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Is Alabama-Tennessee Still A Rivalry?

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Is it still to UT’s benefit to play the Tide annually?

NCAA Football: Alabama at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

On his show on Monday, Paul Finebaum questioned the relevance of the Third Saturday in October rivalry.

Conference realignment and permanent inter-divisional opponents are constantly discussed, but this seems to go beyond those ideas.

This seems to stem from the fact that Alabama has dominated Tennessee over the last decade. But it’s not just the Vols who have fallen victim to the Tide. Alabama has dominated all of college football under Nick Saban, winning four national championships since 2009.

While it is easy to say today I wish Tennessee’s permanent opponent from the SEC West was Mississippi State, I would like to think at some point in the future the Vols will be a perennial national championship contender and this rivalry will flip from its current state.

Tennessee’s recent struggles against Alabama also extend to the rest of the SEC West. The Vols are just 4-22 against the West since 2007. Much of that record, however, was accrued during an extremely tumultuous period in Tennessee football history.

The results haven’t been what any Tennessee fan would want or expect in recent years. But I would like to think the Third Saturday in October still holds relevance among the Alabama and Tennessee fanbases and the Southeastern Conference as a whole.