Posted: 4:26 pm Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

There’ll be no sudden rise for Jones’ fallen Vols 

By Mark Bradley

Butch Jones explains "the power of one." (Butch Dill/AP)

Butch Jones explains “the power of one.” (Butch Dill/AP)

HOOVER, Ala. – Apparently Butch Jones is a persuasive guy. His Tennessee Volunteers compiled what Rivals rated the nation’s No. 5 recruiting class last winter, which is big deal for a  once-proud program that has had one winning season — and that only 7-6 — since 2007. Ordinarily you’d look at such a class as a signal that better days are ahead, and they might well be.

Just not yet.

Jones appeared here Tuesday at the elongated SEC Media Days and ramped up the quantity of coach-speak by a hundredfold. He expounded on his team’s slogan — “The power of one” — without managing to make much sense of it. He spoke of “the great team chemistry” of his Vols, which sounded odd, given that these Vols just went 5-7 with five of those losses by two touchdowns or more, and given that Jones noted that his is “the only team in college football having to replace both the offensive and defensive interior lines.”

What Jones didn’t mention was Tennessee’s schedule, which is unmanageable. Phil Steele’s yearbook rates it the second-toughest in the nation, and no wonder: The Vols must play Oklahoma, Georgia, Ole Miss, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt on the road and Utah State, Florida, Alabama and Missouri in Knoxville. If Tennessee goes 3-6 in those games, it will have done pretty darn well.

“We’re still going through the realities of building a college football program,” Jones said. Then: “There’s a difference between earning the right to win and hoping to win.”

Then he mentioned something about “the relevance and the the magnitude of the University of Tennessee,” and once upon a time there was real heft to the Big Orange. Then Philip Fulmer was pushed aside and Lane Kiffin hired and then Derek Dooley and then Jones, and now a mighty program has been reduced to watching the likes of Vandy and Mizzou climb above it in the SEC East.

“It’s only a matter of time,” Jones said, speaking of what he views as brighter tomorrows, and maybe he’s right. But not this year. Not with that schedule.

More Media Days fun and frolic:

From myajc.com: At 69, Spurrier can see success without SEC titles.

From myajc.com: Auburn’s Malzahn will have a tough time topping 2013.

From yesterday: SEC Media Days – way too much of a dull thing.

155 comments
Wilbo
Wilbo

I'm gonna try this question again, since I can't seem to get an answer...


"Bradley, what happened to your pal Schultzie the Comic Leftist? Did the paper fire him? We can only hope..."

RangeRover
RangeRover

The Goobersville Fight Song:


Wish that I was on ole rocky top,

Down in the Tennessee hills.

Ain't no smoggy smoke on rocky top,

Ain't no telephone bills.

Once there was a girl on rocky top,

Half bear the other half cat.

Wild as a mink, sweet as soda pop,

I still dream about that.

Rocky top, you'll always be

Home sweet home to me.

Good ole rocky top,

Rocky top Tennessee, rocky top Tennessee.

Once two strangers climbed on rocky top,

Lookin' for a moonshine still.

Strangers ain't come back from rocky top,

Guess they never will.

Corn won't grow at all on rocky top,

Dirt's too rocky by far.

That's why all the folks on rocky top

Get their corn from a jar.

Rocky top, you'll always be

Home sweet home to me.

Good ole rocky top,

Rocky top Tennessee, rocky top Tennessee.

Now I've had years of cramped up city life,

Trapped like a duck in a pen.

Now all I know is it's a pity life

Can't be simple again.

Rocky top, you'll always be

Home sweet home to me.

Good ole rocky top,

Rocky top Tennessee, rocky top Tennessee.

Rocky top Tennessee, rocky top Tennessee.

Yeah rocky top Tennessee eee eee eee.


Really fires you up for football, huh?

LHardingDawg
LHardingDawg

I listened to Coach Jones on the radio yesterday at media days and he sounds and speaks exactly like Les Miles. Of course, he's no Les Miles nor does he have a LSU type program.


I went up to the game in Knoxville last year and had a good time. The fans were nice even after Georgia won the game. My only disappointment was the condition of the playing field. Parts of it was sand that had been painted green. No wonder we had so many injuries.

Bulltoad
Bulltoad

Tough Schedule?  It is an SEC schedule with OOC of Utah State, Arkansas St and Chattanooga.  Oklahoma is only real game.  Butch Jones want's you to think it is tough but it is nothing special.  Plus look at how Tennessee ends their season every year with Vandy and Kentucky.  What a joke.  No rivalry game that every other team has to play Ala vs Au, UGA, vs Ga Tech, Clem vs SC, etc.  Don't underestimate a rivalry game to end your season.

96JB
96JB

Whenever I get down or mad at Coach Richt, I just think about Tennessee and Ga Tech and I suddenly feel better. Go Dawgs


Dawg350
Dawg350

I think the tech vs Pittsburgh and the tech vs virgina will both be close ones and toss ups! What y'all think about that?

