Now that Tennessee Athletic Director John Currie has finally pulled the plug on former head coach Butch Jones, Volunteer fans are anxious to find out who will fill the vacancy.
Who replaces Butch Jones?
There are many scenarios and rumors being thrown around that have gotten Vols fans everywhere curious as to what is actually going on behind the scenes. Some are exciting, some are outrageous and some would definitely have people scratching their heads.
Here are four possible scenarios: dream, great, good and bad.
This is the name that would have everybody in Vol nation ecstatic. The former Super Bowl champion coach was on the Tennessee radar before Jones ultimately got the position, but reportedly turned the job down, saying he liked where he currently was as the main man on Monday Night Football.
But his name has risen to the top of the list yet again, and the Vegas odds have skyrocketed into his favor to become the next guy on Rocky Top. A lot of people have questioned whether or not he would actually be able to translate what he did in the league into college. Not to mention the fact he hasn’t coached a snap in 10 years.
Gruden would undoubtedly bring a lot of excitement back to Knoxville if he were hired.
One name that has been circulating through Vol nation for a few weeks is the current head coach at Mississippi State University, Dan Mullen. This is a coach with strong SEC experience, has had recent, relative success in the tougher division of the conference and has proven to be a quarterback guru.
It’s tough to coach in the SEC West when you have to compete against Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide every year, but if anybody has held their own while doing so, it is Dan Mullen and the Bulldogs. Mullen led MSU to the nation’s top ranking when he had current Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott on the roster. He has also helped turn Nick Fitzgerald into one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the country. Mullen also put his team in position to dethrone the Tide last week.
Mullen would be a great fit at Tennessee, and Volunteer fans everywhere should be very excited if it happens.
A very popular name among coaching vacancies this year is the man at the helm of the University of Central Florida, Scott Frost. He was strongly believed to be the front-runner for the Florida Gators job after they parted ways with Jim McElwain, but a lot of people now believe Chip Kelly will be the guy to take over in Gainesville.
That opens up an opportunity for Tennessee.
Frost has led the Knights to a 9-0 record this season with a strong chance to finish out the season undefeated. He is an offensive genius, which is just what Tennessee needs to compete with the likes of Georgia, a team who is building around its defense.
One could-be bump in the road, though, could be the Cornhuskers of Nebraska. Frost is a native of the state, and they are also in need of a big name to turn their program around. But this would be a strong hire for the Volunteers.
Norvell is the current coach at the University of Memphis. The Vegas odds have him as one of the top three people who will likely be hired to take over at Tennessee, and this would not sit well with Tennessee fans.
While Norvell has done well with the Tigers, and has seemingly developed former Tennessee quarterback Riley Ferguson into a solid player, he has no experience coaching at a high level.
Most people would see this as a hire very similar to the hiring of Butch Jones. Tennessee has the resources to go after someone much bigger that could succeed much sooner than a guy like Mike Norvell. This would be a nightmare hire for the Vols.
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