The Tennessee vs. Michigan rivarly is not just on the field. It extends to even to the eternal "whose got the biggest?" stadium debate. For a while Tennessee had the biggest on-campus football stadium in the country. Then, for a few years, Michigan (Michigan Stadium) and Tennessee (Neyland Stadium) traded the #1 and #2 spots back and forth as each added a few seats each year to try to take the top spot.
Recently Tennessee made the stupid decision to trade some bleacher seats for higher paying box seats and thus Michigan is, for now, #1 in the stadium war. See Death Valley and Beaver Stadium.
Of course, Tennessee vs. Michigan is just part of the larger SEC vs. Big Ten debate that rages each year -- particularly during college football season.
I guess SEC vs. Big Ten started for me when I met my wife. Through her I met my brother-in-law - who is a University of Michigan graduate. He and I started a "friendly" annual bet -- $20 for whoever's team ended up ranked higher in the end of year USA Today poll - the Wolverines or the Volunteers.
Sorry to say, but over the past 10 years, by brother-in-law has won that bet more often than I.
I say the reason is that Tennessee is in the SEC, a much tougher conference, and thus they have a tougher schedule year in and year out. For more about that see SEC Football.
Of course, my brother-in-law, like many Big Ten fans, refuses to face reality and dwells a lot on past Big Ten glories. Which I admit there is plenty of. And, actually, I agree the top programs in the Big 10 are awesome - Ohio State, Michigan, and now Penn State (recently joined the Big 10 to make it really the Big 11) all have great football programs with especially great football tradition and history.
But I maintain one of the reasons they are so great is that the rest of the Big Ten is relatively weak. So, year in and year out - Ohio State and Michigan can only be sure of one or two tough games a year (when they play each other).
Naturally, then, they are likely to win most (if not all) of their other games and thus finish highly in the polls. Of course, this is self-perpetuating as finishing high in the polls helps keep alumni happy, attracts money, recruiting, etc.
So being in the relatively weak Big Ten has been a great benefit to its top teams - Ohio State and Michigan.
Of course, the argument can really only be settled on the field and on the field, the SEC has the advantage and that advantage has increased over the years. See Big Ten vs. SEC.
To be fair, I do have to acknowledge that the Big Ten won 2 of 3 SEC vs. Big Ten bowl games last year. But, the SEC won the big one. Also, when you look at the all-time head to head match up -- the SEC has the edge against every major football conference -- but the edge is the smallest, and relatively slight, versus the Big Ten. [Thus more fuel to stoke the rivalry.]
Unfortunately the SEC and Big Ten don't play each other head-to-head much. For instance, Florida and Ohio State had never met till the College Football BCS Championship Game this past year. If you missed what happened in that game, check out Florida Gators.
And, Tennessee vs. Michigan has only happened on the field once -- the 2002 Florida Citrus Bowl -- which Tennessee won 45-17!. For verification, go to the official Florida Citrus Bowl Site Tennessee vs. Michigan.
My brother-in-law says that it was a terrible game and he didn't catch much of it. Ha!
Anyway, if you've read to this point on this page, you are about to be rewarded. Because, I am about to reveal to you one of the brightest ideas on this whole website. Heck, it's one of the brightest ideas I've ever come up with. I hope "the powers that be" will run with it.
Here it is:
My idea is that, every year, one team from the SEC and one team from the Big Ten should swap places. For instance, Michigan would play Tennessee's schedule and Tennessee would play Michigan's. How awesome that would be? Talk about stoking fan interest. I really think that story would dominate the world of college sports -- especially the first year it happened.
By the way, I really did come up with that idea on my own, so Google: you can stop searching the web for "duplicate content" on that idea. However, it is not copyrighted or anything like that. So, if you are reading this -- feel free to spread this idea around. I'd just love to see it happen. Just imagine...talk about going into the Lion's Den. There would be some great games.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading this page. Hopefully if enough people click from here to Fathead Wall Helmet and buy something, maybe I can make back the $20 I pay my brother-in-law most every year. By the way, you don't have to be an SEC fan to get the rebate. Big Ten buyers are more than welcome. And, you can buy products for most any team in any sport.
Also, if you have comments about Tennessee vs. Michigan or the SEC vs. Big Ten Debate -- please submit those comments at SEC vs. Big Ten Debate.
Meanwhile you can get your Tennessee Volunteers Merchandise and Apparel, Tickets, and Baseball Caps by clicking on the links.
Here's an interesting post about the Ohio State vs Michigan Rivalry.
Tennessee vs. Michigan
Tennessee vs. Michigan
What do you think?
We'd love to hear your comments and/or opinions. If you submit them here, other visitors can read them, rate them and comment on them. An e-mail address is not required.
What Other Visitors Have Said
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
Detroit Lions a Disappointment to Michigan
The Detroit Lions are a disappointment to everyone who enjoys watching a football game after a long, hard week of work or school. Frustrated, embarrassed, …
tennessee is amazing
i hate michigan and tennessee is so much better i hate people who think michigan is better. EDITOR'S NOTE: Thanks Joe, I couldn't have said it better …
Michigan is the Best -- check the record books Not rated yet
MICHIGAN Winninest program in history, highest winning % in history, 11 national titles, most undefeated seasons ever, hardest strength of schedule …