UT turned down offer to play USC next year

Mike Hamilton

Mike Hamilton

The budding war between Southern California and Tennessee won't be settled on the field.

At least not next year.

In the latest chapter of the growing feud between former coach Lane Kiffin and the Vols, ESPN.com's Bruce Feldman reported Wednesday that UT athletic director Mike Hamilton turned down an offer from Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game organizers to start the 2011 season against the Trojans in Atlanta.

Hamilton confirmed to the News Sentinel that the Vols are certainly open to the idea of playing the Trojans at some point in the future though, and in fact are actually still waiting for them to send a contract for a two-game series the programs have already verbally agreed to play in 2021 and '22.

"We told (USC) we could play 'em in a few years but we can't make it work with our schedule next year," Hamilton told Feldman.

The proposal and denial continue the interesting, seemingly uneasy link between the two programs that continue to be tied together since Kiffin's abrupt departure from UT in January.

In the last week alone, new Vols coach Derek Dooley secured the services of former Southern California commitment and the No. 1 punter in the country Matt Darr. Dooley followed that up by convincing defensive lineman Malik Jackson to transfer from USC with two years of eligibility remaining to take advantage of the NCAA sanctions slapped on the Trojans allowing players to leave without penalty, and it appears at this point the coaching staff isn't yet done trying to capitalize on Kiffin's situation.

One thing that is certain is that Hamilton won't give Jackson or any other Southern California transfers a chance to play their old school, though the idea of a series between the programs has been discussed since even before Kiffin left UT.

In the week leading up to last year's UCLA game, Kiffin indicated he would be open to a series with the Trojans and mistakenly said UT already had a contract for "six years from now or something like that."

Hamilton later clarified on his Twitter account that UT had a verbal agreement for a home-and-home in 2021 and '22. The first of those two games would be played in Los Angeles, which would usually make Southern California responsible for producing the contracts to make the series official. UT officials have yet to receive one from the Trojans at this point despite requesting it again within the last couple months, which leaves the status of those games somewhat in question.

There's no uncertainty about a proposed meeting next year, however.

Including marquee matchups with Cincinnati and North Carolina outside of the conference, the Vols have a full slate of games already locked in for the season.

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Comments » 214

VolunteerLifer writes:

This guy Kiffin is like PT Barnum, a circus showman. He's just looking for the publicity. I hope we wait until we are certain to crush them, then take them up on their offer.

AlcoVOLic writes:

Would be a brutal way to start the season...good choice MH, wait until we have all of their players to commit to anything!

SummittsCourt writes:

Good decision. Next year wouldn't be competitive and it sounds like weasel boy knows that and wants to give it to UT before we are ready to play them. The Vols will be ready in 2 years though.

Apkvol writes:

Good call to turn this game down, but it would have been a good way for the current SC players to see some of there friends who came to UT.

SC_Grad_Fight_On writes:

What an opportunity! The best college football conference v. one of the greatest programs! Maybe for a future title.

Fight on!

govols1234567 writes:

Very interesting. I feel a very bitter, non-confrence rivalry churning. As if it isnt bitter enough. Glad were holding out a little while as far as playing them goes..

GerryOP writes:

Think about it guys, playing USC next year is a no-win situation for us. If we win, we can "brag" about beating a team that is well on it's way to the dumpster. If we lose, Kiffin can talk about how great it would have been if he had stayed in K'town.

Time to tell Kiffin and his boys to simply F'off. He had his chance to ride a winner and he jumped ship. It's simple ... AMF.

FWBVol writes:

Kiffin knows that USC won't be bowl eligible next year so he's trying to find ways within the NCAA rules to play an extra game.

I don't think it's so much Tennessee as it is the extra game. Just like USC going to Hawaii for the 13th regular season game the NCAA allows for teams willing to make the trip out there.

I don't blame Hamilton for turning USC down and not letting Kiffin manipulate the system to his advantage.

Kiffin also knows that if USC played a game in Atlanta it would give the Trojans a presence they don't have in the Southeast and he could use it for recruiting purposes.

I want to play USC in a few years after Derek Dooley has a chance to rebuild and the Trojans are off of probation. Playing USC next year though would be a fool's bet.

