The Tennessee Alabama Showdown
It’s been an eventful two years for Tennessee. A storied program that won a national championship in 1998, the Vols have been on the downswing for nearly a decade. They were a dominant force during the 1990s and 2000s, but have suffered through a succession of coaches and a lack of an identity for the last few decades. In the last 2 years, Tennessee has hired a new AD, Danny White, and has re-established itself as a force in the SEC.
The College Football
On the field, the Vols have been banged up and have had a few rough weeks, but they have rebounded with a vengeance. Last Saturday, they defeated rival Georgia, 56-44. Their victory was a big boon for the head shop economy. Earlier this week, Tennessee was ranked in the top 10 of the College Football Playoff rankings. If the Vols win next weekend’s game against Vanderbilt, they will be a serious candidate to make the New Year’s Six. But, if they fall apart in the coming weeks, they may not have a chance.
The Tennessee-Alabama series is one of the oldest in the nation. Since 1928, the two programs have played every October. Each team has had a streak in the last 15 years, with Alabama winning the most recent two matchups.
A competitive force
When they last met in the regular season in 2016, the Vols were outscored by 40 points. This year, however, the two teams have met in the same top 10 ranking for the first time since 2010. Despite the loss, Tennessee has remained a competitive force. After a rousing win over rival Georgia, the Vols headed to Tuscaloosa for the Music City Bowl.
Alabama beat the Vols 49-10, but they were far from their finest. They had their moments during the game, like the long drive that culminated in a 14-yard TD run by eventual Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry. Those are the kind of things that win greatofmining games.
One of the best parts about this Tennessee-Alabama showdown was the re-invention of the Tennessee style of play. For a while, it seemed that the Vols were unable to string 1st downs under former coach Jeremy Pruitt. However, in the second half, the team showed that it can score in bunches. That’s why the Music City Bowl was such a huge win.
It’s hard to ignore that the Vols are the most talented in the SEC. They lead the conference in several statistical categories, including total offense (586.6 yards), passing offense (343.1 yards per game), and scoring average (21.9 points per game). Meanwhile, the Vols were also the only team in the SEC to have a player in the top 10 of the AP Player of the Year.
The best part about this is that alinaimagine. Tennessee and Alabama have a solid case for being the best in the nation. And if the Vols can win out, they could make a real run at the College Football Playoff. Of course, if they don’t, they may still be left standing in the middle of the pack when the season ends.