For a little while there it looked like Tennessee might finally turn the corner in the SEC East and book a date to Atlanta for the conference championship game in December.
The Vols started the season by winning five straight and achieving a top 10 ranking for the first time in nearly 10 years. But a three-game skid in October ensured that winning the East wouldn’t happen, and Saturday’s upset loss to Vanderbilt only added more salt to the wound.
The inevitable questions about head coach Butch Jones have now started circulating. The idea of former Tennessee head coach and current Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin replacing him was floated by former Vols assistant coach Kippy Brown at the Knoxville Quarterback Club luncheon Monday, and it wasn’t exactly well-received.
“I will say this, and I might get booed off the stage,” said Brown, who was the wide receivers coach on Kiffin’s 2009 staff at UT. “Right now, he’d probably be a good fit.”
The 41-year-old Kiffin, who left the Tennessee program in 2010 after just one season, remains an unpopular figure around Knoxville to this day. So to say his return is next to impossible is an understatement. And that’s without even knowing what lies ahead for Jones.
Although his job is reportedly safe for now, it’s hard to ignore his 50-29 record in four seasons with the Vols.