Bill Battle knows how much UT-Alabama rivalry matters

Bill Battle gestures during a news conference after being introduced as the new athletic director at the University of Alabama Friday March 22, 2013 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.  (AP Photo/The Tuscaloosa News, Robert Sutton)

Bill Battle gestures during a news conference after being introduced as the new athletic director at the University of Alabama Friday March 22, 2013 in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/The Tuscaloosa News, Robert Sutton)

DESTIN, Fla. — No one has a greater appreciation for the Alabama-Tennessee rivalry than new Alabama athletic director Bill Battle, who played for the Tide and coached Tennessee.

“The Alabama-Tennessee game means a lot to a lot of people,” Battle said at the SEC spring meetings, which ended Friday. “I’ve been on both sides of it.

“People on both sides feel the same. There’s great respect for the history and the tradition.”

Battle’s struggle against Alabama weighed heavily against him when he was fired as UT’s coach in 1976 after seven years. He won his first game against the Tide but lost the next six.

SEC Bowl Ties: The conference is renegotiating seven of its eight bowl contracts. The Sugar Bowl is the only exception.

The SEC will lose its alliances with the Cotton and Chick-fil-A bowls after this year, leaving it with eight bowl tie-ins.

The conference likely will align itself with two more bowls after this year. The Belk Bowl in Charlotte, N.C., and the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Houston are possibilities based on the league’s regional preference.

Ranking Matters: Most coaches say they don’t pay attention to recruiting services. Ole Miss’ Hugh Freeze isn’t one of them.

“It’s almost like you’re playing another game and you want to win,” said Freeze, whose last class was ranked fifth nationally.

“It means something to fans. It means something to the media. It means something nationally.

“Does it ultimately mean anything? I think we’ll know in two years.”

QB Friendly: Auburn hasn’t decided on its starting quarterback for this fall. But first-year coach Gus Malzahn is confident one of the candidates will be successful in his system.

“We’ve had a lot of different quarterbacks, seven in seven years,” said Malzahn, who coached Arkansas State last season. “Some were throwers; some were runners.

“In (Cam Newton’s) case (when Malzahn was Auburn’s offensive coordinator), he could do it all. But we’ve had success with a lot of different quarterbacks.”

The candidates include Jonathan Wallace and Kiehl Frazier, who both have starting experience; junior college transfer Nick Marshall; and freshman Jeremy Johnson. Marshall and Johnson will join the Tigers in the fall.

Meeting In Session: Battle was asked to compare his new position with his long career as a successful businessman.

“In the last four weeks, I’ve been in more meetings than I have in the last 20 years,” said the founder of The Collegiate Licensing Company.

Basketball Sites: St. Louis (2017), Tampa (2018) and Atlanta (2020) are expected to fill the holes to host future men’s basketball tournaments.

The SEC wants to narrow its locations down to a primary spot. Nashville is hosting the event in 2015, 2016 and 2019.

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Comments » 32

Southland writes:

Bill Battle did not do a great job coaching for UT. He got the job while he was to young. The man is an example though of how to bounce back after a huge disappointment. He was fired and treated poorly by UT fans and yet he established a company that made him millions of dollars. All the while he never expressed bitterness and always conducted himself as a fine southern gentleman. I hate that he is connected with bama again but I am sure it is a job that makes him proud. I wish him continued success except against UT.

laraccoon writes:

im old enough to know that Bama is the Vols biggest rivalry , that being said with 14 teams in the league for the benefit of playing all teams it should not be a have to play game(for the old timers who think we have to play it, get over it its not about you its about the kids who play now)

SevenT writes:

in response to laraccoon:

im old enough to know that Bama is the Vols biggest rivalry , that being said with 14 teams in the league for the benefit of playing all teams it should not be a have to play game(for the old timers who think we have to play it, get over it its not about you its about the kids who play now)

It is not a rivalry, nor has it been a rivalry for a very long time. Tennessee simply does not belong on the same field with Alabama, UT is not in the same class.

