It's never a good sign when sportsbooks are taking bets on which coach is going to replace you when you still have your job, but that's the position Tennessee's Butch Jones finds himself in.
After a 41-0 loss to Georgia on Saturday, the common feeling is that it's only a matter of time before Butch Jones is fired in Knoxville, so Bet Online is taking bets on which coach will be replacing Jones in the future.
Here are the odds on potential replacements:
Who will be Tennessee's head coach at the beginning of the 2018 season?
Chip Kelly +325 (risk $100 to win $325)
Jeff Brohm +450 (risk $100 to win $450)
Bobby Petrino +450
Mike Norvell +750
PJ Fleck +800
Bob Stoops +900
Tee Martin +900
Les Miles +1000
Jim Bob Cooter +1800
Dan Mullen +1800
Jon Gruden +2000
Brian Kelly +2500
Peyton Manning +10000
Lane Kiffin +10000
All right, so what's the smart play here? First of all, remove Jon Gruden, Peyton Manning and Lane Kiffin from your list. Sure, it'd be funny to bet on them, but it's not going to happen. Nor do I believe Bob Stoops would give up his retirement for Tennessee.
You don't leave what he had at Oklahoma for the chance to rebuild Tennessee.
While Chip Kelly is the favorite, I don't think that happens, either. Kelly strikes me as the kind of coach that would rather be somewhere he can win, but not where football is the focus of life in general. So that removes the SEC from consideration here. If Kelly's coaching somewhere next season, I would bet on a Pac-12 team. Maybe Arizona State.
The play I like best is Bobby Petrino. With the recent dismissal of athletic director Tom Jurich, Petrino's buyout has been cut in half, and the man who has supported him for so long is no longer his boss. I wouldn't be surprised at all if Petrino decided now was a smart time to get out of Louisville, and Tennessee would be an attractive option for him. He's already shown he can win in the SEC (he went 34-17 at Arkansas, including 21-5 in his last two seasons), and Tennessee is in the SEC East. Trust me, for a coach who has spent a lot of years competing in the same divisions as Alabama, Auburn, Clemson and Florida State, dealing with Florida and Georgia would be a lot more palatable.
So if you're going to make this bet, take Petrino +450.