Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Some of your most notorious SEC villains
By ESPN.com staff
Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low
You've spoken, loudly in some cases, and here's some of your input on who's a villain and who's not a villain in the SEC.
Again, it's important to remember that being labeled a villain in some cases can be the highest compliment:
- Michigan a villain for the entire SEC: The Wolverines are 19-5-1 all-time against current members of the SEC. But before Big Ten apologists get too full of themselves, keep in mind that 10 of those victories have come against Vanderbilt.
- Phillip Fulmer a villain at Alabama: This one is a no-brainer. The Alabama fans will never forgive Fulmer for "ratting out" the Crimson Tide to NCAA investigators. He wasn't too kind to them on the field, either, compiling a 11-5 record against the Tide.
- Eric Ramsey a villain at Auburn: It's doubtful Ramsey has spent much time on the Plains lately. His secretly recorded tapes brought down Pat Dye and landed Auburn on NCAA probation. A starting defensive back at Auburn in 1989 and 1990, Ramsey wore a bullet-proof vest when he went through graduation ceremonies on campus.
- Bobby Lowder and the board of trustees villains at Auburn: Some of the Auburn fans think Lowder has long had too much power and that the board has meddled too much in Auburn athletic affairs. There was this one plane trip that comes to mind.
- Charley Pell a villain at Florida: Pell, who died in 2001, built Florida into a power in the 1980s, but was also forced to resign three games into the 1984 season after widespread cheating landed the Gators on NCAA probation, rocking the program for the rest of that decade. Florida was stripped of its 1984 SEC championship because of the violations.
- Vince Dooley a villain at Florida: Dooley, according to Florida fans, was one of the ones who led the charge to have the Gators stripped of their 1984 SEC championship. Dooley was also 17-7-1 against Florida.
- The Cocktail Party a villain at Georgia: The Gators have owned the Bulldogs the last two decades and won 16 of the last 19 meetings in the series. Georgia has only won four times since Dooley retired following the 1988 season.
- Jan Kemp a villain at Georgia: Kemp, who died in 2008, blew the whistle on Georgia back in the late 1970s and said football players were being pushed through the system there just to remain eligible. She was fired from her position as an English professor, but sued the university and won her job back along with a $1 million settlement.
- Linda Bensel-Meyers a villain at Tennessee: She was Tennessee's version of Kemp, although more recent. Bensel-Meyers took on the Vols' football program right after the national title in 1998 and said tutors were doing the football players' work for them.
- Houston Nutt a villain at LSU: He's won his last two against LSU and also bumped the Tigers out of the 2006 SEC Championship Game. Nutt's final game at Arkansas, a 50-48 three-overtime victory over LSU in the 2007 regular season finale at Tiger Stadium, nearly cost the Tigers a chance to play for the national title that year.
- Jackie Sherrill a villain at Ole Miss: He refused to refer to them as "Ole Miss," a real point of contention with the Ole Miss people. Instead, Sherrill always called them "Mississippi."
- Charles Woodson a villain at Tennessee: Rewind to the 1997 Heisman Trophy race. The Vols' beloved Peyton Manning was beaten out for college football's top individual honor by the first and only defensive player to win the award.
- Rick Loumiet a villain at Vanderbilt: Loumiet was the back judge who called the excessive celebration penalty on Vanderbilt receiver Earl Bennett following his touchdown catch in the 2005 game against Florida at the Swamp. The Commodores had just pulled within a point with 54 seconds remaining, and coach Bobby Johnson was planning to go for the two-point conversion and the win. But inexplicably, Loumiet threw the flag when all Bennett did was a slight shimmy after catching the ball and then chest-bumping a teammate. The Gators would go on to win 49-42 in overtime, and the bitter loss kept the Commodores from going to a bowl game during Jay Cutler's senior season.