A knuckle ball goes through the uprights to put Tennessee over Alabama for the first time in 15 years on the Third Saturday in October. The final score is Tennessee 52, Alabama 49. Fans storm the field, and the goal post finds a home in the Tennessee River. Cigars illuminate the state of Tennessee that night. It was beautiful. Now lies the question – can Tennessee make it two years in a row? The current record between the two storied programs is 39-59 with Alabama on top.
Since Nick Saban came to Alabama in 2007, Tennessee has struggled against the Crimson Tide. Prior to his coaching tenure at Alabama, the Vols had their turn in glory over their southern rival with 7 straight wins from 1995 to 2001 – who remembers that infamous 1998 championship!?
This infamous rivalry began in 1909. Since then, the Vols and the Tide have alternated playing in Alabama and Tennessee. A little known fact: the Alabama home games were not always played in Tuscaloosa. From 1930 to 1998, their games were played at Legion Field in Birmingham.
This game has not always been played on the Third Saturday in October, but generally around that date. The name came in 1939, officially giving the rivalry a title. There is no denying this: the elite competition these two teams bring lead to the making of legends, beginning with Robert Neyland and Paul “Bear” Bryant.
The Tide v. Vols rivalry is not limited to football. Basketball also has a stake in the battle. The Tennessee men are currently lagging behind Alabama in their series, 82 to 70. On the other hand, the Lady Vols basketball program has been nothing but dominant against the Tide, with a 54 to 8 record.
So, still the question lies, will Tennessee continue their streak? Will the Vols take over Bryant-Denny Stadium on the Third Saturday of October?
The game begins at 3:30 EST this Saturday, October 21 on CBS.