The University of Tennessee is looking to fatten up on cupcakes for the next two seasons instead of playing a home-and-home with the University of North Carolina. It’s a decision that will cost the Vols $750,000. However, it’s also a decision that could make them $3 million by adding an additional home game at Neyland Stadium.
Tennessee will play the University of Buffalo in 2011 instead of the North Carolina.
“It’s been verbal communication to this point and in these situations there still has to be formality to any contract, and so we’ve let Carolina know that we’re going to go a different direction since they were not able to move the game and the series to a later date in the decade,” said UT athletic director Mike Hamilton. “Personally, it’s kind of a downer for me because I was looking forward to playing Carolina as a North Carolina native, but without the ability to move it later in the decade, we felt like we needed to break that six-game stretch up and put a non-BCS team in there.”
Vols coach Derek Dooley also expressed support for the move. “Obviously, if I was in big disagreement with what he wanted to do, I would express that. He would probably respect it. I defer to him unless I adamantly oppose.”
Just don’t expect a game with their new MAC opponent to loft the Vols’ strength of schedule rating.
It’s believed one of the reasons Tennessee made the change was because of scholarship limitations. Lack of depth would be more detrimental against a more prominent opponent like North Carolina.
On the contrary, North Carolina senior associate AD Larry Gallo told the Associated Press that he and the Tar Heels would prefer to keep the series with the Tennessee. North Carolina appears to have no issue playing quality opponents at the beginning of the season as they play LSU in the Chic-Fil-A Kickoff Game Sept. 4 in Atlanta.
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