published Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Vols turn down chance to play USC in 2011

by Wes Rucker

KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee athletic department recently resisted the urge to schedule what would have been one of college football’s most hyped-up regular season games in years.

Atlanta Sports Council President Gary Stokan approached UT men’s athletic director Mike Hamilton last month about the possibility of playing Southern California — coached by former Volunteers’ boss Lane Kiffin — in a season-opening, 2011 game in the Georgia Dome.

Hamilton declined, saying the Vols already have a full schedule for 2011, including out-of-conference September games against Cincinnati and at North Carolina.

Aside from that, Hamilton noted that UT and Southern Cal have verbally agreed to play a home-and-home series in 2021 and 2022.

Hamilton said Southern Cal, as host team of the first game in that potential series, is responsible for sending UT a formal contract. Hamilton said the Vols haven’t received that contract.

“As we look down the road, we’re not opposed to playing (Southern Cal) if the opportunity presents itself in the right situation,” Hamilton said. “Honestly, we’ve already got a verbal agreement to play them in the future, and that’s been out there for a while now.”

UT certainly hasn’t shied away from marquee, non-conference matchups in the past, and its future schedule follows a similar pattern. The Vols have home-and-home series scheduled in the next decade with Oregon (2010, 2013), North Carolina (2011, 2012), Oklahoma (2014, 2015), Connecticut (2015, 2016), Nebraska (2016, 2017) and Ohio State (2018, 2019). They also have single-game matchups scheduled with Cincinnati in 2011 and North Carolina State in 2012.

The North Carolina State game is scheduled for Atlanta, and Hamilton said Stokan has twice approached the Vols about adding another season-opener in the Georgia Dome. Southern Cal was one of “four or five” teams discussed for that series, and Hamilton said he wouldn’t mind playing any of those teams — but not for a few years, given the Vols’ full calendar.

Challenges already presented by future schedules aren’t lost on Hamilton.

“The reality is you want to give the fans some good games, but you’ve got to win some games, too,” Hamilton said. “We’re trying to get our program back where we want it, and we’ve already bitten off plenty to chew. We’ve already scheduled several great out-of-conference games for our fans.”

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pinkfloyd said...

Their vaginas must still be hurting after Kiffin left.

July 8, 2010 at 10:52 a.m.
Salsa said...

Kiffin is the one with the vagina. She made it into Sexiest Woman Alive contest:

July 8, 2010 at 2:36 p.m.
pinkfloyd said...

Kiffin was only going to leave for one job and it just so happened to come open at the wrong time. There is no doubt in my mind that all of you Vol fans would have been all over his nuts if he was still here. The guy can recruit and he made Crompton into a good enough QB that he even got drafted not to mention the Vols should have beat Bama. The only way to get back at Kiffin is to beat him and you school officials chose to show their vaginas because they had to play that powerhouse Cincinatti.

July 8, 2010 at 3:16 p.m.
jomo11 said...

Tennessee is chick%&*# to not want to play USC......pathetic

July 8, 2010 at 3:30 p.m.
hcirehttae said...

What a lot of sexist crap. Can't you macho men denounce and criticize somebody without referring to parts of the female anatomy? Most of the women I know have enough sense not to pay any attention to collegiate football -- they're too busy raising the kids and paying the bills for guys who are too lazy to do anything but watch football on TV.

Gee, how much sense does that take, actually?

July 8, 2010 at 9:14 p.m.
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