The Alabama football program has decimated the Tennessee football team so late that it raises the question of whether it is still a rivalry game.

As good as the third Saturday in October has been historically, Nick Saban’s Alabama football program hasn’t drawn on volunteers for years, much to the dismay of Tennessee football fans.

Ever since Saban coached the Miami Dolphins, Walls has won a game in this cross-divisional rivalry. It is only fitting that the last time Tennessee beat Alabama, Dolphins great coach Don Shula’s son was coaching in Tuscaloosa. A lot has changed since former Alabama quarterback Mike Shula headed to his alma mater Saturday in the mid-2000s.

So with the third Saturday in October this weekend, here’s how Alabama’s college football rivalry currently ranks, as well as some honorable mentions.

Alabama Football’s Greatest Rivals Ranked

  1. Auburn Tigers
  2. LSU Tigers
  3. Tennessee Volunteers
  4. Mississippi State Bulldogs
  5. Ole Miss Rebels

Honorable Mention: Clemson Tigers, Florida Gators, Georgia Bulldogs

Because Alabama is the dominant college football program in the SEC, everyone sees the Crimson Tide as a rival. But as far as they characterize the opposition as roughly equal, three rivalries rank above the rest: Auburn, LSU and Tennessee. The Iron Bowl is the SEC’s best rivalry, and arguably the Power Five. That means more than almost anywhere else in the Yellowhammer state.

Historically, the third Saturday in October would be Alabama’s second biggest rivalry. It was the Walls’ biggest rivalry, up until the bad times in Tennessee. For now, it’s a clear third for Alabama, as LSUrivalry is more important these days. Saban led LSU to a national title before joining Alabama in 2007.

After that, Alabama has a two hammer versus nail rivalry with Mississippi Schools. The proximity between Tuscaloosa and Starkville plays a large part in the 90 mile drive in which the state of Mississippi is a regular sport. Alabama also plays Ole Miss annually in the SEC West Play, but they have had more lucrative games in recent years than the state of Mississippi.

In terms of rivalries that Alabama doesn’t play every year, the Crimson Tide have played Florida and Georgia a ton from the SEC East, as well as the Clemson Tigers in the college football playoff era. Saban’s former assistant Kirby Smart leads the program at his alma mater in Athens. Dabo Swine, a former wide receiver of the Gene Stallings era, has the handling of the Tigers at the peak of the program.

For Alabama, it’s a big drop-off for Auburn, LSU, Tennessee, and then Mississippi schools.

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