Cal, Air Force on '06 slate

Whereas many schools open their football season with a couple of pushovers, Tennessee's 2006 schedule kicks off with a pair of quality programs.

The '06 Vols debut Sept. 2 against California, the last team to defeat two-time defending national champ Southern Cal. Game 2 will be Sept. 9 against another team from out west, Air Force. Both games will be played at Neyland Stadium. In fact, UT's first four games of 2006 will be staged on Shields-Watkins Field. Game 3 is against Florida Sept. 16 and Game 4 is against Marshall Sept. 23.

Tennessee is 2-0 against Cal, having won 27-17 in 1977 and 38-12 in '87. The Vols are 1-0 against Air Force, having romped 34-13 in the 1971 Sugar Bowl.

The '06 Vols don't make their first road trip of the season until Sept. 30, when they visit Memphis.

Tennessee's 2007 schedule also opens with Cal but the rematch is scheduled at Berkeley. After hosting Southern Miss in Game 2, the Vols visit Florida, then host Northern Illinois and Central Florida. UT is 4-0 against Southern Miss, winning 56-0 in 1950, 42-0 in 1995, 44-20 in 1997 and 19-16 in 2000. The Vols have never faced Northern Illinois or Central Florida.

The complete 2006 schedule is as follows:

Sept. 2 California Sept. 9 Air Force Sept. 16 Florida Sept. 23 Marshall Sept. 30 at Memphis Oct. 7 at Georgia Oct. 21 Alabama Oct. 28 at South Carolina Nov. 4 LSU Nov. 11 at Arkansas Nov. 18 at Vanderbilt Nov. 25 Kentucky Dec. 2 SEC Championship Game (Atlanta)

The 2007 schedule is as follows:

Sept. 1 at California Sept. 8 Southern Miss Sept. 15 at Florida Sept. 22 Northern Illinois Sept. 29 Central Florida Oct. 6 Georgia Oct. 13 at Mississippi State Oct. 20 at Alabama Oct. 27 South Carolina Nov. 10 Arkansas Nov. 17 Vanderbilt Nov. 24 at Kentucky Dec. 1 SEC Championship Game

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