Shifting Power In SEC Rivalries

Tennessee Kentucky Football Rivalry

In the video below, Pat Forde of ESPN discusses a few different college football rivalries and how the power may be shifting in those matchups:

He discusses these rivalries that include SEC teams:

Florida-Florida State
Upper hand: Belongs to the Gators, who have won six straight in the series, while the Seminoles have slid from the top-five perch they enjoyed in the Bobby Bowden heyday.

Why it might change: This is a huge transition year in Gainesville. Urban Meyer has to replace stellar defensive coordinator Charlie Strong, hero quarterback Tim Tebow and eight other NFL draft picks. It’s also a huge transition year in Tallahassee with Bowden’s retirement, but that might be a short-term net gain for Florida State. Jimbo Fisher takes over with a fully cohesive staff, a complete mandate on program direction and what should be a renewed energy at the top.

Outlook: Much like Notre Dame-USC, the upper hand isn’t likely to change overnight, but if Fisher is up to the job the series should even out a bit over time.

Tennessee Kentucky Football RivalryTennessee-Kentucky
Upper hand: The Volunteers have won 25 straight in the most lopsided intraleague series in America. There have been blowouts (11 losses by 20 points or more), shutouts (four) and freakouts over agonizing near misses (eight losses by a touchdown or less, including in three of the past four).

Why it might change: For the first time since the SEC split into two divisions nearly 20 years ago, the Wildcats were picked by the media to finish ahead of the Volunteers in the East. Tennessee is in a complete state of flux, with its third coach in three years, an ongoing NCAA investigation and a distinct talent deficit on this year’s roster. Kentucky is not exactly flush in its first season under new coach Joker Phillips, but it has returning depth at quarterback, running back and wide receiver — and multipurpose threat Randall Cobb might be the most versatile player in the country.

Outlook: If it doesn’t happen this year, will it ever happen for Kentucky?

SDS Readers, what are your thoughts?

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