Mike Strange: A stronger Tennessee levels SEC playing field

In case you’ve missed it while on the royal baby watch, there has been considerable hand-wringing over inequities in the SEC football schedule.

“I’d have to say,’’ LSU coach Les Miles said last week at SEC Media Days, “there’s a repeated scheduling advantage and disadvantage for certain teams in this conference based on tradition and traditional matchups.’’

Steve Spurrier couldn’t resist chiming in, noting the paths Alabama and Georgia took to the 2012 SEC championship game:

“Alabama didn’t play the top three teams in the East and Georgia did not play the three top teams in the West. Scheduling does make a difference.’’

You know who could resolve this travesty of justice and level the playing field?

Tennessee could.

If the Vols could get back to being the power program they were at the end of the 20th Century when the SEC designated its permanent (traditional) rivals, a lot of the “in” would disperse from the inequity.

Consider the route to the 2013 Western Division title: Alabama’s two East Division opponents were a combined 1-15 in SEC games last year. Permanent opponent Tennessee was 1-7, rotating opponent Kentucky 0-8.

LSU’s two East opponents were 14-2. Permanent opponent Florida and rotating opponent Georgia were both 7-1.

In 1992 when the SEC expanded to 12 teams and split into divisions, the 5-2-1 format called for two permanent non-divisional opponents and one rotating. Alabama and Arkansas were UT’s permanent opponents.

In 2003, the format changed to 5-1-2. Tennessee kept Alabama, shed Arkansas and got two rotating West teams.

The theory was to match strong against strong, weak against weak.

The strong: UT-Alabama, LSU-Florida, Georgia-Auburn. The weak were Ole Miss-Vandy and Kentucky-Mississippi State. Arkansas-South Carolina was more of a middle-ground, newcomer pairing.

With the additions of Missouri and Texas A&M in 2012, the 6-1-1 format is one permanent on the other side, one rotating.

Beginning in 2014, neighbors Arkansas and Missouri become permanent rivals. That leaves South Carolina and Texas A&M as distant but permanent rivals.

The problem with the formula is Tennessee hasn’t kept up its end of the bargain as a power program.

In the 21 years of divisional play, UT and ’Bama are 10-10-1 head-to-head. Perfect pairing.

But over the past five seasons, Alabama is 35-5 in SEC play, stronger than ever. Tennessee is 12-28, strong no more. The Tide has won six straight with an average victory margin of 23.3 points.

Meanwhile, LSU has to duke it out with Florida. The Tigers are 28-12 (SEC)

over the past five years, Florida 27-11. Fair fight.

“Scheduling,” said Miles, “should not in any way decide championships repeatedly or throughout.’’

But of course it does, and to some extent always has.

Up until 1992, the Vols played Georgia or Florida sporadically. Florida rarely played Alabama, etc.

The disparity works both ways. Tennessee is currently at a disadvantage by facing Nick Saban’s juggernaut every year. Georgia hasn’t played Alabama since 2008.

Trading Alabama for, say, Ole Miss, Auburn or Arkansas in a given year probably would have gotten the Vols to bowl games the past two seasons. To Tennessee’s credit, there hasn’t been any official whining.

That originates mostly at LSU. Saban, who had to play Florida every year when he was LSU’s coach from 2000-2004, points out that the only equal path to a championship comes when everybody plays everybody.

That works in a 10-team Big 12 Conference that plays nine league games. It’ll never happen in a 14-team SEC stuck on eight games.

But at least the Vols could help level the playing field by pulling their weight again.

Mike Strange may be reached at strangem@knoxnews.com. Follow him on Twitter at Strangemike44.

© 2013 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 71

AllforTenn writes:

We will , like Phoenix, rise from the ashes! But the fairest way to arrive at the east and west champions is to exclude their records against the teams in the other division and count only games against teams in their own division.

BigbearVol writes:

Good thought, but how many times has Tennessee benefited from another division team losing out of division conference games? The only true out is to win baby WIN. Competion breeds greatness, play to win, everytime. GoVOLS!!

oldster writes:

No matter how you stack it. No matter how good UT gets. Alabama will be a tougher game than most other teams in the East have to play every year. It is not fair. Is it courage or stupidity? I vote for the latter.

Think about this: UT plays 5 teams in the preseason top 11. Ohio State plays only 2 in the top 25, number 13 Michigan and number 24 Wisconsin. OSU's preseason rank is number 4. Do you wonder why?

oldster writes:

in response to BigbearVol:

Good thought, but how many times has Tennessee benefited from another division team losing out of division conference games? The only true out is to win baby WIN. Competion breeds greatness, play to win, everytime. GoVOLS!!

Too much competition in a collision sport, gets you beat up and injured, too.

BigbearVol writes:

Our 98' NC team was beat up, but we still managed to scrap our way to the top. Ratliff was half cripled, and we lost Jamal early. Alabama IS a tough break for us, but it gives us the supreme mark to strive for. We WILL get there.

td writes:

The solution is quite simple if the teams play a 12 game SEC schedule (6 home and 6 away), and the Conference drops the East and West Divisions like basketball. Fans would know the next year schedule immediately after the Championship Game each December. Consider: the two teams (#1 and #2) in the SEC Championship game would not face each other the following season; the other prohibited pairings would be 3vs4; 5vs6; 7vs8; 9vs10; 11vs12; 13vs14. Other than these prohibitions, everybody plays everybody.

