NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — Prior to this year, Florida State quarterbacks coach Randy Sanders had spent his entire 25-year career in the Southeastern Conference, first with his alma mater Tennessee, followed by a stint with Kentucky.
During that time he matched wits with Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson on a number of occasions. Johnson is a well-traveled coach who ended up at Auburn after posting an 0-12 record last year as Southern Miss' head coach.
"One thing you know about Ellis' team is they're tough, coached well, play behind the pads, use their hands, play very hard, and Ellis knows the answers to the questions, usually," Sanders said Friday.
The two coaches have a history they can draw on Monday night, Sanders said.
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"Whenever you go against a guy as many times as we have gone against each other, you have a history," Sanders said. "I can remember 2004, the things we did, the way he reacted, the way we responded to him. And it has pretty much been an ongoing process every year but about one or two there for about the last 10 years."
Johnson's coaching career has had SEC stops at Alabama, Mississippi State and South Carolina.
Remember Sanders' name when the final BCS game is history Monday night. Sanders coached Tennessee in 1998 when the Volunteers beat Florida State in the first BCS title game,
Now, he is coaching in the final one.
"Why did you have to bring that up?" he joked with a reporter who asked him about it. "If nothing else, I am the answer to a trivia question, right?"