Previewing Alabama Football regular-season games: Tennessee

Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports /

The venerable Alabama Football vs. Tennessee Volunteers rivalry is no more. It was truly great for many decades. Until the Vols faded like shrinking, rear-view mirror images of Knoxville, seen by exiting Tennessee players. The current streak of 14 Alabama Football wins obliterated the Vols qualifying as a Crimson Tide rival. When the Vols come to Tuscaloosa in October it will be Homecoming weekend. Poll Tennessee fans and most would say not playing the Tide every season would be fine with them. Recent proof comes from the Vols program returning unsold tickets for this season’s game.

Vols’ faithful search for any sign the program’s bleakness will go away. Recently, new Tennesse AD, Danny White ( yes, that Danny White) said he knows the Vols program “will win (more) National Championships.” White should focus on winning an SEC East Division Championship first and then an SEC Championship. The last Vol team to be a division champion was in 2007, and the last SEC Championship was in 1998. They will win neither in 2021 and the Tide streak will grow to 15 wins.

The most experienced Vol QB has disappeared in Knoxville. Brian Maurer, while still on the roster has been MIA for close to a week. The remaining three vying for the starting QB job are passers that may not reach the completion rate needed by Josh Heupel’s, ‘hurry up and throw’ offense. The best of three is probably Harrison Bailey, who is above average on short throws but needs improvement on deep balls.

Worse for Bailey or Hendon Hooker or Joe Milton if they win the starting job, is not having enough help on offense. The Vols will have one of the weaker offensive lines in the SEC, to go along with no proven running backs.

The Vols have talent at wide receiver. The secondary is the best unit on defense. The defensive line is probably an average SEC d-line. Linebacker is a major weakness.

After going 3-7 in 2020, getting to six wins in 2021 would be an achievement for the Crimson Tide’s former rival.

Position Groups – Alabama Football vs. Tennessee

  • Quarterback – Advantage Alabama
  • Running Back – Big advantage Alabama
  • Wide Receivers and Tight Ends – Advantage Alabama
  • Offensive Line – Big advantage Alabama
  • Defensive Line – Advantage Alabama
  • Linebacker – Huge advantage Alabama
  • Secondary – Advantage Alabama
  • Special Teams – Advantage Alabama

The Vols could come to Tuscaloosa on the fourth Saturday in October, smarting from a four-game losing streak. The game will not be close, but how much fight the Vols have in them at that point, will be an indicator of their future.

Next. Canes have something to prove against the Tide. dark

Some Alabama football fans will hope for Nick Saban to discard his ‘don’t run up the score’ philosophy against the Vols. A six or seven touchdown margin would make for a joyous Homecoming in Bryant-Denny.