A 4-6 start, and 1-5 SEC record isn't exactly what Butch Jones had in mind when he took the Tennessee job, but as the first year head coach explained to Sirius XM's College Sports Nation, the process of getting things turned around starts with developing championship habits.
"We need to make sure that this culture, and a standard of excellence is in place as we continue to move forward with this football program, and it is. We're getting there in increments."
"It is so much about a mindset, a culture, a mindset, a standard of excellence, by the way that we practice, the level of consistency that all of that takes." Jones explained.
"It has been more evident to me, this year, in college football than any other season, is the mental conditioning and the mental aspect is so important because you play in so many emotionally filled football games, it's about how you bounce back from the previous week. I've always said this, but if you practice differently, if your standards are the highest expectation, even if you're not at your emotional peak, but when your energy is still there it still carries you because of your habits. We talk about championship habits everyday, and I see those coming, but it doesn't change overnight."
"It changes and develops in your players, but it changes in the recruitment process as well."
The road to the top of the SEC is going to be a long grind, but Jones is encouraged with the flashes of promise that he's seen throughout his first season. I'm interested to see the improvement in Knoxville in year two and three under Jones and his staff.