Butch Jones earns a B+ rating by Athlon's mid-season report card

Tennessee placekicker Michael Palardy (1) hugs Tennessee head coach Butch Jones after Tennessee beat South Carolina 23-21 at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013. (ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Lau

Tennessee placekicker Michael Palardy (1) hugs Tennessee head coach Butch Jones after Tennessee beat South Carolina 23-21 at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013. (ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL)

Athlon Sports has released it's mid-season report card for the 31 new coaches in college football's top level, and Tennessee’s Butch Jones came out in the top fourth.

Of Jones, who ranked seventh, with a B+ rating, the writers said:

“Even though Tennessee’s record is just 4-3, there are plenty of signs the program is on the right track. The Volunteers took Georgia to overtime on Oct. 5 and followed up that performance with an upset victory over South Carolina last Saturday. Tennessee’s offense is starting to show some signs of life, and the Volunteers rank second in the SEC with a +4 in turnover margin. The upcoming schedule isn’t easy, but Tennessee should play in a bowl this year.”

The top spot in the list went to Auburn's Gus Malzahn, whose 6-1 Tigers have already won twice the games that they did last season. Auburn and the Vols play on Nov. 9 at Neyland Stadium, one of the games in the “upcoming schedule” to which Jones' assessment referred.

In fact, Tennessee also faced the No. 3 coach on the list, Oregon's Mark Helfrich, who, like Malzahn, earned an A+ rating, as well as the No. 9 coach, Western Kentucky's Bobby Petrino, who charted with a B.

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops, whose Wildcats are the Vols' regular-season finale opponent on Nov. 30, came in with a C, in 15th place.

The complete list can be seen here

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Comments » 12

Orange_Power_T writes:

I consider that a low grade when all factors are taken into account. Granted we took a big hit against Oregon, but after that we looked much better. I would have given CBJ an A-.

underthehill writes:

in response to Orange_Power_T:

I consider that a low grade when all factors are taken into account. Granted we took a big hit against Oregon, but after that we looked much better. I would have given CBJ an A-.

I would say A because I don't see how he could have done any better..and I would give strong consideration to the current recruiting improvement...

OrangePride writes:

Yes, well a B+ is going to seem low to those of us who have been here through the Black years. Let's face it, when you factor in the program that Butch took over and where it is right now, it's hard not to see an A as the grade earned. Yes, we have lost 3 games, but the product on the field is by any account a light year ahead of what we've seen during the Dooley era. Malzon is a good choice for #1. What he has done down there is truly remarkable. Oregon? Really?? I think I could have coached that group and, if I just didn't change anything, been no worse than 6-1. Anyway, it's all academic. What's important is how our guys play Saturday.

jone8191#247590 writes:

All of the posters above are spot on. Butch would have an A or A+ if Neal could have held on to the ball for two more inches. But he was giving everything he had and no one holds him at fault. I love where UT is heading and I love our coach!!!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to jone8191#247590:

All of the posters above are spot on. Butch would have an A or A+ if Neal could have held on to the ball for two more inches. But he was giving everything he had and no one holds him at fault. I love where UT is heading and I love our coach!!!

You probably meant if Howard had held onto the ball, but your basic point is correct. Winning the Georgia game at that time would have really made the whole country sit up and take notice. Besides, I pretty much doubt anybody above CBJ on the list has even played against the likes of Oregon, Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia.

jandjhome#228397 writes:

jones 8191#247590 I believe the was Pig Howard and not Neal.

jone8191#247590 writes:

in response to johnlg00:

You probably meant if Howard had held onto the ball, but your basic point is correct. Winning the Georgia game at that time would have really made the whole country sit up and take notice. Besides, I pretty much doubt anybody above CBJ on the list has even played against the likes of Oregon, Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia.

Thanks for the correction and you are so right. What a schedule and I had Mo. and Auburn penciled in for wins when the season started!

halhhaynes#364264 writes:

I am confident in saying that if the Auburn coach had our schedule, his record would be no better that what Butch has presently. I give Butch a solid "A" The nice thing about this is that we will all know by the end of the season, right?

johnlg00 writes:

in response to jone8191#247590:

Thanks for the correction and you are so right. What a schedule and I had Mo. and Auburn penciled in for wins when the season started!

I too had Mizzou and Aubie penciled in as wins back in August! The Vols could still pull that off but it surely looks like a HECKUVA lot bigger chore than it did then. Which of course only strengthens the point we were both trying to make. I think CBJ has done a GREAT job so far and the best is yet to come!

volbald writes:

Our personnel and style of play matches up against Ala. and Auburn (and S.C. and UGA) a lot better than it did against Oregon. Don't know yet about Mo. and their new QB. But this will be the first November in living memory that will have so many really good opposing SEC teams waiting to play us near the end of the season. Go Vols!

southernbelle79 writes:

B+ seems about right. We could have won the Georgia game if CBJ had displayed the clock management skills in that game as he did against SC.

I can see, however, that fans who have grown accustomed to D level coaches could go in for a little grade inflation.

jandjhome#228397 writes:

GO VOLS SHOCK THE WORLD

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