Skip to main content

Tennessee Head Coach Butch Jones Is Actually 'Underrated' According To CBS Writer

A lot of folks think Tennessee's Butch Jones has underachieved during his tenure as head coach, but not CBS sportswriter Dennis Dodd.

After four seasons at the helm of Tennessee football, Butch Jones has led the Volunteers to a cumulative 31-20 record and two bowl berths. The last two seasons, they've gone 9-4, but for a lot of people it still hasn't been enough. CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd, however, believes the head coach is actually exceeding expectations, and he made the case for Jones today.

His argument hinges on the idea that not only has Jones revamped and reenergized a program that has fallen from national relevance, but he's also developed legitimate NFL talent year after year.

He writes:

[...] Jones basically inherited 14 years of negative equity since the 1998 national championship. In late 2012, the program was on NCAA probation going back to the Lane Kiffin error … era (2009). There was a Title IX investigation.

How is it not logical to suggest things have gotten better -- a lot better?

"I can't say it, but you are right," Jones said. "The story hasn't been out. Name me another college football program four years in, in as competitive a conference that we're in that faced all the adversity and challenges that we had. Plus, all the expectations we faced year in, year out.

"Then look at the progress that we made."

OK, we will. In four years, Jones has delivered the first three-game bowl winning streak since the Manning years. There have been the first back-to-back final top 25 finishes in 10 years.

In the SEC, only Jones, Nick Saban and Jim McElwain have won at least nine games the last two seasons. In the last three years, only Saban (40) has won more games than Jones (25) among SEC coaches.

Tennessee is the No. 19 ranked team heading into the 2017 season, and the Volunteers are projected to go 9-3 this year according to ESPN's FPI Rating.

You can read Dodd's entire piece here.

[CBS Sports]