Few could’ve predicted this a few months ago, but Butch Jones and the Tennessee Volunteers are on top of the SEC recruiting rankings.
It’s still early in the 2018 recruiting cycle, but of all the SEC teams, Tennessee has the best recruiting class for the 2018 cycle per the 247Sports composite rankings. Tennessee also has the No. 4 overall class, behind just Miami, Ohio State and Penn State.
As for Jones, he and Tennessee went 9-4 for the second consecutive season. And while Jones didn’t call the season a disappointment, his players did. But those same players shot down the idea that Jones being on the hot seat.
In 2017, Jones will have to replace star defensive end Derek Barnett and quarterback Josh Dobbs. As for who might replace Dobbs, it’s a competition between Jarrett Guarantano and Quinten Dormady. Jones hinted at the possibility of playing both quarterbacks.
“Again, if both players earn the right to play, they’ll both play,” Jones said in Hoover, Ala. “It’s how it’s going to play itself out, because these two individuals are very, very capable and very good football players. It’s a good problem to have.”
The Vols have a tough 2017 schedule, as they’ll open the season against Georgia Tech on Sept. 4 in Atlanta’s new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Tennessee’s SEC West foes this season are Alabama and LSU, so winning the SEC East will be no small task for Jones this season. The Volunteers were picked to finish third in the SEC East by the media at SEC Media Days.
In the past few months, contrary to some national media stories, fan support for Jones actually has grown. In SEC Country‘s previous approval rating poll in June, Jones finished with a 76.1 approval rating, his highest number yet. He’s now seventh among SEC coaches.
In four seasons in Knoxville, Jones is 30-21 overall and 14-18 in the SEC, with three consecutive bowl wins.
Jones made $4.1 million in 2016.
Vote on Butch Jones’ approval rating
The SEC Country approval rating poll is designed to give an indication of fan happiness over a period of time.
Our formula is based on the percentage of respondents that select each answer. We multiply that percentage by the following factors: 1 (strongly approve), 0.67 (approve), 0.33 (disapprove) and 0.0 (strongly disapprove). In other words, if 50 percent of respondents select “strongly approve” and 50 percent select “approve,” the formula would be (50 x 1) + (50 x 0.67) = 83.5% approval rating.