It would be very easy to develop a master schedule and then, based on season finish, just plug in the appropriate name for the next season schedule.

As for UGA/Tech, SC/Clemson, UF/FSU, those would become lucrative major bowl match-ups with guaranteed ticket sales. Also, my research shows there is not a Florida law that requires the Gators and 'Noles to play every year. There was a directive issued, in I believe 1956, that directed UF to play the former girls school starting in 1958 (I don't claim to absolutely accurate on the dates).

Nonetheless, with the SEC Network premiering in 2014, a 12 game SEC schedule guarantees absolute top tier games every week of the football season. I predict it would rival the NFL for viewers and revenue.

By the time each year we get to the SEC Championship Game, the two truly best teams will meet, and scheduling will no longer be a point of contention.

oldster writes:

in response to td:

The solution is quite simple if the teams play a 12 game SEC schedule (6 home and 6 away), and the Conference drops the East and West Divisions like basketball. Fans would know the next year schedule immediately after the Championship Game each December. Consider: the two teams (#1 and #2) in the SEC Championship game would not face each other the following season; the other prohibited pairings would be 3vs4; 5vs6; 7vs8; 9vs10; 11vs12; 13vs14. Other than these prohibitions, everybody plays everybody.

It would be very easy to develop a master schedule and then, based on season finish, just plug in the appropriate name for the next season schedule.

As for UGA/Tech, SC/Clemson, UF/FSU, those would become lucrative major bowl match-ups with guaranteed ticket sales. Also, my research shows there is not a Florida law that requires the Gators and 'Noles to play every year. There was a directive issued, in I believe 1956, that directed UF to play the former girls school starting in 1958 (I don't claim to absolutely accurate on the dates).

Nonetheless, with the SEC Network premiering in 2014, a 12 game SEC schedule guarantees absolute top tier games every week of the football season. I predict it would rival the NFL for viewers and revenue.

By the time each year we get to the SEC Championship Game, the two truly best teams will meet, and scheduling will no longer be a point of contention.

This would be great for fans that do not care about the SEC winning a national championship, because with this schedule, the chances of anyone being unbeaten and not so beaten up that they would have all their starters ready for a national title game is very, very low. Ohio State has the answer to becoming a national champion. Play very few hard games so you can be rested and well prepared for them, then hammer them and walk into a National Championship Game untested, but well rested.

laraccoon writes:

6 years ago this story could have be written about Alabama . i know alot of people will disagree with me but i wish we didnt have to play Bama every year just because of tradition but if Jones can stack 3 really good recruiting classes on top of each other Tn. will be able to go toe to toe with most anybody .Signing quality recruits not only raises U T s talent level it also keeps it off the sidelines of our opponents .

RollTideJoe writes:

in response to oldster:

This would be great for fans that do not care about the SEC winning a national championship, because with this schedule, the chances of anyone being unbeaten and not so beaten up that they would have all their starters ready for a national title game is very, very low. Ohio State has the answer to becoming a national champion. Play very few hard games so you can be rested and well prepared for them, then hammer them and walk into a National Championship Game untested, but well rested.

Yet, everybody wants in the SEC. And, when outsiders play the SEC for all the marbles, they lose. In recent years......Alabama beat Texas, Notre Dame, Michigan, Va. Tech, Penn State,Auburn beat Oregon, LSU and Georgia won major bowl games as did S. Carolina. Only the big upset by Louisville over Florida puts a stain on SEC dominance. Ohio State has a poor record against the SEC. So your point about getting banged-up during grueling games is valid, yet the SEC still dominates outside competition.

CrankE writes:

When Tennessee was winning, the sportswhores common lament was how the conference was "down" and how it was "bad" for the conference. (Strange that we never heard this when Florida was winning in the 1990s.) In this manner, they continually placed an asterisk beside Tennessee successes.

When Alabama is winning though, that same crowd will tell us how the whole conference is "strong" and how "goood" it is for the conference. In this manner, Tennessee's misfortunes receive giddy exclamation points from the press.

I look forward to UT getting back on top of this and making the press moan about how weak the conference is.

LiveFaith writes:

Now we just have to get there. Go Vols.

Hey Strange, do you have any updates on John Adams? New awards from media cronies. Anything? We're waiting.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to laraccoon:

6 years ago this story could have be written about Alabama . i know alot of people will disagree with me but i wish we didnt have to play Bama every year just because of tradition but if Jones can stack 3 really good recruiting classes on top of each other Tn. will be able to go toe to toe with most anybody .Signing quality recruits not only raises U T s talent level it also keeps it off the sidelines of our opponents .

Well put..yesterday I watched a CSS SEC classic game 1998 Bama and USC. Holtz vs Dennis F. with Strong on the Sideline with Holtz..Bama was pretty bad and no big name players in sight. Saban hire was merely right place and right time. Stroke of luck that is now like tearing down the berlin wall.. Still can't believe Saban landed 4 top#15 RB's in one class.Totally unheard of

Chappy writes:

Hate to admit it, but Strange is right on this oe.

oldster writes:

in response to RollTideJoe:

Yet, everybody wants in the SEC. And, when outsiders play the SEC for all the marbles, they lose. In recent years......Alabama beat Texas, Notre Dame, Michigan, Va. Tech, Penn State,Auburn beat Oregon, LSU and Georgia won major bowl games as did S. Carolina. Only the big upset by Louisville over Florida puts a stain on SEC dominance. Ohio State has a poor record against the SEC. So your point about getting banged-up during grueling games is valid, yet the SEC still dominates outside competition.

