Tennessee doesn’t need any more motivation than they already have to beat LSU. There’s plenty on the line.
However, there is one potential outcome from this weekend that would be historic. If both teams win this weekend, then it will be a matchup of the two highest rated teams in the history of the series, which began in 1901.
Take a gander back in history and you won’t find a matchup between the two teams that ranks any higher than their upcoming game next week – if both teams win on Saturday. Tennessee is currently ranked No. 8 in the country. Alabama is ranked No. 1 and plays Texas A&M on Saturday. If both teams win, they’ll at least have an average ranking of 4.5 if you combine their rankings and divide them out. That has never happened before.
The Vols were ranked No. 9 in 2016 when they got throttled by No. 1 Alabama 49-10. There have been eight other times in which both teams have been ranked in the Top 10. However, none have been higher than a potential No. 8 versus No. 1 matchup that could be on tap in Neyland Stadium if both teams, which are favored against their respective opponents, hold serve on Saturday.
The hype before the Florida game in September was intense. It’s hard to imagine what the pregame feel in Knoxville will be like if the things play out as they could this weekend.