Teams: Tennessee Volunteers (3-3, 0-3) vs. Alabama Crimson Tide (7-0, 4-0)
Rankings: Tennessee (#66 S&P+) | Alabama (#1 AP, #1 USA TODAY, #2 S&P+)
TV: CBS (Check your local listings)
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. CT
Watch Online: CBSSports.com
Series History: Alabama leads the all-time series 54-37-7. The Tide have won the last 10.
Last Time We Met...: ‘Bama rolled the Vols 49-10 in Knoxville. Wasn’t very close. The second-highest margin of victory for Alabama in the all-time series. It wasn’t quite 51 in 1906. Maybe that’ll be challenged this time.
Spread: Alabama opened as 33-point faves. The line bumped up to numbers between 34.5-37.
O/U: The total is at 51. In some locales, it’s 50.5.
Records ATS: Tennessee (1-5) | Alabama (3-4)
October 21, 2006: Future Pro Bowl running back Arian Foster plowed into the end zone, completing a 4th quarter comeback for Tennessee over hated rival Alabama.
Heading into Saturday, October 21, that’s the last time that Vols fans have been able to be elated with regards to their rivals to the south. Okay, maybe they were in their glory in the infamous upset to UL Monroe in 2007, but that’s beside the point. Alabama’s won the last 10 games against the Volunteers, and they’re fixing to make it 11 in a row on Saturday afternoon.
Things have gone from bad to worse for the Vols in 2017. The outside issues and on-field issues have resulted in head coach Butch Jones’ job status being on a proverbial seesaw each week. An inevitable three-game losing streak isn’t going to look particularly good, even if two of the games are against ‘Bama and the Georgia Bulldogs. With the level of recruiting that Tennessee has been at the past few years, that they are losing isn’t great. The way they’re losing is making things worse.
The Vols haven’t gotten a touchdown since September 23. They’ve been held to just 12 points in the last 10 quarters. It’s ugly. Very ugly. This trip to Tuscaloosa isn’t likely to fix or remedy anything, barring some kind of crazy miracle.
For Tennessee to stand any chance of keeping this competitive, they’ll have to somehow craft up big passing plays. Alabama has been susceptible to them this year, given their 70th ranked IsoPPP this season. It’s, perhaps, the only weakness that Alabama has. But so far, no one’s had the gall to exploit it. Or the ability, frankly. It’s happened in spurts, but the Tide have been too good in other areas for it to even matter.
This will probably be ugly in all sorts of ways.
Prediction: Alabama 49, Tennessee 10