| FTBL SEC's defining games of the year pt.1




Alabama at Tennessee, Oct. 25 The Third Saturday in October, always a hate-fest for the two constituencies, is a pivotal game in the SEC this year.

The Tide’s dismantling of the Vols last year gave Bama fans an unholy optimism which was quickly crushed by bad losses to Mississippi State and Louisiana-Monroe.

For the Vols, though, the loss was their second blowout defeat to an SEC school. They lucked into the SEC East championship anyway.

Both coaches have something to prove this year, as Tennessee just gave Fulmer a lengthy contract extension, despite the clamor of voices who claim the program is in general decline.

The Vols haven’t won an SEC title since 1998 and really haven’t played meaningful January football since that time, either. Fulmer needs to have a good year to settle the restless natives; and since they will lose to Florida, Bama is an opponent they must beat.

For Bama, the honeymoon for Saban continues, and even if they lose this game, he will still be .500 against Tennessee. But this year will be a stern test for the "Saban process."

Alabama has had a rocky off-season, culminating with the arrest of Jimmy Johns for cocaine distribution. The Tide face tough early conference tests going to Arkansas and Georgia to go with their opener against Clemson.

Even going 1-2 in those games does not mean the Tide's season is over, and they could got a long way to getting it back on track with a strong showing against the Vols in Knoxville.

I don't know much about Tennessee this year, are they supposed to be a better team than last year?
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