Former Tennessee Coach Butch Jones Floated as Possible Candidate At Mississippi State

Former Cincinnati and Tennessee head coach Butch Jones is currently an analyst with Alabama.
Former Cincinnati and Tennessee head coach Butch Jones is currently an analyst with Alabama. | Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Mississippi State Bulldogs are back on the market after parting ways with their head coach, former Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead, following a 14-12 record over two seasons. And to cure their ills, they could hire one of the most head-scratching head coaches we saw in the SEC over the last decade.

The school may end up considering former Tennessee head coach and current Alabama analyst Butch Jones for their head coaching vacancy, as proposed by CBS Sports.

I guess Mississippi State wants to become "champions of life."

Jones, who once upon a time guided Central Michigan and Cincinnati to double-digit winning seasons, was later named the head coach at Tennessee, where he did his best to make one of the SEC's most storied programs a perennial underachiever. Jones went just 34-27 in Knoxville, never winning 10 games in any season.

After his firing, Jones was hired as an offensive analyst by Nick Saban at Alabama. There were some rumors that he was due to depart for Maryland when former Alabama offensive coordinator Mike Locksley took the Terrapins' top job, but he stayed in Tuscaloosa.

The Bulldogs have also inquired about former assistant head coach and current Florida defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, who has a son that just committed to Mississippi State to play baseball. So far, no deal is known to be agreed.

Butch Jones didn't exactly knock it out of the part with the Volunteers, so Mississippi State opting for the former Tennessee coach can generously be described as a risky move. The SEC West is a buzzsaw, and not for the faint of heart.