Sunday, October 08, 2006
Whatta 'Bout Them
Tennessee quarterback, Eric Ainge, passed for two touchdowns and ran for another.
Refusing to fold, Tennessee won a big game over the Georgia Bulldogs yesterday. At one point in the second quarter, prospects for a Tennessee victory were so bleak that I left the house to buy pop, wondering if it would be worth watching the final half of the game.
Tennessee came roaring back, scoring 5 touchdowns and a field goal in the second half of the game. Eric Ainge looked like the quarterback he is supposed to. Georgia played valiantly but fell short.
In my mind, the rivalry between Tennessee and Georgia has always been a friendly one. I don't remember bad blood between the schools. I attribute much of that to Georgia historically having classy coaches, such as the great Vince Dooley (unlike Florida's ex-coach, Steve Spurrier, snicker), and classy fans, such as Patrick Armstrong.
Good Tennessee fans teach their children that there are two teams to always root for, Tennessee and whoever is playing Florida. Florida is the only SEC team I won't root for under any circumstances except when they play Miami.
Leaving for church this morning, I quipped to my son that maybe someday he'll be wearing THE ORANGE and WHITE crushing guys in red and white. Then, because I'd be proud for my son to play for Georgia, I said "or red and white crushing guys in orange and white." He replied, "Or either one crushing guys playing for Florida!" Lord, I'm proud he's my son. He's an official Gator Hater.
I doubt that Tennessee is Georgia's biggest rivalry. Florida is Tennessee's. Alabama used to be Tennessee's greatest foe but Alabama's fallen on harder times and the games don't have quite the drama they used to. But like Georgia, Bama's always had classy coaches. They don't come any better than the Bear or Gene Stallings.
David Cutcliffe is my pick for Coach of the Year.
As for the rivalry, Georgia's go, in this order: Florida, Auburn, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, South Carolina, LSU & Clemson. Least they do from my standpoint. It really depends what part of the state you're from. Tennessee is always in the pantheon, though, for those 12 years preceeding 2000. But it is turning into an away team series, what with the last four meetings won by the visitor.
As far as class goes, I've run into some pretty cool Tennessee fans in my time. Same goes for Auburn fans. Matter of fact, I think most SEC fans are pretty good because we all have to live with one another or go to grad school somewhere else...
I hope Georgia wins the rest of their games this season. They're my favorite SEC team after Tennessee. Although the order would be this: Tennessee, the team playing Florida, then Georgia. They would have to add games to the season for Florida to lose enough to make me happy.
Being that the last two times we beat Florida, Tennessee went to the SEC Championship game.
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