The schools want in the SEC because of the money. The month to 6 weeks between the SEC championship game helps recover from the regular season. So, it is not so much the SEC winner that suffers, it is every body else, including, teams that might have been better before suffering injuries due to the week after week battering. More importantly, the Vols will never win a National Championship in my lifetime BECAUSE they are in the SEC. The time between the last two was 47 years. If they take that long again (and right now, one is not foreseeable) I (who was 4 when they won the one in 1951) would be 98.

DeltaCharlie3 writes:

Same could be said for Auburn. A strong Auburn makes UGA and Bama's path much more difficult each year.

Regarding Tennessee, doesn't really matter, as they can't beat Florida when they're good, or bad.

rbwtn writes:

The Big Orange Giant has awakened and it's hard to be patient. The SEC should add another game to the schedule. It would help balance things a little more and would be Fun but a revived TN would scare the paints off opponents.

MetroplexMojo writes:

For those who have speculated that the SEC juggled the scheduling format to benefit UGA, Bama, and UF, look at the following link. Since 1992, Alabama has played Vanderbilt more times that they have played Florida and Georgia combined. The three easiest SEC schedules since 1992 belong to Bama, UGA, and UF.

http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/20...

Central_IL_Vol writes:

DumbChump3,

That's what the GATURDS said in 1998, 2001 and 2003; MORON!

Any more GATURD players barking at dogs? The MusCHUMP Cup will be won by the CHUMP and the GATURDS! Can you guys not keep your players out of trouble??

If I were you, I wouldn't be so overconfident because your days are numbered! It may not be this year, but the GATURDS will be losing to the Vols VERY SOON!

Central_IL_Vol writes:

in response to rbwtn:

The Big Orange Giant has awakened and it's hard to be patient. The SEC should add another game to the schedule. It would help balance things a little more and would be Fun but a revived TN would scare the paints off opponents.

Like what the Japanese said after they bombed Pearl Harbor and the US Navy was kicking Japan's arse back across the Pacific!

All of the classless Bammer Morons and the GaTURD Morons don't understand the concept of "What goes around, comes around" and their days of beating the Vols are coming to an end!

GO VOLS!!

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to Central_IL_Vol:

Like what the Japanese said after they bombed Pearl Harbor and the US Navy was kicking Japan's arse back across the Pacific!

All of the classless Bammer Morons and the GaTURD Morons don't understand the concept of "What goes around, comes around" and their days of beating the Vols are coming to an end!

GO VOLS!!

Central,

You're correct.

Actually, the lizards very well may be looking at a 5 loss season. ( Miami, LSU, Georgia, South Carolina, and FSU.

Alabama? Probably home free after Va Tech and then at A & M. More than likely, the Texas A & M game is a sure loss. After those 2, the LSU game is probably the last chance at losing a game.

But you're right about the troll laden Lizards.
They definitely have the most arrogant ( deservedly so ) fans..........as evidenced by the idiots who live on this site instead of their own.

Olddogsrule writes:

in response to SAMA_BUCKS:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The best and most telling quote I know about the vagaries of football came from Johnny Majors, ..."The ball ain't round!"

Passes take air to soar over the heads of receivers, nose into the ground, or fly like a wounded duck- all from an All American QB's hand. A beautiful 47 yard punt to the 5 hits perfectly on its nose an bounces back ... 18 frickin' yards for only 29 total, leaving the opponent starting on their 23 instead of deep. The perfect coffin corner kick? It bounds through the endzone. Fumbles bounce like a dying top, onside kicks fail - all pure blind luck, because yes, the ball ain't round!

But that Stoener fumble, that was caused! It was caused by a series of the most determined defensive line surges I've ever seen in CFB. Wearing out the Hogs OL and puttin' the Fear o' God in their QB. The center of the Hog's line was pushed so fast so far into the backfield Stoerner tripped on a foot as he turned to run and set for a quick hit. That fumble, it was not luck. It was caused. By a t-e-a-m!

Course thuh luck o thuh game wuz
that ol' ball...
coulda' bounced around
instead o' sittin' on the ground
like good ol' hound
heelin' fer a Volunteer.
Thet was the luck!

(eewwww! that's awful!)

Smokey Ruled!

antonio14313 writes:

"interesting" article. but, the question now becomes; has anyone dogged on auburn for not "pulling it's weight" here recently for not winning? or has anyone dogged alabama for not pulling it's weight all those years before saban?? why dog tennessee for "not pulling it's weight" now??? might be a pretty good article, an informative article, but not a fair one to dog anyone, anytime.

and the reason why you don't hear any whining from tennessee is because, well, our fanbase is not whiners. it's that simple.

there's a reasonable solution to all of the scheduling delima. if you keep an 8 game SEC schedule, it's easy: play 6 games against everyone else in your division, 1 game against a rival from the opposite division, and 1 game that floats from a team in the opposite division depending on the previous year's final SEC standings. and if you go to a 9 team SEC schedule, then go with the same 6 divisional games, the same 1 rivalry game, and 2 divisional stangings games. easy.

and another thing: texas a&m should play missouri for it's "rivalry" game. they're the 2 newest newcomers.

rivalry games are (or should be):

tennessee vs alabama
florida vs lsu
georgia vs auburn
vanderbilt vs ole miss
kentucky vs mississippi st
missouri vs texas a&m
south carolina vs arkansas

go vols.

t

Lizardgrad89 writes:

in response to Central_IL_Vol:

DumbChump3,

That's what the GATURDS said in 1998, 2001 and 2003; MORON!

