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The “hot seat” isn’t really sizzling until after the college football season begins but, for Butch Jones, it is quite apparent that a big-time performance is needed. In a recent post, Adam Rittenberg of ESPN said the following about Jones, while declaring the state of affairs for the Tennessee Volunteers as the country’s “most intriguing hot seat situation.”

Jones is at or near the top of several preseason hot seat lists, despite undoubtedly improving the Tennessee program during his tenure in Knoxville. The Vols have recorded three consecutive winning seasons for the first time in 12 years, and consecutive Top 25 finishes for the first time in nine years. But without a title in a winnable SEC East Division, Jones needs to show more for new athletic director John Currie.

Related: Power 5 coach recognizes he’s on the hot seat ahead of make-or-break season

As noted, Jones has produced some level of success during his time in Knoxville but, in short, it hasn’t been good enough. The Vols have routinely underachieved when compared to preseason (and even in-season) hopes with bad losses at inopportune times and, in 2017, Jones will be operating with a largely new cast of characters at important positions.

Throw in the fact that the SEC East has been kind of a mess for a while now and, if Jones can’t lead the Vols to a division title, it could get ugly in a hurry. There are plenty of names to throw around when it comes to the hot seat but it appears to be unanimous for Butch Jones at this point.

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