Last fall, I asked Spurrier how Hupel could accelerate the reconstruction of Vols.
Take a look at the portal, said the headball coach.
“The transfer portal gives me the opportunity to catch up with the school,” Spurrier told me.
With a twist, Florida is now enthusiastically pursuing a transfer under Napier. Gators unleashed at warp speed under Dan MarenDismissed in November.
Maren did not adopt Florida standards. Combining that with roster sales associated with coaching changes, Gator’s depth and talent aren’t where you need them. Napier knows that.
“University of Florida, you can expect us to be very active on the portal this spring,” Napier told reporters in late March. “I need a player.”
If Vols intends to dominate the Gators, now is the time.
The rivalry between Florida and Tennessee once boiled, but due to the fact that the Gator’s have dominated the series for nearly 20 years and the lack of a reliable long history and geographical front, it stopped boiling a few years ago. I did.
From the 1990s to the early 2000s, Florida and UT were the best teams in SEC East, making the series a rival. The excellence of rivalry at that time was helped by the downfall of Georgia. Three are the eastern SEC crowds. In the first decade of the SEC Championship, Florida claimed seven eastern bids and Vols represented the division for the remaining three years.
The recession in Tennessee co-existed with the rise in Georgia. In the 14 seasons since UT’s last division crown, Georgia won six Easts and Florida won five.
The contrasting personalities of Spire’s endless jabs and the two coaches at Phillip Fulmer added spice to this heyday rival.
With no Spurrier, no Fulmer, and Vols not involved for 15 years, the game became a compulsory match in the guise of a rival.
But now Tennessee is establishing itself under Hupel. Florida can no longer rely on the inferior students who lead Vols.
Florida doesn’t boast its typical stubborn roster, and those soft spots open the door for Tennessee to turn over the series scripts. However, the window of this opportunity may be a moment. Napier shows signs of building a solid foundation, and if it’s any sign that Louisiana’s talent and coaching Ragin’Cajuns in four seasons will benefit him from hiring Gator’s.
Despite finishing 6-7 overall last season, the Gator’s defeated Tennessee in September. This is the 16th win in the last 17 games of the series.
The Tennessee-Alabama rivalry has experienced a similar imbalance, with Crimson Tide winning 15 straight wins. At least on the third Saturday of October, there are benefits of tradition. These teams first met in Thanksgiving in 1901. A crowd of angry Alabama fans attacked the opposition and protested civil servants, Stopped the game halfway and declared a draw. Alabama and Tennessee have met 104 times, and especially older fans are embracing their rivals, regardless of series trends.
In contrast to rivals in these border states, the Tennessee and Florida campuses are 540 miles apart, and the team didn’t start playing each year until the 1990s.
As Vols disappeared from the spotlight, so did their rivals. Unless Tennessee quickly rebalances the scale, its deescalation can be permanent. Especially if you think these teams may not play every year in the future.
The SEC schedule is heading for change after Oklahoma and Texas began competing in the league in 2025. We do not guarantee that Vols and Gators will meet each season after the expansion.
Without an annual match, the series could lose its rivalry altogether unless it was competitive again.
Losing the constant ribs of Vols’ Spurrier, who could forget his ginger that he couldn’t spell “citrus” without U and T, hurt this competition, and the imbalance of competitiveness piled up. bottom.
Sparrier hasn’t returned to Florida’s sidelines, but the vulnerable Gator’s and the solidified Vols have allowed him to find a competitive edge that lacks rivalry.
This may be the last and best opportunity to revive what was one of the best rivals of college football in the 1990s.
Break Topmeyer I’m a SEC columnist at USATODAY Network.Email him BToppmeyer@gannett.com Follow him on Twitter @btoppmeyer.. If you enjoy breaking coverage, consider it Digital subscription It will allow you to access all of it.
Tennessee Football vs Florida Gators Rivals: Last Chance to Rekindle
Source link Tennessee Football vs Florida Gators Rivals: Last Chance to Rekindle