Count Butch Jones glad the Alabama-Tennessee rivalry will be a permanent fixture on future schedules.
The Times Free Press asked Jones what he thought about keeping Alabama, who has beaten Tennessee every year since 2007, on the schedule.
“Absolutely, because it’s a part of our football program and the great tradition we have here. I think the Alabama-Tennessee rivalry is one of the best rivalries in the country, and I think it’s the best rivalry in the Southeastern Conference. To be able to maintain that rivalry is something that we are very excited about.”
Tradition won with the SEC’s scheduling decision, and the Third Saturday in October was solidified to continue as an annual event. The Crimson Tide lead the series 50-38-7.
But is the Alabama-Tennessee rivalry the best the SEC has to offer?
The Iron Bowl is the hottest rivalry in college football, much less just in the conference. Taking nothing away from Tennessee, its coaches or its fans, the Third Saturday in October just hasn’t been a rivalry in several years, as the Tide have won the last seven games, including a combined score of 167-39 over the last four years.
How about Florida-Georgia or Auburn-Georgia? Or what about the Egg Bowl? How does Third Saturday in October match up to those?
Glad you asked. I would put the Alabama-Tennessee rivalry would be around No. 5 or No. 6, and it would follow the Iron Bowl, The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party and the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry. The Egg Bowl or the Alabama-LSU rivalry wouldn’t be far behind either.
The passion, history and tradition of the Third Saturday in October will live on, and that’s great for the SEC and college football.
What say you?
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