Auburn has a new rival, LSU plus Auburn that has the players to play with them.

Just Sayin

cheetah-vol writes:

in response to laraccoon:

im old enough to know that Bama is the Vols biggest rivalry , that being said with 14 teams in the league for the benefit of playing all teams it should not be a have to play game(for the old timers who think we have to play it, get over it its not about you its about the kids who play now)

I'm one of the "old timers" to whom you refer, and I can live without the game being something we "have" to play. I can, also, live with some great memories that I feel disappointed for you not to have experienced in past VOLS-Tide games, whether the VOLS won or lost. Things in life change for the good or not. Maybe you'll see the sadness and joy in that someday. I sincerely don't mean to sound like I'm dissing you. Just know for me, at least, nostalgia has its place in life the older you get.

I'm not so sure the changes are for the kids who play now as it is to help the conference schedules as a whole since we've expanded to 14 teams.

Anyway, I do appreciate your post, even though I'm an old timer. Lol

FWBVol writes:

in response to SevenT:

It is not a rivalry, nor has it been a rivalry for a very long time. Tennessee simply does not belong on the same field with Alabama, UT is not in the same class.

Auburn has a new rival, LSU plus Auburn that has the players to play with them.

Just Sayin

One win by Kentucky over Tennessee in football in the last 30 years means that Kentucky-Tennessee is not a rival. I say, even though UT and KY are both in the SEC East, we drop the Cats and keep the Tide. Yes, Alabama has the upper hand now, but Tennessee will be back in football, that's more than Kentucky can say on the football field.

laraccoon writes:

you were the 3rd post on this article . you post on almost every story written about the vols , and you keep babbling how their not relevant . your to stupid to see they are more relevant to you than most everybody else who posts on here .
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Phi...

underthehill writes:

in response to cheetah-vol:

I'm one of the "old timers" to whom you refer, and I can live without the game being something we "have" to play. I can, also, live with some great memories that I feel disappointed for you not to have experienced in past VOLS-Tide games, whether the VOLS won or lost. Things in life change for the good or not. Maybe you'll see the sadness and joy in that someday. I sincerely don't mean to sound like I'm dissing you. Just know for me, at least, nostalgia has its place in life the older you get.

I'm not so sure the changes are for the kids who play now as it is to help the conference schedules as a whole since we've expanded to 14 teams.

Anyway, I do appreciate your post, even though I'm an old timer. Lol

I've been a Vol football fan since before TV..and I say with no doubt..it is plain stupid to insist UT plays bama every year..who has it helped the most..Georgia..and other teams who get to skip the game with bama..who does it hurt the most..UT of course..even if UT was capable of beating bama..it would still be a bad decision ...UT should never give the other teams in the SEC East this advantage..

stevefrommemphis writes:

Move Alabama and Auburn to the SEC East and Vanderbilt and Missouri to the SEC West. Play 9 conference games yearly. 4 of every 7 years, Tennessee plays Vanderbilt in a game that does not count in conference standings.

Fall_Creek_Vols writes:

in response to SevenT:

It is not a rivalry, nor has it been a rivalry for a very long time. Tennessee simply does not belong on the same field with Alabama, UT is not in the same class.

Auburn has a new rival, LSU plus Auburn that has the players to play with them.

Just Sayin

Ya know, Vol Fans....we should be somewhat grateful for trolls like ol #7 here. Otherwise, how would we know what a troll is?

No...I, for one am grateful. When I click on a page and get that unmistakable whiff of sewer gas, I know who's been here....and nothing grows where 7-T goes.

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to Fall_Creek_Vols:

Ya know, Vol Fans....we should be somewhat grateful for trolls like ol #7 here. Otherwise, how would we know what a troll is?

No...I, for one am grateful. When I click on a page and get that unmistakable whiff of sewer gas, I know who's been here....and nothing grows where 7-T goes.

