Booger McFarland questions if Tennessee will ever be great under Butch Jones
Let’s just say that ESPN analyst and former LSU and NFL standout Booger McFarland isn’t too high on Tennessee or Butch Jones this year.
McFarland is at SEC Media Days this week in Hoover, Alabama, and he hopped on ESPN Nashville’s 102.5 The Game and discussed all things SEC football. However, of particular note, he questioned whether Tennessee will be great under Butch Jones. When asked if Tennessee could get rid of the culture problem that affected the program in 2016, he had an interesting answer.
“Well, I’d say no,” McFarland said. “I don’t think the culture problem was the issue. I think sometimes you have a coach that could get you to a certain point. Look at Mark Richt and Georgia. He got them to 10 wins every year, just about. He couldn’t get them over the hump. They brought in a new guy to make a change. I think you’re reaching the same thing at Tennessee.
“Even in a year where they [Tennessee] beat Georgia and Florida, they lost to Vanderbilt. I think he’s [Butch Jones] a guy who has trouble getting his team ready to play at a certain level week-in and week-out.”
McFarland went on to say that Georgia is the most talented team in the East and should win the division, while the Gators should finish No. 2. He also thinks there’s an obvious talent gap at Tennessee when compared to the Bulldogs and Gators.
McFarland continued, “I think Tennessee is going to be abysmal. I think the people at Tennessee are going to have to make a decision at the end of the year. Do you take a chance on being great, or are you satisfied with being good?”
While most everyone thinks Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin is sitting on the hottest seat in the SEC, McFarland might argue it’s Jones. And after coming off the disappointing season in 2016, he could make a strong case.