Any more GATURD players barking at dogs? The MusCHUMP Cup will be won by the CHUMP and the GATURDS! Can you guys not keep your players out of trouble??

If I were you, I wouldn't be so overconfident because your days are numbered! It may not be this year, but the GATURDS will be losing to the Vols VERY SOON!

Florida doesn't hold a 4 game lead in the series by accident. If the 1990's heyday of UT football was only able to beat Florida 3 times out of 10, what makes you so confident that a team that has barely made bowl games the past several years is suddenly going to jump up and start beating one of the truly elite teams in the country?

Don't let one half-done recruiting class get your hopes up too much. Using a metaphor of UT football trying to climb Mount Everest, you are still buying supplies and hiring Sherpas, so assuming reaching the top is a done deal would seem a tad premature.

Oh, and really? The language? Grow up.

Lizardgrad89 writes:

in response to antonio14313:

"interesting" article. but, the question now becomes; has anyone dogged on auburn for not "pulling it's weight" here recently for not winning? or has anyone dogged alabama for not pulling it's weight all those years before saban?? why dog tennessee for "not pulling it's weight" now??? might be a pretty good article, an informative article, but not a fair one to dog anyone, anytime.

and the reason why you don't hear any whining from tennessee is because, well, our fanbase is not whiners. it's that simple.

there's a reasonable solution to all of the scheduling delima. if you keep an 8 game SEC schedule, it's easy: play 6 games against everyone else in your division, 1 game against a rival from the opposite division, and 1 game that floats from a team in the opposite division depending on the previous year's final SEC standings. and if you go to a 9 team SEC schedule, then go with the same 6 divisional games, the same 1 rivalry game, and 2 divisional stangings games. easy.

and another thing: texas a&m should play missouri for it's "rivalry" game. they're the 2 newest newcomers.

rivalry games are (or should be):

tennessee vs alabama
florida vs lsu
georgia vs auburn
vanderbilt vs ole miss
kentucky vs mississippi st
missouri vs texas a&m
south carolina vs arkansas

go vols.

t

An even easier way to make picking a division champion "fair" is to only count the games against your own division. Yes, I know, that makes for other problems. Still, it's a thought.

Lizardgrad89 writes:

in response to CrankE:

When Tennessee was winning, the sportswhores common lament was how the conference was "down" and how it was "bad" for the conference. (Strange that we never heard this when Florida was winning in the 1990s.) In this manner, they continually placed an asterisk beside Tennessee successes.

When Alabama is winning though, that same crowd will tell us how the whole conference is "strong" and how "goood" it is for the conference. In this manner, Tennessee's misfortunes receive giddy exclamation points from the press.

I look forward to UT getting back on top of this and making the press moan about how weak the conference is.

When Tennessee was winning, the SEC wasn't dominating the BCS title game every year like they are now. Makes a difference.

Lizardgrad89 writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

Central,

You're correct.

Actually, the lizards very well may be looking at a 5 loss season. ( Miami, LSU, Georgia, South Carolina, and FSU.

Alabama? Probably home free after Va Tech and then at A & M. More than likely, the Texas A & M game is a sure loss. After those 2, the LSU game is probably the last chance at losing a game.

But you're right about the troll laden Lizards.
They definitely have the most arrogant ( deservedly so ) fans..........as evidenced by the idiots who live on this site instead of their own.

If you think Miami is beating UF, well, ROFL. You know Notre Dame destroyed the Canes 41-3 last year, right? You know Alabama toyed with Notre Dame, right? You know Notre Dame would have been lucky to finish in the top 5 in the SEC last year, right? Miami will be lucky to cross midfield against the UF defense.

Georgia lost their entire defense to the NFL. Multiple first rounders. UF is going to put Murray on his back all game long. Don't expect the mangy ones to beat UF.

FSU? We crunched them last year at their house. They lost a TON to the NFL and are breaking in a new QB. They aren't winning in Gainesville.

LSU and South Carolina are valid concerns. Still, we win one of those, we are going to the SECCG to play for the right to go to the BCSCG and win the national title. AGAIN.

Tennessee has a better chance of losing 10 games than UF has of losing 5. A MUCH better chance.

budd#207344 writes:

in response to oldster:

No matter how you stack it. No matter how good UT gets. Alabama will be a tougher game than most other teams in the East have to play every year. It is not fair. Is it courage or stupidity? I vote for the latter.

Think about this: UT plays 5 teams in the preseason top 11. Ohio State plays only 2 in the top 25, number 13 Michigan and number 24 Wisconsin. OSU's preseason rank is number 4. Do you wonder why?

Your reasoning might work if OSU or other Big Ten teams had won the last eight NC. But the conference with the toughest schedule wins it consistently. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. The SEC is the toughest and so the top conference. So says the record.

GOJO writes:

"If the Vols could get back to being the power program they were at the end of the 20th Century when the SEC designated its permanent (traditional) rivals, a lot of the “in” would disperse from the inequity."

Who was the coach during those glory days?

SevenT writes:

Alabama pounds Tennessee every year, UT simply does not belong on the same field with Alabama. Back in the 1950s it may have been a good game but not today.