Ayres_Hall writes:

We need the season to start tomorrow so we can get away from this petty Hollywood-type drama. What's next from Lindsay Lohan and Lane Kiffin?

volontherun writes:

I hate that we dont get to play USC next year but maybe if they trade us a Hawaii game for lets say a florida or bama game that would be an even trade. That way, he that shall remain nameless, could spend some more time with a few of his good friends NS & UM and we get a nice vaction. So we take one of there cupcake games away from them and they take someone who actually plays football.

tnsportsman writes:

2011? That would give CDD 1 year under his belt. NEVER FEAR ANYONE! Besides, Liar Lame would be 1 year into PROBATION!

The Big Orange Fans would fill the GA Dome completely up for that game. It would be like the 1985 Sugar Bowl against Miami, there was 60,000 Tennessee Fans there. UT 35, Miami 7 I was there!

Can you hear 70,000 UT Fans chanting 'Go To Hell Kiffin, Go To Hell' for 60 minutes! Makes the hair on my head stand up!

GO VOLS, WE ARE UT!

FearTheVols1252 writes:

Kiffin is such an arse! He’s pissed and knows there’s no way to schedule another game in the season, so he calls the media and makes it sound like we’re scared. Perhaps they can add another game because there’s no chance of them going bowling, but these schedules are pulled together years in advance. I’m sure they already have contracts in place with several of our 2011 opponents. I find it convenient that he does this right after we steal one of his players. Hopefully we’ll steal more… jackarse!!

10volunteers98 writes:

in response to shen24:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I thought Bama fans had more class than Gay-Turd fans.Guess I was wrong.Some of them are just as ignorant and belligerant as Gay-Turd fans.I`m a Vol fan,and I don`t blame Hamilton one bit.I would have no further dealings with slime ball Kiffin.And if he ever showed his weasel face in Tennessee again,he should be tarred and feathered and hung in a tree.Give the Vols a few years,loudmouth.You`ll be eating your words.So,make them as soft as possible so you can chew them easier.GO,VOLS!!!

Chris4Vols22 writes:

WTF? That makes us look scared. I can't stand all this BS about the football team. I'M SO READY FOR BASKETBALL SEASON!! GO BRUCE PEARL AND VOLS!!

ACWLY writes:

I say play 'em, WE AIN'T SCARED. There may be some good ole boys at that game!

RealisticVol writes:

Yeah I guess he thought he could play us before we got back up from his knocking the props out from under us. Of course, now it could be billed as the Undermanned Bowl since it looks like we will both be seriously low on number of players.

kjennin3 writes:

in response to shen24:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

damn dude.... you are dumb...none of the teams you mentioned are our opponents next year...try checking a schedule... it is very easy to do

volontherun writes:

Trolls get on here and act like we made the choice not play. Hell if we had that much say in what went on we would be play every game in K-town

GerryOP writes:

in response to FWBVol:

Kiffin knows that USC won't be bowl eligible next year so he's trying to find ways within the NCAA rules to play an extra game.

I don't think it's so much Tennessee as it is the extra game. Just like USC going to Hawaii for the 13th regular season game the NCAA allows for teams willing to make the trip out there.

I don't blame Hamilton for turning USC down and not letting Kiffin manipulate the system to his advantage.

Kiffin also knows that if USC played a game in Atlanta it would give the Trojans a presence they don't have in the Southeast and he could use it for recruiting purposes.

I want to play USC in a few years after Derek Dooley has a chance to rebuild and the Trojans are off of probation. Playing USC next year though would be a fool's bet.

VERY good points! Same old story, Kiffin only does what is good for Kiffin.

