John Adams: Don't expect any Florida trash talk

John Adams

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The pregame hype for Florida-Tennessee plummeted to a record low Monday.

Forget Florida vs. Tennessee. This is Florida vs. Team X.

UT isn't the hated rival that the Gators love beating into submission. It is — in the words of defensive tackle Omar Hunter — a "nameless, faceless opponent."

I could imagine a Florida player quote starting out like that in the mid-1990s, aka the pop-off era of the rivalry. Former Florida offensive tackle Mo Collins might have referred to the Vols as a "nameless, faceless opponent that doesn't deserve being on the same field with us."

Hunter didn't mean his characterization as a slight. He was simply parroting what apparently has become the company line under new Florida coach Will Muschamp, who, like most coaches, expects his players to prepare, practice and play at the same high level regardless of the opponent.

One player after another followed Hunter's lead during media interviews Monday. Only Trey Burton would admit the game was of any greater significance than the last two against Florida Atlantic and UAB, which Florida outscored 80-3.

Don't get the wrong idea. In breaking from the rank and file, Burton was merely distinguishing between nonconference and conference games. UT-Florida matters more because it's an SEC game, not because of the rivalry. So if you're adjusting the marquee based on Burton, make it "Florida vs. SEC Team X."

Nobody mistook Tennessee for Team X when Urban Meyer was running the Chomp Shop. Not that he condoned taking Saturday off against the likes of UAB and Florida Atlantic. But he attacked rivalry games with more intensity and imagination. His Gators responded by going 6-0 against the Vols and 16-2 against UT, Georgia and Florida State combined.

That record is now Muschamp's burden to bear. It's just one of the reasons there's more pressure on the Gators and him on Saturday than the Vols and coach Derek Dooley.

In winning the last six games, the Gators have beaten the rivalry lopsided. The Vols have won only five consecutive games against Vanderbilt.

The margin of victory is even more illuminating. Florida won those six games by an average of 16.2 points. UT's average margin of victory in the last five games against the Commodores is 13.8.

You can't argue with the numbers. Tennessee vs. Vanderbilt has become a more competitive rivalry than Tennessee vs. Florida.

In fact, the UT-Florida rivalry became so one-sided on Meyer's watch that coach Lane Kiffin received critical acclaim when his one UT team lost by only 10 points against Florida two years ago in The Swamp.

Meyer's overall success at Florida left Muschamp with one of the toughest acts to follow in college football. The act is even tougher to follow in rivalry games, especially when the rival is UT.

The ranking and point spread reflect the way the rivalry has gone. Florida is No. 16 and an 8- to 9-point favorite playing at home.

The Vols are just an unranked underdog trying to make a name for themselves.

John Adams is a senior columnist. He may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/johnadamskns

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Comments » 85

BrassMonkey writes:

Very true. First.

voloffaith writes:

uh huh......Second..whoopee...who got first? Not me? Mommy I came in second...wahhhhh

When will it stop? NEVER just like the bully on playground. They can teach on bullies and indoctrinate,but the human heart is what it is..."desperately wicked who can know it?"

No trash there 'Just the facts ma'am.'

jobrando#216494 writes:

Got to start earning respect somewhere. After this win I think we will move to 23rd and Florida will drop to 22nd.

NorthwestVol writes:

"Tennessee vs. Vanderbilt has become a more competitive rivalry than Tennessee vs. Florida."

Ouch. Truth hurts sometimes. With a break or two maybe the Vols can start getting that back to normal

The_Real_Orange writes:

Unfortunately for the fans Muschamp is another coach that trained under Saban and you wont get anything but "coach speak" from him or his players. Oh well, we can just remember the good ole days of Spurrier throwing out a few jabs and making the rival fans hate us more. Safe travels to the fans making the trip down this week.

Razor784 writes:

For some reason Florida has our number, even Ole Miss has beaten them since we have, the streak needs to end this Saturday

SignalMtnVol writes:

in response to The_Real_Orange:

Unfortunately for the fans Muschamp is another coach that trained under Saban and you wont get anything but "coach speak" from him or his players. Oh well, we can just remember the good ole days of Spurrier throwing out a few jabs and making the rival fans hate us more. Safe travels to the fans making the trip down this week.

Not unfortunate from my view. We got a taste of the Spurrier-esque trash talk with a UT HC from Kiffin, and it left a bitter taste, even (well) before he bolted. I'm all for the "Shut Up And Take Care Of Business" approach from our coach, anyway.