Every SEC fan would rather see Alabama play a good SEC East team like Florida or Georgia.

murrayvol writes:

in response to RollTideJoe:

Yet, everybody wants in the SEC. And, when outsiders play the SEC for all the marbles, they lose. In recent years......Alabama beat Texas, Notre Dame, Michigan, Va. Tech, Penn State,Auburn beat Oregon, LSU and Georgia won major bowl games as did S. Carolina. Only the big upset by Louisville over Florida puts a stain on SEC dominance. Ohio State has a poor record against the SEC. So your point about getting banged-up during grueling games is valid, yet the SEC still dominates outside competition.

Here's a hypothetical for you.

What if a playoff "pickem' formula included a 13-0 Ohio State, 13-0 Oklahoma, 13-0 USC, 13-0 Notre Dame, and 11-2 Bama. (and given the degree of difficulty in the SEC these are not unrealistic records) Do you think Bama gets in? Maybe, but I wouldn't bet the house on it.

Bama would likely beat any of the other 4. The SEC at this point is the dominant conference but in a "perfect world" they wouldn't get the chance to prove it.

Samuel_L_Salma_GataBait_HowBoutDemCowboys_BlueWaffles88 writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

Central,

You're correct.

Actually, the lizards very well may be looking at a 5 loss season. ( Miami, LSU, Georgia, South Carolina, and FSU.

Alabama? Probably home free after Va Tech and then at A & M. More than likely, the Texas A & M game is a sure loss. After those 2, the LSU game is probably the last chance at losing a game.

But you're right about the troll laden Lizards.
They definitely have the most arrogant ( deservedly so ) fans..........as evidenced by the idiots who live on this site instead of their own.

Thug U (Miami) is NOWHERE even close to being the powerhouse they were back in the old days. So, UF won't lose any sleep over playing Miami.

LSWHO scored an awful 6 points in the Swamp last year, and I'm willing to bet, their offense won't be much better against UF this year.

It took 6, SIX turnovers before UGA defeated UF, and they still barely won that game. Plus, UGA lost a lot (defensively) to the NFL Draft. Very winnable game for UF (recent history proves that).

UF defeated USC by 30 last year. Nuff said

UF defeated FSWHO at Doak Campbell Stadium 37-26. This year they're making a trip to the Swamp. I'm willing to bet UF wins that with what FSU lost to the draft.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to SAMA_BUCKS:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You also have to wonder about the luck of having an OC call a roll-out play action when the clock is running and we're out of timeouts.

Not everything JM did was bad.

murrayvol writes:

in response to antonio14313:

"interesting" article. but, the question now becomes; has anyone dogged on auburn for not "pulling it's weight" here recently for not winning? or has anyone dogged alabama for not pulling it's weight all those years before saban?? why dog tennessee for "not pulling it's weight" now??? might be a pretty good article, an informative article, but not a fair one to dog anyone, anytime.

and the reason why you don't hear any whining from tennessee is because, well, our fanbase is not whiners. it's that simple.

there's a reasonable solution to all of the scheduling delima. if you keep an 8 game SEC schedule, it's easy: play 6 games against everyone else in your division, 1 game against a rival from the opposite division, and 1 game that floats from a team in the opposite division depending on the previous year's final SEC standings. and if you go to a 9 team SEC schedule, then go with the same 6 divisional games, the same 1 rivalry game, and 2 divisional stangings games. easy.

and another thing: texas a&m should play missouri for it's "rivalry" game. they're the 2 newest newcomers.

rivalry games are (or should be):

tennessee vs alabama
florida vs lsu
georgia vs auburn
vanderbilt vs ole miss
kentucky vs mississippi st
missouri vs texas a&m
south carolina vs arkansas

go vols.

t

It's worth noting that even in Bama's "down years" they were competitive. Excepting a couple of years during our run they played us very close.

murrayvol writes:

in response to Samuel_L_Salma_GataBait_HowBoutDemCowboys_BlueWaffles88:

Thug U (Miami) is NOWHERE even close to being the powerhouse they were back in the old days. So, UF won't lose any sleep over playing Miami.

LSWHO scored an awful 6 points in the Swamp last year, and I'm willing to bet, their offense won't be much better against UF this year.

It took 6, SIX turnovers before UGA defeated UF, and they still barely won that game. Plus, UGA lost a lot (defensively) to the NFL Draft. Very winnable game for UF (recent history proves that).

UF defeated USC by 30 last year. Nuff said

UF defeated FSWHO at Doak Campbell Stadium 37-26. This year they're making a trip to the Swamp. I'm willing to bet UF wins that with what FSU lost to the draft.

I'm sorry but you're right.

CoverOrange writes:

If the only equal way to a champion is everybody play everybody then you have to stop counting cross division games in total conference record. Other than that, they should flush the divisions and work it out so everybody plays everybody every two years.

DeltaCharlie3 writes:

in response to Central_IL_Vol:

DumbChump3,

That's what the GATURDS said in 1998, 2001 and 2003; MORON!

Any more GATURD players barking at dogs? The MusCHUMP Cup will be won by the CHUMP and the GATURDS! Can you guys not keep your players out of trouble??

If I were you, I wouldn't be so overconfident because your days are numbered! It may not be this year, but the GATURDS will be losing to the Vols VERY SOON!

That's all you got, 3 lousy examples, all a decade+ years ago...lol.

