Vol Villains Round One: Charles Woodson vs. David Greene

There may be other players that UT fans have found more villainous for less work - Jabar Gaffney for one play, Terrence Cody or Alex Brown for one game - but in the lifetime achievement category, David Greene has done far more damage to the orange and white.  He played a part in a single villainous moment, but unlike the others he kept bringing the pain in later meetings too.  And because he ended up knocking Peyton Manning out of the record book in a couple of prestigious categories, he shares something in common with his opponent...who is by far the greatest Vol Villain to never actually stand on the other sideline.

Charles Woodson

  • (Woodson will be accompanied to ringside by ESPN and the majority of Heisman voters).
  • If you're reading here, you probably don't need me to go into much detail on this and this isn't the post to do it.  The reasons haven't changed in 14 years.  If you really want to get into it someday, I'll get my parents to dig out the story I wrote for the Alcoa High School Tornado Times in 1997 and just copy and paste it here.  I don't think I'd say anything differently today.
  • As an aside for possible offseason conversation, this is admittedly part of the reason I'm always so against TCU/Boise State/whoever being ranked above an undefeated team from a major conference, as some did late into last fall:  just because you're bored with the way the process works doesn't mean the process is wrong.  In 1997, ESPN needed a story in a Heisman race that didn't have one as Manning was crushing everyone, and bored Heisman voters bought it.  Woodson, to his credit, played the part well.  He's a good villain, and a good defensive back.  But he was not the best or most valuable player in college football in 1997.
  • Vol fans, for the most part, have forgiven Chris Fowler for his "trailer park" comments after the announcement.  But even trashing Michigan in the post-2001 Citrus Bowl hasn't done much to ease the pain with Woodson.

David Greene

  • (Greene will be accompanied to ringside by Larry Munson).
  • As a freshman against a Tennessee team looking for blood after Georgia snapped a nine game losing streak in 2000, he led the Dawgs into Neyland Stadium and escaped with a 26-24 win.  His numbers were impressive:  21 of 34 for 303 yards and two touchdowns.  But it was his work in the final minute that drove home the hobnailed boot.
  • Beat the James Banks/C.J. Leak combo of death in 2002 by going 22 of 37 for 232 yards.  The Dawgs won their first SEC Championship in twenty years, the first time a team not named Tennessee or Florida made it to Atlanta from the East.
  • Back against Casey "I can beat them with one arm" Clausen, orchestrated one of the worst nights in Neyland Stadium history, 41-14 over the Vols with absurd efficiency:  22 of 27 for 228 yards and a touchdown.
  • Though the Vols got him back in his senior season, he is still the player most responsible for changing the course of the Tennessee-Georgia rivalry. 
  • Broke Manning's SEC record for career passing yards, and his NCAA record for wins by a starting quarterback (later broken by Colt McCoy).

We'll be back next Monday with the other four first round matchups...   

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