Buffalo will likely replace North Carolina on UT schedule in 2011

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The hole isn't officially vacant yet.

But Tennessee appears to already have a candidate in line to fill the void left by cancelling its home-and-away series with North Carolina.

Athletic director Mike Hamilton confirmed plans on Tuesday morning to buy out of the two games with the Tar Heels slated to start next season with the Vols on the road, breaking up a potentially murderous stretch of games early in the season, allowing UT to add an eighth home game and lessen the degree of difficulty as coach Derek Dooley continues to build his program. The contracts aren't official at this point, but it appears that Mid-American Conference member Buffalo will slide into replace 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," Hamilton said. "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 to later in the decade, we felt like we needed to break that six-game stretch up and put a non-BCS team in there.

"We'll buy out of the series and do that and move ahead."

More details later online and in Wednesday's News Sentinel.

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Comments » 279

BillyVol writes:

Smart, but not smart. I am not sure what the correct comment is.

Vol86 writes:

Hamilton should have done his job right the first time.

FearlessFreep writes:

I think this is basically an admission of the state of UT's football program at this point - and for a few years to come. Think early-80s types of teams.

jimbotn writes:

If we need a walk-over win, how about scheduling West High School. The attendance would be about the same.

KevDVol writes:

I smell Buffalo chips.

Ironcity writes:

Big fan of our AD but not this move. Have always been proud of our out of conference schedule. I will certainly not be at the Buffalo game.

brokebackvol writes:

FIRE MIKE HAMILTON!

timetofireclk writes:

I think it is a smart move. 8 home games and a win that will be a much needed practice. Everyone wants wins and wants them quickly.....

RJP11 writes:

Wise move ... but embarrassing nonetheless.

Carlitovol writes:

I'm typically not a whiner, but this just plain sucks. The worst thing about this whole deal is that it gives us another black eye. At this point, the last thing we need is more negative press - and this just reinforces the fact that we're running scared.

Unbelievable.. Rebuilding mode or not, it's just inexcusable.

While we're at it, why don't we just freakin' leave the SEC and join the WAC.. It would be so nice not to have to have to face such a brutal schedule year-in and year-out.

OK, I feel better now...

nocleats writes:

Smart move, same as what many top ranked schools do every year. Im for it.

BigOrangeFreak writes:

in response to BillyVol:

Smart, but not smart. I am not sure what the correct comment is.

Right on, BillyVol.

I don't agree with some of the other posters that this series should never have been scheduled in the first place due to degree of difficulty in the schedule (who knew that Cincinnati and North Carolina would emerge from a long dormancy of football mediocrity), but I do think this makes UT look bad particularly coming on the heels of turning down playing USC in next year's Kickoff game. The UT Haters are latching onto this one full-force.

timetofireclk writes:

in response to Ironcity:

Big fan of our AD but not this move. Have always been proud of our out of conference schedule. I will certainly not be at the Buffalo game.

Where you wont be there, there will be thousands that will. Everyone likes easy wins. It is an additional home game so all the revenue will be extra. Sorry you will miss the party atmosphere. I am a VOL fan period. They dont have to do anything to get my support.

tree_em_smokey writes:

You know what they say " if your scared stay on the porch". I see Hamilton's reseaoning, in that you don't want to crush a new coach and a team in the rebuilding process. But it's not like we are playing Texas here. I think we would have e good chance of winning this game. We have this year to get the O-Line problems addressed and should get a little better each year. I'm ok either way I guess. GBO!!

volsnationalchamps writes:

I don't like this at all... We should not back down to North Carolina. That would be a great matchup. I lost respect to Mike Hamilton for doing this. We are UT and have always had a descent non conference schedule. Next year and 2012 we should be a pretty good team. We have good young talent and bringing in more this coming year. Suit up and play the game. GO VOLS!!!

utdanman writes:

AHHH...WTF...I've been looking foward to that series since it was first scheduled a few years ago! What are we, scared of losing? So we schedule cup cakes instead? Why don't we just join conference USA or something. Geez. Very Disappointing!

