Not so with this one. At today's press conference, both men were low-key about the prospect of meeting on the field.
"When I first heard we were playing North Carolina I was excited.," said Simmons, " I'm excited about playing him." Both athletes declined to provide the other team with "bulletin board" material.
"I just hope I can touch him a couple of times," said Simmons. To that remark, Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville deadpanned, "Jason Campbell [Auburn's quarterback], will be glad to hear that."
Peppers, the Lombardi Trophy and Bednarick Award winner, was equally disinclined to rush into a war of words. "It is our defense against their offense. From what I have seen on tape and what I have heard about him, he's a good player, but I am ready for the challenge, we will see what happens on game day."
Simmons, the Jacob Trophy winner [awarded to the SEC's top offensive lineman], will undoubtedly pose a challenge for the All-American Peppers. Simmons has the skills to give any defensive lineman trouble.
Tuberville said, "He is an excellent athlete.." Tuberville went as far to say that Simmons could outrun most of his teammates, and could even play fullback. Seated next to Tuberville, Simmons shook his head in disagreement.
Since neither player gave up much in terms of what to expect when they go head-to-head, what should fans look for on New Year's Eve?
First, look for UNC defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta to move Peppers around more than was the case in the later part of the season. Peppers [19 tackles-for-loss, 9.5 sacks, 3 INT's], may have more room to operate when flopped to the other side of the defense.
Head-to-head? How ever it turns out, it should be an awesome matchup when Peppers and Simmons do square off against each other. Simmons, 6-3, 315 pounds, has excellent footwork and athleticism. Peppers, 6-6, 285, is also an awesome athlete. It should be one for the ages.