Arkansas State head coach Butch Jones threw some shade at Tennessee fans following his team’s blowout loss to Oklahoma. The Red Wolves were embarrassed 73-0 in that season opener, leading to outrage on social media.
Jones claims that a large portion of the negative response didn’t come from those around the ASU program. Instead, he says that supporters of his former employer were doing a lot of the talking.
Jones was the head coach at the University of Tennesse from 2013-2017. Over those five seasons, the Vols posted a middling 34-27 overall record, with a 14-26 mark in SEC play.
There were moments of excitement throughout that tenure, most notably a top 10 preseason ranking in 2016. Still, Jones’s squad struggled against its top rivals, going 2-3 against Georgia, 1-4 against Florida, and 0-5 against Alabama.
And when things were bad, they were bad.
His final season ended with an 0-8 record in conference play as the Vols finished dead last in the SEC. That campaign included a 41-0 shutout versus UGA, a 45-7 shellacking from Bama, and a season-ending loss to Vanderbilt.
Not only was his program a mess on the field, but it was the target of mockery following some of his comments at the podium, too.
“Champions of life” Butch Jones pic.twitter.com/yKKcNsevYZ
— TJ (@TJThompson_2) November 24, 2016
Jones landed at Arkansas State in 2021 after a few seasons on staff at Alabama. Things, unfortunately, haven’t been much better in Jonesboro.
The Red Wolves have combined to go just 5-20 over his first two seasons (plus) at the helm, with the most recent loss coming in particularly embarrassing fashion.
ASU was beaten soundly by the Oklahoma Sooners, 73-0, leading to a deflating response from the team’s leader.
“You have to not lose the game before you can ever win it,” Jones said after that season opening defeat. His team was down 28-0 when the first quarter came to a close.
He’s attempted to put that game in the rearview as he focuses on Week 2, but the head coach was asked about the negative response received after the beatdown in his most recent presser.
Butch Jones throws shade at Tennessee fans.
A lot has been said & written in social media & elsewhere about the Arkansas State loss to Oklahoma. @MikeHarleyMedia asked Butch Jones if he addresses that with the team. Interesting response
— Chris Hudgison (@ChrisHudgison) September 6, 2023
“I don’t check [social media] at all. I would hope that there would be people upset. It means they have passion. But also, I know a lot of that is from another fanbase.”
If you follow the Volunteer fanbase at all, you’ve seen the disdain they still hold for their former head coaches (Jones, Kiffin, Dooley, the list goes on). You won’t find many other places where fans launch golf balls and mustard bottles at coaches walking off the field.
Despite seemingly finding the answer in Josh Heupel, they can’t seem to let go of the past.
As a South Carolina grad, I see it often as they compare Shane Beamer to Butch Jones given his positive yet quirky persona. Of course, most of that saltiness stems from the 63-point smackdown that ruined UT playoff hopes last year.
Butch Jones is doing his best to drown out the negative noise, which he believes is largely attributed to Tennessee fans. He’ll look to recover from his recent blowout as Arkansas State gears up for a game against Memphis.