Paul Finebaum has seen enough. And many Vols fans are probably right along with him on this take.
After a 45-7 loss to Alabama on Saturday, Tennessee dropped to 3-4 on the season and 0-4 in SEC play. That’s disappointing by any Tennessee fan’s standards.
Still yet, Butch Jones remains the man in charge in Knoxville with a winnable slate of games in front of him– if he can get the offense moving again.
During his weekly appearance with The Opening Drive on WJOX in Birmingham, Finebaum went after the decision to keep Butch Jones around the Tennessee program for the upcoming Kentucky game with eyes presumably on potentially running the table for an 8-4 record.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt that Butch Jones will be fired at some point,” Finebaum said when asked to comment on his alma mater. “Now when is that time? There’s a lot of speculation that the university is waiting because of a clause in that contract that means they would pay him less money if he is ineligible to go to a bowl game. But from my standpoint that is ridiculous. He is a failed football coach. The team clearly gives it up and they go in the tank. There’s no philosophy, direction, definition or character when you watch this team play, and I think he probably should’ve been fired [Sunday] to end the suspense. I don’t think it’s fair to football players who still have five games left to have to deal with this cloud, to have to deal with a coach that everyone knows will not be there.
“On the other side of that, if the administration at Tennessee believes that Butch Jones can run the table and be an 8-4 coach, then all the power to them. As an alum, I find that to be utterly absurd. As a commentator, I find it to be ridiculous because he’s an average coach who can recruit a little above his pay grade. But at Tennessee, when you look at the record, he has simply failed to do what he was hired to do, and that was to get Tennessee to the SEC Championship Game. I mean, he’s 0-4 and we’re five years in. I’m as perplexed as any person in your listening audience.”
This is not the first we’ve heard from Finebaum on the situation in Knoxville after the loss to the Crimson Tide. During a Sunday morning appearance on SportsCenter, he said he would have left Jones in Tuscaloosa if it were up to him.
Tennessee plays at Kentucky (5-2) on Saturday. Both teams will be coming off 38-point conference losses, as the Wildcats fell to Mississippi State, 45-7, in Starkville during Week 8. The Vols will finish the regular season with games against Southern Miss, Missouri, LSU and Vanderbilt.
Jones wasn’t the only coach who was a topic of conversation during the interview. Finebaum also speculated on the future of Bret Bielema at Arkansas and Gus Malzahn at Auburn by entertaining the idea of Malzahn jumping ship from one SEC West program to another.
You can listen to the entire interview here:
— WJOX 94.5 FM (@WJOX945) October 23, 2017