Butch Jones Sets Clear Expectations For Vols Moving Forward

Nov 30, 2013; Lexington, KY, USA; Tennessee Volunteers head coach Butch Jones during the game against the Kentucky Wildcats in the second half at Commonwealth Stadium. Tennessee defeated Kentucky 27-14. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

For the third straight season the Tennessee Volunteers will not be playing in a bowl game.

Making a bowl game was the Vols’ main goal this season.

Unfortunately for Tennessee, that didn’t happen. But make no question about it — Butch Jones won’t accept missing out on a bowl game appearance moving forward.

Jones: We’ll enjoy this one (win over Kentucky), but Monday we’re back in the weight room getting ready for next season. I want to continue to stay positive and move forward, but it’s expected that we go to bowl games from here on out. That’s our goal.

It’s great that Jones is making that the standard of Tennessee football once again.

It’s unfortunate that somewhere along the way, it became “normal” for the Vols to not make a bowl game. A bowl game should never be in question for Tennessee, let alone be in question for three straight seasons.

Butch Jones never made any excuses for missing out on a bowl game appearance — even though there were plenty that could’ve been made. He could have easily blamed the previous staff’s ineptitude at recruiting. He could have blamed the plethora of offensive talent that Tennessee lost — prematurely — to the NFL draft.

But he didn’t make those excuses. He stayed true to his expectations.

When his team failed to meet those expectations, he took responsibility.

No one expected Butch Jones to come in a tear the league up in his first year. That wasn’t realistic.

Making a bowl game was realistic and it didn’t happen. Now, nothing less than a bowl game will be accepted.

This year was Jones’ mulligan and he’d be the first person to tell you that.

The standard at Tennessee has been set.

Now it’s time for the Tennessee Volunteers to live up to that standard.

Topics: Football, Tennessee Volunteers

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  • Ronnie Freeman

    Giving all the things that were against the Vols this year and how close they did come to 6-6 or 7-5 I think Butch Jones has done far better than many others could have done. He convinced Dooley’s leftovers that they could win and play better, stronger, harder than they ever had in the past. Kiffin/Dooley left the cupboard bare of SEC talent, experince and depth and add in the toughest schedule anyone could imagine (9 bowl teams, 7 ranked teams in 8 weeks,etc.) and he still got these guys to beat SC shows me he can coach and motivate. This year was tough at times, but it also provided reasons for hope and a bright future at Rocky Top.

    • zach ragan

      Butch had incredible odds stacked against him and he knew that when he took the job. There’s no way he could have immense success in his first year, but they’ll get there under Jones.

  • Pam H.

    This morning Erik Ainge said that IF things play out the right way (OSU loses to MSU and Auburn wins SEC) and Auburn makes it to the BCS title game, then there are NOT enough SEC teams with 6 wins for the SEC spots in bowl games. There IS a 5-win rule (the UCLA rule) that would allow us to PLAY IN A BOWL THIS YEAR! We would be the next in line…the other teams aren’t 5-win teams. It would be an amazing GIFT! If that happened, we’d be in the Compass Bowl, Jan. 4th, at Legion Field, Birmingham – AND to make it even more interesting, it could be against Cincinnati. Go Michigan State! Go Auburn!

    • lakesidegator

      Somebody has too much time on her hands.

      • Pam H.

        Wow – look who”s talking.

        • zach ragan

          Unfortunately there’s no way for the Vols to play in a bowl game. They would look to bowl eligible teams outside the SEC before going to a 5-win team. Brian Rice from Tennessee confirmed this via Twitter earlier today.