Week 5 Five Thoughts: 1) Why Ed Orgeron & Butch Jones Probably Won't Be Fired

Week 5 Five Thoughts: 1) Why Ed Orgeron & Butch Jones Probably Won't Be Fired

Week 5

Week 5 Five Thoughts: 1) Why Ed Orgeron & Butch Jones Probably Won't Be Fired

Week 5 Five Thoughts: 1) Why Ed Orgeron & Butch Jones Probably Won’t Be Fired


Is it possible Ed Orgeron and Butch Jones could lose their jobs after their really, really bad losses? Don’t be stunned if they aren’t. 



5 Thoughts

Week 5 Roundup: Rankings, Bowl Projections, Analysis
2. The NFL Draft’s Sam Darnold problem
3. Are Bob Stoops & Chip Kelly ready to come back?
4. Florida State to the College Football Playoff?! Here’s how
5. Why UCF should be ranked higher than USF

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It’s not just Ed Orgeron and Butch Jones feeling the heat. What about half of the SEC head coaches?

You think Kevin Sumlin is relaxed with a 4-1 start going into Alabama week?

How comfy is Missouri’s Barry Odom, or Bret Bielema at Arkansas, or Kentucky’s Mark Stoops? You think Matt Luke is thinking might still have a shot at keeping the Ole Miss gig despite his team’s miserable performance against Bama?

And what happens if Auburn starts to stumble, or if Florida falls off the map?

SEC Head Coach Rule No. 1: Don’t Lose
SEC Head Coach Rule No. 2: See Rule No. 1
SEC Head Coach Rule No. 3: Make sure you have a really, really big contract and buyout when you don’t follow Rules 1 and 2.

It’s really, really hard to be a head coach in the SEC.

And it’s going to really, really hard for Orgeron and Jones to keep their gigs after their respective disastrous weeks.

For Jones, losing to Georgia 41-0 is awful, but this all came after he popped off about the “fake news” from the media being partially to blame for Tennessee’s problems.

It’s hard enough when your team gets blasted and everyone likes you. It’s another when you’ve made an enemy of the media and it smells blood in the water.

The Vols had an inexcusable defensive breakdown in the loss to Florida, and the team didn’t belong on the same field as Georgia on Saturday. Those were the two teams Tennessee had to beat, and didn’t, and those were two losses because the coaching needed to be a positive, and wasn’t.

And – yippee! – now Butch Jones and Tennessee have to face Alabama in a few weeks.

The only good news for Jones this weekend was LSU’s puzzling gaffe.

Orgeron was supposed to be the exact right fit and the exact right time for LSU.

After doing a great job to keep the team fighting after the Les Miles firing last year, America’s Favorite Interim Head Coach needed to do a little bit of rebuilding – and everyone got that.

This wasn’t supposed to be an SEC title season like 2016 should’ve been, but at least the Tigers were expected to be in the running.

Instead, there were mysterious suspensions early on, the absence of star DE Arden Key to an injury didn’t help, and then came the injury issues for star RB Derrius Guice.

Whatever. Don’t lose at home to Troy.

So is that it? In the You Can Never, Ever, Lose, Ever world of the SEC, are these two gone?

Jones has been an underwhelming 33-23 in his four years and five games in Knoxville. He put together a few fantastic recruiting classes, he’s had the talent, and he’s had plenty of chances to make the program his, but all he’s succeeded at is being spectacularly mediocre.

He’s been able to get through a few issues unscathed, and he’s always been able to overcome his ultra-coachey personality, but now he’s 14-20 in the SEC.

With a buyout somewhere around $6 million, he’s a relative bargain to pay off if that’s the route Tennessee wants to go. But don’t be stunned if he survives this.

The Vols might be a mess right now, and it doesn’t fit the Fire Butch narrative, but there’s a chance Georgia might really be College Football Playoff, 12-0 Going Into SEC Championship good. A few weeks from now, there’s a chance that loss is seen as a bad day against a great team.

Tennessee has two weeks off. If it comes back roaring in a win over South Carolina, then loses to Alabama, up next are at Kentucky, Southern Miss, at Missouri. It’s very, very possible Jones and the Vols are 7-3 going into home games against LSU and Vanderbilt, with a decent shot of finishing the regular season 9-3 and with the story quickly becoming about how the team turned things around under the adversity.

Of course, lose to the Gamecocks and whiff on some of the other winnable games, and it’s Jim Bob Cooter time in Tennessee. Just don’t be stunned if ol’ Butch uses up another one of his lifelines.

And the same goes for Orgeron.

Does LSU want to drop the $12 million to buy out Orgeron after spending a reported $9 million to get rid of Miles?

Even for the biggest of programs, that’s a whole lot of bad paper.

However, with three of the next four games on the road – Florida, Ole Miss and Alabama, wrapped around a date with Ole Miss – and with Arkansas, at Tennessee and Texas A&M to finish, is it possible the Tigers have to fight to finish 6-6?

Assume a loss at Bama, if LSU loses at Florida, now the program really has an issue. Then, everyone’s favorite interim head coach becomes almost impossible to keep at any price.

But schools don’t want to fire their head coaches. They want things to work out, they want the continuity, and they really, really don’t want to issue some sort of a massive payoff before having to blow a fortune on another giant contract for the new guy.

You know how this works.

All it takes is one win over a restaurant quality team and everything swings back around. You don’t become head coaches at places like LSU and Tennessee without knowing how to get those big victories at the right times.

Yeah, LSU and Tennessee fans. You might have your head coaches longer than you might think.

5 Thoughts

Week 5 Roundup: Rankings, Bowl Projections, Analysis
2. The NFL Draft’s Sam Darnold problem
3. Are Bob Stoops & Chip Kelly ready to come back?
4. Florida State to the College Football Playoff?! Here’s how
5. Why UCF should be ranked higher than USF

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