I initially didn’t want to write this blog post.
But just as Butch Jones declares himself the “caretaker of Tennessee football”, I am the caretaker of the Money Train. Its my obligation to shepherd my flock and provide insight and guidance wherever there is college football lines to be wagered. A future bet on ‘first SEC coach to be fired’ has been released with odds listed next to each coach. Here is how Vegas opened the future bet at the beginning of this week:
Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M) 7/4
Butch Jones (Tennessee) 7/4
Gus Malzahn (Auburn) 9/2
Jim McElwain (Florida) 10/1
Mark Stoops (Kentucky) 10/1
Barry Odom (Missouri) 10/1
Bret Bielema (Arkansas) 12/1
Ed Orgeron (LSU) 14/1
Derek Mason (Vanderbilt) 14/1
Will Muschamp (South Carolina) 25/1
Dan Mullen (Mississippi State) 25/1
Kirby Smart (Georgia) 100/1
Nick Saban (Alabama) 250/1
Following last Saturday’s shit show, Butch Jones was vaunted to the top of this list. He is tied for most likely with a coach that blew a bigger second half lead than the Falcons in the Super Bowl. Tennessee’s recent lost to Florida is just the last of numerous outcomes that has put Jones in this position. The game had everything you could want in a Butch Jones debacle. Slow start, bad play calling, poor field goal kicking, questionable personnel decisions, a hail mary, and throw in the fact it was to a hated rival. Hell I don’t think you could script a better way to emotionally wreck your fanbase. Jones has possible done the worst damage to himself in the Florida series. Of the five seasons he’s been the head coach of the Vols, you could argue his team has been better four of those seasons. However he just has one win to show for it.
Don’t count Butch out just yet.
If there’s anything you can say about this guy, its that his players play all out for him. I’ve never seen anything like it to be honest. Tennessee went down by 10 points twice in the fourth quarter to the Gators and I still believed they had a chance to win the game. I mean how many times have we seen a player come up with a key turnover to keep the vols alive? I’ve witnessed two instances during the Jones era where an opponent was about to score and ice the game, only to have the ball punched out from behind at the last millisecond (Texas A&M 2016, Florida 2017). WHO DOES THAT. We’ve seen his teams look dead in the water only to come back and take the game down to the wire. I can’t help but think this season, with Butch’s job in the balance, could reflect that same fighting spirit.
The Georgia game is the biggest game of Butch’s career.
At this point, its hard to turn a fan base back in your favor. The only way Butch can win back over the Volunteer faithful is he has to do something he has yet to do. He has to win the SEC East. If Tennessee loses to Georgia in Knoxville next week, things are going to get ugly. If he can find a way to win that game, the Vols are right back in the mix for the East. The truth is, nobody in the east is really that great. Its a long season but Butch has to win this one.
Butch is probably screwed. This season most likely ends with Butch leaving Knoxville with his Tax Slayer Bowl ring, Outback Bowl t-shirt, and Music City Bowl Championship hat, wishing he could trade his Life Championship for an SEC East Championship. He’s in way over his head and can’t coach a lick in-game. His only saving grace is that he gets talented players and he motivates them to play hard.
However. If Texas A&M loses to Arkansas tomorrow, Kevin Sumlin’s team could spiral out of control and he might be fired before the season is over. His team’s are known to have disastrous ends to seasons. The truth is, excluding Bama the whole SEC has coaching issues. It wouldn’t surprise me if 3 or more coaches got fired this year. There’s no telling who’s ship is going down first. Save your money for the true guarantees….. my weekly college football picks.