KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The kickoff time for what figures to be an epic showdown between Tennessee and Alabama was announced on Monday.
The No. 9-ranked Vols (5-0, 2-0 SEC) will play the No. 1-ranked and defending national champion Crimson Tide (5-0, 2-0) at 3:30 p.m. ET at Neyland Stadium on CBS.
Alabama and Tennessee own the longest active win streaks in the nation, the Tide with 17 straight and the Vols have now won 11 in a row.
Alabama has won nine consecutive games in its rivalry with Tennessee — a game coach Nick Saban said was the most important on the team’s schedule.
“I think you get very quickly a feel for what your own players on your own team, even that were here before you came here, what’s important to them,” Saban said. “And it was very obvious to me that the Tennessee game was always the biggest game. It was always the biggest game for us. That’s no disrespect to Auburn or the great Iron Bowl rivalries.
“But to our players and a lot of our fans, the Tennessee game, because of the tradition of the game, (is important), so it didn’t take long to figure that out.”
The Crimson Tide won last season’s game with UT in Tuscaloosa, 19-14.
The Vols broke their 11-game losing streak to Florida on Sept. 24 at Neyland Stadium, scoring a 38-28 come-from-behind win over the Gators.
Tennessee’s 34-31 win at No. 25 Georgia on Saturday marked the Vols’ first road win over a ranked opponent since beating the Bulldogs 51-33 in Athens in 2006.
Saturday’s win also marked Tennessee’s first back-to-back wins over ranked opponents since 2007.
The Vols play at Texas A&M (5-0, 3-0) on Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS), while Alabama plays at Arkansas (7 p.m., ESPN).
Remember to visit your local Hooters for all your tailgating needs and to watch your favorite SEC team. For the location nearest you, check out www.hooters.com/locations.