Steve Spurrier is probably on a North Carolina golf course this week. He'll probably be practicing his short game Saturday, not watching college football.
Peyton Manning will be coming to the state of Tennessee this weekend, but not to Knoxville. He'll be in Nashville, helping his Indianapolis Colts overcome a week-one loss by taking on the Titans.
ESPN Game Day will be in the neighboring state of Alabama. Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit will spend their mid-September Saturday morning hyping up the showdown in the SEC West between LSU and Auburn.
But one young sports editor will be amongst what could become the largest crowd in Neyland Stadium's history. He will be eager to cover the biggest game of his life.
Oops, I crapped my pants.
Let me explain my accident in case this is your first time ever reading a sports page in this part of the country.
It's Florida Week in Tennessee.
The rivalry has slowly fallen out of the national spotlight because of personalities lost. But the upcoming grudge match is as significant as it has been in each of coach Phillip Fulmer's 12 seasons at UT.
It's No. 11 Florida at No. 13 Tennessee. And as always, it's about more than just bragging rights.
It's about not losing significant ground to the rest of the SEC East in just the third week of the season.
It's about walking with a confident stride into other rivalry games against the likes of Georgia.
It's about sustaining championship dreams.
But it's also about renewing the hatred between the football programs with the growth of a new rivalry between a quarterback and the opposing coach.
Florida's previous coach was the anti-Vol. Steve Spurrier repeatedly slapped UT fans in the face by beating their all-everything quarterback, Peyton Manning.
And he always provided another smart-ass comment in his post-game interview.
Visor boy quit college football, though. As coach of the Washington Redskins for two years, he failed worse than Mike Tyson against (pick any of his recent opponents).
Manning is now a shining quarterback in the pros.
Two years after Manning left Tennessee, Casey Clausen tried his best to carry on the spirit of the rivalry. The four-year starter twice provoked Florida fans by leading UT's band in "Rocky Top" after winning in the Swamp.
However, many people on this campus did not travel to Gainesville to watch that spectacle in person.
Some only remember the rainy-day Clausen of 2002.
They remember how excited they were when they got prime student-section seats for the rivalry game two years ago - only to end up as part of a wet-and-humiliated home crowd. They watched through their ponchos as the California Kid fumbled away any chance of beating Satan's Squad.
New faces to the rivalry could include those of the Vols' two freshman quarterbacks. They will try to bring Gator-bashing back to Neyland while crumbling Ron Zook's job security in just his third year as Spurrier's replacement.
But the play of Brent Schaeffer and Erik Ainge is not the biggest story surrounding this year's festivities.
This year, it's about Vol fans personally welcoming Florida quarterback Chris Leak to Neyland Stadium.
As an incoming freshman at Florida last year, Leak showed up at one of UT's August practices to "support his older brother." He did it after criticizing the UT coaching staff the previous year for not playing quarterback C.J. Leak at Georgia when Clausen went down.
Kevin Burnett - the Vols' captain linebacker - viewed the youngster's preseason visit to Knoxville as more than just a little shady.
So Tennessee's version of The Mouth had some words with his teammate.
He flat-out told C.J. he didn't like his younger brother. Then Burnett and the rest of the Vol defense publicly displayed their feelings by spoiling Leak's rivalry debut.
This time last year, former Daily Beacon sports editor Brett Edgerton assigned me to interview a Florida player and write a feature about him.
So, I called Florida's sports information office and requested an interview with Leak.
But the all-freshman quarterback never called me back.
So, now I'm giving him a little dose of what I call journalistic revenge.
Leak may again be the most prominent story, but I'm not allowing any Beacon sports writer to request an interview with him this week.
Call it biased journalism if you want.
But the only sounds I want to hear coming out of Leak's mouth are screams when linebacker Kevin Simon's facemask becomes lodged in his chest.
Then I want to hear Fulmer take the higher road by not gloating about his own recent dominance in the rivalry. Another win would make that three out of the last four, dating back to Spurrier's loss to UT in his final year.
Regardless of the outcome, though, the Florida football program will inevitably remember the glorious tenure of its "You-can't-spell-Citrus-without-UT" coach. And it will always remember being the one team Manning couldn't figure out.
But remember, Gator fans. Although its only been one game, your all-wonderful Leak has yet to show up Fulmer.
Man, I wish God had never invented today, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.
But I will use one of those days to go shopping for some spill-proof underpants.
- Matt Giles is the Gator-hater sports editor of The Daily Beacon and a senior in journalism. He can be reached at email@example.com.
UT-Florida game has new Leak of hatred
Published: Tue Sep 14, 2004 | Modified: Sat Aug 06, 2005 06:21 p.m.