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UT A.D. Hart Says Saving Vols-Tide Rivalry “Critically Important”

Dave Hart grew up in Alabama.  He played basketball at Alabama.  And now he’s the athletic director at Tennessee.  As someone who’s seen both sides of the Third Saturday in October rivalry, Hart says protecting that game needs to be a priority for the league:


“It’s one of those (rivalries) that literally gives you chill bumps.  Anyone who’s familiar with the Southeastern Conference can recite to you plays from you-name-the-year, plays that made a difference, great runs, great defensive plays, players who made a difference and went onto great careers in the NFL.

Just the tradition, and history and passion that exists in that rivalry is the reason I think it’s critically important that we do all we can to maintain that.”


The simplest way to save the Alabama-Tennessee rivalry — as well as 18 other SEC rivalries that have been played at least 60 times — is to place Missouri in the SEC’s East Division.

We discuss that option and several others in great detail here.

That is assuming, of course, that MU announces shortly that it wants to leave the Big 12 for the SEC.

 


13 comments
Glenn
Glenn

Hopefully after Bama beats Tennessee by 50 tomorrow keeping the rivalry won't seem as important .

dcpowergator
dcpowergator

Even in the midst of Tennessee's ongoing and systemic quest to destroy all of their athletic programs, I still can't believe the Vols hired this moron, Dave "Spanky" Hart, as their new AD. It's bad enough I had to listen to him for years when he was at fsu, a tenure highlighted by being canned for not following up on the numerous reports of athletes committing widespread academic fraud. A couple years as an assistant AD at alabama was enough to wash that stink off his hands? The ongoing saga of Pearl-gate, inexplicably making Vince Dooley's wife relevant for the first time in decades (until, thankfully, her orange sherbet pant wearing son told her to stop calling the Finebaum show) and now this? Oh Tennessee, what horror will you subject us to next?

GeoffDawg
GeoffDawg

Of course I like the Dooleys but that's just funny. No mother should embarrass her grown son like that.

Jamie Thornton
Jamie Thornton

THis is all so stupid. If you go to a 9 game conference schedule(like other major conferences are doing anyway. you will probably see college football go to 13 games at some point anyway) you can play a 6-2-1 schedule. Then you have 2 cross-division rivals. Bama's cross rivals would be Auburn and UT. Problem solved. You also would have the potential for a Auburn-Bama SEC title game. THat would be awesome.

Andrew
Andrew

I don't disagree with keeping the rivalry, but the problem is you can't save everything. The conference must secure its future and to ask certain teams to shoulder all of the changes and allow other teams protections isn't right either. Move the conference to a 9 game schedule so the rivalries can be kept and also keep teams in the divisions they belong.

Missouri needs to play Arkansas and Texas A&M every year. They can then play two protected rivalries from the East -- Kentucky, Tennessee or Vanderbilt. Let's move on.

rmft
rmft

yeah- the SEC is REALLY concerned with making sure Mizzou has proper rivals and fit as opposed to teams who have been in the SEC for 75+ years and built this conference

What are you smoking?

Mizzou is the new guy, they are LUCKY to get an invite in the first place. When they've been in this conference for 75 years then maybe the SEC will worry about their rivals. But right now, they are lucky to be here, and they'll go wherever we put them and thank us for the opportunity

You dont trash the Bama - UT game so that you can make it so Missouri plays A&M and Arkansas. 1- because NOBODY is gonna be watching those games in the first place, not even in missouri. 2- Bama and Tennessee built the SEC, and their needs are gonna take precedence over the new guys like A&M and especially Mizzou. We dont ask for an unequal amount of revenue or anything like that, but we do ask that the SEC go out of its way to preserve the games that made this conference what it is

TigerEyez13
TigerEyez13

Auburn to the East is least problematical. It maintains a balance of power in each division, and lets Bama keep their sacred hatefest with Tennessee.

rmft
rmft

No, b/c Auburn to the East means Bama LOSES the hatefest with Tennessee

what are you talking about?

