Butch Jones says the damndest things.
Earlier this week, the Tennessee coach appeared to conflate the role of media and fans in disapproving of negative coverage about his football team. When asked about those comments Thursday on 104.5 FM in Nashville, Jones defended his remarks by saying that the last two years at Tennessee had been some of the best in the last 20 years of the program.
We’re not kidding.
“We have a lot of great things going on right now, we’re experiencing — the last three years, the last two years have been some of the best years in the last 20 years of Tennessee football,” Jones said at about the 5:45 mark of this clip here. “And this is my life, this is my coaches’ life and we take everything very very serious here.”
Tennessee went 9-4 in the past two seasons. Those are good seasons. We’re not going to argue that they aren’t. But 20 years ago, Tennessee won the national title after the 1998 season with an undefeated 13-0 season. That season is better than seasons ending with wins in either the Outback Bowl or Music City Bowl.
Four other times in the last 20 years Tennessee has won 10 or more games. And outside of the past two seasons, there have been two other times where the Volunteers have won nine games. At best, either 2015 or 2016 is the No. 6 season of the last 20 years and at worst, one of the two seasons checks in at No. 9.
Jones can’t really be thinking that seasons that aren’t in the upper 25 percent of achievement are “some of the best,” right? If he is, maybe Butch is becoming the George Costanza of college football coaches. It’s not a lie if you believe it.
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