Based on the offseason chatter, you'd think Tennessee's 2005 football season
begins Sept. 17 at Florida and ends a week later at LSU. Actually, the Vols
have nine other games scheduled, including a couple that could be tougher
than most fans expect.
College football analyst Matt Hayes, writing in the current edition of The
Sporting News, lists two Vol opponents among three teams that are ''Movin'
Up'' in the gridiron world. They are opening foe Alabama
Birmingham (Sept. 3
in Knoxville) and Notre Dame
(Nov. 5 in South Bend). Hayes' other team to
watch is Oregon.
Hayes notes that Notre Dame and new coach Charlie Weis are ''a lock for
eight wins,'' adding that quarterback Brady Quinn and wideouts Rhema McKnight and Maurice Stovall will ''thrive under Weis.''
Of UAB, Hayes notes that head coach Watson Brown ''quietly has been building
the best program in C-USA, and it could be one of those magical, special
moments at the Brown Christmas table.''
Another note of interest: Hayes' pick for one of the season's biggest upsets
is Boise State shocking Georgia Sept. 3 in Athens. He explains that new Dawg
quarterback D.J. Shockey hasn't shown ''the accuracy needed for (Mark)
Richt's intricate passing game.''