With Jeremy Pruitt and Dan Mullen both making their coaching debut in the Tennessee/Florida rivalry, we give our perspective on which coach this version of the rivalry is more important for.
On one hand you have Jeremy Pruitt who has inherited a team that went 0-8 in the SEC last season, including a hail mary defeat at the hands of the Gators. On the other, Dan Mullen who also inherited a below average Florida Gator team from a year ago. At 4-7 a year ago, the Gators were still 3 games better than the Vols in the SEC(3-5).
Jeremy Pruitt and his staff have very little expectation to live up to this season, as most of the national media believe that the Vols will be sitting this bowl season on the sideline. However, Mullen and his Gators, were picked by a national analyst (CBS Brian Jones) to make the College Football Playoff in his 1st year as the head man of Gator Nation.
We are talking about most important for this year’s matchup though, and the answer is ………Jeremy Pruitt.
Yes, he doesn’t have high expectations laid upon him this year, but oh what a win this could be for Pruitt&Co. Since 1993 the Gators have won 20 of the 25 meetings between the 2 schools, and with so many highly recruited prospects expected in attendance Saturday, this could jump start the Jeremy Pruitt in Knoxville.
Dan Mullen has the luxury to be in the state of Florida, which year in and year out produces some of the top athletes in the country. The lofty expectations are gone for this season after a disappointing loss to Kentucky and let’s be honest this is probably the worst team that Dan Mullen will coach while there.
Likewise, this may be the worst team that Pruitt coaches in his tenure in K-Town, but too many unknowns with a first time head coach leave much doubt as to how thing will turn out.
Huge recruiting weekend, a program jump starter with a very young team, and Hell, it’s Florida/Vols Baby!