Jones single handily cost the Vols a victory over hated rival, the University of Florida, on Saturday. The Vols blew a 27-14 lead in the fourth quarter, primarily because of Jones’ incredibly poor coaching, including a decision to not go for two points after his team went up 26-14 with 10 minutes to go. Of all of his game management blunders, the decision to forego a two point conversion attempt was tops. Jones had to know that Florida was not going to be settling for field goals at that point of the game, they were going for touchdowns.
Jones should have protected his team by going for two points. They would either be up 28-14, or 26-14, which at this juncture is the same as 27-14. So, with that in mind, what was there to lose?
Instead, he ordered that the Vols to kick the meaningless extra point, and sure enough, the Gators went on to score two touchdowns and win the game, 28-27. Certainly, the Vols’ defense faltered down the stretch. They gave up too many fourth-down conversions. And, the Vols may have very well missed on the two-point conversion, and lost 28-26. But at least they would have lost trying to do the right thing.
Jones explained afterwards that the ‘Two Point Conversion Chart’ says kick the extra point at that point.
“(We didn’t go for two) for a number of reasons, ” Jones said. “We were discussing that, prior to the drive, if we did score, whether we go for one or two. We have a chart that’s pretty standard in football that maps it out. We just felt, at that stage in the game, we have great confidence in our defense of getting off the football field, allowing them to push the ball down the field. We felt very comfortable with that decision.”
The really scary thing here is they were actually discussing the scenario before hand, and still screwed it up.
Every coach from high school to the pros has a two point conversion chart. I can safely say that apparently, Jones has the only conversion chart in football that says kick the extra point at that moment. I wonder if Jones’ chart says ‘made in China’ on the back of it somewhere. Even in China, where they don’t even play football, they would’ve still done the math and said, go for two.
Now, all coaches make mistakes. The good ones and great ones will be the first to step up to the mic and take responsibilities for their mistakes. In fact, the great ones give the players credit when they win, and they take the blame when they lose. Then you have coaches like Butch Jones, who makes excuses and blames others. Those are not the attributes of a great coach.