Vols take another hit

Tennessee's reputation as a top-drawer football program just took another kick in the teeth. The Vols' Oct. 13 game at Mississippi State will not be televised – not on network ... not on cable ... not even on pay-per-view.

The UT-MSU game will mark the first time in 13 years – since the Vols hosted Memphis on Nov. 12, 1994 – that a Tennessee football outing has been judged unsuitable for telecast. That's amazing when you consider:

A. This weekend's meeting with Georgia (3:30 kickoff on CBS) will be the 158th consecutive game the Big Orange has played before live cameras.

B. Every game Tennessee played in 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 was aired by someone.

While Tennessee vs. Mississippi State hardly qualifies as a marquee match-up, many less attractive match-ups involving UT have been televised over the past 13 years. These included:

A 62-3 pasting of Nevada-Las Vegas in 1996 (pay-per-view)

A 52-17 drubbing of Texas Tech in 1997 (ESPN).

A 42-7 trouncing of Houston in 1998 (pay-per-view)

A 37-13 beat-down of Alabama Birmingham in 1998 (pay-per-view)

A 42-17 blitz of Wyoming in 1999 (ESPN2)

A 70-3 annihilation of Louisiana-Monroe in 2000 (pay-per-view)

A 26-3 defeat of Middle Tennessee in 2002 (pay-per-view)

A 47-7 thumping of Wyoming in 2002 (ESPN2)

A 35-14 rout of Rutgers in 2002 (pay-per-view)

A 23-6 defeat of Duke in 2003 (pay-per-view)

A 42-17 whipping of Louisiana Tech in 2004 (pay-per-view)

A 33-7 mauling of Marshall in 2006 (pay-per-view)

A 41-7 battering of Memphis in 2006 (ESPN)

A 39-19 thrashing of Southern Miss in 2007 (pay-per-view)

A 48-27 beat-down of Arkansas State in 2007 (pay-per-view)

Five games involving SEC teams will be aired by either network or cable TV on Oct. 13. They are:

- Alabama at Ole Miss on Lincoln Financial Sports (11:30 a.m. Central)

- LSU at Kentucky on CBS (3:30 p.m. Eastern)

- South Carolina at North Carolina on ABC (3:30 p.m. Eastern)

- Georgia at Vanderbilt on ESPN2 (5 p.m. Central)

- Auburn at Arkansas on ESPN (6:45 p.m. Central).

Since there is no television contract for the UT-Mississippi State game, kickoff has been set for 1:30 p.m. Central Time. Big Orange fans who wish to listen may pick up the game on the Vol Radio Network. Those who wish to see the game must travel to Starkville and buy a ticket.

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