We knew the names, now we know the dates:
The 2017 @Vol_Football Schedule— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) September 14, 2016
Monday Night Football, Vols style! Tennessee kicks off 2017 in ATL vs Georgia Tech pic.twitter.com/WkChOrJiOx
The move of South Carolina from Halloween weekend to mid-October is one we’ve seen a few times before, most recently when the Vols beat Steve Spurrier’s eventual #4 Gamecocks in Butch Jones’ first year. The Vols and Georgia Tech will meet in the Falcons’ new stadium to test it for lingering curses right away on Labor Day.
The biggest news here is the placement of LSU on the schedule. The November 18 date automatically gives Tennessee its biggest end-of-year test since the Florida game was moved to December after 9/11. Should Team 121 navigate the first ten games to put themselves in a position for Atlanta, there will still be plenty of, “If they can beat LSU” going around. We’re used to having our divisional fate decided by the Third Saturday in October (two years in a row, how about that!) at the latest. Next year the Vols will have a huge November date that will have something more to say about their ultimate fate.
But hey, it’s better than playing your four biggest games on consecutive weeks.