Eye of the beholder

The Chattanooga Times Free Press’ Wes Rucker does an admirable job of capturing the essential weirdness of the reactions to the results of the Florida-Tennessee game.

The mood outside the University of Tennessee’s locker room Saturday night was surreal.

UT had just lost by 10 points at archrival Florida but, with few exceptions, the Volunteers and their coaches seemed nearly satisfied.

Florida coach Urban Meyer had to coax smiles from his Gators in the postgame locker room. He remarked about reminding his seniors that they’d just capped an undefeated career against the Vols.

“I think there’s so much pressure on this team to perform perfectly, which is good,” Meyer said. “I’d rather be on that end than on, ‘Boy, great job, we lost by 10.'”

That last sentence isn’t far from what the Vols’ body language suggested.

All that’s left is for Junior to get a contract extension and a raise.

Also not to be missed is Meyer’s rationalization for playing down to Junior’s level:

“When I saw them start handing the ball off, you didn’t feel like they were going after the win. So we kind of, they wanted to shorten the game and that’s kind of, I think, the plan. I remember looking out there and there’s 10 minutes left in the game and there’s no no-huddle (offense being run by UT). They are down by, I think it was 23-6 and the urgency … .

“I do have respect for their defense. Eric Berry is a great player, I just watched his interception (of a Tim Tebow pass on Saturday), great play. So why put yourself …  ‘Let’s find a way to win the game.’  …  we’re not trying to impress the pollsters we’re trying to win the game. I think a lot of it had to do with the way they were playing. That made our life a little easier.”

All of which is true, and may very well be an effective counter on the recruiting trail to Kiffin’s likely braggadocio about the game’s outcome.  But in the short term, it sure sounds like sour grapes about not being able to pound the upstart in the manner that the Gators and their fans had clearly hoped for.


Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Urban Meyer Points and Stares

29 responses to “Eye of the beholder

  1. Joe B.

    Fact of the matter is that the Ufk OL pounded the Gators all day.

    If there is a weakness for UF, it is the interior of their defensive line. They do not really have any good defensive tackles.

    It is easy to counter Meyer by saying that UF simply let Tebow run the ball the entire second half, which is exactly what they did.


  2. heyberto

    ‘We’re not trying to impress the pollsters’. That’s gotta be BS.. that’s the first time he’s said that… how convenient.


    • 69Dawg

      Hey they don’t have to impress the pollster’s the pollster’s are having wet dreams about the GPOOE. Barring a USC type loss UF is in the BCS Championship.


  3. Section Z alum

    as joyous as a junior-spanking would have been, was the outcome potentially a good one for us in that maybe our guys will see ut as a more credible opponent and see uf as a more mortal one?


    • WFdawg

      Section Z Alum,


      Add to that the fact that UT didn’t win, which would lead to endless Kiffin braggadocio, and UF didn’t blow them out, which would lead to endless media hype about Urban Meyer, Exacter of Revenge, and I think we have an optimal outcome, as far as a UGA fan is concerned.


  4. Agreed – always sucks when you lose, and you never want to have moral victories. But when you aren’t expected to take home a whole heaping mess of regular victories, the moral ones sure do go down smooth. We had nothing to lose because we were supposed to get the snot kicked out of us anyway. This will go a long way for us the rest of the year. I don’t know how many times we’ll hear “We are a decent quarterback away from ….” – but it sure does make me feel better.


  5. Urban Meyer

    I was outcoached by Lane Kiffin.

    Just thought I’d remind everybody.


  6. Irishdawg

    So the whole Florida team is disappointed because they didn’t rub UT’s nose in a vicious defeat? Look at how that reflects on Meyer; he’s teaching his players to be vindictive and unsportsmanlike. I’m all for using payback as a motivater, but Meyer takes every tiny slight and makes it personal, then sets out to humiliate whoever he feels has slighted him. He’s a good coach, but he’s a petty, vain man.


    • ConnGator

      Ah, the Florida team is disappointed they did not play well. Read the quotes.

      When all you have is a hammer (jealousy), everything looks like a nail (pettiness.)


    • Bobby Fenton

      Ummmm, I don’t think Meyer is the reason they felt bad. The expectations come from a lot of different places. You act like Meyer put it in their heads that they had to win by 80 and then chewed them out when they only won by 10, like he’s the coach of the Iceland team in Mighty Ducks.

      Pretty idiotic post, imo.


  7. WreckTech

    I’m still surprised to see the Vols handling a loss to the Gators like this. If you take a historical view, not a ‘spin the new coach positively’ view, I never thought I’d see the day when UTK felt good about a loss to UF.

    Even in our darkest days I’ve NEVER felt good about a loss to UF – when Donnan was new, when Richt was new, etc. Close game, blowout, whatever.

    And all the Vol fans who say ‘we were supposed to lose by 30’ miss the point of betting lines. They’re not score or margin of victory predictions; they’re numbers set to get folks to bet both sides evenly.


    • Hackerdog

      They are victory predictions. If the Vegas line had been 0 points, nobody would have bet on UT to win the game. The line predicts the margin of victory. About half the people thought UT would lose by more than 30 and half thought they would lose by less than 30.


  8. Farsider

    I was tickled at TN game outcome. Weird how the closeness of the result is seen as success for the Vols and failure for the Reptiles. But “Meyers” will roll in the muck with the best of them. He’s shown that he’ll never put himself above the fray; his godlike ego would not allow that. Even in victory, he had to take a cheap shot at the opposition. That’s the quintessential Myers.

    Go gator!


    • Will (the other one)

      Plus by Sunday he already had the sob story out to the press about how some players had the flu, and Dempsey (or maybe Rainey–one of the fast, tiny guys they call runningbacks) played with a 101 degree fever. I guess they inflate fever #s the same way they do 40 times.


  9. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I was actually pulling for UT to win this game. I know, I know. But seriously, when Florida was barely beating them (for Florida) in the 3rd quarter, I just had to start pulling for the big Catfish himself, and wished that Kiffykins would have let him try that deep ball once or twice. It’s not like it really would have made that big of a difference. Scheme interceptions into your game plan, by putting a number of wide receivers on the same side, but shorter. That way, if Crompton does toss the INT, you’ve got tacklers in the way of what is essentially a long punt.

    Oh well. While we didn’t get to see the GPOOE go down in a hissy fit, at least I’m starting to think Georgia won’t be too big of an underdog in that game.


  10. Hogbody Spradlin

    Remember what Dorsey Hill said about the Notre Dame-Tech game in 1980: It was a great day, Notre Dame gets tied and Tech doesn’t win.

    This one feels sorta like that.


  11. I guess Lane Kiffin came out of Saturday with a moral victory, but for me a loss is a loss.


  12. Gator

    I cannot for the life of me understand how UT fans are calling this a moral victory. You won’t find a Gator fan that considers any loss a moral victory. A moral victory is when you win the freaking game. Nobody’s even mentioning the fact that UT in the last two seasons has given up the overall win-loss record against the Gators. Kiffin is not the answer to UT woes. Ten years from now you will have beaten the Gators three times, max.


    • Hackerdog

      This was not a game of equals. When two equal teams meet, the losing team should be disappointed. When one team has inferior talent, keeping it close is something to be happy about.

      Another Tebow turnover and we could be discussing the shocking upset that occurred. Since it didn’t, we have to complement UT for playing a game that most people didn’t believe they were capable of playing.