Nick Saban has seen a significant change in the rivalry with Tennessee in his time at Alabama, and the Crimson Tide are on a current 14-game winning streak.

Saban has studied Tennessee, and shared on the SEC coaches media teleconference how he sees Josh Heupel and company.

“I think Josh Heupel has done a really good job of making this team play really well,” Saban said. “It’s a big game. It’s a rivalry game for us.”

Even though there’s a lopsided streak in the series, Saban contends that this week is most important.

“You can say it however you want to say it,” Saban said. “It’s significant if you don’t have success in the game because it’s significant to a lot of people. … It only matters what happens now. This week, it’s a rivalry game for me and I hope it is for the people in our organization.”

Along with the success on the field, Saban notes that Heupel and his staff have done a good job with roster management.

“They have good players,” Saban said. “They’ve done a good job of overhauling and getting some players in who could make an immediate impact. … They’ve done a really good job of that and they should be credited for the job they’ve done to retool and get players who can do well in their system.”