KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Steve Spurrier isn’t directing pregame barbs at Phillip Fulmer. Danny Wuerffel and Peyton Manning aren’t throwing any passes.
Yet there’s an unmistakable sense of 1990s nostalgia in the air now that national relevance has returned to the Florida-Tennessee rivalry. When No. 23 Tennessee opens Southeastern Conference competition Saturday against No. 18 Florida, it will mark the first time since 2007 that both are ranked at the time of their annual confrontation.
When Spurrier coached Florida and Fulmer led Tennessee, this matchup ranked among the nation’s biggest September showdowns. Either Florida or Tennessee represented the Eastern Division in the SEC championship game every year from 1992-2001.
The series hasn’t been as relevant in recent years, nor has it been much of a rivalry. Florida has beaten Tennessee seven consecutive times.