Posts Tagged ‘Citrus Bowl’

2009 Big Orange Roundtable: Week 4

This Week’s Roundtable is hosted by:

Vol Junkies

This week’s Big Orange Roundtable is hosted by Vol Junkies, who has served up another installment of questions burning in the minds of the citizens of Orange Nation.

Thus, here are our thoughts for the week:

Week 4

1) What is your thought on Eric Berry’s Heisman chances?  Should he play on offense in-order to increase his chances?  Is Kiffin being to selfish saying Berry will not practice offense?

bullet HSH: I’m not exactly how real Berry’s chances of actually winning the Trophy—which I deemed meaningless after the Manning debacle.  Not only does he have the obstacle of being a defensive player, he has to basically beat Colt McCoy from Texas, Sam Bradford from Oklahoma and some guy named Tebow.  I don’t think Lane Kiffin should play Berry on offense just to help his Heisman chances.  If our offense is seriously sucking, then sure, desperate times call for desperate measures.

That said, I have absolutely no problem with the University doing the whole campaign thing.  Berry is obviously a special, once-in-a-while player with a great attitude.  Seeing him in person on and off the field the past two years has been something I’m glad to have been a part of—now if only he might consider staying for his senior year…

bullet Lawvol: I have very mixed (albeit not necessarily negative) feelings on this.

First of all, I personally believe that Eric Berry is more than deserving of a shot at the Heisman Trophy.  In two short years he has pretty much become the man-beast of SEC defenses and is, hands down, the best defensive player in the toughest conference in the country.  I personally believe that he is the best defensive player in any conference, anywhere.  That, however, is just my opinion and I will be the first to admit that I am biased.  Still, there is no arguing with the fact that Eric Berry has earned the right to be considered among the top players in the country this season and to be considered for the Heisman.  I am unequivocally behind the Tennessee’s campaign to promote Berry’s Heisman candidacy.

That said, I am less that optimistic about his chances…

I say that because, since only one truly defensive player has previously won the Heisman—which I am sure every Tennessee fan remembers all too well—the precedent is somewhat weak.  Furthermore, given the national media’s love affair with Tim Tebow, I expect that every possible machination that can occur to ensure Tebow winning the trophy for the second time will be brought to bear, if at all possible.

There is also the fact that exaggerated hype often leads to less-than-stellar performances since, with everyone talking about how great a particular player is, the target on their back gets even bigger when facing opponents.  That is not to say that I doubt Berry’s ability to produce in the same way he has in the past, but recognizes that opposing teams will be gunning for him … and staying away from him.

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SEC Power Poll Ballot: Week 13

Check out the Full Poll Results at Garnet and Black Attack!

Week 13

Through 22 November 2008

Well, there were only four games in the SEC this weekend, thus, I have very little to say about some of the teams that took the week off.  Be that as it may, here’s my ballot for this week in the SEC Power Poll, along with a feeble attempt at explaining why I’m such a moron.

In all its radiant glory:





The Alabama Crimson Tide did not play and spent the weekend quilting.  I really doubt, however, that this minor lapse in focus will matter considering Auburn is likely toast this weekend anyway.


C’mon guys, the Citadel?!  Have a heart…

The Florida Gators face the Florida State Seminoles this weekend before getting ready for the Tide in the SEC Championship Game.

I bet there is nothing in the world that Bobby Bowden would like more than to spoil the Gators run.  Too bad it isn’t going to happen.


The Georgia Bulldogs did not play this week, but face the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets this weekend.  A win against the Ramblin’ Wreck all but makes the Dawgs a lock for the Florida-House-Capital-USA-Tangerine-Comp-One-Citrus Bowl, or what ever the hell they are calling it these days.


The Ole Miss Rebels have come out of nowhere to beat two Top 25 teams, and nearly beating a third.  As a result, they have rocketed toward the top of my ballot.

Now, if they can just win the Egg Bowl, they’ll have put together an 8-win season, which is impressive considering how lousy they were last year.

I bet Arkansas is wishing they still had their “Nutt” now…


The South Carolina Gamecocks did not play, but this week will face kissing-cousin the Clemson Tigers.  The Cocks need a win to really call this a good season.  Clemson needs a win to maintain respectability.

My money is on the Ole Ball Coach…


The Kentucky Wildcats had the week off, and now look to face the Vols in Knoxville.  The Cats desperately need a win to improve their bowl hopes.  Can the Wildcats break the streak this weekend?  Good Lord, I hope not!


I really hated to see the Vanderbilt Commodores lose, but then again I’d have hated to see the Vols lose more.

Either way, this has been a successful season for the Dores, and at least there’s a chance a bowl (which more than my Vols can say).


Wow, the LSU Tigers‘ season has gone straight into the toilet.  I suppose a repeat championship is out of the question.


Nice win for the Tennessee Volunteers against the Dores, in a season where every win is a “nice win.”

Can the Big Orange send the Great Punkin out with a win?  He surely deserves that small courtesy.



Yes, Virginia, there is a CowBell Claus, and after the bell banging Mississippi State Bulldogs got his gift and managed to barely squeak past Arkansas 31-28 this past week, his job is done and he’s decided to go get drunk until next year.

