Fulmer vs. Spurrier: a Top 100 Rivalry

Yeah, nothing like a 20-page document from the NCAA with 12 violations allegations for the Vol men’s basketball and football programs received Feb. 22 to leave a fan craving some good news, any bright spot. It’s a stretch, but here’s one: Bleacher Report tried to throw its arms around the Top 100 Rivalries in Sports History Feb. 13, and managed to place Phillip Fulmer v. Steve Spurrier at #68, commenting thus:

Span: 1992-2001

Greatest Showdown: No. 6 Volunteers 20, No. 2 Gators 17 (OT), 1998

"A decade ago, before the SEC was dominated by a slew of great teams (LSU, Auburn, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Arkansas, etc.), there were really only two perennial powerhouses in the conference—Fulmer’s Vols and Spurrier’s Gators. And for the most part, Spurrier owned Fulmer, winning seven of their nine head-to-head match-ups and delivering an all-time burn in 'you can’t spell citrus without UT.'

"But Fulmer did finally get over the hump in 1998 when, on their way to an undefeated, national championship-winning season, UT (without Peyton Manning) upset the second-ranked Gators in a defense-dominated double-overtime affair."

Pat Summit vs. U Conn’s Geno Auriemma, who once called the Lady Vols “the evil empire,” weighs in at #35. As for the top pick, that would be the Buckeye-Wolverine saga.

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