As a Vol fan, I am happy that Florida goes to College Station the week before traveling to Knoxville.
There once was a day when a coach could go speak to a booster club, poke a little good-natured fun at a rival school, and no one but the folks on hand would know about it. But that was before talk radio, cell phones, social media and websites (not unlike this one).
Last week, Florida’s Will Muschamp — the former defensive coordinator at Texas — told a Gator fan club the following:
“You ever been to College Station? It’ll be the only time you go.”
Ha, ha. Big deal. Technically, Muschamp could make that same comment regarding just about any other SEC school’s hometown, including his own.
But asked about the comment from Florida’s coach, Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin took the bait and responded. That wasn’t all he took. His response seemed to suggest he’d also taken offense to the joke:
“He needs to worry about his own team.”
Technically, Muschamp’s joke wasn’t about A&M’s team, it was about a town in Southeast Texas. And also he happened to say that A&M could boast “a very SEC-like atmosphere.”
When a coach calls another coach Ray Goof as Steve Spurrier used to do with Georgia’s Ray Goff, that’s crossing a line. There’s a difference between funny-poke and funny-mean. ”Ray Goof” was funny-mean. Muschamp’s comment was of the funny-poke variety. (Like Spurrier’s other oft-quoted dig at Tennessee: “You can’t spell Citrus without U-T.” Funny-poke.)
Still, Aggie fans will love the fact that Sumlin won’t take any guff — not Goff or goof, either, probably — from anyone. Even when the guff given was pretty darned tame to begin with.
And some people thought A&M wouldn’t fit in the SEC. Please.