Tennessee Football Coach Rumors: Butch Jones Remains Top Possibility

Tim KeeneyContributor IDecember 6, 2012

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 29: Head coach Butch Jones of the Cincinnati Bearcats directs his player to sing along with the marching band after they defeated the Virginia Tech Hokies 27-24 at FedExField on September 29, 2012 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images

Does anyone want the head-coaching job at Tennessee?


After leading the Volunteers to their third straight losing season, it was clear Derek Dooley wasn't the man for the job. But replacing him hasn't been such an easy task. 

Mike Gundy said no. Larry Fedora said no. Charlie Strong said no (per SI.com). Even a robot programmed to coach football at Tennessee said no (via NOT SportsCenter):

SOURCE: #Tennessee AD Dave Hart programmed a robot to want to do one thing: coach football at Tennessee. It also #TurnedDownTennessee. Ouch.

— NOT SportsCenter (@NOTSportsCenter) December 6, 2012


So, who's it going to be? As of now, it's look like Butch Jones is the most realistic possibility. 

It was originally reported several days ago that Jones, the current head coach at Cincinnati, was in the mix for the Tennessee job (via SST Radio Show):

Tennessee has met with Mike Gundy and is expected to talk with Bo Pelini and Butch Jones. Charlie Strong and Larry Fedora remain in the mix.

— SST Radio Show (@SSTRadio) December 3, 2012


But hope of that happening suddenly diminished when it became almost certain that Jones was heading to Colorado

Not so fast. 

According to Football Scoop, Colorado and Jones are now going their separate ways:

Sources: We will hear shortly Colorado & Butch Jones is now off the table. Both sides wishing each other the best FootballScoop.com/the-scoop

— FootballScoop Staff (@footballscoop) December 6, 2012


This could simply mean that Jones is happy at Cincy, but there's no doubt Tennessee will continue to try to woo the former Big East Coach of the Year.

He has led the Bearcats to 19 wins over the past two seasons; he's 50-27 (.649) over six years as head coach of Central Michigan and Cincinnati; the Volunteers clearly have interest in him; and most importantly at this point, he hasn't already said no.

Say hello to the No. 1 contender. 

Of course, if this doesn't pan out, like the rest, the Vols can always go after Eric Taylor (via the Knoxville News Sentinel's John Adams):

Eric Taylor, the former legendary coach at Dillon High, reportedly has an interest in the Tennessee job.

— John Adams (@johnadamskns) December 6, 2012


Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can't be denied of a head coach for much longer.