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Peyton Manning to be guest picker on College GameDay

The Vols get a pedestrian alumni and former quarterback, who never played in an SEC Championship game, to pick them to beat Alabama this week.

UT Alum Peyton Manning in the stands during the first round of the NCAA Knoxville Super Regionals between Tennessee and Notre Dame at Lindsey Nelson Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee on Friday, June 10, 2022. Jamar Coach/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Tennessee Volunteers haven’t beaten their Third Saturday in October rivals, the Alabama Crimson Tide, since 2006. And ESPN has called on a current employee to assist in their pregame hype efforts, as Peyton Manning will join the set of College GameDay this Saturday in Knoxville.

You can bet the host of the popular ManningCast with brother Eli during Monday Night Football on ESPN2 will be taking his beloved alma mater on the moneyline to stop Nick Saban’s undefeated record against the annual cross-division opponents.

Manning was 3-0 against the Crimson Tide as a starter for the Vols, coming in off the bench as the backup as a freshman in 1994. The kryptonite for the middle Manning brother was the Florida Gators, against whom he was 0-4. It’s why Steve Spurrier hung a quote on those Manning/Philip Fulmer teams that remains to this day. But the 1997 UF team ended up losing twice more in the league after beating Manning, so he did get an SEC championship in his last conference game.

Here’s Manning’s record against the Crimson Tide:

1994: Knoxville*: Alabama 17, Tennessee 13
1995: Tuscaloosa: Tennessee 41, Alabama 14
1996: Knoxville: Tennessee 20, Alabama 13
1997: Tuscaloosa: Tennessee 38, Alabama 21

* did not start