The SEC has been the most competitive conference in college football because everyone expects to win it all every year. Even with the Alabama Crimson Tide reigning supreme since Nick Saban took the helm, it hasn’t weakened the resolve of other teams in the conference.
That has made for “totally unfair” expectations for Tennessee football coach Butch Jones from the fans, according to SEC Network analyst and former LSU star Marcus Spears.
Speaking with 247 Sports, Spears told Tennessee fans to look at how the team is progressing rather than the fact that they aren’t beating the Alabama’s of the world yet.
“I think the expectations sometimes creates these false narratives for fans,” Spears said. “I think, when you play in the SEC, you get compared to the people in Tuscaloosa, which is totally unfair.”
“Here’s my thing with coaching: This program has progressed from where it was five years ago, four years ago — however long before Butch got here. Now, if this program has taken this step forward and you give Butch time enough”, Spears continued, “this can be a championship-level program that people have grown accustomed to at Tennessee.”
Coach Davis has drawn criticism from the Tennessee fanbase despite winning nine games in back-to-back seasons, and winning a bowl game in three consecutive years. Last week the Volunteers had their hands full against a lowly UMass team, winning by only four points at a final of 17-13.
The Volunteers have started the season 3-1 and are considered underdogs in this week’s game against Georgia. If Tennessee loses to another SEC foe, the narrative could start to turn from uncomfortable to ugly.
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