THEKIDWISCONSIN writes:

If we're not ready, we're not ready...it's a loss.

You made the schedule, stick with it. That's embarrassing.

I understand not putting someone new on the docket (USC in the kick off classic or whatever it's called next season), but NC was already on there.

Man up and play. If you get beat, learn from it and move on. We'd get more respect from a hard fought loss to NC than rolling over Buffalo (or worse yet, just sneaking by them).

SwagVol writes:

As a Vol fan living near Chapel Hill, the most disappointing part of this story is that this is the 2nd game to be moved or canceled that would have had my Vols playing locally.

First, the NC State game is moved to Atlanta and now the UNC game is canceled.

On top of not getting to see my Vols, the ribbing that is about to ensue will be near unbearable.

budd#207344 writes:

As others have stated we have always had a tougher non conference schedule than our peers in the SEC. I think we should play NC and let the chips fall where they may. I support MH but this is the wrong move. I think this is also from cdd. He needs to remember this aint gawga.

oldsmokey67 writes:

in response to BigOrangeFreak:

Right on, BillyVol.

I don't agree with some of the other posters that this series should never have been scheduled in the first place due to degree of difficulty in the schedule (who knew that Cincinnati and North Carolina would emerge from a long dormancy of football mediocrity), but I do think this makes UT look bad particularly coming on the heels of turning down playing USC in next year's Kickoff game. The UT Haters are latching onto this one full-force.

I think until we get our depth and numbers up we should play cupcakes.Smart move in my opinion.Florida plays cupcakes all the time.And Look at Alabama.Until Saban got there they played a Helen Keller and School for the blind schedule.

VolFaninDC writes:

I AM a Vols fan, but this is no longer the Vols football program. I don't know what Hamilton has created, but this is NOT the Vols program that Neyland and others built. And to think I couldn't get any more disgusted with it all.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to timetofireclk:

Where you wont be there, there will be thousands that will. Everyone likes easy wins. It is an additional home game so all the revenue will be extra. Sorry you will miss the party atmosphere. I am a VOL fan period. They dont have to do anything to get my support.

Let me start with I agree with your post and let me end with I think it is safe for you to change your screenname..LOL!!

hays101 writes:

I think MH as made some bone head maneuvers but I try to support him for the most part but this is hogshit if I've ever seen it. WE ARE TENNESSEE. WE RUN FROM NO ONE.........I guess it's except NC and USC.......good grief.....hangs head.....

Jesus1Family2Career3Vols4 writes:

I feel the proper thing for us to do is to do a Mal Moore/Nick Saban. What do I mean? Look at who the Big, Bad National Champs play this September ( and, Yes, I realize they play Penn State at Bryant Denny this September). Why its none other than our 'ol pal Cut and Duke. Maybe Mike could arrange a home-and-home with the Dukies. So lets do a Bama and plug in Duke! Problem solved!

rockytop#413695 writes:

Living amongst Carolina fans is going to be miserable because of this. We can beat them hands down. Would also love the chance to go to Chapel Hill to see the game.

bUTchVFL writes:

Why did we agree to play UNC in the first place? Why not cancel the Cincy game instead? A verbal agreement should mean the same as a written agreement. I don't think playing Buffalo will change the overall view of our program. Saban didn't back out of their game with Clemson in year two. GBO! Here's to us not ducking anymore opponents.

BigOrangeFreak writes:

in response to slaw_way:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'm just not getting the logic behind people wanting Hamilton fired. Can you point to some major flaws in the man's job thus far that I'm unaware of? I mean, the guy has made some great moves for UT, and he continually gets run-down by so many fans.

As for this scheduling move, it makes sense. Look at the logic behind it:

UT plays Florida the third week of every season. Florida opens up with two cupcakes EVERY year, and by the time they play us, they have a complete grasp of their offensive playbook, are usually rested (result of being up 56-3 vs Florida A&M pulling starters in the 2nd qtr), and have few, if any injuries. Meanwhile, we open up with much harder games--even though the home opener is usually a layup, the 2nd game rarely is--and have to reveal more of our offense to Florida's defensive staff for game-planning. This has given Florida a decided advantage in this series and I think we do need to rethink the early scheduling. Particularly with the rise in strength of many teams in this conference.