Dawg350
Dawg350

If Keith Marshall didn't go down then it's a blow out...if Todd gurley played in the game them it would of been an embarrassment. Marshall and gurley always have their best games against Tennessee. If we don't turn the ball over then it's a blow out....how in the hell is the vols going to score on offense when they have nobody worth a flip?? Hahahahahahahaha!!!

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

I would certainly like to see UT get back on track, been a while. Say what you want, that game in Athens i think will be closer than some think.

JackClemens
JackClemens

One of the biggest problems facing the Vols, regardless of schedule, is that he brought in three quality quarterback recruits, none of which has impressed. You've got to have great players and he's bringing them in, but it will be a couple of years before that shows up on the win column.

vallo
vallo

all you need to succeed in the conference is have a school that will bring in criminals who have been kicked out of other programs for theft and drugs... no wait, we already have one in the west.

96JB
96JB

Dawgs will never fall off the wagon like Tennessee for ONE reason. Available talent. This state produces 150 D1 players a year, and probably 25 or 30 that EVERYONE wants. Tenn. produces about 40 or 50 and I would say only 4 or 5 EVERYBODY wants. Dawgs will always have talent.

Dawg350
Dawg350

Hahahahahahahahahaha!!!!

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@96JB Well I'm proud we could help in some way, CMR is a good fellow.

RockyTopp
RockyTopp

@Dawg350 "What y'all think about that" Really? Your 6th grade education is shining through there Billy Bob Bubba. You  have got to be the biggest IDIOT on here and that's saying a lot considering all the other 'necks floating around. GO VOLS!!

FlatTire
FlatTire

@Dawg350 if the opposing team has a week off to prepare I say the odds go up

BulldawgFL
BulldawgFL

@Dawg350 - "Marshall and Gurley always have their best games against Tennessee"???  Gurley played one game and Marshall played one game and 1 quarter against Tennessee.  Granted, they each had a great game in 2012, but how can you say they "always" have their best games against TN?

RockyTopp
RockyTopp

@Dawg350 If half of American voters were not stupid Dummocrats....we would have a GOOD President. So what's your point, Egghead? Quit playing the "if" game numbnutts.

Dawg350
Dawg350

That's to be expected of tech fan,,,they think every game we have will be a close one or a loss...y'all. Ain't fooling nobody

Dawg350
Dawg350

All of the vol qb's suck!

Dawg350
Dawg350

You're not the lesser of any type of evil....you're nothing but pure evil

Dawg350
Dawg350

Well you are the biggest coward of all the trolls I know and that's saying something. You better watch your mouth talking all that junk...one of these georgia rednecks might punch you in the mouth".....you made a big mistake by moving to my beloved state. Go talk some junk in a bar and you will see what's coming to you...you coward

Dawg350
Dawg350

Flat...that maybe true....but Tennessee lost more off their roster than any other sec team....they have nobody. The only way we lose this one will be if we have injuries like last years game and we turn the ball over.

Dawg350
Dawg350

Uh...from what I've seen so far they do.

Ihateorange
Ihateorange

@RockyTopp @Dawg350  I am a republican but even I almost fell out of my chair reading that comment - good president ?  the repubs last go round were horrible, if they are not substantially better this go'round then Hillary will be the next prez.

But, back to football which is why we are on this blog - not politics.

Eventually the vols will be back to a certain degree, but its going to take them a couple more years.

Dawg350
Dawg350

We don't play the what if game with the hill billy vols....we have beaten y'all 4 years in a row. Haha

Dawg350
Dawg350

Y'all have been playing the if game since fat fulmer left you loser! 5 in a row ah coming you twit......spineless rodent.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@Dawg350 No, i actually think yall can beat Troy by 3 scores.

FlatTire
FlatTire

@Dawg350  um; almost every game last year was close

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@Dawg350 For god sake 350, turning the ball over is why teams generally lose.

FlatTire
FlatTire

@gtcaryd  when Tech finds a Manziel Tebow RGIII QB then things will change

Dawg350
Dawg350

Yeah mostly because of our injuries on offense and our poor defense. You got any more lame questions?

FlatTire
FlatTire

@gtcaryd  Tennessee worries me cause they always play us hard no matter how bad their team is


Please see 2007 for example

Dawg350
Dawg350

Well duh....I'm saying we can't have 4 turnovers against any sec team and expect to win...that's the bottom line.

Dawg350
Dawg350

Flat....that game was in Knoxville and the vols had a better team then. This years game will be in athens....remember not to long ago in 2010 we beat the vols 41-14. I expect a similar beat down to occur this year.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@Dawg350 OK, turnovers are not an excuse. They are part of the game.

Dawg350
Dawg350

No.....but I'm sure you do budro

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@FlatTire Yall always have a close one with the Gators also, But if them dawgs can get by the first 2 it might get interesting. Then every week after that your nerves will be shot every game because you always fear the down week. As my mama used to say"it's a tough row to hoe."