Tennessee's embarrassing 41-0 home loss to No. 7 Georgia on Saturday sent fans into a fury calling for the Volunteers to fire head coach Butch Jones. The 3-2 Volunteers have already lost two games to AP Top 25 teams this season, lending more evidence to the fact that Jones has performed poorly against ranked opponents.
He's 0-5 combined against top 25 teams while at Central Michigan and Cincinnati, making him 6-17 against Top 25 teams during his tenure so far at Tennessee with a game against Alabama in a few weeks threatening to make it 6-18 if he's still around (and his crazy buyout suggests he'll probably be).
Jones only has one season in his coaching career with a winning record against AP top 25 teams, and he needed a Music City Bowl victory over No. 24 Nebraska to accomplish the feat in the 2016 season.
You'd expect him to struggle against ranked teams during his time at Central Michigan and Cincinnati. But ones he got to the SEC and took over the reins of a respected program, you'd also expect him to start winning big games.
That didn't happen.
His start at Tennessee was downright terrible. Jones and the Volunteers went 1-6 against Top 25 teams his first year in 2013, only managing a 23-21 win over No. 11 South Carolina.
In 2014 it didn't get any better, as Tennessee was skunked in five tries against ranked teams. (Technically, Tennessee did get a win against a ranked team in 2014 — a victory against the No. 13 FCS team in the country, Chattanooga).
Finally in 2015 Jones had his first non-losing season against ranked teams, going 2-2 after losing in overtime to Oklahoma early in the year and falling by 5-points to Alabama, but winning a close game against Georgia and closing the year with a win over No. 12 Northwestern in the Outback Bowl. Things were looking up.
Tennessee strung together two more Top 25 wins to start 2016 — a 38-28 rivalry win at home against No. 19 Florida and a three-point road victory at No. 25 Georgia. Then a double OT loss at No. 8 Texas A&M gave way to a home shellacking by No. 1 Alabama, and the momentum was gone. Tennessee closed the year with the aforementioned Music City Bowl win over No. 24 Nebraska.
So far in 2017 Tennessee is 0-2 against ranked opponents losing in stunning fashion on a Florida Hail Mary and last weekend's shutout by Georgia.
To date, Jones has yet to win a matchup with a top 10 team, going 0-14 against teams rank No. 10 or higher in his career (0-12 while at Tennessee)
Here's how it breaks down:
2009 at Central Michigan (0-1)
- L: 56-17 at No. 2 Georgia
2010 at Central Michigan (0-1)
- L: 31-24 vs. No. 17 Ball State
2011 at Cincinnati (0-1)
- L: 31-29 vs. No. 9 Oklahoma
2012 at Cincinnati (0-2)
2013 at Tennessee (1-6)
- L: 59-14 at No. 2 Oregon
- L: 31-17 at No. 19 Florida
- L: 34-31 (OT) vs. No. 6 Georgia
- W: 23-21 vs. No. 11 South Carolina
- L: 45-10 at No. 1 Alabama
- L: 31-3 at No. 10 Missouri
- L: 55-23 vs. No. 9 Auburn
2014 at Tennessee (0-5)
- L: 34-10 at No. 4 Oklahoma
- L: 35-32 at No. 12 Georgia
- L: 34-3 at No. 3 Ole Miss
- L: 34-20 vs. No. 4 Alabama
- L: 29-21 vs. No. 19 Missouri
2015 Tennessee (2-2)
- L: 31-24 (2OT) vs. No. 19 Oklahoma
- W: 38-31 at No. 19 Georgia
- L: 19-14 at No. 8 Alabama
- W: 45-6 vs. No. 12 Northwestern (Outback Bowl)
2016 Tennessee (3-2)
- W: 38-28 vs. No. 19 Florida
- W: 34-31 at No. 25 Georgia
- L: 45-38 (2OT) at No. 8 Texas A&M
- L: 49-10 vs. No. 1 Alabama
- W: 38-24 vs. No. 24 Nebraska (Music City Bowl)
2017 at Tennessee (0-2)