Fall creek,

You're absolutely correct about this particular troll. What is interesting is that while others have been banned, this one has dodged the banning bullet.

More than likely the reason Seven has survived this long is because he is so irrelevant, just a pest. He hasn't whined on and on about A D's etc. The time will come when he is finally 'poofed' from our site. For now, we just accept the fact that he's a kid who professes to be for UK but has this weird little hangup of posting about Tennessee every day. That is a sign of a very insecure person.

SevenT writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

Fall creek,

You're absolutely correct about this particular troll. What is interesting is that while others have been banned, this one has dodged the banning bullet.

More than likely the reason Seven has survived this long is because he is so irrelevant, just a pest. He hasn't whined on and on about A D's etc. The time will come when he is finally 'poofed' from our site. For now, we just accept the fact that he's a kid who professes to be for UK but has this weird little hangup of posting about Tennessee every day. That is a sign of a very insecure person.

Perhaps you do not appreciate opinions that differ from you own? So you resort to immature name calling?

Just My Thoughts

chattabluetick writes:

Last I remembered Bama had 4 losing seasons in 10 years not so long ago and the Vols were beating their brains out 10 of 12 years. Thats called a cycle gentlemen and guess what, even though you can' t see an end to it, it will end. The Bama fans couldn't see an end to losing to Vols on a regular basis just 7 short years ago and we know time flys. Things are a changing right now allthough hard to see at this very moment. Big Bad Bama will fall again and The Big Orange will rise again.

Olddogsrule writes:

in response to SevenT:

Perhaps you do not appreciate opinions that differ from you own? So you resort to immature name calling?

Just My Thoughts

The folks on here who have common sense (you not being one of them) know that you absolutely are not posting "opinions that differ from (our) own" but are in fact only and always posting jibes and digs to get a response. You are the quintessential "troll". What you do - what you are- when you post on GVX is the perfect example of Urban Dictionary's definition. "Being a P-R-I-C-K on the internet because you can"

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rc...

We should just start calling you by what UD defines you as ...a P-R-I-C-K, which is what you are - by definition. And an irrelevant one at that.

Olddogsrule writes:

On topic ... "The Third Saturday in October" should be a national holiday.
You know God is a Vol .. He paints the mountains, ridges, and valleys in East Tennessee Orange for that day!

yeah ... you might see some red here and there ... it ain't crimson ... it's only red as a foxes' butt in polkberry season ...

Navaloranges writes:

in response to SevenT:

Perhaps you do not appreciate opinions that differ from you own? So you resort to immature name calling?

Just My Thoughts

You're a JOKE, you're a TROLL. Your "opinion" is as useless as you are.

utvolfan1955 writes:

in response to WhoseMessNow:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Looks like HaplessVol may be back. We have a coach to fix the mess. Coach Butch Jones. building brick by brick

chattabluetick writes:

in response to WhoseMessNow:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Battle never had losing season while losing 6 in a row to Bama because the schedule was much different back then. It contained Bama, Auburn, Ole Miss, Kentucky, Vandy, and 1 rotating team each year from a group of LSU, Florida, Georgia, and Miss St. along with 5 non-conference teams. It was not to difficult for an average Tenn team to beat the 5 non- conference teams along with Kentucky and Vandy and sometimes Ole Miss, leaving losses to Bama, Auburn, and the rotating team. The truth is that Coach Battle's records worsened each year as more of Dickey's players graduated and were the worst with all Battle players. If todays schedule had been layed out for Battle back then he would have had 4 or 5 losing records in a row. How Bama fans change with where a man is playing or employed is this. They loved and adored him when he played for the Tide, they hated him and called him the worst coach in the country when he coached the Vols, and finally now they think he is the greatest A.D in America because he is back with Bama. The one thing that is true is that he is a good man. The rivalry still exists. Just because there are streaks by each team doesn't mean there is no longer a rivaly. Since 1981 Bama 16 wins Tennessee 15 wins, even, if you take away Bama's 2005 win that NCAA took away. Not all series that are rivalrys do teams take turn winning each year. Not with Bama - Aub, Ohio St.-Mich, USC - Notre Dame, Fla - FSU. All teams fall on hard times including Bama and all the rest. Rivalrys are all about streaks and one win is sometimes all it takes to start a streak for the other team. If Bama is the all-time greatest thing since sliced bread then why do they have exactly 28 more all-time wins then poor old sorry Tennessee. Since Bama has 50 wins the last 4 years while Tennessee has a paltry 22 wins then I guess following the 08 season those two programs had the same # of all-time wins.My math says they were both sitting on 777 since Bama now has 827 and Tennessee has 799, just food for thought. The Vols will be back. CBJ is seeing to that with the recruiting he is doing.

