Either way it went today there was going to be one coach finding that their job was going to start being questioned. It was interesting to hear the large crowd at Florida Stadium (The Swamp) start booing loudly as the game clock went under one minute right after Tennessee tied the game with a field goal. Never mind that Tennessee's team had missed three previous field goals and was appearing to be catching their second wind at just the right time.
I think most fans, Tennessee and Florida, thought that this was the same show they had seen over and over and over where Tennessee's team comes back in the final few minutes or in overtime to win yet another game that they shouldn't have won. In this case there will be people on both sides of the issue that will say Tennessee outplayed Florida and should have won but Florida had it's share of bad luck also. The player stripped of the ball on the 1 yard line that saw it roll into and out of the back of the end zone to have Tennessee take over at the 20 yd line. It just had the feeling that Tennessee was going to pull it out and I think most Tennessee fans thought that also.
Thing is Tennessee was not to win and lost in the same manner as they beat Georgia last season. The shock was evident on Tennessee's fan's faces that were shown and given last years hype that Tennessee was almost a shew in for SEC - East Champs and they fell short. Talk surely now is going to be critical of Butch Jones and his inability to get over the hurdle or maintain a team that wins over Florida. Tennessee fans expect no less than to be playing in Atlanta against the SEC-West champion but here they are, another year, way behind the 8 ball and looking up Florida's coat tails and this year that hurts far more because of all the talk about how bad this Florida team is/was, based in large part on their performance in game 1 against Michigan. Tennessee Fans especially don't like losing to Florida, Georgia and Alabama as those are the trifecta of rival games or what used to be rival games when Tennessee was competitive and winning. The trifecta of death through surrounds the teams that Tennessee is always seen as beating but now has fans fearful of actually losing to this year and that involves South Carolina, Kentucky and Vanderbilt.
The road doesn't look any better for Tennessee who have one puff game ahead but then in two weeks face a vastly improved and trending up Georgia team that still must be reeling from last years Hail Mary loss that kept them from the SEC-East championship. Then Tennessee also must face an improving South Carolina team and Vanderbilt team both of whom have the ability to beat Tennessee, as demonstrated last year, but in addition to their SEC - East adversaries they have Alabama and LSU to contend with from the SEC - West so whereas there is some optimism surrounding some of the Tennessee players that seem to be breaking out there surely must be great apprehension among the fan base that this year may be another year without any post season play for a Tennessee Team that Butch Jones owns.
Will Butch Jones survive this 2017 season? I think a great deal doubt has now entered the picture and Tennessee fans who thirst for a winning season again feel nothing but let down and look ahead with dread. I can see circumstances where Butch Jones could survive the year but those circumstances do not include a season where they would lose (again) to South Carolina, and potentially Vanderbilt, again not to mention a vastly improved and good looking Kentucky team. I think at this point Tennessee fans hope to win but expect to lose to Georgia, Alabama, and possibly LSU and I don't see any way Jones would survive a year where Tennessee doesn't make any invitation to a post season bowl game. Tennessee fans are very fickle and unfortunately too predictable. When they win it's good but unfortunately, for Tennessee, their wins have been coming against powder puff teams that any Division 1 team should be expected to win against.
The real question now is which fan base is more down on their team/coach? Is it Auburn, Texas A&M, or now Tennessee? I personally believe that it's quite possible that neither Malzahn, Jones, or Sumlin survive to coach their teams in 2018 but the good news, for all of them, is they will continue to be very wealthy and if there is not another team that scoops them up they will most likely find some employment with ESPN as a commentator unless their politics is determined to be conservative or Republican.