A look at this week's college football scene. For more, check out colleges.tampabay.com.
The last time Florida and Tennessee were each ranked in the top 5 when they met (2001, UF was No. 2, UT No. 5), today's starting quarterbacks, UF's John Brantley and UT's Matt Simms, were 12 and 13 years old, respectively.
The last time the Vols won a game in the series (30-28 in 2004), Volunteers kicker Daniel Lincoln was sitting on the couch in his family home in Ocala, rooting for the Gators.
There was a time when the Florida-Tennessee rivalry was of such epic proportions nationally, that last names were all that was necessary: Manning, Wuerffel, Spurrier, Fulmer, to name a few.
Not so much now.
When the Vols and Gators meet this afternoon, one will be unranked, the other is No. 10 in the Associated Press media poll. And Florida has won five straight in the series.
But players and coaches involved say it's still a big deal to them.
"You wait for moments like this your whole life because it's Tennessee-Florida," Simms said.
"It's truly a special game to play in. … It's an unbelievable rivalry, although I guess it's kind of lost some of its luster these past few years because we haven't done so well on the national level. But it still means everything to these fans here, and I'm sure it means a lot to the people there in Florida to continue their streak."
Antonya English, Times staff writer
Third and little chance
Third and long is tough for any offense. Few know that better than Tennessee. The Volunteers have converted a woeful 7 of 30 third-down attempts in two games, including only two in 15 tries in a 48-13 loss to then-No. 7 Oregon on Saturday. Only 13 Division I-A teams have a worse third-down conversion rate. With No. 10 Florida (2-0) coming to town today, things could get worse for the Volunteers (1-1) before they get better. "Whenever you have third and long, it's tough," Vols QB Matt Simms said. "The defenses can really hone in on what you're doing offensively because you are at a disadvantage." Tennessee is a run-first offense, and with an average of 257 yards per game, the Vols' running game ranks second in the SEC behind Auburn.
Doggone it! FSU makes changes
Florida State not only has new coach, Jimbo Fisher, this season, but a new hot dog as well for its fans.
The university signed a multiyear agreement with Massachusetts-based Kayem Foods, the same company that provides dogs to the Tampa Bay Rays, to provide fans with a special sausage and all-beef hot dogs during FSU sporting events.
School officials say the plump, spicy, skinless franks have no fillers and are free of monosodium glutamate and gluten. No word on a jumbo, or Jimbo, version in the works.