And haven't you dips learned not to throw stones at other schools regarding players getting into trouble? For every UF example, there's a UT example. For every UT example, there's a UGA example, and so on, with nearly every school.

Now, back to the point. UF is 16-5 versus UT since 1992. The 5 UT wins: 2 were versus Ron Zook and even one of those is tainted due to horrific officating (04), and one was because UF had their student trainer kicking FG's in OT (98). You earned the wins in 1992 and 2001, congrats. Beyond that, Florida has DOMINATED, whether you're good or bad.

So my point is, in UF's eyes, it's irrelevant to a Florida fan as to whether or not UT is "good." You'll lose to Florida, either way. You knuckleheads swore you would beat UF last year because y'all were back and finally good again. Last year was your "goal post game," remember? Well, Florida woodshedded UT. Again, it doesn't matter in this series, Florida owns it.

DeltaCharlie3 writes:

in response to Lizardgrad89:

If you think Miami is beating UF, well, ROFL. You know Notre Dame destroyed the Canes 41-3 last year, right? You know Alabama toyed with Notre Dame, right? You know Notre Dame would have been lucky to finish in the top 5 in the SEC last year, right? Miami will be lucky to cross midfield against the UF defense.

Georgia lost their entire defense to the NFL. Multiple first rounders. UF is going to put Murray on his back all game long. Don't expect the mangy ones to beat UF.

FSU? We crunched them last year at their house. They lost a TON to the NFL and are breaking in a new QB. They aren't winning in Gainesville.

LSU and South Carolina are valid concerns. Still, we win one of those, we are going to the SECCG to play for the right to go to the BCSCG and win the national title. AGAIN.

Tennessee has a better chance of losing 10 games than UF has of losing 5. A MUCH better chance.

These straw hat wearing dorks had UF losing 6+ games last year and not making a bowl game. They were utterly convinced Tyler Bray would pass his way to a blowout over UF last year. Any UT fan predicting a UF record should be laughed at.

I watched the replay of the UF-UT game again last night. The looks on the faces of the UT fans as Trey Burton, and Driskel, and Gillislee, and Hammond were running it up is priceless. You can almost read their lips; "this ain't right, y'all, we uns were spost to rush the field and tear down dem there goal posts." The looks on their faces as the UF defense picked Bray, harrassed Bray, knocked Bray around, absolutely priceless. It's so much more fun when they think they're going to win. Let's hope they think so this year too.

Olddogsrule writes:

in response to SevenT:

Alabama pounds Tennessee every year, UT simply does not belong on the same field with Alabama. Back in the 1950s it may have been a good game but not today.

Every SEC fan would rather see Alabama play a good SEC East team like Florida or Georgia.

such a willfully ignorant, arrested development, failed to launch child; spewing so much uninformed drivel that that yer blankie surely is wet with slobber

yer sad little troll droppin's are so nonsensical

just go away ... at least for 8 or 10 years til you mature
please ,,, just ... go ... away
an if you can grow up.

In the meantime, do what yer mommy n' dadddy sez now so you can grow up a little and so maybe you can act like an adult someday

good luck... you really, really .....really need it!

RememberWhen writes:

People need to stop whining about schedules. SEC teams haven't played all of the others in the league since anybody can remember. Guess what? Neither does the NFL but they still recognize a Super Bowl champ don't they!? And nobody questions it. MLB and the NBA pley unbalanced schedules too...just like practically every sports league on the planet! Spurrier and SC started this phooey because they're pretending to be big boys right now but can't actually win anything that matters. Was Stevie crying when he was at FL and actually winning championships? No. So the fact that you might beat all the east teams but would be 4th or 5th in the west does not mean you should go to the SEC title game. Bottom line...if it's a league opponent - it counts. It's called win or go home...or in this case - win or shut up.

EastTnVols962 writes:

in response to DeltaCharlie3:

That's all you got, 3 lousy examples, all a decade+ years ago...lol.

And haven't you dips learned not to throw stones at other schools regarding players getting into trouble? For every UF example, there's a UT example. For every UT example, there's a UGA example, and so on, with nearly every school.

Now, back to the point. UF is 16-5 versus UT since 1992. The 5 UT wins: 2 were versus Ron Zook and even one of those is tainted due to horrific officating (04), and one was because UF had their student trainer kicking FG's in OT (98). You earned the wins in 1992 and 2001, congrats. Beyond that, Florida has DOMINATED, whether you're good or bad.

So my point is, in UF's eyes, it's irrelevant to a Florida fan as to whether or not UT is "good." You'll lose to Florida, either way. You knuckleheads swore you would beat UF last year because y'all were back and finally good again. Last year was your "goal post game," remember? Well, Florida woodshedded UT. Again, it doesn't matter in this series, Florida owns it.

The record doesn't lie when looking at the past, and UF has beaten us down a lot recently. But I feel like you all forgot how that game went last year. Yeah our defense crumbled in the 4th quarter, but UF did not by any means dominate that game. You happened to have a coach who knew the meaning of halftime adjustments at the time. I'm not saying we win this year, especially at the swamp, but to say we got "woodshedded" is completely inaccurate.

oldster writes:

in response to budd#207344:

Your reasoning might work if OSU or other Big Ten teams had won the last eight NC. But the conference with the toughest schedule wins it consistently. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. The SEC is the toughest and so the top conference. So says the record.

You can't win it unless you get to it.

