Before we get today's entry into the MTB College Sports Bucket List let's take a moment to remember the games and events that have made up the 40's on this list:
|49||Tennessee vs. Florida (FBS Football)|
|48||BYU vs. Utah (FBS Football)|
|47||Drake Relays (Track & Field)|
|46||Cal vs. Stanford (FBS Football)|
|45||BYU vs. Utah State (D1 Basketball)|
|44||Iowa vs. Minnesota (FBS Football)|
|43||The Bedlam Series (All Sports)|
|42||Boston University vs. Boston College (D1 Hockey)|
College Football is nearly a religion to some down south and there may be no game that represents the reasons why than a game that's simply known as The Third Saturday in October - a.k.a. Alabama vs. Tennessee.
This game began all the way back in 1901 in Birmingham, AL of all places and currently things stand 48-38-7 in favor of the Crimson Tide. It's one of the most competitive rivalries out there and so I dediced to get some help in describing this one from a friend and fellow sports writer, Ryan Wooden. Below are his thoughts on the rivalry:
Well, I know it seems like Auburn and Alabama have surpassed the Third Saturday in October in terms of vitriol, but there isn't a rivalry in the SEC with as much tradition as Tennessee and Alabama.
For decades, this rivalry essentially decided the SEC championship, and if you look back at some of the coaching names on both sides, you'll find probably a half-dozen or so of the 25 best coaches to ever grace the sidelines.
In Tennessee, some of the younger fans may have more hate for Florida these days, but anybody worth their salt knows Alabama is the biggest game of the year. Unfortunately, I've had to deal with Nick Saban throughout my entire history as a Vols fan, so it's been a pretty rough rivalry. But, the series has always had its runs by either team, and I definitely hope that the Vols can start a streak of their own sometime soon.
This rivalry hasn't been played much on it's traditional date as of late, in fact only six times since the split into divisions in 1992. It's for sure tradition rich though as the winner used to light up victory cigars - something that actually got the Tide in trouble with the NCAA because of "gifts" and their ban on tobacco products. However, it's a tradition that carried on from it's inception in the 1950's by Jim Goostre - the trainer for Alabama.
What makes this rivalry great is the amazing swings in winning streaks. After starting the series out 1-1-1 Bama would win 7 straight from 1905 to 1913 (didn't play in 1910 or 1911). The most dominate part of the series for 'Bama came from 1971 to 1994 where they held streaks of 11 and 7 wins while going 19-4-1 during that period of play. Tennessee's best period happened directly after that string of success as they won 7 straight from 1995-2001 and held a 10-2 record from 1995-2006.
This is a game that many sleep on and personally I had much higher on my own list, but that's for another day and time. Experiencing this game could mean becoming a witness to history as these two long standing rivals have played amazing games with amazing players and coaches.