KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee football coach Butch Jones is spending the day in Bristol, Conn., where he and seven other SEC coaches will go through gauntlet of interviews at ESPN headquarters. Jones is likely to appear on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN Radio throughout the day, and you can track his comings and goings here.
9:24 a.m. Touchdown. Jones is on the ground at ESPN headquarters.
10 a.m. Jones sits down with Adam Rittenberg, college football reporter for ESPN.com.
10:30 a.m. ESPN college football reporter Brett McMurphy, who is attending the car wash, reports via anonymous source that Tennessee will play West Virginia in Charlotte to open the 2018 season. That report has been out for a while. Tennessee has not confirmed. More on that here.
It’s Official: UT announced the game with West Virginia. News is here.
12:45 p.m. Jones tapes a radio interview with ESPN’s Freddie Coleman.
1:50 p.m. More radio …
1:53 p.m. Not Jones related, but Arkansas coach Brett Bielema took a shot at former UT coach Lane Kiffin when asked about how much cheating is going on in college athletics.
2:22 Jones gets a feel for the SportsCenter set.
3 p.m. Heavy-hitting stuff here. ESPN’s College Football crew is awarding every coach a celebrity lookalike. Jones got Sergeant Carter from Gomer Pyle.
3:35 p.m. Jones appeared on ESPN News’ broadcast of SportsCenter. Some quotes …
“We are very excited. We were able to attract a class of 32. Out of those 32 signees, 14 were mid-year enrollees and really energized our football program. We talk about it all the time. Everything in life is about timing. We feel Tennessee is the right place at the right time.”
On UT’s 2014 Schedule:
“We have to be ready to start right from the get-go, and be game-ready. The first three opponents are bowl champions. They know how to win. For us, 50 percent of our football team will be going through their first collegiate season. So we have to focus on winning every moment. It’s exciting because we get to raise them. Our older players have done a great job really mentoring our younger players.”
On UT fans:
“Our fans are outstanding. When you’re at the University of Tennessee, one of the most storied college football programs in the country, you always have high expectations. And that’s what you want as a recruit, as a player and as a coach. It’s exciting for them (UT fans) because they get to watch now the transformation of these young players and watch them be raised. So, our fans have been great, and we’re looking forward to getting this thing started.”