The Tennessee Volunteers finally pulled the trigger and fired Butch Jones after nearly five seasons in Knoxville. Now they’ve got to figure out what to do with the final two games of 2017. Their biggest test of the Brady Hoke era comes Saturday when they host the LSU Tigers at 7 p.m. ET, broadcast live on ESPN (live stream).
The Tigers have rebounded from an early season home loss to Troy to establish themselves as a top-25 team behind a 4-2 SEC record. LSU is 4-1 in its last five games, the only blemish being a 14-point defeat at Alabama. Dispatching the Vols would set head coach Ed Orgeron up for a nine-win season.
Meanwhile, Tennessee can’t afford another loss if it wants to participate in this year’s postseason. UT has yet to earn a conference win this fall, and a home defeat against the Tigers would mark the team’s fifth losing record since 2010.
Time, TV channel, and streaming info
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- Location: Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, Tenn.
- TV: ESPN
- Streaming: WatchESPN
- Odds: LSU is favored by 16.5 points.
LSU at Tennessee news:
To Jones’ credit, this will not be a rebuild from the rubble. Whoever the Vols do get will have a more stocked cupboard relative to what Jones had four years ago. Much of that has to do with Jones’ efforts on the recruiting trail to get players into a Tennessee program that has some geographical inhibitors to recruiting success.
So who’ll will be next guy? Good bet is it’s one of these names.
- It’s only vaguely football related, but the LSU band’s Veteran’s Day tribute was **kisses fingers**
- Jon Gruden is the biggest name on UT’s wish list, but Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen may be the most likely candidate.
Mullen would then take Mississippi State to a bowl game in four straight seasons after 2009 - winning three - before giving the program arguably their best season in school history in 2014.
Behind quarterback Dak Prescott, Mullen and the Bulldogs beat three top-ten opponents (#7 LSU Tigers, #6 Texas A&M Aggies, and #2 Auburn Tigers) and were ranked #1 in the first official College Football Playoff rankings. After five short weeks they became the fastest team in AP history to reach the number one ranking after beginning the season unranked.
It wasn’t exactly a cakewalk, but this was as close as LSU has had to the mythical dominant win all season. LSU dominated every phase of the game, and it showed up on the scoreboard. The only real problem is that it took so long.
How will the Volunteers react now that misprinted motivational poster Butch Jones has been fired?
Had Tennessee quit under Jones? It seemed that way, especially after giving up 50 points to Missouri last week. The question now is if Brady Hoke can pull a talented team back together — and raise his coaching stock in the process. It’s really a no-lose situation for the former Michigan coach. While he’s got no chance of landing the program’s permanent position, a rally to bowl eligibility would make him a commodity for less prestigious teams.
LSU at Tennessee prediction:
Tennessee is a disaster. LSU isn’t. Tigers win.