Jones says Tennessee enjoys playing Alabama each year
John David Mercer / USA TODAY Sports

Despite the lopsidedness of the Alabama-Tennessee rivalry in recent times, Volunteers coach Butch Jones said Wednesday his team embraces playing the national powerhouse each year.

"Obviously that game means a lot to a lot of individuals, including us - also known as 'The Cigar Game,'" Jones told WJOX-FM in Birmingham, Ala., according to 247 Sports' Grant Ramey.

Alabama has owned the Vols since Jones took over at Tennessee, winning all four matchups and slaughtering the Orange and White 49-10 last year. Overall, Alabama has beaten Tennessee in 10 straight meetings and by an average of 23.2 points.

"Obviously that's a great, great rivalry for us and we take great pride in that game," added Jones. "We were very disappointed when we played them last year. The game before (in 2015) obviously went down to the very end in Tuscaloosa.

"It's always a great challenge. But it's a game that it's an honor and privilege to play in. I think it's great for the Southeastern Conference and great for all of college football."

As is customary in the rivalry, Alabama and Tennessee will square off this season on the third Saturday of October, this time in Tuscaloosa.

Jones says Tennessee enjoys playing Alabama each year
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