Former LSU DL and current SEC Network analyst Marcus Spears has taken it upon himself to lower expectations for a couple of SEC teams this year.

Only a week after trying to slow down the LSU hype, Spears gave a dose of reality to Tennessee fans on Friday afternoon.

On the SEC Network on Friday afternoon, Spears said fans need to temper their expectations, adding that coach Butch Jones needs time to develop the Vols into the championship-caliber team they once were (via 247Sports):

“I think the expectations sometimes creates these false narratives for fans,” Spears said Friday afternoon. “I think, when you play in the SEC, you get compared to the people in Tuscaloosa, which is totally unfair.


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“Here’s my thing with coaching: This program has progressed from where it was five years ago, four years ago — however long before Butch got here. Now, if this program has taken this step forward and you give Butch time enough — and, depending on who you talk to, how much time is enough time? — this can be a championship-level program that people have grown accustomed to at Tennessee.”

To those calling for Jones to be fired, Spears says that’s not going to help the program move forward:

“For me, it’s when the program starts to digress and when things start to go back to how it was before he got here. That’s when you have to start asking questions: ‘Is the message really working?’

“I beg people sometimes to just look at the recent history before you throw ‘fire the coach’ out there and figure out where you were and where you are now. I would much rather be talking about Butch winning games and winning some big games here, as he has done, than to be having the conversations when y’all had Derek Dooley and Lane Kiffin. As a fan, you’ve got to decide what you want.”

Whatever happens with Jones will likely be decided on Saturday. A blowout loss to No. 7 Georgia may be the final straw for the embattled coach, despite what Spears said.