Third Saturday in October

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Third Saturday in October
First meeting November 28, 1901
Tennessee 6, Alabama 6
Latest meeting October 24, 2015
Alabama 19, Tennessee 14
Next meeting October 15, 2016 (Knoxville, TN)
Statistics
Meetings total 98
All-time series Alabama leads, 52–38–7 (53–37–8 on the field)
Largest victory Alabama, 51–0 (1906)
Longest win streak Alabama, 11 (1971–81)
Current win streak Alabama, 9 (2007–present)

The Third Saturday in October, also known as the Alabama–Tennessee football rivalry, is an American college football rivalry game played annually by the Alabama Crimson Tide football team of the University of Alabama and Tennessee Volunteers football team of the University of Tennessee, approximately 315 miles (507 km) apart. It is known as the Third Saturday in October because the game was traditionally played on it prior to the 1992 football season, when the Southeastern Conference split into its Eastern and Western divisions.[1] From 1995 to 2015, it has only been scheduled for that date six times, though in 2016 it will be scheduled for that date.[2] Alabama leads the series 52–38–7 (53–37–8 on the field).

Series history[edit]

The first game was played in 1901 in Birmingham, ending in a 6–6 tie. From 1902 to 1913, Alabama dominated the series, only losing once, and never allowing a touchdown by the Volunteers. Beginning in 1928, the rivalry was first played on its traditional date and began to be a challenge for the Tide as Robert Neyland began challenging Alabama for their perennial spot on top of the conference standings.[3]

Between 1971 and 1981, Alabama held an eleven-game winning streak over the Volunteers and between 1986 and 1994, a nine-game unbeaten streak. However, following Alabama's streak, Tennessee responded with a seven-game winning streak from 1995 to 2001. Alabama has won the last 9 meeting as of 2015, and 6 out of the last 9 meeting have been consecutive blowouts. Alabama currently holds 52–38–7, 53–37–8 on the field in the series.[4]

The game has been played in 3 different cities. Alabama leads the series in all three venues: for games played in Birmingham, Alabama, by a record of 21–14–6 (21–13–7 on the field), for those contested in Knoxville, Tennessee, by a record of 23–20–1, and for games in the series played in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, by a record of 7–4 (8–4 on the field). Alabama won the last game, played on October 24, 2015, 19–14.

Alabama and Tennessee both have 12 shutouts in the series.

Victory cigars[edit]

In the 1950s, Jim Goostree, the head trainer for Alabama, began another tradition as he began handing out cigars following a victory over the Volunteers.[5] Both teams continued the tradition for some time, though kept it secret due to NCAA rules concerning extra benefits and tobacco products. Alabama publicly restarted the tradition in 2005, though as a result, self-reported an NCAA violation.[6] Every year since 2005, the winning team knowingly violates the NCAA rule and reports the violation in honor of tradition.[7]

Game results[edit]

