What was the third Saturday in October like before Fulmer?
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  1. #1
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    What was the third Saturday in October like before Fulmer?

    Kinda showing my age here. First TSIO I remember was 92.


    Iíve always knew that CPB always had a hatred for Tennessee, but it seems like anything talked about this rivalry in its current form always goes back to 1994 when Peyton Manning nearly beat us in Knoxville, and the next decade of back stabbing and trash talk by the Vols. That period is where Tennessee went above Auburn to me in most hated teams.

    But before Fulmer was the rival still filled with vile hatred or was it just a cross state rivalry with a rich tradition?
    Last edited by 81usaf92; July 11th, 2018 at 07:44 AM.

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  3. #2
    BamaNation Hall of Fame B1GTide's Avatar
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    Re: What was the third Saturday in October like before Fulmer?

    Per my late FiL, it was a healthy rivalry between two programs with a lot of respect for one another.

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    BamaNation All-American AlexanderFan's Avatar
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    Re: What was the third Saturday in October like before Fulmer?

    From the way people talk it was like respectful hate. The kind of rivalry where you would sit down and drink after you tried to kill each other.


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    BamaNation All-American Tide&True's Avatar
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    Re: What was the third Saturday in October like before Fulmer?

    It use to be a mutual respect kind of thing before Fulmer came along. Both teams knew how much it meant to the fan base. It was special to see the Crimson and Orange on a crisp October day. It was the definition of college football at its best. Also, more of the players were from each respective state...not from 5 to 10 states away. Much like the 50-50 ticket split in the Iron Bowl every year those days are long past.


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    BamaNation Hall of Fame GrayTide's Avatar
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    Re: What was the third Saturday in October like before Fulmer?

    Prior to the Fulmer era the Bama vs UT rivalry was the best in the SEC, one of the most followed throughout college football. With the exception of a few years here and there, the winner of The Third Saturday in October was likely the SEC champ. It was a bitter, spirited rivalry, but as I recall there was a lot of respect between the programs and its fans, unlike auburn. BTW, in those days the UT band had not introduced "Rocky Top" which now irritates the hell out of all Alabama fans.
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    BamaNation Hall of Fame DzynKingRTR's Avatar
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    Re: What was the third Saturday in October like before Fulmer?

    Quite frankly if the game stopped being played annually not much of the younger generation would care. Fulmer soured me so much, I might not care either.
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  8. #7
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    Re: What was the third Saturday in October like before Fulmer?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexanderFan View Post
    From the way people talk it was like respectful hate. The kind of rivalry where you would sit down and drink after you tried to kill each other.


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    That`s pretty much it. IMHO, it wasn`t a visceral hatred per se. You knew it was going to be a war that Saturday, and it was the season`s yardstick, for the most part. Fulmer, with a big assist from Roy Kramer, changed all that and ruined the best rivalry the conference has ever seen.

  9. #8
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    Re: What was the third Saturday in October like before Fulmer?

    I remember hating the Vols but respecting Johnny Majors. It was a measure of how good the team was. It was on par with ND and AU at the time. Strong and bitter, but respectful. Respect flew out the window with Phil Fulmer's antics.
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    BamaNation Hall of Fame selmaborntidefan's Avatar
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    Re: What was the third Saturday in October like before Fulmer?

    Quote Originally Posted by 81usaf92 View Post
    Kinda showing my age here. First TSIO I remember was 92.


    Iíve always knew that CPB always had a hatred for Tennessee, but it seems like anything talked about this rivalry in its current form always goes back to 1994 when Peyton Manning nearly beat us in Knoxville, and the next decade of back stabbing and trash talk by the Vols. That period is where Tennessee went above Auburn to me in most hated teams.