Their Egg Bowl battle this week with the Rebels, however, doesn’t look as promising.


Sheesh!  Pre-season, I had the Auburn Tigers winning the West.  That’s the last time I base make picks based on which coach has the strongest hair gel.

The Iron Bowl this weekend could get really ugly.


So much for slowly improving…

I guess the Arkansas Razorbacks have probably met the expectations most had for them this season—namely floundering about.

The Rest of the Power Poll

Now that you have wasted your time looking at my ballot, go check out what everybody else is saying over at Garnet and Black Attack, where the final poll results will be posted Wednesday-ish.

– Go Figure …Email lawvol

Flashback: The Great Games — The All-Time Top 10

Flashback | Gate 21

Well, as Joel pointed out, the News Sentinel’s Dave Hooker recently came out with his Top 10 games in Tennessee football history. It is an interesting list, but (like Joel) I’m not so certain I agree with all of the games on Hooker’s list.

Given the fact that I am still making my way through my “Great Games” series, it seems appropriate for me to chime in with my thoughts on this. At the risk of rendering some of my future posts in this series futile (not that they aren’t already), here is my top 10 games in Tennessee football history (with comparison to Dave Hooker’s ranking):

The Great Games |

Gate 21’s Top 10 All-Time


Tennessee Football Games

No. 10: 1989 – Tennessee vs. UCLA

The Rose Bowl | Dave Hooker Rank: Unranked

I know that some will question this one, but this game still stands out to me as one of the best. I toyed with ranking the 1985 Auburn win at No. 10, but I have to go with the Vols 1989 trip to Pasadena to take on the Bruins. This game was early in the season, and at that point UCLA was highly touted. Tennessee had been beaten in both their prior trips to the Rose Bowl to play the Bruins (1975 and 1967), and many thought they would repeat that trend as the Vols came off of their worst season in recent memory, and a close call in their season-opener versus Colorado State. The Vols, however, stepped-up to the challenge and proved that their 5 and 6 record for 1988 was only a bump in the road as they came out gunning for the No. 6-ranked Bruins. The Vols completely shutdown the UCLA offense with their own brand of SEC defense, en route to a 24 – 6 victory. That game set the stage for the rest of the season — one which included 10 more wins and only a single loss. The Vols would go on to win an SEC Championship, beat Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl that year, and end with a No 5 ranking.

Still, by my mind, it all started in California…

No. 9: 1999 Fiesta Bowl – Florida State vs. Tennessee

Sun Devil Stadium | Dave Hooker Rank: No. 1

Dave Hooker had this game as No. 1, but I cannot in good conscience give it that distinction. While the 1999 Fiesta Bowl did give Tennessee its first Consensus National Championship since 1951, the game itself was not nearly as spectacular as others that season.

First of all, both Tennessee and Florida State played very sloppily throughout the game as a result of the more than 4-week layoff leading up to the contest. Second — in fairness to Florida State — they were playing with a back-up quarterback, Marcus Outzen, who (to my knowledge) never started another game after the championship, due to the injury to Chris Weinke.

Finally, the game was exciting, but probably only if you were a Tennessee or Florida State fan. The reason for this is that the two teams were extremely closely matched at most positions. All of that said, I have such amazing memories of this game and of finally seeing another championship for the Big Orange, that I have to include it in the Top 10, regardless of its flaws.

After all, a championship is a very special thing…

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Flashback: The Great Games — The 1996 Citrus Bowl


The Great Games |

1995-96 CompUSA Citrus Bowl

(1 January 1996)

Tennessee Football vs. FB-OhioState[1]

Tennessee 20 Ohio State 14

Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium

Continuing on with 1995, after beating Bama soundly and ending the 10-year drought against the Crimson Tide, the Tennessee Volunteers finished out their regular season at 10-1. Their only loss coming at the hands of the Florida Gators in a 62-37 drubbing which tarnishes the 1995 team’s otherwise exemplary record. Tennessee finished the season ranked 4th, but in the days of the so-called Bowl Alliance, the “premier” bowls were reserved only for conference champions, thus, Tennessee received a bid to the “first outside the money” CompUSA Florida Citrus Bowl to take on the similarly situated Ohio State Buckeyes, who lost their last game of the season against arch-rival Michigan, and with it the Big 11 10 title, and ended the seasons ranked … uhh … 4th also.

1996 Florida Citrus Bowl

Cover from the Official 1996 Citrus Bowl Program. Ohio State later sued the bowl committee for omitting “THE” (in all caps and 72 pt font) from their name — the matter was ultimately resolved in a settlement whereby Ohio State received a case of oranges and an autographed photo of Mickey Mouse.

The fact of the matter remains, no matter what either school would claim publicly, neither Tennessee nor Ohio State wanted to be in Orlando on New Year’s Day. Both had completed 1-loss seasons, and both came within a half of playing for the National Championship or, at a minimum, playing in one of the top-tier Alliance Bowls. Ohio State wanted to be in Pasadena and Tennessee in New Orleans or Tempe. Regardless of what they wanted, they were set to play one another in a game which — in my book — ranks as one of the best bowl games I’ve ever watched in person or on television.

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