I will grant you that the timing sucks for pulling out of this series. As I mentioned in an earlier post, coming on the heels of turning down the offer to play USC (and all the fuel that gives the haters) this series probably should have been played. That being said, Hamilton at MOST made a judgement error, but in now way does that constitute firing him.

fishportion writes:

this is just wrong

ATH writes:

Wow. First, Tennessee is too scared to play Southern Cal, and now the Vols are scared to play the mighty Tarheels? What has Tennessee football come to? How proud Tennessee fans must be of their program!

VOLinNYC writes:

Ummm.. what?

First, I understand that he wants to "soften" the schedule, but TRY TO NOT USE THAT LANGUAGE OR EXCUSE! Christ, it makes us seem weak!

Second, its not like UNC is a powerhouse of a program. They have an up and coming program, for sure, but I think UT would have a sizeable advantage in this matchup.

Third, it is close enough that the fans would travel well and have a great patch of orange in the stands.

Fourth, it could have been used as a recruiting tool.

Hamilton, I've always liked you and respected you, but this was not a smart PR/ Marketing/ football move.

VolFaninDC writes:

Are we playing Cincinnati the week before, or Southern Miss? The UTSports web site has Southern Miss. If that's the case, our non-conference line up will be:
Montana
Southern Miss
Buffalo
MTSU
What an embarrassment for a once proud, brave, and nobel football program.

cjones72 writes:

I want to know what CDD has to say about this .

EMBuckles writes:

Tennessee ought to try to get a home and away series with Army (US Military Academy)instead of Buffalo. Historical opponent, played in years past, probably some good interest in seeing them play, etc. Either that or try to get a series with the University of Richmond whom Tennessee has also played in years past. Richmond's President is a UT alumnus and their mascot is the "Spiders" which Witch Doctor would LOVE! ;> "Bones never lie", ha, ha!

FEARinSEC writes:

Sounds like we're trying to take on a more "Gatorlike" schedule... Not sure it is what we should be doing, but it will help a little during the rebuilding process...

GingerAllen writes:

I'm ready for the party that the Buffalonians will bring.

orangeman1 writes:

It like I said when Hamilton turned down USC for 2011. It wastn about the schedule being set. It was because they were afraid of getting beat(and hate Kiffin). At least Hamilton gave the real reason this time. I just want to know why some of these posters defended Hamilton when it was obvious he lied about the reason he didnt want to play USC. It is embarrassing that UT is wussing out on the good games though. I wont be paying pay per view to see Montana and Buffalo either. Why do people continue to defend Hamilton? It reminds me of the same ones defending Kiffin last year. Probably the same ones calling for Fulmer's head.

oskie_score writes:

I understand their (ADMH & CDD) taught process but unsure if I agree...the sword cuts both ways.

oldsmokey67 writes:

in response to shen24:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Just like last year he really took care of business.You bama fans kill me."It's Tennessee and Alabama".Remember that.If you get what i am talking about you have a right to respond.Go Vols!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

orangeman1 writes:

in response to cjones72:

I want to know what CDD has to say about this .

Well, since you brought it up. I would think this was up to Dooley since he is the football coach and the schedule was already set. He comes in and now the schedule changed. I think Dooley know that this year will be tough to win 6 and next year, fans will be expecting improvement on this years record. Apparantly neither Hamilton or Dooley have much confidence in this team. Which makes me ask those of you posters that say me and others are negative. If the coach and AD dont have confidence in the team, Why do you?

gaj619 writes:

I would have preferred we go ahead and play them but the truth is it will all be forgotten soon. It will then be brought up at the time we play Buffalo, if it is televised and then forgotten again. As for recruiting it will have no affect. Kids nowadays aren't fooled by silly ploys where a particular school is accused of being 'afraid' to play another school.This matters only to the panties in a wad crowd who are out in force now but will soon retreat to their couches to play with their potato's.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to oldsmokey67:

