It’s finally the Third Saturday in October.
Well, not really, but the rivalry known as that will be played on the fourth Saturday this week, and it should be pretty one-sided, as it has been in recent years.
Alabama is working their way towards a game that has national championship implications against LSU, while Tennessee is struggling to stay above .500 this week.
The Tide should roll right over the Volunteers on Saturday, but you never know what can happen during an SEC showdown. Keep reading for all the information you need on this historic rivalry.
Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, AL.
When: Saturday, Oct. 22 at 7:15 p.m. EDT
Watch: ESPN2, ESPN3
Listen: WJOX 94.5 FM - Alabama, WELV 89.9 FM - Tennessee
Betting Line: Alabama -29 (via ScoresAndOdds)
Latest Injury Report for Tennessee (via CollegeInjuryReport.com)
QB Tyler Bray – OUT (Thumb): Tennessee suffered a huge loss when their starting QB broke his thumb against Georgia. He will be out four weeks and Matt Simms will start in his place.
RB Tauren Poole – PRB (Hamstring): The senior leading rusher for the Volunteers banged up his hammy against Georgia and left the game. His status has not yet been commented on for this upcoming game.
Latest Injury Report for Alabama (via CollegeInjuryReport.com)
K Cade Foster – QST (Concussion): The long-range specialist for the Crimson Tide suffered a concussion last week during a return of one of his missed FGs. The team will use Jeremy Shelley instead.
RG Anthony Steen – QST (Concussion): Against Mississippi, Sheen suffered a concussion and has been limited. He is the starter and will be monitored in practice to see if he can play this week.
RB Eddie Lacy – PRB (Foot): The backup RB for the Tide did not play against Vanderbilt but may return to practice this week. It would be quite helpful to have him back sooner than later.
BCS/Top 25 Poll Implications
Alabama cannot afford to lose this game. They have a match on Nov. 5 against LSU and that will all but decide who plays in the national championship between the two SEC West schools.
If Alabama does somehow manage to lose this, they will have their stellar season ruined, and they would take a huge hit in the polls.
Even if Alabama wins a close one, they could see themselves fall in the computer polls as well as take a hit from the human voters. They need a big win against a weak Volunteer team.
The Volunteers are 3-3 on the season but could potentially be ranked if they somehow won. I wouldn’t count on it.
The rivalry known as "The Third Saturday in October," a throwback to the date in the olden days when these two teams always met, is going to be one-sided this year.
Tennessee hasn’t won since 2006 and won’t be able to this year, either.
Alabama is going to continue their dominance of the rivalry, especially with the Vols missing their starting QB.
What They’re Saying
When asked about the possibility of Missouri joining the conference and Alabama not being able to play Tennessee every season, Saban got a little agitated.
'You all create so many problems,' Saban said to the general press corps in attendance. 'I hate to start on this, but whether guys are going out for the draft that shouldn't even be thinking about that right now. Whether we're worrying about the Heisman Trophy, now we're worrying about playing Missouri rather than Tennessee some time down the road. I could give a s--- about all that, excuse my French.
'I mean, come on. Let's talk about the game. What year are we talking about when we're not gonna play Tennessee—2025? I'm just hoping I can still go to the lake then, still can walk around and go on a pontoon boat ride.'
Tennessee Player to Watch: Matt Simms
If Tennessee wants any chance to win, their new starting QB needs to be an absolute beast. Throws like the one he makes in the video above need to be happen on a regular basis.
I highly doubt he’ll be able to get it done against the fearsome Crimson Tide defense, but you never know.
Alabama Player to Watch: Trent Richardson
This kid is an absolute beast.
Richardson is a big, strong and athletic monster who is going to run all over the Volunteer defense and make it easy on his quarterback this Saturday.
Key Matchup: Tennessee offense vs. Alabama defense.
If Tennessee wants a hope to even keep this game close, they are going to need to figure out how to get things going on the offensive end against the incredibly tough, disciplined and turnover-forcing machine known as the Alabama Crimson Tide defense.
Alabama 41 – Tennessee 10