1BigOrangeVol writes:

I disagree w/you guys and am surprised. I say bring 'em on. WE ARE TENNESSEE! Why pass on this oppurtunity? Who says we won't be ready? We held our own against Bama and the Gators last year. Yeah those are big rivals but do you think this team wouldn't get jacked up for the Trojans? Oh well, sounds like it's too late anyway. Maybe we can play them in 2019 when Lane is back in the N.F.L. Go Vols!!! (against whoever we play)

FearTheVols1252 writes:

in response to shen24:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You Bama fans are no different than Kiffin… shooting from the hip without knowing what you’re talking about. Fear has nothing to do with it!! When you put together a schedule, you don’t just call a school and say ‘hey, want to play next year’. There’s a process involved requiring contracts and money to be sorted through. These are pulled together years in advance! Stop thinking with your balls and start thinking with your head. I promise you, Bama would not breach any contracts they have in place to appease a jackarse of a coach just to say ‘I’m not scared of you’.

kjennin3 writes:

in response to SECFB:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

well why dont yal call them? our out of conference schedule is already tougher for the next 5+ years than Bama's

kjennin3 writes:

Just for the record, UT countered USC and proposed a 2013 meeting in Atlanta, which USC immediately declined

10cvolnga writes:

in response to tnsportsman:

2011? That would give CDD 1 year under his belt. NEVER FEAR ANYONE! Besides, Liar Lame would be 1 year into PROBATION!

The Big Orange Fans would fill the GA Dome completely up for that game. It would be like the 1985 Sugar Bowl against Miami, there was 60,000 Tennessee Fans there. UT 35, Miami 7 I was there!

Can you hear 70,000 UT Fans chanting 'Go To Hell Kiffin, Go To Hell' for 60 minutes! Makes the hair on my head stand up!

GO VOLS, WE ARE UT!

USCheaters would probably have less than 5,000 at that game! They would have to filter out the crowd noise like ESPN has done for the voovoozelas (??) at the World Cup. Either that, or have the game on TV after prime-time. Got my hair standing up as well!!

TheOpinion writes:

Article about Dooley. Very good.

http://espn.go.com/blog/afcsouth/post...

NeylandWest writes:

in response to SECFB:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

UL-Monroe. Was that a big-time, high-profile marquee game for you?

How did that one fare?

Huttdawg100 writes:

I am really disappointed by this decision. I see nothing to lose but everything to gain from this. I'd make Fulmer, Peyton Manning and Al Wilson the honorary sideline guests. That could have been huge.

GerryOP writes:

in response to iamnotDCtoo:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

GerryOP writes:

in response to GerryOP:

You're UF hero:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgbBP9...

Yah, I know ... "Your UF hero:"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgbBP9...

kjennin3 writes:

in response to shen24:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

yea...they wanted us to cancel NT...we play Cinci and UNC later in the year... both on the road.... yet yal play Tulane, Texas Tech and WKU... you idiot

kjennin3 writes:

in response to iamnotDCtoo:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

guy who runs the UT Rivals site... for the "record"

nonewsisgoodnews writes:

in response to SC_Grad_Fight_On:

What an opportunity! The best college football conference v. one of the greatest programs! Maybe for a future title.

Fight on!

Ditto! SC doesn't play enough SEC teams and when they do, its close.

Fight on to Victory.

GerryOP writes:

in response to iamnotDCtoo:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

One more time ... your UF hero:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgbBP9...

westknoxvol24 writes:

BOOYAH...game on

tnsportsman writes:

in response to kjennin3:

Just for the record, UT countered USC and proposed a 2013 meeting in Atlanta, which USC immediately declined

Source?

I'm getting worried about MH and UT's PR Dept., (Not CDD). If UprobationSC couldn't even play that game because of probation, I would have said, Hell Yes, UT will play usc anywhere and anytime, name it!

Risk Reward VolNation, NEVER FEAR ANYONE!

GO VOLS, WE ARE UT

nocleats writes:

Kiftern is using this to confuse his current players about the University of Tennessee. He will try to spindoctor this somehow. His reason is he is truly worried that more USC players are seriously considering Tennessee.

usnavyvol writes:

in response to shen24:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Scared or not, that's just ur opinion. Fact: The UT schedule is and has been set for some time now. It's kinda hard to put a game on ur sked in July. Look at our past and future OOC schedule. Scared is not one of the teams we play. CLK decided to leave for his dream job. Not an issue for this vol fan. This University it much bigger than him or anyone for that matter. Why should we bend our backs (again) for him?
So which game would Bama swap/cancel to play USC... the 9/4 San Jose State, 9/18 Duke or the 11/18 Georgia State. 3..THREE nail biters to choose from...Can u hear that sound? It's the sound of the wind off ur toof..go away...TROLL

