How daunting is the task of facing Meyer, Spurrier, Richt and Saban every season? Pretty darned daunting. Consider:
Fulmer's record against Spurrier (counting his days at Florida) is 4-8. Fulmer's record against Richt is 2-4. Fulmer's record against Meyer is 0-2. Fulmer's record against Saban (based on his days at LSU) is 1-2.
If you do the math, you'll see that Tennessee's head man now faces the annual challenge of beating four men against whom he has a combined record of 7-16.
As Vol fans no doubt recall, Fulmer's losses to Saban were particularly disturbing.
The first occurred in 2000, Saban's first year at LSU. The Vols were 2-1, ranked 11th nationally and coming off a 70-3 annihilation of Louisiana-Monroe. The Tigers were 2-2, unranked and coming off a stunning 13-10 Homecoming loss to Alabama Birmingham. Even with quarterback Rohan Davey hampered by a sprained ankle, LSU shocked the Vols 38-31 in overtime.
Tennessee avenged that loss by beating LSU 26-18 in the 2001 regular-season game at Knoxville but Saban handed Fulmer the most devastating setback of his career in the SEC Championship Game two months later.
Tennessee was 10-1, riding a seven-game winning streak and ranked No. 2 nationally. Fresh from beating Spurrier in his final home game as Florida's head coach, the Vols were one win from playing in the Rose Bowl for the BCS national title. LSU, 8-3 and ranked No. 21, wasn't given much chance to win, especially when quarterback Davey and star tailback LaBrandon Toefield suffered injuries that would sideline them for the entire second half.