Week nine review: Butch Jones will start feeling heat as Tennessee is a major disappointment

The SEC East has been a royal mess this year, and that is no better exemplified than by the fact that Kentucky still has a viable path to the SEC Championship. This was supposed to be Tennessee’s year. The Vols were said to have put the pieces in place this season and had most of the big games at home. It has turned into disaster in Knoxville, and Butch Jones’ name will begin to appear on hot seat lists as the year comes to a close.

Here is what is on Tennessee’s 2016 resume:

  • The Vols started the season with an overtime near loss to Appalachian State
  • They beat Virginia Tech by three touchdowns in the Battle at Bristol
  • They defeated Ohio by only nine points
  • After being down 21-3 at the end of the first half, the Vols rallied to beat Florida by 10
  • They needed a hail mary to beat Georgia
  • They lost in overtime at Texas A&M
  • They were destroyed by Alabama by 39 points
  • They had an off week
  • They lost by a field goal at South Carolina

What’s the most impressive part of the season so far? For me, it’s a tie between the 21-point win over Virginia Tech or the comeback to beat Florida. But they have not had a single impressive outing this season. Beating Appalachian State and Ohio by a combined 12 points should have been an early indication.

Tennessee is the biggest disappointment in the SEC this year, and they make a strong case for the biggest national disappointment as well. As a result, Butch Jones will enter next season with a short leash.

Despite having the head-to-head tiebreaker over Florida, the Vols now need to hope the Gators lose twice coming down the stretch. Entering this past weekend, everyone looked at the schedule and assumed Tennessee would finish strong with games at South Carolina, vs. Tennessee Tech, vs. Kentucky, vs. Missouri and at Vanderbilt. It turns out they couldn’t even pull that off.

Here is my top 10 after week nine:

  1. Alabama (8-0)
    • The Tide had an off week and will return to action with a trip to LSU
  2. Michigan (8-0)
    • A nine-point win on the road at your arch-rival is never a bad outing, and the Wolverines remain the second team in my list
  3. Clemson (8-0)
    • The Tigers escaped Tallahassee with a three-point win over Florida State, so they remain firmly planted at third
  4. Washington (8-0)
    • Washington survived one of their toughest remaining tests by beating Utah by a touchdown in¬†Salt Lake City
  5. Texas A&M (7-1)
    • The Aggies responded to their first loss of the season with a 52-10 thumping of New Mexico State
  6. Auburn (6-2)
    • Auburn claimed an 11-point victory at Ole Miss and remains the most dangerous two-loss team
  7. Wisconsin (6-2)
    • Few teams have had as brutal of a schedule as Wisconsin, and knocking off unbeaten Nebraska Saturday night was the second straight big win for this team
  8. Florida (6-1)
    • The only loss that the Gators have suffered this year was one in which they held a 21-0 lead in Knoxville, and they are set up with a schedule down the stretch that could allow them to go to Atlanta and beyond
  9. Louisville (7-1)
    • Louisville¬†looked very sluggish at Virginia, but they made the plays necessary to win and remain in the top 10
  10. Ohio State (7-1)
    • The Buckeyes did not respond impressively to their first loss of the season as they were nearly upended by Northwestern

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