Assuming there aren’t sweeping changes to the conference portion of its schedule, Tennessee appears to have a full slate put together outside of the SEC for next season.
The possible, perhaps likely, addition of Texas A&M to the league could force some programs to go back to the drawing board, but it seems for now that the 2012 schedule is complete for the Vols.
UT officials confirmed a report by The Atlanta Journal Constitution on Tuesday that Georgia State had reached an agreement for $500,000 to play at Neyland Stadium on Sept. 8, and both Akron and Troy list dates with the Vols on their school websites for what would be Derek Dooley’s third season with the team.
After opening the year against North Carolina State in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff in Atlanta, the Vols would play Georgia State the next week and wrap up play outside the league against the Zips (Sept. 22) and Trojans (Nov. 3) unless the looming likelihood of Texas A&M joining the conference forces changes to the schedule.
As it stands currently, Mississippi State would replace LSU in the SEC West rotation for the Vols, joining Arkansas and annual rival Alabama from the other division. SEC East foes South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky and Vanderbilt would complete the regular-season lineup — unless the Aggies scrap all those existing plans.
“In the 78-year history of the SEC, the conference had accepted the membership applications of only two institutions — Arkansas and South Carolina,” commissioner Mike Slive said during a speech Monday night in Birmingham, Ala. “Texas A&M is now the third.
“We remain optimistic that Texas A&M will be a member of the SEC and have started to look at schedules for 2012-13 involving 13 teams.”