Tennessee Volunteers head coach Butch Jones believes that the Alabama-Tennessee annual matchup is the best rivalry in the SEC. There’s no doubt that it is one of the best rivalries in the SEC, but Jones hasn’t been around the SEC long enough to make that declaration. As of late, the game hasn’t been much of a rivalry at all.
In a conference full of great rivalries, to say that the Alabama-Tennessee game is the best is ludicrous. There are more than a handful of rivalries that overshadow the annual matchup between the Crimson Tide and the Volunteers. Two of the biggest rivalries in all of college football come to mind: Alabama-Auburn and Florida–Georgia. Those two rivalries are by far the best in the SEC.
Tennessee hasn’t won a game in the series since 2006. That is six straight losses in the series for the Volunteers. The way the Crimson Tide have been playing the last decade, there’s no telling the next time the Volunteers might pick up a victory in the series.
It’s easy to understand why Jones would make such a statement, though. He is the head coach at Tennessee and it’s his obligation to believe the rivalry is the best in the SEC. With the recent decision by the SEC to keep the current scheduling format, Jones and his team have the opportunity to turn things around in the series. If he wants the rivalry to get back to where it once was, he better pick up a couple victories over the Crimson Tide. Until then, the other annual conference matchups will remain the best rivalries in the SEC.