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Blog...Old Nemesis Standing In Door
Phillip Fulmer - Steve Spurrier
College Football News
Posted Oct 31, 2008


Until the 60 minute game that has been shortened in an attempt to make it a three hour contest is over. Speculation will be at its highest when the two coaches meet.

By: BE Coleman

Columbia, SC – The cold winds that have blown over East Tennessee this week find it sunny and warm in South Carolina. Two weeks ago in Knoxville has translated to Columbia this week.

It is kind of strange how the weather translated to this week, for one of the biggest games in the Philip Fulmer coaching era. Any game coaching against Steve Spurrier is big, but this time it is possibly for all the marbles.

One of the coaches will take all of his opponent’s marbles in this game and possibly send the player home with an empty bag. A win by Spurrier in this game means the two home state rivals may never face off again.

For the Tennessee coaching staff it is a win, or pretty much the dreaded "else" factor. The Big Orange Nation is torn much as it was in 1992, when the last head coaching decision was made by the Alumni Football Board.

Heading the coaching change talks in 1992, were a then athletic director named Douglas Dickey, who decided that a former player whose accolades as a player were All American and having a National Title in coaching, was no longer leading the program any further.

Step forward, 16 years to date and it finds Phillip Fulmer is wearing similar shoes. Fulmer, is facing his greatest coaching rival this week, one that has posted an 8-5 win record over the man from Winchester, Tennessee.

Johnson City's Steve Spurrier does not want to be the one to end Fulmer's career noted here: For Spurrier Game Is Big. But, Spurrier had enjoyed the camaraderie of beating Tennessee while at Florida with his twee remarks.

As a head coach finds Fulmer with only 2 wins over Spurrier from 1993 to 2001 at Florida. His two wins in 06 and 07 were slim, as had been the two triumphs over the head ball coach while at Florida.

Saturday night finds Fulmer leading a 3-5 ball club against Spurrier with a 5-3 program, on the road, with a languid offense and a beaten front line on defense.

The chips are really down this time, any rhetoric presented will not deliver victory with another less than inspiring game being played by Tennessee.

Fulmer's overall record is the whole body of work that would be indicative of his continued tenure, is quite impressive. 150 wins and 50 losses in his 16 completed season as head coach with a National Title.

The first thing human beings do, is start to speculating on what the secret outcome is and eventually all the speculation becomes wild and completely out-of-control.

Until the 60 minute game that has been shortened in an attempt to make it a three hour contest is over. Speculation will be at its highest when the two coaches meet.

A pedantic approach to the situation is premature until the Vols record is marked with a 6th loss. Current athletic director Mike Hamilton will broach the full circle at that time.

If Hamilton felt diffident of Fulmer's approach, the surrounding hype that has been induced by the media to be be sold freely to fans and boosters, would have merit.

At times it is easy to guess outcomes and scenarios, but that generally falls back to the game being played on the fields and not in newspapers, nor appearing in online columns.

The Vols have shown no real staying power this year on the playing field outside of Mississippi State in their 3 wins in 2008. When the chips have been down, and the hour has been bleak has found Fulmer come out of it smelling like a rose -- in the past.

Unless players step forth and make things happen as they did against the Bulldogs two weeks ago, the speculation will shift to continued chortles of serendipity.

The measure of sybaritic demands placed by fans, who generally are not ticket holders, and are the same ones speeding countless hours of their non existent life's discussing football are not the ones in control.

The winds of change will be blowing in Columbia Saturday night, the game is sold out and will be documented by ESPN 2. The game time coaching decisions and players efforts will decide the next story.

If Fulmer cant find a way to pull victory out and avoid the agony of defeat finds that speculation will then gain -- and only then, it's merit of factual truth.

A timeless old saying has been that, "if you say something long enough it will come true." Fulmer has been speculatively ran out of Knoxville many times since 2000.

Late Saturday night around 11:00 pm EST, the rest of the story will be viscerally known, until then it is still all speculation. -n-


Older Stories:
Blog...For Spurrier Game Is Big,10-30-08
Blog...SEC has 6 Mid-Season All Americans, 10-16-08
Blog...Ice Could Thin Under Fulmer,10-15-08
CBS Continues Slamming Door On ESPN, 10-1-08
Vols Bowl Season In Jeopardy Now , 9-30-08
Blog...Another Ego Take Down In Knoxville ,9-21-08
No Deposition For Fulmer , 9-18-08
Blog...Tennessee Pass Game Important, 9-18-08
Blog...Gator Special Teams Makes The Breaks, 9-16-08
Blog...Carolina Game A Bloodbath Says Richt 9-10-08
Blog...Vandy’s Johnson Should Get Notice, 9-05-2008
Fulmer: Take Care of Tennessee 1st, 9-02-08
Is ESPN Going From Bad To Worse 8-29-08
Mounting Gator Injuries Bring Questions , 8-17-08
SEC – CBS Sports Ink 15 Year Deal, 8-14-08
SEC East Scrimmages - Injury Glance, 8-12-08
Blog...The SEC Weekly Digest, 8-7-08
Blog ... Tennessee Opens Practices, 8-4-08
Blog ... Georgia’s Richt Wants To Quell Hype, 8-4-08
Blog...Spurrier 100% Southern Fried , 8-2-08
Blog ... The SEC Weekly Digest, 7-27-2008
Blog...Fulmer Says “It’s All Crap!" , 7-25-2008
Blog ... Fulmer Mystery Subpoena Solved, 7-24-2008
Blog... LSU – Calm Before The Storm, 7-23-2008
Blog...Tebow Mania Begins Now, 7-23-2008
Blog...Mississippi State Uprising?, 7-23-2008
SEC Coaches Tap Seven Players, 7-21-2008
Blog - The SEC Weekly Digest, 7-12-2008
Who Is In Charge Of The Zoo?, 7-10-2008
SEC Running Backs Are Running Strong, 7-1-2008
Blog ... Tennessee Top 10 Program Wins, 6-22-2008
Nine Conference Games Makes BCS Sense, 6-10-2008

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