Just like last year he really took care of business.You bama fans kill me."It's Tennessee and Alabama".Remember that.If you get what i am talking about you have a right to respond.Go Vols!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You do know Bama beat UT last year dont you? Moral victories have never counted at UT as long as I can remember. By doing that, you are essentially saying that Bama is a better program and UT should be satisfied just to stay competetive.

bUTchVFL writes:

Any question what will be on the tailgating menu? Buffalo wings:-)

koamalina writes:

Playing better competition never makes you better. Just ask Bruce Pearl and Pat Summitt.

Does the reduction in opponent quality come with a reduction football ticket prices? LOL

Jesus1Family2Career3Vols4 writes:

in response to shen24:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Actually this game has something to do with an obscure Coach by the name of Wallace Wade if I remember correctly. I obviously don't keep up with Bama. Apparently you do keep up with Bama/Moore/Saban- I surprised you didn't know about Wallace Wade! Anyway if Bama can rout us more power to them. I do believe we are finally getting on the right track. I know all the people I speack with from Vol Nation are sick and tired of both The Tide and The Gators!

Go Vols!

BigOrangeFreak writes:

in response to ATH:

Wow. First, Tennessee is too scared to play Southern Cal, and now the Vols are scared to play the mighty Tarheels? What has Tennessee football come to? How proud Tennessee fans must be of their program!

I was going to spend a little time replying to your juvenile comment, but when I took a minute to look at your previous posts, I realized you are nothing but AN IDIOTIC TROLLER WITH NO LIFE!

Thats about all I can muster for you. Enjoy your Memphis butt-whuppin this year, and the year after that, and so on...

orangeman1 writes:

in response to gaj619:

I would have preferred we go ahead and play them but the truth is it will all be forgotten soon. It will then be brought up at the time we play Buffalo, if it is televised and then forgotten again. As for recruiting it will have no affect. Kids nowadays aren't fooled by silly ploys where a particular school is accused of being 'afraid' to play another school.This matters only to the panties in a wad crowd who are out in force now but will soon retreat to their couches to play with their potato's.

You honestly dont think it will hurt recruiting efforts in North Carolina. If UT is recruiting a NC kid, dont you think they would be more impressed UT playing NC than Buffalo? If UT were to beat them, that could give UT the edge. It also would be Nationally televised which brings UT recognition. How about fan excitement? Season ticket sales, television $. There are so many reasons to play the game and only 1 reason not to. Hamilton and Dooley aren't confident in their football team and are afraid they will lose.

koamalina writes:

Instead of Buffalo, why not a 2011 game at Hawaii, with a 2012 game against Hawaii in Neyland? Hawaii won't back down from anyone, and the players are guaranteed a 2011 "bowl game" by playing at Hawaii.

BigOrangeFreak writes:

in response to ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog:

Let me start with I agree with your post and let me end with I think it is safe for you to change your screenname..LOL!!

Agreed. On both points.

Rockytop10c writes:

My issues:
1) I have always been proud of our tough non-conference schedule. We don’t play patsies.
2) I’m sure that when the schedule was made, no one fore saw both Cincinnati and UNC being ranked. Drop Cincinnati instead of UNC. As far as I can tell, the Cincinnati game is not a 2 year series.
3) This looks as if we are scared and want to weaken our schedule to strengthen our record. We already added Montana to the schedule. We will only get back on top by beating ranked teams (such as Alabama did to Clemson in 2008 and Virginia Tech in 2009).
4) Where will the buyout money come from? My donations?
5) I live in Raleigh, NC. I have had this game marked on my calendar for years. I will never get the opportunity to see Tennessee play within an hour from my home again. I have already made arrangements for many Tennessee alumni to come into town. I will also be verbally abused for this for the rest of the season.

armyvol22 writes:

This pisses me off. Are we now Chicken?
This is BS.

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