The “Third Saturday in October” is a tradition that stretches back more than a century. But there are some in Tennessee who want the annual rivalry game against Alabama expunged from future schedules.
Volunteers athletic director Dave Hart addressed the East-West crossover game — which modern fans understandably see as a competitive disadvantage — during a presser on Tuesday morning.
#Vols AD Dave Hart: I have no interest in changing our annual game vs. Bama. Nick frustrates everybody, not just us. We’ll turn that worm.
— Wes Rucker (@wesrucker247) December 1, 2015
As it stands, Tennessee is the only SEC East team that’s forced to play Alabama every season, and the Vols have lost nine straight against the Tide.
It was not that long ago, however, when Alabama would have been the one trying to opt out. Tennessee won 10 of 12 games between 1995 and 2006, during which time the Vols won four division titles, two SEC titles and a national championship.
The teams will actually meet on the third Saturday of October next season, something that’s only happened six times since the SEC realigned in 1992.