Ladies and gentlemen, it’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for, the electrifying showdown known as the “Third Saturday in October.” This year, the Alabama Crimson Tide are on a mission, seeking sweet redemption against their arch-nemesis, the Tennessee Volunteers.

A year ago, in a dramatic twist of fate, the Volunteers stunned the football world by toppling Nick Saban’s juggernaut. It all unfolded in the waning seconds at Neyland Stadium, etching a painful memory in the minds of every Alabama player.

Now, the burning question is: ‘Can the Tide reclaim their pride and satisfaction?’ To answer this question, we’ve assembled a special panel of experts on the “The Bama Standard” podcast, joined by a prominent guest, to deliver their final predictions and insights on who will be the players of the game for this colossal clash!

Chris Braswell sacks Max Johnson of Texas A&M • Photo: Alabama Athletics

Senior Analyst Stephen M. Smith

I don’t think Tennessee has the offensive firepower that it had last season. They lost Hendon Hooker and Jalin Hyatt to the NFL Draft. Joe Milton has an extremely strong arm, but at times can be wildly inaccurate.

My offensive player of the game…finally he becomes unleashed…Justice Haynes. In honor of Bo (Scarbrough) because he broke out in 2016 against Tennessee, I think the young man he’s been mentoring, Justice Haynes, will have the torch passed to him this week.

Defensively, I’m going to go with Chris Braswell. He had that non-offensive touchdown taken away vs Texas A&M due to a penalty. It’s been weighing on him. He goes off.

Alabama 31 Tennessee 14

Justice Haynes looks for extra yardage • Photo: John David Mercer, USA Today Sports

Former Alabama Running Back and Co-Host Bo Scarbrough

I think Alabama will finally play 4 quarters and finish. I really think they are dialed in and focused. Coach Saban has talked to them about eliminating the penalties. We’re going to see less this game.

Our defense is going to be outstanding. Our offense is going unleash some explosive plays. They’ll have at least 4 explosive plays.

My offensive player of the game is Justice Haynes — if he gets the playing time he’s supposed to get. He’s a guy who’s very hard to bring down, has balance, a tough guy, and runs though tackles. Justice finds his way though holes or makes holes if they’re not there.

Defensively, I’m going with Caleb Downs. He’s always at the right place at the right time. Downs makes the game changing plays when he needs to.

Alabama 31 Tennessee 17

Kadyn Proctor takes on a defender vs Texas A&M • Photo: Alabama Athletics

Co-Host and “Star of the Show” Steve Brown

Left tackle Kadyn Proctor is going to grow up this game. Everybody has been on him. I think he’s going to get it. He’s coming in focused. This is going to be his coming out party. He will do a wonderful job.

On defense, it’s Terrion Arnold! He is going to be a Bama legend before it’s all over with. Even Roman Harper said it. That guy is a dawg. I love him. He’s coachable, plays hard, not a prima donna, and makes tackles instead of missing them. He’s my guy.

My final take. The O-Line finally holds up, the defense holds firm, and we win convincingly.

Alabama 28 Tennessee 17

Former Alabama Linebacker/1999 All-SEC LB/Co-Host Marvin Constant

I think this is going to be a closer game than what people think. With the deficiencies on our offensive line, I expect one or two turnovers to put Tennessee in decent field position.

Our defense is going to have to play lights out because the way our offensive line has been performing. Who knows how the flow of the game is going to go on that side of the ball. So, defense is going to have to show up.

I expect the defense to potentially give up 10 points with 7 points coming from a turnover, putting Tennessee in good field position. Looking at the quality of Tennessee’s defensive front, and how our guys up front have been performing, there is a chance for that to happen. It’s happened week-in and week-out. However, Alabama will win a close one at home. This will not be a blowout by any means.

Alabama 24 Tennessee 17

Former Alabama Quarterback/1999 SEC Champion/Alabama Color Analyst Tyler Watts

If Alabama can score 30 points from here on out, we won’t get beat. I feel very good about that. I just hope we can get the 30 points. It’s my biggest concern.

Tennessee is a big, physical football team. They’re completely different from what we’ve seen the past couple of years. This is going to be a hard hitting game.

Hopefully, the Alabama defense can step up to the challenge because Tennessee wants to make it a “run it between the tackles” type of game. They’re also going to take some shots.

Our defensive line has played outstanding the last few weeks though. There are some players on this defense: Trez Marshall, Deontae Lawson, and Caleb Downs. Downs is a dawg. He’s the dawg of the defense. I expect him to have a good game. He’s either the leading or second leading tackler every single week.

On offense, hopefully we can get enough explosive plays and do enough to get to that 24-30 points. If we get 30 points, we’re going to win them all. If it’s 24, we got a doggone good shot.

Did Not Give Score Due to Calling the Game

Malachi Moore celebrating after a big play • Photo: Alabama Athletics

Host of “The Bama Standard” Justin Riley

While Alabama’s offensive line is still searching for its identity, Tennessee’s front is on the upswing, especially with Cooper Mays back at center. This gives a boost to their run game that ranks 6th nationally with 231.3 yards per game.

Here’s the deal though. Tennessee is going up against Alabama’s menacing front seven — led by the rising star Tim Keenan and the always sensational Dallas Turner. Now, let’s not forget, Tennessee’s interior defense is no pushover either.

When it comes to determining the winner of this showdown, throw the X’s and O’s out the window. It boils down to making fewer mistakes and executing the right plays at the right time.

Now — for Alabama — they’ve got to do something they’ve struggled with all season. They must get out of their own way and play dominant football for all four quarters.

My pick for the offensive player of the game? It’s Alabama’s running back, Justice Haynes. This young man has the potential to be the game-changer that the Crimson Tide have been longing for offensively.

On the defensive side, I’ve got to give a nod to my guy, Malachi Moore. He’s the heartbeat of this Alabama defense. He started his career with a bang against Tennessee. That’s exactly how he’s going to finish it.

Alabama 30 Tennessee 20

It’s remarkable how the tide has turned in the Alabama vs. Tennessee rivalry over the past decade. What was once a fading memory on the national stage suddenly roared back to life in 2022.

Now, as we approach the 2023 showdown, the stakes have never been higher. It’s not just about bragging rights or seeking revenge. It’s about SEC supremacy and national championship aspirations. The intrigue has returned with a vengeance, and we’re all eagerly waiting to see how this year’s chapter unfolds.

College football fans, it’s time to BUCKLE UP! The Alabama vs. Tennessee clash is back in the spotlight, and it’s set to be a showdown for the ages.