The kickoff times for the Tennessee Vols’ first three games of the 2019 season were announced on Thursday.
We’ll be yelling “‘ ” at these times.
— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) May 30, 2019
That means week four of the 2019 season is the first week the Vols will have an unknown kickoff time.
But I think it’s fairly obvious when Tennessee should play that week.
UT and Florida are scheduled to play on September 21. We already know that CBS has scheduled their annual double header that Saturday. The likely night game will be Notre Dame’s matchup against Georgia in Athens.
That leaves two reasonable options for the coveted 2:30 ct/3:30 et time slot — Tennessee/Florida or Auburn/Texas A&M.
I think the choice is easy — it has to be the Vols and Gators.
Tennessee and Florida both have a decent chance to be undefeated for the matchup. The Vols start the season with three very winnable games (the BYU matchup could be close). And the Gators should be favored in their first three matchups (though their schedule is a bit tougher, with games against Miami and Kentucky).
The chances of both Auburn and Texas A&M being undefeated are much slimmer. Auburn opens with Oregon, before playing two “gimme” games against Tulane and Kent State. Texas A&M plays Clemson in week two. I can’t see that going well for the Aggies.
If Tennessee and Florida are both undefeated, then it’s a no brainer to put them on at 2:30 ct/3:30 et. And if both games feature matchups between 3-0 vs 2-1 teams, then it should still be the Vols and Gators.
The only way Auburn and Texas A&M should get the nod over UT/UF is if UT enters the game with a 2-1 record and UF enters the game with a 1-2 record. In that instance, they should be relegated to the noon time slot.
But I don’t see that happening. In fact, I think CBS should be confident enough that Tennessee vs Florida is the superior matchup to just go ahead and announce it as the 2:30 ct/3:30 et game.
There isn’t anything much better than a SEC rivalry game. And Tennessee/Florida happens to be one of the best rivalries in the conference.
Featured image via Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports