It’s the week of Tennessee-Alabama, one of the most iconic Southern college football rivalries. Monday I discussed 1998 as my third favorite installment of UT-UA. Today I move to my second:
1986 Alabama 56-28
1987 Alabama 41-22
1988 Alabama 28-20
1989 Alabama 47-30
1990 Alabama 9-6
1991 Alabama 24-19
1992 Alabama 17-10
1993 17-17 tie.
1994 Alabama 17-13
Nine years of “We’ll get ‘em next years”, and nine years of getting blown out, losing from ahead, coming back and falling short. Losing in Knoxville, losing in Birmingham. Frustration was mounting.
1995 is my second favorite:
And it started almost instantly. The Vols received the kick and took a knee in the endzone. That was as close as Alabama would be all day. I’ll let John Ward and Peyton Manning tell you what happened next.
The Vols led 21-0 after the first, 28-7 at halftime, and won by a final of 41-14.
Phil Fulmer got his first win over Alabama, and would win his next six, and would finish with a record of 9-6-1 against the Tide
All the streak breaking aside. I took my first visit to campus as a prospective student on that same weekend. The short version of me ending up in Knoxville from Akron, Ohio was my grandfather who was a native of Lafollette, TN was a huge UT fan. The more complicated version includes the odd, but exhilarating feeling I got when I walked across campus that weekend. I felt like I was at home. I still get that feeling when I go back to campus now.