Southland writes:

they have been on top of the football world and we took a plunge just like Texas did except ours was longer and just like Florida State and a host of other proud programs. Florida has been great because they are in an area where they can hand pick the best talent in the country but that is coming to an end with the rise of UCF and SF and the return of Florida state. They were a slighty above 500 team before spurrier came. They have beaten us in the past but we will be back. Adams is a decent writer but this article seems to drip with more malice than usual. I for one hope the trash talking stops and things are settled on the field not talking like a bunch of thugs that are eventually going to spend extended time in prison

Packer_Park_Orange (Inactive) writes:

This is why Adams is the best...He knows...Just as everyone here should...When your 6 in a row up...And have the edge in players, fanbase, and, most of all, coaching...You probably don't need to talk trash.

tdvol1989 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well, except for the streak against Kentucky. That one gets to keep going.

VOLunTEAR writes:

Let's all chip-in and buy Adams a new Gator jersey. This old one is beginning to stink.

Packer_Park_Orange (Inactive) writes:

in response to Mama_Calls_Me_Precious:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

As usual..You get it..They don't.

LJS1984 writes:

I'm guessing that come Saturday night at about 8:00 P.M. half of the people commenting on this article won't be THIS TENNESSEE MESSAGE BOARD for at least a year. Stay classy Gators (you and the Bammer fans are one of a kind).

LJS1984 writes:

in response to LJS1984:

I'm guessing that come Saturday night at about 8:00 P.M. half of the people commenting on this article won't be THIS TENNESSEE MESSAGE BOARD for at least a year. Stay classy Gators (you and the Bammer fans are one of a kind).

ON

VOLunTEAR writes:

It's pleasing to see that Gator Fans follow Go Vols Extra!

movol77 writes:

Silly comparative about rivalry. Why pick Vandy? (I know, it fits your fancy.) Let me help you with your approach on rivalry. I think you meant to say, "UT has beaten KY 26 times in a row. FL can equal that if they beat TN for another 20 years straight."

movol77 writes:

"Don't expect any trash talk..." except from JA.

rkw2 writes:

in response to Packer_Park_Orange:

This is why Adams is the best...He knows...Just as everyone here should...When your 6 in a row up...And have the edge in players, fanbase, and, most of all, coaching...You probably don't need to talk trash.

So...why are you on here talking trash?

allvol32 writes:

Look - PPO and Precious responding to each other - once again I'm falling off of my chair LMFAO listening to the trolls. Judgement day comes and that right soon...

VolinVirginia writes:

in response to The_Real_Orange:

Unfortunately for the fans Muschamp is another coach that trained under Saban and you wont get anything but "coach speak" from him or his players. Oh well, we can just remember the good ole days of Spurrier throwing out a few jabs and making the rival fans hate us more. Safe travels to the fans making the trip down this week.

You have to admit: it's a smart move on Muschamp's part.

VolinVirginia writes:

in response to simmsagain:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

HUH?
What does Phil Fulmer have to do with this article?

OwensboroVol writes:

I keep hearing people around here say that Florida is down last year and again this year. I wonder how? They have had No. 1 and No. 2 recruiting years just about every year that I can remember. If We win Saturday, I don't want to hear anyone say that Florida was down. They are not down in talent, maybe everyone else has just improved their games.

ICECOLDVOL writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Brother you couldn't be more right finally somebody who knows what they're talking about. We are one of the best programs in the country and always will be because of who we are. Of course every team falls for a few years, but our American ways have us spoiled. People forget we beat bama 7 straight times from 95 to 01', and yes bama's program will always be at least 5 times more significant than florida's ever will lol...anyway if u read this now that streaks come to an end.So don't be surprised when we gone down there and beat florida by at least 10. I've been telling people all week. Also know this true VOL FANS, this is a year we all should enjoy. BECAUSE NEXT YEAR WON'T EVEN BE FAIR WHAT WE WILL DO TO EVERY TEAM WE PLAY :-( THEY ALL GETTIN MURKED...GO BIG ORANGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DannyVol writes:

You will never see a more negative story published in a hometown newspaper about a 2-0 team the week it faces one of its biggest rivals. You would never see such a column anywhere else - especially among the other all-time great programs - or the writer and editor would be toast.

It's gotten to the point that the KNS provides bulletin board material for the very team it covers. Why is it different in Knoxville? Why does the KNS get away with this when at places like Arkansas reporters get fired for wearing the wrong ball cap?

OrangeinCarolina2 writes:

in response to Packer_Park_Orange:

As usual..You get it..They don't.

If Mama_Calls_Me_Stupid is getting it, it's because you're giving it to him. Don't call you Packer for nothing. GO VOLS!

