Saturday, September 17, 2005

Will the Vols give Meyer's tailor some business?

The NYT's Pete Thamel tells us, on page one of today's sports section, that Florida's new coach, Urban Meyer, loses ten pounds after every loss. So far this season, his girth has faced no challenge, as the Gators easily beat Wyoming and Louisiana Tech. Tonight they face their first serious challenge, Tennessee. These teams have a history. Back in the mid 1960's, Florida snatched Steve Spurrier, then the nation's top high school QB prospect, from Johnson City, barely a stone's throw from the UT campus. They later lured Tennessee coach Doug Dickey south, where he went from kudos in Knoxville to groans in Gainesville. In recent years, they've usually been the top contenders for the SEC East title.

It's hard to call this one. The Vols had trouble with Alabama-Birmingham, but Fullmer is the kind of coach who can build off of trouble. The Gators have a history of going belly-up in big games with lots of attention focused on them. But we haven't seen a Meyer-coached team in the Swamp in a big one yet. Meyer's tailor should be looking for his measuring tape, but not counting on the cash yet.