That the Third Saturday In October rivalry isn’t always played on the third Saturday in October anymore makes no difference. No more than the fact that the Cotton Bowl isn’t played in the Cotton Bowl anymore.
It’s not even that much of a rivalry anymore. Alabama has won six straight against Tennessee, its longtime SEC adversary. The last three installments all have been 31-point whitewashes by the Crimson Tide.
Still, it’s the Third Saturday In October rivalry, and when Alabama and Tennessee face off on the fourth Saturday of October this season, lifers on both sides of the blood feud will be out in full force.
So, too, should NFL fans. Putting aside all the pageantry and rivalry and history, this year's Tennessee-Alabama is a showcase, a chance to see a whole bunch of future NFL players on the field at the same time.
Ten months out from the 2014 NFL Draft, the Tide and the Vols appear to have two of the deepest draft classes in the country. Sure, there are teams with pairs of prospects who are both potential first-round picks. There’s USC with Marquis Lee and Morgan Breslin, Baylor with Lache Seastrunk and Cyril Richardson. There’s Texas A&M (Jake Matthews, Mike Davis), BYU (Kyle Van Noy and Cody Hoffman) and, perhaps above all others, Clemson (Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins).
But there are only a handful of teams who could drop three players in the first round.
Oregon, Oklahoma, LSU and North Carolina have deep classes and should be well represented over the first two days of the draft. Still, there are programs top-heavier with talent.
With only a month to go before the opening kickoff of the 2013 season, let's take a look at the seven richest sources of potential draft-day gold.