover chain. Texas A&M brought out a scepter when it appeared they were still going to beat UCLA. Tennessee unveiled … a trash can. It was intended to be a cool tradition where Tennessee players dunk the ball in the raised can after turnover. Instead, it went viral as a fitting symbol for Tennessee’s play. The Vols have played three games against FBS thus far. They snuck by Georgia Tech in overtime. They lost to Florida on a Hail Mary. They, as mentioned before, beat UMass at home 17-13.

The 5-Star Heart

Jones built Tennessee fans into a lather with his early recruiting classes. That excitement dimmed in 2017 when the Vols merely brought in the 17th-ranked recruiting class per the 247 Composite rankings. It was only one place behind Clemson. But it was still only the seventh-ranked class in the SEC with only 5 of the 28 players ranked as 4-star or 5-star. Jones, who openly celebrated landing 5-star recruits in the past, asserted the only “5-stars” he was concerned about landing were players with “5-star hearts.” Five-star hearts are the building blocks for a life championship.

The Sweet Home Alabama Moment

Tennessee opened spring practice. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” began blaring in the background. Alabama is a Tennessee rival. Jones tried to get the song turned off. An ad hoc investigation revealed that the music was coming from a fundraiser at the baseball stadium. It’s not clear whether this incident was staged or organic. Nor is it clear why this momentous occasion required a full documentary-style recounting. But it did offer the definitive screenshot of the Butch Jones era, with him creeping in the background with the top button buttoned on his polo shirt.

The Butch Jones Song

We can discuss what Butch Jones hasn’t been all day long. But it’s worth remembering where Tennessee was under Derek Dooley and how far the program has come. Butch 2017 is agitated, depressing and probably not up to getting Tennessee to elite power status in the conference. But 2013 Butch was a fresh wave of optimism, as embodied in this beautiful Tennessee fan anthem.