December 7th, 2012 10:29 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Tennessee
Tags: Charlie Strong, recruiting, SEC, UT
Judging from the ol’ MrSEC.com inbox, Tennessee fans aren’t a happy bunch this morning. Apparently landing Butch Jones from Cincinnati wasn’t the preferred option on Rocky Top. (Though in reality, we all know this is still part of the Vols’ master smokescreen and that Jon Gruden will be introduced any minute now.)
This week we’ve broken down the track records of the new SEC coaching hires who have actual head coaching experience to go on (sorry, Kentucky fans). We’ll do the same with Tennessee’s new hire now. And on paper, the hire is probably not as bad as the reaction Jones’ hiring is bringing.
Before we dive into a breakdown of Jones, let’s look at two things we got right yesterday. One, obviously as you saw here first, Jones was offered the job by Tennessee. Two, as we suggested yesterday, UT would panic. Turned down by Mike Gundy and Charlie Strong on Wednesday, the Vols raced to end their search Thursday night/Friday morning. In doing so they apparently passed up on reported interest from Nebraska’s Bo Pelini who has SEC experience, a better record in tougher conferences, and, yes, anger management issues (which might have hurt his chances with UT’s brass).
Why the rush? Because Tennessee — like many school’s athletic departments — worries too much about what’s being said in the media, on messageboards, and on sites like this. The discussion outside seeps in and influences the decisions inside. So when fanbases scream to get something done, donors scream, too. When donors scream, ADs jump.
Tennessee’s Dave Hart jumped at Jones, though his hurried move has certainly landed him someone with a better resume than Derek Dooley, the Vols’ last rushed hire.
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