ESPN college football analyst Paul Finebaum was a guest on a recent episode of Saturday Down South’s podcast, and things got interesting when the radio host ripped Tennessee Volunteers head coach Butch Jones. The University of Tennessee coach fired back at Finebaum on Monday, via KnoxNews (H/T SDS)
“Paul hasn’t played one snap of football for the University of Tennessee,” he said. “Our expectations are to win championships. That’s the next evolution of our football program. … He gets paid to make those comments and I respect that.”
Finebaum hit Jones hard on two major fronts that you can watch and listen to below:
First, Finebaum points out that he believes Jones has done an effective job lowering expectations for the team this season — and that’s what he wanted.
Second, he points out Jones’ comments about the situation that he was handed when he first arrived in Knoxville, but it’s Year 5 now. (As an Alabama Crimson Tide fan, Finebaum doesn’t fail to mention everything Nick Saban had accomplished in Tuscaloosa by Year 5.)
In some respects, Finebaum may have been a little too hard on Jones, but the comments about still talking about Year 1 in Knoxville is more than fair, as Jones has now had a lot of time to build a contender at Tennessee — especially with all the resources in place to do so. But the coach has every right to take offense to Finebaum’s comments. Jones is in the program each and every day building it, and for an outsider to have such strong critiques of course he’s going to come out swinging.