KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Alabama has so many new fans that the “Third Saturday in October” might as well be “some kind of arts and crafts festival,” according to SEC Country Tide podcast host Ryan Fowler.
The point is, Tennessee needs to do more to bring the rivalry back to life having not beaten Alabama since 2006, a streak of 10 games — the last nine of which has featured the Tide being ranked No. 8 in the nation or better, four times No. 1.
Former Vols coach Phillip Fulmer beat Alabama seven straight times during his tenure before being fired midway through the 2008 season amid rumors of Jon Gruden or Bill Cowher replacing him before Tennessee settled for Lane Kiffin.
Alabama (7-0, 4-0 SEC) is a 36-point favorite over the Vols (3-3, 0-3), and Fowler says the Tide is capable of covering.
“I think Alabama, at 7-0 and the No. 1 team in college football, I don’t think they’ve played a complete game yet,” Fowler said. “This team has made a lot of mistakes. They’ve beaten teams easily on the scoreboard, but there are some areas they could improve quite a bit.”
Tennessee redshirt freshman Jarrett Guarantano is making his second career start and first road start in the 3:30 p.m. ET game on Saturday in Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa.
WNML’s Josh Ward broke down the game with Fowler, and SEC Country picks expert Christopher Smith weighed in as well in today’s podcast.
Tennessee football podcast