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Vols to open against Bears in 2006, 2007

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee will open the 2006 and 2007
seasons against California and play Air Force in 2006 for the first
time since the 1971 Sugar Bowl, the Volunteers announced Monday.
Tennessee will play seven of 12 regular-season games at home in
Neyland Stadium each year, including four straight to begin 2006
and a pair of three-game homestands in 2007.
The 2006 schedule also includes road trips to Memphis --
Tennessee's first trip there since 2000 -- and to Nashville to meet
Vanderbilt for the 100th time.
"In particular, we're excited about our series against a
challenging California program and the newly scheduled contest
against Air Force," athletic director Mike Hamilton said.
"A number of our players hail from California. It's a great
scene for our fans to visit, and it fits our strategy of scheduling
quality intersectional opponents who bring national attention to
our program," he said.
"The game against an always well-coached Air Force team will be
the first in a number of years vs. a service academy and one that
our fans can get excited about as well."
Tennessee opens the 2006 campaign hosting California on Sept. 2,
followed by Air Force a week later. Tennessee and Air Force last
met in the 1971 Sugar Bowl where the Vols won 34-13. Tennessee's
1986 meeting with Army was the last time the Volunteers played a
service academy.