By Zach Bingham

The Tennessee football program is not in a good place right now. After losing the season finale to in-state rival Vanderbilt, the Vols find themselves preparing for a bowl game that they don’t want to be in. The goal was a New Years Six game and the reality is a Music City Bowl bid.

Last Wednesday, 247 Sports national college football writer, Travis Haney, wrote and full featured piece on the Volunteers’ program. It took an in-depth look at the infrastructure of how Butch Jones has run things up until this point in Knoxville.

The title of the article told you everything that you needed to know, ‘The culture is a disaster’.

What Travis found out, I don’t think, should surprise a soul. From the way Butch handles a press conference, to Jalen Hurd transferring mid-season, to the way that the Vols finished the year, the writing is on the wall.

Except, Butch Jones doesn’t think so…

I get it, admitting that your program has problems is not the smart thing to do if you’re Butch Jones, but defiantly denying there aren’t issues to address is ignorant. This is where self awareness comes into play.

Being self aware may be the most important characteristic a person, much less a coach, can have. Admitting to yourself, what you do well, and also what you struggle with helps one become a better person but also impacts others around you. And one thing that Butch Jones struggles with is criticism. Simply put, he’s thin skinned.

A perfect example was at the press conference after Jalen Hurd left his program. Butch was asked by a female reporter about his leadership and how the fans were questioning is abilities after the loss to South Carolina. Butch Jones’ response was, “I don’t listen to that.”

Fast forward five minutes later once the female reporter had exited the room, Butch was asking where she was.

26:07 MARK

Just another example of Butch’s struggle to deal with the critics.

The University of Tennessee has one of the most passionate fan bases in the entire country when it comes to college football, sometimes to a fault. But when Butch Jones took the job in Knoxville, he should have known that the expectation were going to be high, and if they weren’t met, the critics were going to be howling at the door.

Right now, Vol Nation is fed up with the cliche ‘brick-by-brick’, life championship rhetoric their coach is spewing. And a loss to Nebraska in the Music City Bowl will just anger them even more. If that does in fact happen, Butch will have to reevaluate his program and how he’s running it as he heads into a 2017 season with a new quarterback, running back and a defense that will be dismantled by departures.

Turning around a program is hard to do, but maintaining the excellence that you preach is even harder. Butch Jones must look in the mirror and realize that their are problems that need to be fixed within the program and if he doesn’t, someone else will.

In today’s age of social media driven excile, no one was willing to put their name to anything negative. Instead, like most reporting in today’s age, it had the word ‘annonomous’ stuck to it.

I personally know Travis Haney and have no doubt that every single one of his sources were legit and reliable..