If you’re a fan of college sports, you probably know that every school in the SEC hates every other school in the SEC. With that being the case, a rivalry between legends Charles Barkley and Peyton Manning almost seems natural, since Manning played college football at Tennessee, and Barkley played college basketball at Auburn. Well, recently, Manning and Barkley potentially ignited a new humorous rivalry with each other during a broadcast of Monday Night Football. The shots they took didn’t disappoint either.
Peyton Manning was a star QB at Tennesse before his NFL career
Before becoming a legend on the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos, Peyton Manning was a star quarterback in college for the Tennessee Volunteers. After a decent year in 1994, Manning was unstoppable from 1995 through 1997.
In 1995, Manning threw for 2,954 yards, 22 touchdowns, and four interceptions, leading the Volunteers to an 11-1 record and a win in the Citrus Bowl over Ohio State. During the 1996 season, Manning then threw for 3,287 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. Tennessee ultimately went 10-2 that year and won the Citrus Bowl again.
However, Manning’s numbers were then incredible in 1997. He threw for 3,819 yards, 36 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions, which helped him earn the 1997 SEC Player of the Year award. Additionally, as a team, Tennessee went 11-2 that year and played in the Orange Bowl.
In his career, Manning also had a pretty memorable game against Auburn. Manning and the Volunteers defeated the Tigers 30-29 in the 1997 SEC Championship Game after trailing 20-7 in the first half, according to Bleacher Report.
Shortly after that, though, Manning had a Hall of Fame career in the NFL. He was a 14-time Pro Bowler, a five-time NFL MVP, and a two-time Super Bowl champion. He also threw for 71,940 career passing yards and 539 career passing touchdowns, which are both third all-time.
Charles Barkley was a star at Auburn before his NBA career
Prior to his Hall of Fame NBA career, Charles Barkley was an incredible college player at Auburn. In 1981-82, Barkley averaged 12.7 points per game and 9.8 rebounds for the Tigers, before averaging 14.4 points per game and 9.5 rebounds in 1982-83.
In 1983-84, though, Barkley had an incredible year at Auburn. He ultimately averaged 15.1 points per game and 9.5 rebounds, which led to him winning the SEC Player of the Year award. Auburn was also a decent team that year too, as they went 20-11 and reached the NCAA Tournament.
Additionally, Barkley had some pretty memorable games against Tennessee. According to the NCAA’s site, he played in what he called the most physical game he had ever played in against Tennessee as a freshman. He ended up having 21 points and 11 rebounds in that game. The next year, Barkley ended up dominating the Volunteers as he had 35 points and 17 rebounds in a game against them. Like Manning does with Auburn, Barkley has some good memories involving Tennessee.
Following his college career, Barkley became a Hall of Fame NBA player. He was an 11-time All-Star and was the 1992-93 league MVP. For his career, he averaged 22.1 points per game and 11.7 rebounds.
Barkley and Manning brought their college rivalry to ‘Monday Night Football’
Being that they, most likely, hate each other’s schools, Barkley and Manning had plenty to talk trash about when they both appeared on ESPN’s Monday Night Football MegaCast of the game between the New Orleans Saints and Oakland Raiders.
Kirk Herbstreit and Rece Davis hosted it on ESPN2 and had several big-name guests on it, including Manning and Barkley.
Per the IndyStar, Barkley talked to Herbstreit about his college playing weight and about how if he had a decent quarterback in high school, then he might have played college football. He then got asked if Manning would have worked, and Barkley had a great line.
“I don’t know. Listen, he went to Tennessee because he didn’t have the grades to go to Auburn,” Barkley said, according to the IndyStar.
However, Manning ended up coming back with this, “What is your current playing weight now?”
Barkley then responded: “Hey, listen. I’m going to call human resources on you Peyton. You cannot be insulting people on television. You have to be politically correct nowadays. Those days of talking about me being fat are over.”
Additionally, the two talked trash about Tennessee and Auburn’s football teams, as they play each other later this season.
“Tennessee has got Auburn later in the year, Kirk. That was one of those bonus games that was given to us as a gift,” Manning said, per the IndyStar.
Barkley then responded: “Y’all call it a bonus. Y’all are like our preseason schedule, Tennessee, before we get to Alabama and Georgia.”
Peyton Manning and Charles Barkley are two of the funniest personalities in sports. That, paired with the fact that they are both former SEC stars, might have just ignited a fun new rivalry between the two of them.