That's a lovely thought. But it’s not going to happen. I am under no illusions that Butch Jones will stick with Cincinnati for the long haul. I happen to think that Butch is more likely to stick around for 5 or more years than either Brian Kelly or Mark Dantonio ever were. But the chance that he could move on is there and, frankly, it’s always going to be there. But for the right job.
If Butch were to move it would not be to a place like Purdue. At this moment in time going from Cincinnati to Purdue is a lateral move. Historically that is not the case at all, Purdue has more tradition, a bigger stadium blah, blah blah. But if you look at the rosters, its not even close. UC is a young team, a young team stocked with Butch Jones's guys, and one that is really set up to make a big run over the next several seasons.
This young team is still in play for 10 win season number five in the last six seasons, and a share of the Big East crown for the fourth time in the same span. If you look at this years two deep the majority of it is coming back. There are some big losses with Goerge Winn, Travis Kelce, Drew Frey, and most likely Brendon Kay moving on, but this is still going to be a team that brings back a ton of starters and will be a favorite in the new look Big East next year, along with Louisville, Rutgers, and Boise State. When you take a look at Purdue's depth chart its a team that is much older, but worse off than the Bearcats this year. Its a roster that will be have to rebuilt from scratch. Why would Butch Jones to take that one when he is nearing the finish line of rebuilding the Bearcats roster?
That is one thing, here is another other. Butch Jones makes 600,000 more than Danny Hope does this season. So Purdue will have to give Butch a big raise, probably in the neighborhood of 1.7 or 1.8 million dollars, to entice him to make a move. Also remember that the buy out for Jones to leave before February 1st is 1.75 million. UC's assistant pool is also much bigger than Purdue's, 1.85 million to around 1.6 million. Just to make Butch Jones, and his staff theirs, Purdue will have to outlay close to one million dollars more per year than they currently do. Not exactly an enticing proposition for an athletic department that keeps its budget tight to the vest.
There is no doubt that Purdue is capable of paying enough to make Butch Jones there coach. Afterall they are still getting cut massive checks from the conference year after year thanks to the Big Ten Network. But whether they can, or will pay is besides the point. At some point Butch Jones will take the next step up the ladder, but Purdue is not a step up the ladder. It’s a step down, or maybe to the side.