Vols’ 2020 Season Opener Moving Ahead as Planned for Now

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    Photo credit: Anne Newman/RTI

    There’s a ton of uncertainty surrounding the upcoming 2020 college football season due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But as of right now, Tennessee’s season opener against Charlotte is still set to happen.

    With the Big Ten announcing plans to play a conference-only schedule in 2020 and other Power Five conferences considering doing the same, smaller conference schools are beginning to worry about what their 2020 seasons could look like.

    Though the SEC has said they will discuss the possibility of playing only conference games this season, the plan right now is to still have the 2020 season proceed normally. That includes Tennessee’s season opener in Knoxville.

    According to Peter Burns of ESPN, Charlotte Athletics Director Mile Hill has contacted officials at UT, and Tennessee has confirmed to him that the two programs are still slated to play each other on the first weekend of September.

    The Vols open their 2020 season by hosting the 49ers in Neyland Stadium on September 5th. A kick-off time has not been announced for the game yet.

    All of this is, of course, subject to change. As noted by Burns, the Big Ten has already moved to a conference-only 2020 schedule, and the SEC will at least discuss doing the same.

    Not only that, but SEC commissioner Greg Sankey is feeling less and less optimistic that a 2020 season can proceed as planned with the ongoing pandemic.

    In an appearance on the Marty & McGee show on ESPN Radio, Sankey said his concern is “high to very high” over the upcoming season. He also noted that, “We are running out of time to correct and get things right.”

    So far, none of Tennessee’s 2020 football games have been canceled or rescheduled to another date. The Vols are still slated to travel to Oklahoma to take on the Sooners on September 12th and return home the following week to host Furman before starting conference play. Tennessee’s other non-conference game is against Troy on November 21st.



    Nathanael Rutherford
    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.