But, what does not make you stronger, can kill you.

underthehill writes:

in response to oldster:

No matter how you stack it. No matter how good UT gets. Alabama will be a tougher game than most other teams in the East have to play every year. It is not fair. Is it courage or stupidity? I vote for the latter.

Think about this: UT plays 5 teams in the preseason top 11. Ohio State plays only 2 in the top 25, number 13 Michigan and number 24 Wisconsin. OSU's preseason rank is number 4. Do you wonder why?

My opinion..same as yours..stupid..bama gets the most from this but it is also helping Ga, Fla, and S Car..

Olddogsrule writes:

in response to murrayvol:

It's worth noting that even in Bama's "down years" they were competitive. Excepting a couple of years during our run they played us very close.

No one can discredit the Crimson Tide's nor Tennessee's accomplishments for Southern football.

All southern teams were struggling out of being just another college 'club' team from their inceptions in the 1890's through their membership in the weak Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAA-founded in 1894), dual membership in the SIAA and the Southern Intercollegiate Conference until the Southern Conference (SoCon 1921-current). For Alabama, just four years later, it was their 1925 defeat of Washington in the Rose Bowl, known as "The Game That Changed the South" to win the NC which finally brought southern teams national recognition. Just three years later in 1928, Tennessee, in it's own struggle for national prominence beat the proud Tide and that Volunteer victory over Alabama is the first of the traditional Third Saturday in October rivalry games, but not the first game in the rivalry by a long shot. It went back over a quarter century before that. The 3rd Sat is a rivalry set by the teams themselves, not the fans. Alabama, indignant over the defeat, Tennessee crowing with the victory. Imagine it this way:

"Awright-so what you won!"
"Yeah! WE did-an we can do it again!"
"Oh Yeah? you an how many other mother's son's gonna do that?
"No other --just us! an we'll do it again next year!"
"Yer on! ... When?"
(Wallace Wade and Bob Neyland get involved ...jabber jabber) ...

"The Third Saturday in October ...from now on!"

"You got it! ..Be there or be square!"

On a cold, wet, 'pelting rain' filled day across the South; on the Third Saturday in October of 1931 Birmingham and the Tide hosted and lost one of the greatest, if not the greatest, special teams kicking games of all time, sealing the Volunteers claim to football prowess and Neyland's rise to legacy status across the South and throughout CFB.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid...

As for the Egg Bowl, The Iron Bowl, an etc. All the traditional rivalries at traditional times are what MAKES college football. Do away with those and I'll be done with NCAA sports. Too much other stuff to care about in this life.

Olddogsrule writes:

in response to RememberWhen:

People need to stop whining about schedules. SEC teams haven't played all of the others in the league since anybody can remember. Guess what? Neither does the NFL but they still recognize a Super Bowl champ don't they!? And nobody questions it. MLB and the NBA pley unbalanced schedules too...just like practically every sports league on the planet! Spurrier and SC started this phooey because they're pretending to be big boys right now but can't actually win anything that matters. Was Stevie crying when he was at FL and actually winning championships? No. So the fact that you might beat all the east teams but would be 4th or 5th in the west does not mean you should go to the SEC title game. Bottom line...if it's a league opponent - it counts. It's called win or go home...or in this case - win or shut up.

+about ...oh say .. 5 or 10!
A+++ for content and unmitigated truth!

Absolutely, Rememberwhen spoke total truth in every word. So shut up about it. We'll play them as they come, keep our rivalries an no whining.

murrayvol writes:

in response to Olddogsrule:

No one can discredit the Crimson Tide's nor Tennessee's accomplishments for Southern football.

All southern teams were struggling out of being just another college 'club' team from their inceptions in the 1890's through their membership in the weak Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAA-founded in 1894), dual membership in the SIAA and the Southern Intercollegiate Conference until the Southern Conference (SoCon 1921-current). For Alabama, just four years later, it was their 1925 defeat of Washington in the Rose Bowl, known as "The Game That Changed the South" to win the NC which finally brought southern teams national recognition. Just three years later in 1928, Tennessee, in it's own struggle for national prominence beat the proud Tide and that Volunteer victory over Alabama is the first of the traditional Third Saturday in October rivalry games, but not the first game in the rivalry by a long shot. It went back over a quarter century before that. The 3rd Sat is a rivalry set by the teams themselves, not the fans. Alabama, indignant over the defeat, Tennessee crowing with the victory. Imagine it this way:

"Awright-so what you won!"
"Yeah! WE did-an we can do it again!"
"Oh Yeah? you an how many other mother's son's gonna do that?
"No other --just us! an we'll do it again next year!"
"Yer on! ... When?"
(Wallace Wade and Bob Neyland get involved ...jabber jabber) ...

"The Third Saturday in October ...from now on!"

"You got it! ..Be there or be square!"

On a cold, wet, 'pelting rain' filled day across the South; on the Third Saturday in October of 1931 Birmingham and the Tide hosted and lost one of the greatest, if not the greatest, special teams kicking games of all time, sealing the Volunteers claim to football prowess and Neyland's rise to legacy status across the South and throughout CFB.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid...

As for the Egg Bowl, The Iron Bowl, an etc. All the traditional rivalries at traditional times are what MAKES college football. Do away with those and I'll be done with NCAA sports. Too much other stuff to care about in this life.

No they can't but it won't stop them from trying.

Tell me, do you remember all that stuff or did you, like me, read about it??

