Before the SEC adjusted its 2020 football schedule to a conference-only format, Tennessee was set to catch Alabama at – presumably – the Crimson Tide’s physically weakest point of the 13-week grind. The original schedule had Nick Saban’s squad playing 7 straight games without a bye week before heading into Rocky Top to face the Volunteers on Oct. 24. Alabama would have then had its bye on Oct. 31, giving the Crimson Tide a week off before facing defending national champion LSU in Baton Rouge.

With the SEC schedule being restructured to fit a 10-game, conference-only season due to the coronavirus pandemic, no team knows for sure at this what their 2020 slate will look like until the SEC makes its announcement. Tennessee athletic director Phil Fulmer said Friday that he hopes the new schedule still has Alabama playing Tennessee as its eighth-straight game.

“I’d like to play Alabama when they’ve played seven straight and we’re their eighth,” Fulmer said Friday on WNML, per Ben McKee of Rocky Top Insider.

Alabama had been scheduled to open the 2020 season on Sept. 5 in Dallas against USC following with Georgia State on Sept. 12, UGA on Sept. 19 and Kent State on Sept. 26. The SEC’s plan for a conference-only schedule starting on Sept. 26 will obviously lead to a restructured for Alabama and other programs. We’ll see if the annual rivalry clash still happens on the Third Saturday in October.