— USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports) November 30, 2014
According to multiple reports, UAB’s football program is in its last days. “I think it’s going to happen,” UAB head coach Bill Clark told ESPN’s Joe Schad. “Unless something changes before the weekend ends, I think it’s over. I think the odds are very high it ends this week. To shut the doors? That’s sad.”
USA Today reported that athletics director Brian Mackin has privately given indications the program will shut down this week. Tennessee is scheduled to open next season with UAB in Nashville on September 5th. The Vols have played the Blazers four times, winning 37-13 in 1998, 17-10 in 2005, 35-3 in 2008 and 32-29 in 2010.
If UAB does in fact shut down its football program, the Vols will be looking for an opponent to open next season. Who would you like to see Tennessee face?
Memphis could be an early favorite. The Tigers don’t have a game firmly scheduled for September 5th at this point and Tennessee athletics director Dave Hart has been considering reviving that series as long as Memphis will agree to play the Vols in basketball. That would probably be a tougher game for Tennessee than UAB – the Blazers went 6-6 this year while the Tigers posted a 9-3 record (including a one possession loss at UCLA).
If not Memphis, the Sun Belt has been kind to the Vols in recent years. Tennessee played Sun Belt teams in each of the last three seasons (Arkansas State this season, South Alabama last year and Troy in 2012) and does not have one on the schedule for 2015.
We’ll keep you posted on further developments.