KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Saturday will mark the 99th match-up between UT and Alabama. It’s one of the country’s oldest rivalries, but it hasn’t gone well for the Vols in recent years. The Big Orange is now trying to snap a nine game losing streak.
Bud Ford has extensive UT football knowledge. Ford served as UT’s sports information director from 1966 to 2011 and vividly remembers many of the big games in the rivalry. It’s a 99-year rivalry so well known a book has been written about it.
“It’s also been a rivalry of great coaches because General Neyland was a part of that rivalry and so was Bear Bryant, obviously with Alabama,” said Ford.
In the 1951 game, Tennessee got the win and went on to become national champions. Ford remembers working for UT’s sports department during some of the big games in UT history.
“1982 was an interesting year. Tennessee had been on a little bit of a stretch, hadn’t played too well against Alabama. That year they captured the game. Fans tore down the goal posts. I don’t know where they all ended up,” said Ford.
1998 was another win over ‘Bama that fans probably remember.
“Certainly anytime you win a championship you’re going to have to win it and Tennessee beat Alabama that year went on to win the SEC title then the championship,” said Ford.
Another memorable game that ended with a Vol victory was in 2003.
“2003 is an overtime game. They were down in Tuscaloosa a six overtime game and Tennessee scored a late pass in overtime,” said Ford.
The last time Tennessee won was in 2006. This Saturday, UT is hoping to end Alabama’s nine-year winning streak.
“There have been streaks in the series certainly. When you end those streaks then that always becomes a big game so Tennessee has got a chance Saturday to end this streak,” said Ford.
Fans are now hoping for a Vol win with Dobbs this weekend.