SEC Media days are upon us and that means season predictions and prognostications from every analyst on what each team is going to do this year. ESPN and SEC Network analyst Booger McFarland jumped on ESPN Nashville’s 102.5 and gave his take on what the Volunteers will end up doing this season.
While some people see them recovering from last year’s injury-riddled 9-4 record to get to double digit wins, McFarland believes the exact opposite will happen. Here are his comments as transcribed by Saturday Down South:
“Even in a year where they [Tennessee] beat Georgia and Florida, they lost to Vanderbilt. I think he’s [Butch Jones] a guy who has trouble getting his team ready to play at a certain level week-in and week-out.”
“I think Tennessee is going to be abysmal. I think the people at Tennessee are going to have to make a decision at the end of the year. Do you take a chance on being great, or are you satisfied with being good?”
He makes a good point that Tennessee will go through bouts of seeming to play great, but then have issues getting up for bad opponents. Jones has also never had more than nine wins as Tennessee’s head coach, but he has also done a superb job of recruiting. So at some point those recruits need to develop and give Jones better results on the field if they want him to stay as their coach.
Jones will have a tougher time winning this year though as the Vols play at Florida and Alabama as well as host LSU as its rotating cross-divisional opponent this year. They’ll also have to deal with starting a new running back and quarterback to replace Alvin Kamara and Josh Dobbs, respectively. That could lead to some early season troubles even if the games are against a few cupcakes outside of the Georgia Tech first week matchup.
[h/t The Spun]