Forget the national championship or SEC title, the Tennessee Volunteers are already champions this season — champions at life.
Speaking to the media Monday, Tennessee coach Butch Jones said his senior class, which hasn't won an SEC East title in his four seasons, are champions where it matters.
“These individuals mean a lot to me personally, and they mean a lot to our football program," Jones said. "When we talked about winning championships. They’re a champion. They’ve won the biggest championship — and that’s the championship of life."
The "championship of life" quote is triggering a lot of sarcasm on social media from SEC rivals and even already has been added to Jones' Wikipedia page: "On November 21, 2016, Jones' Volunteers won the Championship of Life, an award given by Butch Jones himself."
We have a feeling the quote will turn into a College GameDay sign for years to come.
Although Jones was being kind to his players, it doesn't cover for a senior class that was dragged through part of a multimillion-dollar federal sexual assault lawsuit against the school.
Here's the rest of Jones' quote:
"And they’re going to be college graduates, some of them are already college graduates. What they’ve brought from a leadership standpoint, from a stability standpoints, from getting Tennessee football back — it used to be just win a game, now it’s not just winning a game, it’s how you win the game, it’s not what’s next. That’s everything that they’ve built over the course of their time. I talked about being 14-3 [in last 17 games]. This football program wouldn’t be 14-3 without our seniors. I’m indebted for them — Vol for life. I’ll be a part of their life for many years to come."