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.