GeoffDawg
GeoffDawg

Of course it’s a great, historic game but it shouldn’t be considered some kind of sacred cow to be protected at the expense of the rest of the conference. I understand the feelings of those involved – if they were talking about ending Georgia-Florida, it would definitely throw me for a loop but as has been stated previously, these are 100 year decisions and the SEC has an obligation to do what’s right and fair for all parties because we’re going to be living with the repercussions for a long time to come.

That being said, what’s the scuttlebutt on opposition to Mizzou outside of UA and UT? As I stated in a previous post, Auburn would be fine with moving east and the eastern teams wouldn’t likely care about recruiting encroachment given the traditional makeup of their roster. You only need 9 yes votes, so is there any other opposition? If not, then all this Missouri to the East talk could be a moot point.

rmft
rmft

2 most winning programs in SEC History

Most combined SEC championships of any 2 SEC teams

Yeah, it does take precedence

Besides, Slive wants a UNANIMOUS decision to invite Missouri. Bama and UT, the as stated abouve 2 most winning programs in SEC History voting NO is not a good PR move. Plus rumor is Bama and UT have got 2 other teams on their side. Missou will go to the east, and the move will be UNANIMOUS

Lets be honest, nobody really cares where missouri ends up anyway. Not even Missouri. They should go where they cause the least problems. If someone has to make a sacrifice, its them. Not the teams that built the SEC. Missouir is gonna be a bottom dweller no matter which division it is in, so it really doesn't matter. What matters is keeping alive the history of great SEC rivalries

Jake
Jake

Thats all true but you just don't throw away tradition. It's what the SEC is founded upon. I believe they know this and will do all they can to preserve the game. If not, then they will surely feel the heat from A LOT of alumnus of the respected schools. I understand the " times are changing" attitude many are taking, but it's becoming ridiculous. Don't just sit back and watch this great conference destroy it's core. Families associate themselves to these schools and these rilvaries. It's outrageous to think of an SEC that didn't have an annual game of Bama-UT. Just plain stupid, and it's all for the dollar. UT-BAMA is up there with the Iron Bowl as one of the most tradition filled games in the conference and the nation for that matter. Keep it going. Pride and Pageantry are what allow you to keep making the big bucks anyway.

GeoffDawg
GeoffDawg

Great rivalries have been gained and lost over the years as the conference evolves. Bama-UT is a good one but I think you overstate its importance to people outside of Bama-UT. Auburn gave up a lot in ‘92 when they lost matchups with Florida and Tennessee. Bama-UT are not above making sacrifices.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

No one is above making sacrifices, but we have to look at all the dynamics. AU-Florida and AU-Tennessee was never as important as Bama and UT. If we were talking about getting rid of UGA/Tech(understood that Tech is an OOC rival), UGA/Florida, or UGA/AU then I think you would be a little more sympathetic to this idea.

When the conference was split up into divisions in '92 they gave us the protected rivalry games specifically to protect Bama/UT and AU/UGA. There was really no other reason although a couple of other teams got to keep games that were important to them, but even in those cases none of those games were considered prime rivals.

In all honesty, if we have to give up the TSIO or the Iron Bowl then I'd rather give up the Iron Bowl and you'd be surprised at just how many Bama fans would agree with me. It's probably 50/50. I know that hardly anyone outside of Bama and UT fans care about the game, but the same can be said for pretty much any rivalry. Other than the enjoyment of watching two heated rivals go at each other every year no one really cares if any particular game not involving their team were to go away tomorrow. It wouldn't affect my life if UGA/Florida disappeared tomorrow, but the thing to remember is that it would matter to the 2 participating schools. I could tolerate losing the Bama/LSU game every year despite the fact we've played almost every year since the SEC was formed, but that is not the type of rivalry one judges their season by. Bama and UGA used to have a pretty big game too, but that had to be given up.

If we don't HAVE TO give up the TSIO then I don't see any reason we should.

Trackbacks

  1. urlman cow says:

    The Ships’s Voyages

    I feel technological innovation just makes it worse. Now there is a channel to by no means treatment, now there would not become a chance for them to find out.



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