laraccoon writes:

in response to WhoseMessNow:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

as bad a coach as Dooley was i think he could have beat Wyoming here .

utvolfan1955 writes:

in response to WhoseMessNow:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

HaplessVol, hind sight is always 20/20. Looking back now it may have been a good idea to keep Fulmer, but we didn't. Dooley was a disaster. Coach Jones is doing a great job. The final results will be shown on the field. We have a tough schedule so this could be a rough year but after watching several practice videos I believe that there will be vast improvement this season. Its a shame, being the Vol "fan" you claim to be that you won't support Butch until such time he turns out to be another Dooley

bUTch_please writes:

in response to laraccoon:

as bad a coach as Dooley was i think he could have beat Wyoming here .

You know what's interesting about all this "Phil" stuff? Those who say they support him are basically just using him to stir the pot. In so doing, real Vol fans, who paid attention during the "Phil Fall" keep having to document the absurd last years of a coach who's been told by the entire Div I football family, "Thanks, we know your available, but no thanks", for what now...close to 6 years???

So the effect is, instead of the coach whom they say they want to defend fading off into history with a NC story, everyone keeps the massive incompetence alive. Ironic isn't it?

chattabluetick writes:

in response to WhoseMessNow:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Its a mess so it really does't matter whose mess or why its a mess but the object is to fix the mess. I tell you what, give the Vols 2013 schedule to LSU and you tell me how many they win of this 5. @ Oregon and @ Florida on back to back road trips and then back to back home games against Georgia and South Carolina, by the way Bama played none of these last three mentioned top teams in the east til facing Georgia in Championship game. Follow these 4 games with @Bama and tell me whether you could guarantee LSU winning at least 9 games. It will take some time but Tennessee will be back with or without you.

chattabluetick writes:

in response to WhoseMessNow:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Guess you are the only one who thinks Tennessee doesn't have 6 nat'l titles. This fact was presented on national tv by none other thanESPN/ABC at beginning of game with Oregon three years ago when they met in Knoxville. The next week they were broadcasting Alabama game and they showed Bama with 9 titles to which they have added 2 more. I guess you can't believe anybody, after all Bama was named champion for 1928 by a guy who started his poll in 1933 and they didn't have the best record that year. After Kiffin left in the middle of recruiting that Jan. Dooley was a reach at the time because they had to get a coach but it did not work out too good kinda like Dubose at Bama that was a reach and how about Mike Price I was hired but fired before I ever coached a game for the Crimson Tide. All hires aren't perfect so you take it 3 years at a time or one spring break if you realized you made a horrible mistake. Getting rid of Coach Fulmer was not done very well but it looked like the game was passing him by. He was suddenly having no sucess against Bama, Fla, Georgia, LSU, and Aub. He has been gone now since 2008, time to get behind Coach Butch Jones and give him a fair chance. Tennessee 1938 team last undefeated and unscored upon team in the nation, I guess they couldn't have been a champion.

tfortennessee writes:

The UT/Bama rivalry is one of the classics of college football. Old timers or new timers does not matter. Yes, Bama has the upper hand in recent years, however is was not that far back (new timers can even remember) that UT ran off a pretty decent winning streak vs. the Tide. Remember that opening slant from Peyton Manning that went the distance! Keep in mind that it took a great play by a great Tide lineman (it hurts me to acknowledge) in blocking a last second field goal just a couple years back to save one of those Bama National Titles if memory serves me correctly.

