100 Days Away: The First Fall Blockbuster

tre wellsCorrespondent IJune 11, 2009

KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 20:  A.J. Jones #16 of the Florida Gators tackles Gerald Jones #4 of the Tennessee Volunteers during their game at Neyland Stadium on September 20, 2008 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Have you ever gone to see a movie and left the theatre more excited about a preview you saw than you were about the movie you just paid 10 bucks to see?

I have to believe this is possibly the case for many of the millions of college football fans across the nation as the summer heat kicks in and reminds us that outside of bacon, the laced pigskin is the next best smell associated with the four legged animal’s name.

It’s college football, and it’s so close you can, well...smell it.

But for every Washington Husky fan that clicks on the College Football tab from ESPN and every N.J. Rutger alum that scans over the NCAA football headlines on CBSsports, they are getting a small preview of a game played across the country, by teams from another conference, in a swamp.

Though they may have wanted to read about their own teams, chances are they were lured in to an article or two regarding a pair of Southeastern Conference teams.

One hundred days from now, on Sept. 19, the University of Tennessee Volunteers head south to the not-so-friendly confines of The Swamp to take on the Florida Gators in what is becoming one of the most anticipated college matchups of the season.

Whether intentional or not, it’s been marketing genius by whoever is involved. CBS has the game and they have to be drooling at this point. Already a conference rivalry not for the faint of heart, Lane Kiffin’s jabs and accusations at Urban Myer were so unorthodox and shocking that it seemed they were calculated to increase tension.

Message boards from both sites have been overflowing with testosterone as the Gator fans pound their chest from a three-year run that has resulted in two National Championships, while Volunteer fans have been reborn with a cocky, fiery coach, possibly too young to know he’s swimming in shark infested waters wearing rib-eye boxers.

If the game itself isn’t enough to take notice, neither one of these schools can stay out of the news recently whether it’s secondary recruiting violations against Kiffin and Tennessee, or off-the-field incidents involving players at the University of Florida.

One way or the other, these two schools have had plenty of publicity over the spring and early summer. Hey, any pub’ is good pub’ right?

As for the game itself, the experts tell you it won’t be close. Florida is loaded up and down both sides of the ball, and are practically unbeatable at home.

But just like the child that keeps one eye on the closet while he tries to fall asleep at night, there is a certain fear that accompanies the unknown. If nothing more, Kiffin in his first year along with his staff at Tennessee, have that as an intangible on their side. Their defense alone will give them a puncher’s chance, and once the coin gets flipped anything can happen.

If this game was a movie, you would have stars and subplots all over the place.

  • Lane Kiffin vs. Urban Myer.
  • Tim Tebow vs. Monte Kiffin’s “Tampa 2” defense.
  • Tennessee’s offense left for dead on Neyland Stadium’s field last year looks to make a name for itself.

Press clippings from coaches, statements made by players, and predictions from experts will all be thrown out the window as soon as the lights go down and the movie starts.

The college football season should definitely be worth the price of admission for any fan of any team, but you have to admit, that preview of the Tennessee/Florida movie looked pretty good.


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