Tennessee Vols are again going “east” to open the 2018 season. The Vols will take on West Virginia at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Tennessee and Virginia Tech will open the 2016 College Football season with a game that will be held at Bristol Motor Speedway. More than likely it will become the largest crowd ever to see a college football game as both fan bases travel well.
Bristol, for both schools, is not much of a trip at all anyway. It is 124 miles from Blacksburg to Bristol, and 112 miles from Knoxville to Bristol. The stadium will be packed you can bet.
The game with West Virginia is a natural. West Virginia is a quality opponent, and has been for a while. It is also in an area that Tennessee wants to recruit. Prior to Missouri and Texas A&M joining the SEC, it was thought that West Virginia would be invited into the SEC. West Virginia is of course a Big 12 School.
Instead of moving east, the SEC chose the higher profile, and higher populated Texas and Missouri areas for expansion. It was a great call, and both schools have flourished above all expectations of most SEC fans. Missouri was SEC east division champions in Football last season.
With the West Virginia game being held in Charlotte, North Carolina, it will give the SEC and the Big 12 exposure in ACC territory. In particular, it will help the Volunteers keep its’ brand in front of a State that has been fertile ground for the Vols recruiting efforts. Tennessee has not been as strong in North Carolina as of late, but this will help re-establish a presence.
If the Vol recruiting classes hold up as expected, and if they turn out as predicted, West Virginia may not be very happy they signed up for this one. I’m sure they will show up anyway.