Saturday’s game between No. 4 Alabama and Tennessee has been marked on Vols fans’ calendars since January. Oct. 26, 2014, marks the return of former head coach and current Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin to Neyland Stadium. Kiffin left Tennessee after just one season in 2010, causing outrage among fans who bought into the hype surrounding his hire.

Tennessee’s current coach, Butch Jones, downplayed Kiffin’s return during his weekly press conference Monday. Although Jones understands the magnitude of Saturday’s matchup, he believes its more so because of the rivalry between the two schools, rather than Kiffin’s return.

“The game means everything to our football program and our fans because it is the University of Alabama not because it is Lane Kiffin,” Jones said. “Three-quarters of our team, he is a great coach but nobody knows who Lane Kiffin is. Again, that is for the fans. We have to concentrate on the game.”

Tennessee has lost every game in the annual matchup since 2006. The Tide enter with a two-game winning streak and are coming off a dominant 59-0 win over Texas A&M. Kiffin’s offense accounted for 602 total yards and eight touchdowns in Saturday’s victory.

“We are playing a great, great opponent, top-five opponent,” Jones said. “They played as inspired of a football game as I have seen in a very, very long time against Texas A&M. They are a great football team. As we all know, they are well-coached. They are a measuring stick for a lot of programs. So again, we have to focus on the task at hand and that is playing a top-five opponent.

“We can’t worry about the distractions and all that. That will never even be mentioned in our team, I don’t even think our team even realizes it to be honest with you. If they are, then they are worried about something that has no meeting in the outcome.”