Neyland Stadium at night. Could be filled if the field is stormed.
All the talk in Big Orange country this week has been about the upcoming Tennessee/Florida game.
It should be this way, as this is the biggest game to happen in Knoxville in some time. A win sets the Vols on track to make a return to the glory days, and a loss can leave those anticipating a promising season very much in doubt.
The secondary talk this week has centered around storming the field, should Tennessee win the game. From all the chatter on Knoxville sports radio there seems to be a 50-50 split on the matter. This is one of those situations in which it's hard to choose a side.
It's hard to disagree with those that want to storm the field if the Vols are victorious in this game. The Gators are one of their most hated rivals. They have defeated Tennessee seven years in a row.
Then there is the fact the it has been a long, long time since Tennessee won a meaningful game. Given all these factors, storming the field seems like a great idea.
On the other hand, the argument can be made for not storming the field.
Tennessee has traditionally been an upper tier team in the landscape of college football—perennial Top 25 ranked team that, more often than not, is contending for the title in the SEC. Going into this game, Tennessee is favored to win—not by a large margin but picked to win nonetheless. These factors make it hard to side against storming the field.
The Knoxville Police Department stated (h/t Associated Press) that anyone caught on the field will be arrested and those coaxing others to do this will be cited for inciting a riot.
Even Coach Dooley weighed in on the topic with the guys from the 3HL on Nashville's 104.5 The Zone. He said, "I hope we have that problem and we'll try to get them out of jail free."
It seems that the coach is all for it.
It is hard to decide which side of the fence to fall on. If pressed, I would fall on the side of not storming the field. I agree that it is Tennessee and that this is a game that they are supposed to win, but leave the field storming to teams that don't traditionally win.
If they do choose to storm the field, it should be done in a safe and respectful manner. Enjoy the game and keep it classy Knoxville.