Rankings are from the AP Poll

Alabama victories Tennessee victories Ties
# Date Location Winner Score
1 1901 Birmingham, AL Tie 6–6
2 1903 Birmingham, AL Alabama 24–0
3 1904 Birmingham, AL Tennessee 5–0
4 1905 Birmingham, AL Alabama 29–0
5 1906 Birmingham, AL Alabama 51–0
6 1907 Birmingham, AL Alabama 5–0
7 1908 Birmingham, AL Alabama 4–0
8 1909 Knoxville, TN Alabama 10–0
9 1912 Birmingham, AL Alabama 7–0
10 1913 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 6–0
11 1914 Knoxville, TN Tennessee 17–7
12 1928 Tuscaloosa, AL Tennessee 15–13
13 1929 Knoxville, TN Tennessee 6–0
14 1930 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 18–6
15 1931 Knoxville, TN Tennessee 25–0
16 1932 Birmingham, AL Tennessee 7–3
17 1933 Knoxville, TN Alabama 12–6
18 1934 Birmingham, AL Alabama 13–6
19 1935 Knoxville, TN Alabama 25–0
20 1936 Birmingham, AL Tie 0–0
21 1937 Knoxville, TN Alabama 14–7
22 1938 Birmingham, AL Tennessee 13–0
23 1939 Knoxville, TN #5 Tennessee 21–0
24 1940 Birmingham, AL #5 Tennessee 27–13
25 1941 Knoxville, TN Alabama 9–2
26 1942 Birmingham, AL #4 Alabama 8–0
27 1944 Knoxville, TN Tie 0–0
28 1945 Birmingham, AL #6 Alabama 25–7
29 1946 Knoxville, TN #9 Tennessee 12–0
30 1947 Birmingham, AL Alabama 10–0
31 1948 Knoxville, TN Tennessee 21–6
32 1949 Birmingham, AL Tie 7–7
33 1950 Knoxville, TN #18 Tennessee 14–9
34 1951 Birmingham, AL #2 Tennessee 27–13
35 1952 Knoxville, TN Tennessee 15–0
36 1953 Birmingham, AL Tie 0–0
37 1954 Knoxville, TN Alabama 27–0
38 1955 Birmingham, AL Tennessee 20–0
39 1956 Knoxville, TN #7 Tennessee 24–0
40 1957 Birmingham, AL Tennessee 14–0
41 1958 Knoxville, TN Tennessee 14–7
42 1959 Birmingham, AL Tie 7–7
43 1960 Knoxville, TN Tennessee 20–7
44 1961 Birmingham, AL #5 Alabama 34–3
45 1962 Knoxville, TN #2 Alabama 27–7
46 1963 Birmingham, AL #9 Alabama 35–0
47 1964 Knoxville, TN #3 Alabama 19–8
48 1965 Birmingham, AL Tie 7–7
49 1966 Knoxville, TN #3 Alabama 11–10
50 1967 Birmingham, AL #7 Tennessee 24–13
# Date Location Winner Score
51 1968 Knoxville, TN #8 Tennessee 10–9
52 1969 Birmingham, AL #13 Tennessee 41–14
53 1970 Knoxville, TN #14 Tennessee 24–0
54 1971 Birmingham, AL #4 Alabama 32–15
55 1972 Knoxville, TN #3 Alabama 17–10
56 1973 Birmingham, AL #2 Alabama 42–21
57 1974 Knoxville, TN #4 Alabama 28–6
58 1975 Birmingham, AL #6 Alabama 30–7
59 1976 Knoxville, TN #20 Alabama 20–13
60 1977 Birmingham, AL #4 Alabama 24–10
61 1978 Knoxville, TN #4 Alabama 30–17
62 1979 Birmingham, AL #1 Alabama 27–17
63 1980 Knoxville, TN #1 Alabama 27–0
64 1981 Birmingham, AL #15 Alabama 38–19
65 1982 Knoxville, TN Tennessee 35–28
66 1983 Birmingham, AL Tennessee 41–34
67 1984 Knoxville, TN Tennessee 28–27
68 1985 Birmingham, AL #20 Tennessee 16–14
69 1986 Knoxville, TN #2 Alabama 56–28
70 1987 Birmingham, AL Alabama 41–22
71 1988 Knoxville, TN Alabama 28–20
72 1989 Birmingham, AL #10 Alabama 47–30
73 1990 Knoxville, TN Alabama 9–6
74 1991 Birmingham, AL #14 Alabama 24–19
75 1992 Knoxville, TN #4 Alabama 17–10
76 1993 Birmingham, AL Tie 17–17
77 1994 Knoxville, TN #10 Alabama 17–13
78 1995 Birmingham, AL #6 Tennessee 41–14
79 1996 Knoxville, TN #6 Tennessee 20–13
80 1997 Birmingham, AL #9 Tennessee 38–21
81 1998 Knoxville, TN #3 Tennessee 35–18
82 1999 Tuscaloosa, AL #5 Tennessee 21–7
83 2000 Knoxville, TN Tennessee 20–10
84 2001 Tuscaloosa, AL #11 Tennessee 35–24
85 2002 Knoxville, TN #19 Alabama 34–14
86 2003 Tuscaloosa, AL #22 Tennessee 51–435OT
87 2004 Knoxville, TN #11 Tennessee 17–13
88 2005 Tuscaloosa, AL #5 Alabama 6–3
89 2006 Knoxville, TN #7 Tennessee 16–13
90 2007 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 41–17
91 2008 Knoxville, TN #2 Alabama 29–9
92 2009 Tuscaloosa, AL #1 Alabama 12–10
93 2010 Knoxville, TN #7 Alabama 41–10
94 2011 Tuscaloosa, AL #2 Alabama 37–6
95 2012 Knoxville, TN #1 Alabama 44–13
96 2013 Tuscaloosa, AL #1 Alabama 45–10
97 2014 Knoxville, TN #4 Alabama 34–20
98 2015 Tuscaloosa, AL #8 Alabama 19–14
Series: Alabama leads 52–38–7
† Alabama would later forfeit the 1993 tie and vacate their 2005 win.
‡ Five overtime game.

Notable Games[edit]

1982: Bear Bryant makes his final trip to Neyland Stadium. #2 Alabama's 11-game win streak over the Vols comes to an end 35-28 as UT coach Johnny Majors is carried to mid-field in celebration to shake Bryant's hand one last time.

1998: The Vols continue their unexpected and undefeated march to Tempe and the national championship by edging Alabama 35-18 in Knoxville.

2003: #22 Tennessee, fighting to stay alive in the SEC East, travels to Tuscaloosa to take on the unranked Crimson Tide. The two teams end up going to an unprecedented five overtime periods before Tennessee finally breaks the ice in the fifth overtime scoring a touchdown and the mandatory two-point conversion. Alabama would fail to answer the touchdown and Tennessee escapes Tuscaloosa with the win. Tennessee has not won in Tuscaloosa since.

2005: Tennessee returns to Tuscaloosa working to salvage a disappointing 3-2 start to the season after opening the season ranked #2. Alabama comes in ranked #5 and undefeated. The game becomes a defensive clash as neither Tennessee QB Rick Clausen nor Alabama QB Brodie Croyle can find the end zone. With the score tied at 3-3 Tennessee nearly scored the game's first touchdown with 5:08 left in the game as RB Arian Foster caught a swing pass and ran for the end zone only for Alabama's Roman Harper to strip the ball away at the goal line for a turnover. Croyle drove the Tide down into field goal range where Jamie Christensen kicked the tie-breaking and game-winning field goal with 13 seconds left in the game keeping the Crimson Tide's undefeated season alive. [8]

2009: Alabama ranked #1 at home in Tuscaloosa, AL is heavily favored and carrying a 12-3 lead late into the fourth quarter when eventual Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram fumbles for the first time in 296 carries. Tennessee recovers the fumble and scores their first touchdown of the game 8 plays later, making the score 12-10. Tennessee then recovers the ensuing on-side kick at their own 41 yard line. The Tennessee drive stalls at the Alabama 28 yard line where Tennessee lines up for a would-be game winning field goal of 43 yards. Alabama's standout defensive lineman, Terrance Cody, blocks the low line-drive kick, his second blocked field goal attempt of the quarter, preserving the Alabama victory en route to an eventual National Championship.[9]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Browning, Al (2001). Third Saturday in October: The Game-By-Game Story of the South's Most Intense Football Rivalry. Cumberland House. ISBN 978-1-58182-217-5.