Tennessee fired coach Butch Jones on Sunday with two games left in a regular season in which the Volunteers started ranked but are winless in the Southeastern Conference.
Athletic director John Currie said defensive line coach Brady Hoke will serve as interim coach for the remainder of the season. Jones was dismissed one day after the Volunteers (4-6, 0-6) fell 50-17 at Missouri for their fifth loss in their last six games.
“Late last night it was evident this was probably the direction we needed to go for the best of all concerned,” Currie said at a Sunday news conference.
Jones had a 34-27 overall record and was 14-24 in the SEC over five seasons. He led the Volunteers to bowl victories each of the last three years.
Tennessee hasn’t reached the SEC championship game since 2007 and hasn’t won a conference title since its 1998 national championship season.
Jones was being paid $4.1 million annually and has a contract that runs through Feb. 28, 2021. According to the letter of dismissal Currie sent Sunday, the school owes Jones a buyout of more than $8.3 million.
Arkansas’ Kelley is arrested
Arkansas quarterback Cole Kelley was arrested for driving while intoxicated, careless driving and other offenses in Fayetteville.
A report filed by the Fayetteville Police Department says the 20-year-old redshirt freshman was booked at 8:47 a.m. Sunday. Bond was set at $935.
In a statement, Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said he was aware of the incident and the university is gathering information.
Miami rises in poll
Miami is back at No. 2 in the Associated Press poll, the Hurricanes’ best ranking since 2003.
The undefeated Hurricanes leaped five spots from No. 7 after routing Notre Dame on Saturday. Alabama remained No. 1, where it has been since the preseason, getting 57 first-place votes. Miami received the other four first-place votes.
Oklahoma moved up to two spots to No. 3, jumping Clemson, which remained No. 4. Unbeaten Wisconsin moved up a spot to No. 5.