Not only did Peyton Manning fail to beat Florida in his four-year career at Tennessee. He might have inadvertently helped the Gators beat UT nine years after he played his last college game.
Author Ray Glier writes in his book on SEC football how much Manning assisted former Florida quarterback Chris Leak. The book, which will be on sale soon, is entitled "How the SEC Became Goliath."
Leak, who initially committed to UT before signing with the Gators, was featured in Glier's account of Florida's 2006 national championship team.
Leak attended the Manning Passing Academy, held annually in Thibodaux, La., in the summer before his senior season. Then-Florida coach Urban Meyer and his offensive coordinator Dan Mullen, called Archie Manning, Peyton's father, with specific instructions on how to help their quarterback, according to Glier.
"Each of the college guys gets a chance to spend a session with Eli (Manning) or Peyton," Glier said. "But whenever he got around Peyton, (Leak) would fire a question. Archie said, 'That kid had so many questions.' "
Leak's goal was to become proficient at calling three plays in the huddle, then selecting one at the line of scrimmage, Glier said.
"I was able to handle a lot of pre-snap and post-snap reads (after the camp)," Leak told Glier. "And Coach Meyer let me start calling three plays in the huddle."
Glier said he asked Leak if he thought people would be angry if they knew a Tennessee quarterback helped a Florida quarterback.
"I don't know if they (would be) or not," Leak told Glier. "It was a quarterback helping another quarterback."
The following season in Neyland Stadium, Leak threw a game-winning, fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Dallas Baker in the Gators' come-from-behind 21-20 victory.
Glier said Archie Manning told him that after Florida won the national championship he left a phone message for Meyer: "How did we do?"