Tennessee is 3-5 and 0-5 in the SEC with four games left in the 2017 season. After the 29-26 loss to Kentucky on Saturday night Butch Jones was asked if he thought he would have the support of Vols athletic director John Currie moving forward.
"Absolutely," Jones responded.
At his weekly Monday press conference, Jones was asked if that's changed at all in the last 36 hours. His response:
"Nothing has changed at all."
Our partners at govols247.com reported Sunday that Jones' fate has been decided, with only the timing and announcement of his firing to be decided. Jones will coach this week against Southern Miss.
Many fans are outraged that Jones hasn't been fired yet, but not everything directed towards him has been negative.
"There's been a ton of people that have been supportive and this is a great community and we have a lot of great friends here and there's been a lot of people that have been extremely supportive," Jones said.
"I understand everybody being upset and if I was a fan I'd be upset too, so I bleed with them. I understand we need to win some football games and I'm going to do everything in my power for our players, for our university, for our program to get that done."
In the last ten years, Tennessee has started a season 3-5 or worse six times, including this year. Three of those poor starts were the Derek Dooley era, one was Jones' second season at Tennessee and the other was Phillip Fulmer's last year as Tennessee's head coach.
"In terms of the record, I'm very, very disappointed but not discouraged.," Jones said.
"I understand the expectations of Tennessee football and so do our players and it's been one of those years. When you look, I think we've had four games come down to the final play of the game and it's just about being able to close games out."
Saturday's 29-26 loss to Kentucky was one of those four games Jones mentioned. The Vols tossed up a Hail Mary on the final play, which Jeff George caught, three yards short of the goal line.
Tennessee lost by six points to South Carolina after failing to score on three plays from the Gamecocks' two-yard line, including the final play of the game.
Florida beat the Vols on the final play of the game in the Swamp with a 63-yard touchdown pass from Feleipe Franks to Tyrie Cleveland.
Jones's squad won its first game of the season by stopping a Georgia Tech two-point conversion attempt on the final play of a 42-41 double overtime game. So, the Vols are 1-3 this season in games decided on the final play.
"Just like anything, things don't always go according to plan," Jones said. "We always say football is life just sped up a lot faster and that's truly what it is. What you have to do is just continue to go about your business and work to be better for it and learn from it and have that internal drive to win and do anything necessary it takes to win football games but also do things in the right manner."
Tennessee hosts Southern Miss in its homecoming game on Saturday night at 7:30. The Vols are 71-19-3 on homecoming.