BruisedOrange writes:

FTA: "You can't argue with the numbers. Tennessee vs. Vanderbilt has become a more competitive rivalry than Tennessee vs. Florida."

That's a succinct and accurate way of describing how we look to Florida. The only difference is, in September we stand between them and the Division Championship, and in November, Vandy stands between us and a bowl game.

But things are changing...

Go_Big_O writes:

I don't buy it. Muschamp may try to downplay the significance of this game, but I know that every Gator player and fan wants to beat UT in the worst way. Just as badly as we want to beat them.

For a long stretch, the loser of this game was basically out of the SEC east championship hunt. That's how important this game is, and believe me - Will Muschamp knows that.

This year, they probably have a better team across the board, and they're playing at home. But we have an offense that can put up some big numbers. I like our chances for an upset!

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

Adams' email address is here in front of us. We have had enough of his Baton Rouge comments here, and it may just be time to not just tell ourselves what we think of his 'senior' columnist jabs...........but write him and explain it to him.

Just like supporting the trolls here, some of the writers and probably the site administrator know how to get a rise out out of people, and that's
their intent anyway.

NOthgif writes:

There is really nothing you can argue against the column. As hard as that pill is to swallow, Adams has a point. The Gators , it seems, has Tennessee's number. However, I think that this year can be different. Tennessee controls their own destiny. I think Dooley said something to the effect of, don't let history dictate the outcome. Tennessee right now probably has the biggest chance to beat Florida. Who knows what next year holds for Tennessee. I have read lots of comments talking about how Tennessee may be unbeatable then. This may be true, but wouldn't be nice to whip Florida this year in their own backyard? Florida fans look at Tennessee as the pesty little neighbor's dog that won't stop barking. There is no fear of that little dog. Just an annoyance. If Tennessee wins the turnover battle this weekend they win the game period. Florida is no more talented than you guys. Infact, I feel like the advantage is yours as far as offense goes. If it becomes a shootout, Tennessee wins. If it becomes a defensive battle, Tennessee wins. If it becomes a battle of turnovers, Tennessee loses. Control the ball, and you control the game. However, I digress and will continue to Fight ON!

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to NOthgif:

There is really nothing you can argue against the column. As hard as that pill is to swallow, Adams has a point. The Gators , it seems, has Tennessee's number. However, I think that this year can be different. Tennessee controls their own destiny. I think Dooley said something to the effect of, don't let history dictate the outcome. Tennessee right now probably has the biggest chance to beat Florida. Who knows what next year holds for Tennessee. I have read lots of comments talking about how Tennessee may be unbeatable then. This may be true, but wouldn't be nice to whip Florida this year in their own backyard? Florida fans look at Tennessee as the pesty little neighbor's dog that won't stop barking. There is no fear of that little dog. Just an annoyance. If Tennessee wins the turnover battle this weekend they win the game period. Florida is no more talented than you guys. Infact, I feel like the advantage is yours as far as offense goes. If it becomes a shootout, Tennessee wins. If it becomes a defensive battle, Tennessee wins. If it becomes a battle of turnovers, Tennessee loses. Control the ball, and you control the game. However, I digress and will continue to Fight ON!

I'm with you, This team has an opportunity to start to distance itself from the bottom dwellers of the SEC.

UTbassdrummer writes:

Yup, there were so many angles he could've
approached this with and maintained his
Journalistic integrity without slurping for or
against. It just reads like a guy trying to entertain
himself by taking liberties with his print voice.

And as much as I normally roll my eyes at the
crybabies on this forum, regarding John Adams,
it is incomprehensible that we're so regularly
smacked down by our own paper. REGULARLY.
Just ANOTHER symptom of a major problem in
UT fan culture. No wonder our tendency is to
HOPE to win and FEAR losing. Our opponents
EXPECT to beat teams. Their stadiums are
INTIMIDATING to visit, bc of the aggressive,
confident fans. My guess is that they aren't
subjected to this kind of slanted negativity
and if they were, my guess is that they wouldn't
take it.
Our team is RAPIDLY improving. When will
our fan culture?

NOthgif writes:

in response to jobrando#216494:

I'm with you, This team has an opportunity to start to distance itself from the bottom dwellers of the SEC.

