Well folks, the ultimate ironic situation is here. Nick Saban and Butch Jones, two worlds apart on the head-coaching spectrum, have met and talked about Jones joining Alabama in an off-field offensive analyst position, according to AL.com.
Jones, as you might remember, was fired by former athletic director John Currie following Tennessee’s woeful 50-17 loss to Missouri in November. That came just a few weeks before the Vols finished 4-8, the worst single-season mark in program history.
Now, let’s all take a minute to compose ourselves. Butch Jones, father of five-star hearts, champion of life, leader of brick-layers, freer of transfer students, bringer of disappointments, destroyer of good recruiting classes and first of his name is potentially joining Alabama’s staff to coach alongside the greatest college coach that football has ever seen.
To Jones’ credit, former Tennessee quarterback Josh Dobbs was electric, albeit inconsistent, in leading the Vols to back-to-back-to-back bowl wins. The Vols put up a ton of points under former offensive coordinator Mike DeBord, but outside of DeBord and Dobbs’ time in Knoxville, Jones’ offenses weren’t exactly a thing of beauty.
In seven of 12 games last season, the Vols failed to pass for at least 200 yards. Only two of those games (Kentucky, LSU) came in SEC play and LSU was after Jones was let go.
Tennessee was dead last in total offense in 2017, 12th in passing offense and 13th in rushing offense.
Don’t forget that Tennessee went 15 quarters, quarters (!) without an offensive touchdown. That’s almost a third of the entire season.
But what if Butch Jones…. wins a national championship? With Alabama, no less? We thought maybe a loss to a Derek Dooley offense (he’s at Mizzou now, after all) would be the ultimate troll to Vol fans, but this would be so much worse.
What if Jones was secretly a Saban plant this whole time? There’s reason to start playing some X-Files music here. It’d be the most genius, long-game Saban thing ever. He sends Jones to Tennessee to recruit well, win just enough games to bring the excitement back, then lose eight games for the first time in program history. THEN he hires Jones and they ride into the promised land of championships.
Most. Tennessee. Thing. Ever. We’ll keep our eyes peeled as this develops.