Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Crimson Crossover: Confidence on Rocky Top

Tennessee - 2013

Record: 4-3
Conference Record: 1-2 (SEC - Eastern Division)
Last Game: Tennessee 23 South Carolina 21

Alabama - 2013

Record: 7-0
Conference Record: 4-0 (SEC - Western Division)
Last Game: Alabama 52 Arkansas 0

History lesson

Series: Alabama leads series 49-38-7 (First meeting in 1901)
Most Recent Meeting: Alabama 44 Tennessee 13 (2012)

Setting the scene

Tennessee vs. Alabama
Bryant-Denny Stadium – Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Betting Line: Alabama -28.5 (as of 10/22)

---Click Here To Track The Line---
Beat writer of the week

Evan Woodbery - Covers the University of Tennessee and college football for the Knoxville News Sentinel.

Twitter: @TennesseeBeat

Follow Evan via Twitter to get the latest (breaking) news concerning the Tennessee Volunteers as they prepare for Alabama.

Tennessee on the wire

>>Tennessee's progress to be tested at No. 1 Alabama

>>FOOTBALL CENTRAL: #1/1 Alabama The Vols Travel To Tuscaloosa on Oct. 26 for a 3:30 p.m. ET SEC Rivalry on CBS

>>Butch Jones on Alabama: 'Their program is what we are building here at Tennessee' (Jones’ Monday press conference)

>>Justin Worley's development evident in Tennessee Vols' progress

The weekly quotable

While many fans and pundits have spent ample time discussing Tennessee's "upset victory" over South Carolina, UT head coach Butch Jones seems to have the ideal perspective.
The Crimson Elephant verdict

For the first time, in a very long time, Tennessee has a competent football coach and a bucket of confidence.

While still lacking depth at key positions, the Vols are a much improved football team, and are currently playing better than they ever played under Derek Dooley.
Although Georgia was/is hapless and injury plagued, Tennessee did manage to take the Bulldogs to overtime, and last week, as the nation witnessed, UT defeated South Carolina in grand fourth quarter fashion.

Tennessee, with a quality victory over a ranked opponent? Amazing! Quite amazing considering Vol fans, reasonable Vol fans, possibly wondered if a "big win" would ever happen again in the foreseeable future. Prior to Saturday, most college football fans, if asked, probably couldn't recall the last time Tennessee actually won a "meaningful" game.

Enter Alabama...

Cue the whole, "this will be a good litmus test" narrative. Cue it, because it is ever so true...

Tennessee is a much improved football team. Much improved from a garbage football team. If one is inclined to call a spade a spade, the 2013 edition of Tennessee/Alabama shouldn't be unlike the contests of the most recent years.

Alabama is almost a 30-point favorite over the Vols. The line is based on the fact Alabama is simply that good, and not so much on the fact that UT is an "improving" program.

Under the umbrella of fair assumption, the Vols will probably never beat Alabama as long as Nick Saban resides in Tuscaloosa. Having said that, Butch Jones will likely have the Vols "bowl bound" for the remainder of his tenure at Tennessee.

As for Saturday, Tide fans...don't forget the victory cigars!

Alabama 38
Tennessee 13

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