PS. go away 7

SevenT writes:

in response to tfortennessee:

The UT/Bama rivalry is one of the classics of college football. Old timers or new timers does not matter. Yes, Bama has the upper hand in recent years, however is was not that far back (new timers can even remember) that UT ran off a pretty decent winning streak vs. the Tide. Remember that opening slant from Peyton Manning that went the distance! Keep in mind that it took a great play by a great Tide lineman (it hurts me to acknowledge) in blocking a last second field goal just a couple years back to save one of those Bama National Titles if memory serves me correctly.

PS. go away 7

OMG I remember that game! I never laughed so loud when the fat Alabama boy blocked at least 2 kicks with his stomach

murrayvol writes:

in response to SevenT:

It is not a rivalry, nor has it been a rivalry for a very long time. Tennessee simply does not belong on the same field with Alabama, UT is not in the same class.

Auburn has a new rival, LSU plus Auburn that has the players to play with them.

Just Sayin

Just shuttin up would be better.

Just sayin

murrayvol writes:

Little did Bill realize that getting the gate at Tennessee would make him a billionaire. Good job coach.

And just for the record the "rivalry" will be infinitely better when we're competitive. It's coming....and soon. GBO

volbike writes:

Rivalries are for the moment. When the colts, steelers and brown went to the AFC everyone said "what about the rivalries?" Five years later no one remembered. what rivalry with Bama? for the last 40 years it has been a series of mismatched extended strings of wins and losses.
How many times as early as the game is have both teams been undefeated?
How many times in those 40 years have both teams been in the top ten?
It has been my favorite game but I am ready to let it go!!!

chattabluetick writes:

If expansion continues all rivalrys will die anyway as some former rivals will only play once every 6 or 7 years. It is killing what was good about college football.

wclark1953#1418030 writes:

TENNESSEE VS ALABAMA will always be a classic rivalry. It is still today; regardless of the naysayers and regardless of the score, win or loss streaks, or what LSU's scatterbrained coach thinks. This game is a measuring stick of what you have to be to win in the SEC and nationally. It has always been so and it is now. TENNESSEE will be back. I don't necessarily look forward to that, but it will happen. ALABAMA will always have the utmost respect for the VOLS, regardless of what any media or football illiterates say or think. ROLL TIDE!

antonio14313 writes:

i'd hate to lose the cotton bowl as an option for the SEC!

t

antonio14313 writes:

in response to chattabluetick:

Last I remembered Bama had 4 losing seasons in 10 years not so long ago and the Vols were beating their brains out 10 of 12 years. Thats called a cycle gentlemen and guess what, even though you can' t see an end to it, it will end. The Bama fans couldn't see an end to losing to Vols on a regular basis just 7 short years ago and we know time flys. Things are a changing right now allthough hard to see at this very moment. Big Bad Bama will fall again and The Big Orange will rise again.

exactly!!! great post! and true too. i just hope that coach saban doesn't jump ship before we start beating them. i want him to suffer some UT dominance before he leaves...

GO VOLS!!!

t

antonio14313 writes:

i think that a "rivalry" is less about wins and losses these days, and more about that "fire" that the teams, coaches, fans, and media has between 2 teams. vols hate crimson tides, and crimson tides hate vols. michigan hates ohio st. tennessee hates florida. usc hates ucla. the yanks hate the sox. carolina hates duke. auriemma vs summitt. magic vs bird. bears vs packers. and so on and so forth...

rivalries aren't really needed, but, they ARE that "cherry on top" to a season.

go vols.

t

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