Tennessee’s schedule in Butch Jones’ first season as head coach was beyond ridiculous.
It involved games at Oregon, at Alabama and against eventual BCS national championship game participant Auburn. That’s not to mention games against South Carolina, Florida, Georgia and Missouri.
Based on that schedule it couldn’t get much for Butch Jones and the Vols in 2014.
Unfortunately it didn’t get much better either.
Five of Tennessee’s 2014 opponents find themselves in ESPN’s early post signing day top 25 rankings.
2. Alabama Crimson Tide (10/25 in Knoxville)
5. Oklahoma Sooners (9/13 in Norman)
8. Georgia Bulldogs (9/27 in Athens)
12. South Carolina Gamecocks (11/1 in Columbia)
23. Florida Gators (October 4 in Knoxville)
A schedule like this is why six or seven wins is considered the best case scenario for the Vols in 2014.
On top of the rigorous SEC schedule, the Vols have to travel to Norman to take on an Oklahoma team that man-handled Alabama in the Sugar Bowl this past season.
Butch Jones was able to sell rebuilding Tennessee to the 2014 recruiting class, but now he’ll have to show some progress in order to sell the program to the 2015 class.
It’ll be hard to show a lot of progress with this kind of schedule, but Tennessee hired Butch Jones for a reason. He knew the schedules when he took the job and he made it clear last season that “losing will not be tolerated at Tennessee”.