Rivalry games always garner an “extra level” of emotion regardless of overall team records or Vegas betting lines.
The old expression, “you can throw the record book out the window when these teams get together” is arguably one of the biggest clichés uttered when it comes to rivalry affairs in the sports world.
The baseline idea for an “upset win” in a rivalry game is predicated on the suggestion that emotion can overcome the odds and carry a team to victory…when talent alone isn’t enough.
In respect to the Tennessee/Alabama contest at Bryant-Denny Stadium, “emotion” will be good enough for a field goal, perhaps a touchdown, but if “talent alone isn’t enough” against the best defense in college football…cover your eyes and duck!
As has been the case thus far in 2011, the Crimson Tide will once again bring more talent, more depth, more size, and more athleticism to the table than the opposition. No amount of “rivalry emotion” will be able to counteract the polished ability and precise execution that Alabama will bring to the field.
The Harlem Globetrotters and the Washington Generals are considered “rivals”…and the Generals haven’t won since 1962.
Don’t expect Nick Saban to go “Globetrotter” and pull down Derek Dooley’s pants or throw a bucket of confetti on an official, but in the fashion of the Washington Generals…don’t expect Tennessee to win either.