Alabama (22-0), ranked No. 1 and 2 in the two major national polls, begins a tough stretch of SEC play today. The Tide hosts No. 4 Florida (22-1) tonight at 6:00 Central, then travels to Tennessee for a three-game weekend series against the Vols (No. 8/10, 19-3) beginning Friday.
This Alabama preview refers to the Tide-Gator match-up as a "non-conference affair," even though both schools are in the SEC. My reading of the situation is that, with SEC expansion and the need to keep the conference schedule to a reasonable length, the league opted not to have every team play each other in a three-game series. Alabama-Florida evidently would have been one of those potential match-ups not on the schedule this year. However, given the two teams' success in recent years and the visibility to the sport of having them play, the Tide and Gators thus decided to meet for one game, even though it will not count in the conference standings.
Tennessee's website already has a preview up for the weekend series vs. Alabama.