Those of you who track with college football know that this is Tennessee-Florida weekend. Once upon a time, this was one of the biggest rivalries in all of college football; the winner of this game had the inside track on the SEC East title, and ultimately the SEC championship. Florida won most of these games during a period when Tennessee was at its best under Philip Fulmer, but Tennessee slipped up and won a couple of times–once in 1998, a win which launched their national championship campaign–and once in 2001. The game was postponed until the last week of the season because of September 11 that year. Florida was cruising toward a national championship when an unexpected Tennessee win put them in the SEC championship and got them some national championship consideration. Of course all of that evaporated the next week when LSU beat Tennessee in the SEC championship game.
Nowadays the Tennessee program has dropped way off; almost every year these days it is a foregone conclusion that Florida will win and win big. This is unfortunate. On the one hand, I miss the days when these programs were more comparable and there was more riding on this rivalry. On the other hand, I don’t miss those days at all because the dominance of Tennessee and Florida rendered Georgia completely and totally irrelevant in the SEC East.
So what do you think, people? Do you miss the days when more was riding on Tennessee-Florida? If so, why? If not, why not?