So far Tennessee to me is in that "right in the middle of the pack" zone. They definitely have the talent to be among the top in the East, but mark my words, this game will make or break Tennessee this year. If they beat Florida their confidence level will be similar to the 1998 team. They had no respect then and played with a BIG chip on their shoulders. In my opinion, their climb to the top started with the Florida game. This year is no different. If you beat Florida, IN THE SWAMP, then there's no telling what will happen. Heck, they may even feel confident enough to not only take down Bama but also LSU..Ooooooh...Imagine that! Tennessee not only sneaking back in the top 25, but also potentially figuring in the BCS picture! Unfortunately for me, my Trojans are but a dream this year. So maybe I can will the Vols to victory with my various concoctions of hexxes and superstitions. HAHA Don't say you guys don't do that. Everyone does! LOL Fight ON!

hallsguy writes:

As much as us TN fans like to hate on Adams, he's usually right on. Most would like to have a homer even when the truth hurts. Climer and Biddle are usually very pro-UT over in Nashville.As is Wiedmer in Chattanooga.And Geoff Calkins in Memphis may be the best sports writer in the state.
Going to the team X comments.Embrace it. That's how Florida manages to lose to the Ole Miss',South Carolinas and Miss States.They overlook them.
Remember,Majors used to get his panties in a wad over Bama and Phil beat them easy. Phil's sphincter got so tight with Florida and Kiffin almost pulled it off. I think it is Dooley's turn to win a big one.Get behind the Vols,quit worrying about Adams.He will come around when we start winning the big games.

tennvolsman19651965 writes:

in response to The_Real_Orange:

Unfortunately for the fans Muschamp is another coach that trained under Saban and you wont get anything but "coach speak" from him or his players. Oh well, we can just remember the good ole days of Spurrier throwing out a few jabs and making the rival fans hate us more. Safe travels to the fans making the trip down this week.

Ah!!!!!! The good old days. Spurrier saying that you cant spell citrus with UT. Those were some awesome rivalry days. Nothing pleased me more than to watch Spurrier throwing that visor down on the ground. lol.

CrankE writes:

Oy! at the mental gyrations here. Muschamp wants his team to treat teams like a nameless, faceless opponent. To dehumanize the contest into a videogame where your opponent is just 1's and zeros and deserves no respect. In short, he wants his team to lie to themselves and subtract the emotion out. No heart, no determination, no guts. How well does Muschamp personally do in this area, by the way-subtracting emotion out? He wants his team to lie to themselves about the opposition. So what happens the first time Florida loses to that nameless, faceless oppnent?

The Gatrolls expect to roll their helmets out and win without heart. Can't wait to see how that works out.

kcbigorngX writes:

in response to Mama_Calls_Me_Precious:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey Bret,
Remember that first day you showed up with your hair bleached? Out by the pool at Dickson country club?
Noah D'iels' sons were there... Gary and Wade. WE ALL LAUGHED at you then, and everyone is still laughing now.
Why is it you begged for attention as a boy and obviously haven't changed? You came from a decent family...
It would be different if your posts weren't so childish. Not to mention writing under multiple names and even responding to yourself.
You might tell yourself you're having so much fun stirring up (some) of the fan base. NavalO has issues of his own but he is right about you.
Consider professional help before the worms in your head take over. Just think of all the pointless energy you waste that could be focused elsewhere.
You don't have to be a joke your entire life.

VolzsFan writes:

Florida has done that to everyone since 1990. They are the winninest program in America since Steve took over. They have resources that few have. Tenn is not an exception. Tenn does not have the recruiting base, not even close. Programs in college are apples to oranges that way. This game will not be close. Bray gets to see his first real defense.

kcbigorngX writes:

in response to hallsguy:

As much as us TN fans like to hate on Adams, he's usually right on. Most would like to have a homer even when the truth hurts. Climer and Biddle are usually very pro-UT over in Nashville.As is Wiedmer in Chattanooga.And Geoff Calkins in Memphis may be the best sports writer in the state.
Going to the team X comments.Embrace it. That's how Florida manages to lose to the Ole Miss',South Carolinas and Miss States.They overlook them.
Remember,Majors used to get his panties in a wad over Bama and Phil beat them easy. Phil's sphincter got so tight with Florida and Kiffin almost pulled it off. I think it is Dooley's turn to win a big one.Get behind the Vols,quit worrying about Adams.He will come around when we start winning the big games.

Usually you have opinions that are fair and worth reading.

Claiming the pair of Climer and Biddle as pro-UT just flushed your credibility right down the p trap.

You might as well claim Fox news to be 'fair and balanced'.

springtx_vol writes:

in response to Mama_Calls_Me_Precious:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Again, you are WRONG. Even if we lose, there will not be any devastation. We are on the right track and making progress. It is on the road in the swamp, which is a difficult place to win.

It will be disappointing if UT doesn't play well, but it will not be the end of the world. It will be disappointing if we don't win next year at home with another year's growth and experience. It will not be the end of the world if we don't.

