Since then, the Crimson Tide has gone 7-0, all with Nick Saban as head football coach. Each of the last four haven't been closer than 31 points. For now, Alabama has as much of a rivalry with Tennessee as a dog has with a fire hydrant.
Those of you with a sense of Southern football history will point out (correctly) that the Alabama-Tennessee series has seen its share of win streaks, so the current run isn’t all that new. The Tide won seven straight in 1986-92, and the Vols matched that in 1995-2001. Alabama won 11 in a row in 1971-81, but that followed four straight wins by Tennessee.
In the years before that, Alabama had a seven-game win streak, and the Vols had two separate strings in which they went six straight games without losing to the Tide.
Some games in the series weren’t close. In 1961-63, Alabama won three times by a combined 86 points. Tennessee won by a combined 49 points in 1938-40 over the Tide, which was coached by Frank Thomas. Tennessee won by 27 points over Bear Bryant (1969) and Gene Stallings (1995).
But Alabama has won the last seven by a combined margin of 174 points, and that’s significant for a series that has featured 46 games decided by 10 or fewer points.
So, when does the hydrant finally fight back?
Contact Anniston Star Sports Editor Mark Edwards at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.