RealisticVol writes:

in response to kjennin3:

damn dude.... you are dumb...none of the teams you mentioned are our opponents next year...try checking a schedule... it is very easy to do

Also in response to 10volunteers98: Between the lack of class AND the stupidity, it HAS to be a gator. All the chicken tracks are there. Or maybe he just got on the wrong bus after they played Bama and decided he would just stay at Bama since he couldn't find his way home.

kjennin3 writes:

in response to tnsportsman:

Source?

I'm getting worried about MH and UT's PR Dept., (Not CDD). If UprobationSC couldn't even play that game because of probation, I would have said, Hell Yes, UT will play usc anywhere and anytime, name it!

Risk Reward VolNation, NEVER FEAR ANYONE!

GO VOLS, WE ARE UT

Brent Hubbs

kjennin3 writes:

in response to shen24:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Haha...dude im really starting to think you might actually be retarded...UT plays the toughest out of conference schedule in the SEC generally every year... home and away series in the next ten years with UNC, Cinci, Oregon, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Ohio St... dont think Saban has scheduled that stuff...

GerryOP writes:

in response to SC_Grad_Fight_On:

What an opportunity! The best college football conference v. one of the greatest programs! Maybe for a future title.

Fight on!

We thank you for taking Lil' Lane and his boys off of our hands. Glad USC is his dream job. He's yours ... you gotta' love him ... warts and all.

And don't forget to always kiss Coach O goodnight. He gets ornery and cranky if you do not show him proper affection.

What's Seantrell up to these days?

59 -- Fear The Dooley Dude...

SC_Grad_Fight_On writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Good analysis but I believe the offer was made before the sanctions.

UTbassdrummer writes:

Seriously. We were ALREADY scheduled to
Play that game in 2012. Already. On the
Other hand, this story is a goldmine for
the usual, predictable garbage that people
and trolls live to complain about.

If you feel like we're being cowards about
this, you're just looking for something to be
angry about. Boring.

Go Vols.

GerryOP writes:

in response to iamnotDCtoo:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"The chair will recognize Corrine Brown, the gentle lady ... er ... gentle woman from Florida:"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgbBP9...

Hounddog writes:

When I ask this understand I am a VOl. Why is USC not interested in playing say...Alabama next year? If they want an SEC challenge as some of the USC trolls have indicated why start with a 7-6 team? Go for broke and play the conference Champ! UT will be glad to play USC in the National Championship game in a few years...OH! that's right USC won't be eligible. Hounddog

tn_rockytop writes:

in response to SECFB:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

well i am a vols fan i do believe that the vols will be better than usc this year and better next year i so wish we would play them i think it would be a big time game and when the vols got done wipeing the field with there arse it would be so so so nice but i am a fan and have no say in the matter. i bet your azz there aint a dam player on the team that wouldnt have wanted to play that game it would have been the iceing on the cake. i am thinking thow there would be alot of fights and the crowd alone would want to get there hands on so cal people and coaches it is probaly the safest thing to not play the game. poor usc would have to go home with a loss and black eyes,,,,,i would love to have seen it

GerryOP writes:

in response to iamnotDCtoo:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

At least we know that without Timbow UF will not play a role in the NC chase.

SC_Grad_Fight_On writes:

in response to nonewsisgoodnews:

Ditto! SC doesn't play enough SEC teams and when they do, its close.

Fight on to Victory.

In the past decade, there were home and home romps over Arkansas and two wins over Auburn; three of the four were not very close. True, people will paint it as tainted but they were four good wins.

GerryOP writes:

in response to SC_Grad_Fight_On:

Good analysis but I believe the offer was made before the sanctions.

Righto SC dude, in La La Land you are allowed to believe whatever you want to believe. After all ... it's Fantasy Land!

VolunteerLifer writes:

Bammers and Gators are are calling the strength of our out-of-conference schedules into question? That's a laugh. You guys routinely play more Little Sisters of the Poor than are listed in D-1 football.

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