Devestating is a 21 year old young man getting struck by lightning while working at a water park trying to get everyone off the ride before they get hurt, which happened to a friend of my daughter's roommate last week. Football is just a game.

NOthgif writes:

in response to Mama_Calls_Me_Precious:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I believe the word you are trying to spell is "devastating". That is another issue all together. My question to you is this: What will you talk about next week when Tennessee whips Florida this weekend? Trust me, it's going to happen. Fight ON!

BigOrangeSmoker writes:

Once again adams dont know what he is talking about,i think im going to start a pitition ...fire john adams

kcbigorngX writes:

in response to VolzsFan:

Florida has done that to everyone since 1990. They are the winninest program in America since Steve took over. They have resources that few have. Tenn is not an exception. Tenn does not have the recruiting base, not even close. Programs in college are apples to oranges that way. This game will not be close. Bray gets to see his first real defense.

Well, I can see I'm wasting my time trying to tell you how foolish you continue to be.

If you pass thru Brentwood, swing by T. Cates over in Tanglewood; maybe between the 2 of us we can shine a little light in your head.

It's very dark in there.

VolsUpsetYetAnother writes:

For all the FL folks looking at this site for some insight on the Vols. Its true. We are bigger, stronger, faster, better coached than we have been in the past nine years! Not a cake walk anymore fellas! The "if we stuff the run we win" days are over! Go ahead and stuff our run! Sit back and see what happens next! Bray 350 yards passing, 4 TD's! New FL coach or not, being better compared to Vandy or not, us TN fans still love a victory over the gators more than any other SEC school! Bring on the trash talk, but with only playing FL Atlantic and UAB you may want to keep it to a low rumble at this point... Go Vols!!!

Volunteer-Varmint writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree 10,000%!

Here a suggestion for all of us...

Whenever an article pops up on GVXtra that was written by JA, DON'T CLICK ON IT!!!!

They have to use sometype of tracker to know how many people are reading these.

The less he is read the more KNS is investing in a dead end reporter.

Let's start a fund to send his arse back to LA!

Go Big Orange! Let's pull the plug on that nasty smelling lizard sewer they call "the swamp".

givehim6 writes:

in response to OwensboroVol:

I keep hearing people around here say that Florida is down last year and again this year. I wonder how? They have had No. 1 and No. 2 recruiting years just about every year that I can remember. If We win Saturday, I don't want to hear anyone say that Florida was down. They are not down in talent, maybe everyone else has just improved their games.

Let me explain it this way, you remember how Fulmer did get real talented players in but didn't really coach them up well? Same thing going on to the gators right now, good talent coming in but got to coach them right.

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to VolzsFan:

Florida has done that to everyone since 1990. They are the winninest program in America since Steve took over. They have resources that few have. Tenn is not an exception. Tenn does not have the recruiting base, not even close. Programs in college are apples to oranges that way. This game will not be close. Bray gets to see his first real defense.

I thought the NCAA ruled all teams have the same number of players giving others a fair chance to win. So you must base your superior recruiting base strictly on Rival's stars? I guess your saying your team is all 5 star players like Texas? Maybe if stars are so important the NCAA should limit so many of those per team. Agree?

Ayres_Hall writes:

It appears the mullet and jorts crowd has infested the GVX comment board this week. Smells like stale Swisher Sweets and Taco Bell sauce.

Go away reds.

mahabrando writes:

I want y'alls opinion on this. I had a debate with a Georgia fan. He believes they will get rid of Richt which would be a mistake. He's a great coach and recruiter.

He also said that is Coach awesome pants Dooley's dream job and would leave Tennessee to go to it.

I disagreed with him. Saying that I do believe Dooley is in it with us for the longhaul and is all about Tennessee tradition. He has shown us that from day one... unlike the one that will not be mentioned that left the job after one year.

What do you all think?

Packer_Park_Orange (Inactive) writes:

in response to BigOrangeSmoker:

Once again adams dont know what he is talking about,i think im going to start a pitition ...fire john adams

Before everyone gets on here and bashes Adams (for telling the truth); perhaps you should take a look at yourselves...Last year, after whipping up on little Martin, we heard all this New-Vols talk about Dooley, combined with what we were going to do to Oregon...How did that one work out?

Now, we've got two new cupcakes under our belt and Derek's going to destroy Florida in the swamp...Maybe we should just let Dooley buy out of every tough SEC game and play KY. 7 seven times a season...Then we won't ever have to do any back tracking.

ellerbee123 writes:

in response to Mama_Calls_Me_Precious:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The FL staff doesn't have to trash talk. They have trash talking for them.

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