When Peyton Manning comes to town this weekend, there’s one thing that’s for certain. The legendary Tennessee quarterback doesn’t need any help picking the winner of No. 6 Tennessee vs No. 3 Alabama.
During a recent appearance on ESPN’s Always College Football podcast, Manning and host Greg McElroy went back and forth discussing the upcoming game and environment in Knoxville. McElroy, thinking he could pull a quick one on the former Tennessee quarterback, asked Manning what he thinks the fan reaction will be after picking Alabama in front of his team’s fans.
Manning, though, quickly dispelled that notion with a big laugh.
“Well, you know, I was going to call you for some recommendations on the other games I need to pick,” Manning said to the former Alabama quarterback. “I like to do my homework, I want to be prepared. But as far as the Tennessee-Alabama game, I don’t think I need any help! I’m going to cover myself in that one.”
On Thursday evening, Manning was announced as the official College GameDay guest picker coming up this Saturday morning.
“I don’t know what [Lee] Corso is going to do,” Manning continued on to say. “Who knows, [Pat] McAfee, he’s a wild card. Kirk [Herbstreit], you know, it’s hard to say. But I know what I’ll be doing and the team I’ll be picking for sure.”
During his career at Tennessee, Manning went 3-1 against the Alabama Crimson Tide. Manning certainly had some big-time moments against the SEC West rival but recalls one in particular.
Later in the interview, Manning broke down the infamous first play from the 1995 game between Tennessee and Alabama. Manning said that while Tennessee was just trying to get a completion on the outside with the hitch route, the quick pass over the middle suddenly flew open as well.
“Sure enough, we drop back, it’s like four guys run to the outside,” Manning said during the interview. “It’s almost like they were filming our practice, like, hey we’ve got to cover this little hitch route outside. Nobody covered our best receiver, a guy named Joey Kent, who was from Alabama, on this seam route. So I throw about a little seven-yard pass, and Joey Kent cuts back and goes 80 yards for a touchdown. And the route was on after that.”
Check out Manning’s full interview with the Always College Football podcast below.