This conference reshuffle we're seeing now may well be the end of traditional college football. And I doubt that it's over. Many traditions have already fallen by the way. More to come.

Good post. Enjoyed the read.....and the 1932 clip.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to murrayvol:

No they can't but it won't stop them from trying.

Tell me, do you remember all that stuff or did you, like me, read about it??

This conference reshuffle we're seeing now may well be the end of traditional college football. And I doubt that it's over. Many traditions have already fallen by the way. More to come.

Good post. Enjoyed the read.....and the 1932 clip.

Heck, there may not be football at all in just a few years the way we've mostly known it for the last 60 years or so. Travel costs, recruiting costs, escalation of facilities, poor fan experiences, tight economy, player injuries, academic fraud, legal/moral problems with players and coaches, gender equity, drying-up youth replacement pool--the list of things that can bring down big-time college football either all at once or little by little grows longer and longer. My attitude is strictly that I will enjoy it while I can, but if the rest of society turns against it, then I guess that's it. The NFL may not last much longer either. We may all have to find a new sports interest sooner than we think. Mark my words.

antonio14313 writes:

in response to Olddogsrule:

No one can discredit the Crimson Tide's nor Tennessee's accomplishments for Southern football.

All southern teams were struggling out of being just another college 'club' team from their inceptions in the 1890's through their membership in the weak Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAA-founded in 1894), dual membership in the SIAA and the Southern Intercollegiate Conference until the Southern Conference (SoCon 1921-current). For Alabama, just four years later, it was their 1925 defeat of Washington in the Rose Bowl, known as "The Game That Changed the South" to win the NC which finally brought southern teams national recognition. Just three years later in 1928, Tennessee, in it's own struggle for national prominence beat the proud Tide and that Volunteer victory over Alabama is the first of the traditional Third Saturday in October rivalry games, but not the first game in the rivalry by a long shot. It went back over a quarter century before that. The 3rd Sat is a rivalry set by the teams themselves, not the fans. Alabama, indignant over the defeat, Tennessee crowing with the victory. Imagine it this way:

"Awright-so what you won!"
"Yeah! WE did-an we can do it again!"
"Oh Yeah? you an how many other mother's son's gonna do that?
"No other --just us! an we'll do it again next year!"
"Yer on! ... When?"
(Wallace Wade and Bob Neyland get involved ...jabber jabber) ...

"The Third Saturday in October ...from now on!"

"You got it! ..Be there or be square!"

On a cold, wet, 'pelting rain' filled day across the South; on the Third Saturday in October of 1931 Birmingham and the Tide hosted and lost one of the greatest, if not the greatest, special teams kicking games of all time, sealing the Volunteers claim to football prowess and Neyland's rise to legacy status across the South and throughout CFB.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid...

As for the Egg Bowl, The Iron Bowl, an etc. All the traditional rivalries at traditional times are what MAKES college football. Do away with those and I'll be done with NCAA sports. Too much other stuff to care about in this life.

GREAT post!

the season can't start fast enough!

go vols!!!

t

murrayvol writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Heck, there may not be football at all in just a few years the way we've mostly known it for the last 60 years or so. Travel costs, recruiting costs, escalation of facilities, poor fan experiences, tight economy, player injuries, academic fraud, legal/moral problems with players and coaches, gender equity, drying-up youth replacement pool--the list of things that can bring down big-time college football either all at once or little by little grows longer and longer. My attitude is strictly that I will enjoy it while I can, but if the rest of society turns against it, then I guess that's it. The NFL may not last much longer either. We may all have to find a new sports interest sooner than we think. Mark my words.

It's pretty danged hard for me to imagine a fall w/o football but there's certainly a lot of sorting out to be done over the next decade or so.

The NCAA may be the first domino to fall. And then what? The dark?

FearTheVols1252 writes:

in response to DeltaCharlie3:

These straw hat wearing dorks had UF losing 6+ games last year and not making a bowl game. They were utterly convinced Tyler Bray would pass his way to a blowout over UF last year. Any UT fan predicting a UF record should be laughed at.

I watched the replay of the UF-UT game again last night. The looks on the faces of the UT fans as Trey Burton, and Driskel, and Gillislee, and Hammond were running it up is priceless. You can almost read their lips; "this ain't right, y'all, we uns were spost to rush the field and tear down dem there goal posts." The looks on their faces as the UF defense picked Bray, harrassed Bray, knocked Bray around, absolutely priceless. It's so much more fun when they think they're going to win. Let's hope they think so this year too.

Straw hat wearing dorks??... says the jort wearing internet troll who spends his days trying to look tough on opposing teams forums?!

Ummm pot... kettle is calling.

FearTheVols1252 writes:

in response to EastTnVols962:

The record doesn't lie when looking at the past, and UF has beaten us down a lot recently. But I feel like you all forgot how that game went last year. Yeah our defense crumbled in the 4th quarter, but UF did not by any means dominate that game. You happened to have a coach who knew the meaning of halftime adjustments at the time. I'm not saying we win this year, especially at the swamp, but to say we got "woodshedded" is completely inaccurate.

I don't think it had as much to do with halftime adjustments made by UF as much as it did that we simply had a moron for a DC. What's scary is that if Wilcox were still DC, we would have dominated that game. Yes... I said dominated, and the trolls know it (though they'll NEVER admit it).

However... woulda, coulda, shoulda... but didn't. It's just one more thing I'd like to thank Dooley for. :-/

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features