It’s no secret that Tennessee coach Butch Jones is under a lot of pressure in Knoxville, as the Vols have struggled more than many fans expected this season.
Many have started calling for Jones to lose his job, especially in the aftermath of last weekend’s 41-0 home loss to the Georgia Bulldogs.
On Saturday morning’s edition of SportsCenter, Paul Finebaum said the game against South Carolina coming off the bye would be huge for Jones’s future.
“I don’t think Butch Jones can afford a loss to South Carolina next week, with Alabama the following week,” Finebaum said. “If he loses at home to South Carolina with another pathetic performance, I think he is done.”
Shortly thereafter, the College GameDay crew debated the same topic. Lee Corso said he doesn’t think Jones will keep his job much longer.
“I think Butch Jones is gone,” he said. “You can lose, but don’t lose at home. Don’t be embarrassed at home. I think he’s gone, no question about it.”
Kirk Herbstreit cautioned against judging the Vols on wins and losses, especially after losing so many key players. He said Jones inherited a mess following the Lane Kiffin and Derek Dooley eras.
“It’s not always wins or losses. I think it’s about culture and direction — that’s more important than evaluating where you are with wins and losses. They haven’t really mattered since ’01.”
However, Desmond Howard quickly added that it seems as if Jones has lost his team, which Corso agreed with.
“It seems like he’s losing his team,” Howard said.
“You can lose games, but when you lose your team, you’re gone,” Corso chimed in.
The Vols are off this week, but host South Carolina next weekend. Another home loss may be the final straw for the Butch Jones era in Knoxville.