Vols in two marquee matchups

One of the many wonderful things about college football is this: With 50-plus games scheduled each fall weekend, there's bound to be a marquee matchup being played somewhere.

Apparently mindful of this, Mark Schlabach of espn.com set out to identify the best matchup of each weekend in a column entitled "Rivalries, rematches and revenge top 2007's best matchups."

Tennessee shows up three times on Schlabach's list. The Vols' opener at California is his pick for college football's best matchup on Sept. 1. The Vols' visit to Alabama is his choice for the best matchup on Oct. 20. The Vols' Nov. 17 game with Vanderbilt Schlabach's "upset alert" for that weekend.

Here's what he has to say about the Vol-Cal showdown:

Sept. 1: Tennessee at California (8 p.m. ET, ABC)

It has to be more competitive than last season's matchup at Neyland Stadium, which the Volunteers won 35-18.

And here's what Schlabach has to say about the Vol-Bama shootout:

Oct. 20: Tennessee at Alabama

There's only one place to be on the third Saturday in October: Tuscaloosa, Ala. New Tide coach Nick Saban can go a long way toward becoming the state's governor by beating the hated Volunteers.

Schlabach's other marquee games involving SEC teams are as follows:

Sept. 8: Virginia Tech at LSU

Sept. 29: Alabama at Florida State

Nov. 3: LSU at Alabama

Nov. 24: Alabama at Auburn, Georgia at Georgia Tech and Clemson at South Carolina

Other than Vandy over UT, Schlabach's potential upsets involving SEC schools are as follows:

Sept. 15: Kentucky over Louisville

Sept. 22: South Carolina over LSU

Oct. 20: Kentucky over Florida

Nov. 24: Arkansas over LSU


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