Alabama-Tennessee is one of the country’s oldest football rivalries. The teams first met in 1901, and have played each other every season since 1944.
Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said he “always knew” the game was big, but he couldn’t appreciate its true importance until accepting the head job at Alabama.
“Until you experience it firsthand, you really don’t understand the magnitude because you’re not really involved with the people who are involved in the game on both sides,” he said during a Wednesday night presser.
The coach listed the game alongside USC-UCLA, Ohio State-Michigan, Alabama-Auburn and Texas-Texas A&M as one of the country’s most cherished rivalries.
Alabama will take on Tennessee in Tuscaloosa this Saturday afternoon (3:30 pm ET, CBS).
“In rivalry games, I’m never really satisfied with where we are (before the game begins),” Saban said. “Rivalry games are always a little bit different.”