    But before Fulmer was the rival still filled with vile hatred or was it just a cross state rivalry with a rich tradition?
    It was sheer and glorious beauty my friend. Of course, I'm assuming you know this and don't, but it was the SEC version of Alabama-Penn State. A lot of times you have Alabama fans whose "second favorite team" was Tennessee. It was like the civil war (not literally) in that two brothers would have a three-hour fist fight, the loser would raise the winner's hand, and they'd go have a beer afterwards. When Auburn beat us, there was resentment. When Tennessee beat us, there was respect.

    It was all a rivalry SHOULD be. It's what the Iron Bowl SHOULD be. The only thing that's been kind of similar lately is when the two Mississippi schools were ranked in the top five in 2014, and both were publicly rooting for each other (whatever was said behind the scenes).

    Coach Bryant respected Coach Neyland. His beef with Tennessee (small by comparison) might be because former Tide player Bill Battle was the Vols coach from 1970-76, and even though he never had a losing season and there were issues beyond his control, they fired him (granted, he was regressing record-wise). After all, Bryant would have had a thing with Tennessee going back through his time as Kentucky coach and on back to when he played as "the other end" to Don Hutson.

    It's gone, and it's never coming back. If Phil Fulmer would have beaten us on the up and up, it would be a gallant rivalry of respect. Hell, they beat us four years in a row (1982-85) and nary a word of protest from us. They were the better team at least three of those years. But Fulmer knew his job security depended on beating Alabama at least every so often (he'd watched Battle and Majors both get canned, hell, he stuck the knife in Majors's back and told him it was a massage).

    Incidentally, much of the bad blood between Florida and Tennessee (aside from their division rivalry) stems from the Vols voting in 1985 to strip Florida of their first-ever SEC title. The Gators DID win it on the field, but they opted to forego the Sugar Bowl, knowing severe sanctions were coming. In May 1985, the SEC had a vote and it was a 6-4 vote to strip Florida of the title and not recognize a champion in 1984. Florida, MSU, Alabama, and Auburn all voted to permit Florida to keep their crown. Tennessee voted against them, and given some of the crossover between the two schools (sort of like us with Clemson or ATM), this was considered a betrayal. After all, a Vols vote would have given Florida their first SEC title with a 5-5 decision (or at least forced it on Boyd McWhorter).
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  11. #10
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    Re: What was the third Saturday in October like before Fulmer?

    As these guys have said, it was a mostly respectful rivalry till Fulmer helped to kill that, but let's not forget Roy Kramer's role in it all.

  12. #11
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    Re: What was the third Saturday in October like before Fulmer?

    I grew up hating UT football. My father disliked General Neyland and claimed UT always played ďdirtyĒ football. I know a lot of people on this board who live in Alabama talk about the respectful rivalry, but it was never like that at my house growing up in the 60ís. UT has always been bitterly hated. It was probably a combination of Dad having played at Vanderbilt, living in Tennessee, and working in Alabama.


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  13. #12
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    Re: What was the third Saturday in October like before Fulmer?

    Well, I think I remember reading that Coach Bryant said something to the effect of "You don't know how good you are till you play Tennessee" . That seems like respect to me, which is what I mean. I'm not sure if I hate Tennessee and Auburn, but I sure don't like either of them.

    edit after reading some more posts, and no offense intended, but Tennessee was never, ever, not in a million years my 2nd favorite team. I despise em, but I don't think that precludes what used to be some respect.
    Last edited by Crimson White; July 11th, 2018 at 09:12 AM.

  14. #13
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    Re: What was the third Saturday in October like before Fulmer?

    Quote Originally Posted by B1GTide View Post
    Per my late FiL, it was a healthy rivalry between two programs with a lot of respect for one another.
    Oh, so your FIL was an Alabama fan? I had wondered what connection you had to UA, because you're obviously more knowledgeable about our program than most fans that might consider UA a 2nd favorite team or whatever.

    For what it's worth, I like Ohio State pretty good too, or at least I respect their program. Course, I generally like Michigan ok too (not wild about Harbaugh), and I realize that's like saying you like Alabama and Auburn. Kind of mutually exclusive.

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