At least it's not Appalachian State: '07 and '08 home openers changed

Earlier today, Tennessee announced schedule changes for the 2007 and 2008 seasons. While the upcoming season isn't affected too much (Northern Illinois was moved to 2008, the Vols will now open this season with play Arkansas State instead), I am disappointed that NC State has been moved from next year's schedule all the way back to 2013 and replaced with UAB. While a 2008 opening stretch of NC St., at UCLA, Florida, and at Auburn would have been a gauntlet to say the least, it certainly would have been more entertaining than kicking off the year with UAB.

Then again, playing UAB is at least somewhat better than playing Western Carolina, UTC, Western Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky, Northwestern State, Jacksonville State, South Carolina State, or Richmond, all division I-AA teams that appear on SEC schedules in 2007.

Not too long ago there was a really interesting spat between Brian at MGo and Kyle at Dawg Sports about out-of-conference scheduling and who a team plays (or more importantly, doesn't play). Here's the Cliff's Notes: Kyle took a shot at Michigan for Scheduling I-AA Appalachian State for their season opener, and Brian fired back with what was mostly an explanation of why we're going to see more scheduling of the I-AA type in college football (Brian's post is especially useful for reference if you skip down to where Brian starts blockquoting Kyle).

Thankfully Tennessee doesn't have to worry about playing I-AA teams as the Vols haven't played a lower division team since playing The Citadel in 1983. UT is the only SEC team to not play a I-AA team in the last 20 years and won't start any time soon, according to the linked article.

So all in all, UT's scheduling is pretty good. Personally, although I'm not thrilled about paying $40-50 to sit through another Tennessee/UAB game in late August, I'd be pretty ripped about paying that much to see Tennessee play Wofford.

Update [2007-3-1 22:0:14 by CornFromAJar]: To clarify, I meant to say that Tennessee would now be opening the home schedule with Arkansas State, which is still wrong b/c the home opener is against Southern Miss. UT plays Arky St. on September 22. Obviously the season opener is still at Cal on September 1.

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