Florida’s football rival is Georgia.
But Georgia’s football rival is Alabama.
And Alabama’s football rival is Clemson.
Clemson’s rival? That’s Alabama. Dabo Swinney and Nick Saban have elevated their programs to the point that they only measure themselves against each other.
That’s the thing about rivalries. Almost every fan base and program tries to equate themselves to someone on a level higher.
Ole Miss really wants to beat LSU, but LSU doesn’t spend the offseason wondering how good the Rebels are going to be. Tiger fans are laser focused on knocking off Alabama.
Texas Tech loves the idea of beating Texas. But the Longhorn fans only want to know how long until they can knock Oklahoma off the top of the mountain in the Big 12.
That brings us back to Florida, which is supposed to be the equal of any program in college football. But Dan Mullen has been pulled into the role of little brother in trying to ridicule Georgia about how many years it’s been since the Bulldogs won the national championship. He even drummed up a fake attendance number for the Florida spring game that corresponded with the time that has passed since Georgia won the national title.
The slight by Mullen would sting — if only the Bulldogs weren’t focusing their attention on the real rival standing in the way of them reaching their goals.
For Threaded Fasteners, I’m Randy Kennedy with Nuts and Bolts of the Game.