Vols, Sooners to play in 2014, '15
"This matchup is another opportunity for two of the great traditional college football programs to meet on the field," Tennessee athletics director Mike Hamilton said. "Both programs have storied histories and rank among the NCAA's top 10 in all-time total wins. Since 1926, Tennessee and Oklahoma rank first and third, respectively, in overall victories."
They have met only twice. The Vols shut out the Sooners 17-0 in the 1939 Orange Bowl (Tennessee's second bowl game ever). In the 1968 Orange Bowl, Oklahoma won 26-24.
"We're very excited to announce this agreement with Tennessee," OU athletics director Joe Castiglione said. "We embrace intersectional match-ups that bring together programs rich in tradition. Games of this kind are significant to fans from both schools, but also for college football in general."
Since Gen. Robert R. Neyland coached his first team at Tennessee in 1926, the Vols have won more games (618) than any other school in the country. Oklahoma ranks third nationally with 602 wins since 1926.
The last time Tennessee faced an opponent from the Big 12 Conference in the regular season was the 1997 season-opener against Texas Tech The fifth-ranked Vols defeated the Red Raiders 52-17 in Knoxville.
Oklahoma has 505 victories over the last 50 years, tops in the country during that span. Tennessee is ninth on that list with 462.
A series in 2004 and '05 was postponed at Alabama's request two years ago.
Penn State and Alabama last met in 1990, completing a 10-year series. The Crimson Tide leads the all-time series, 8-5. The Lions beat the Tide in the 1959 Liberty Bowl (7-0), and Alabama won match-ups in the 1975 (13-6) and '79 (14-7) Sugar Bowls, with the latter game a dramatic match-up for the national championship.
The Crimson Tide are fifth all-time with 767 victories and the Nittany Lions are seventh with 763 wins. In postseason play, Alabama is first with 52 bowl appearances and 29 wins, and Penn State is eighth with 37 bowl visits and tied for fourth with 23 post-season victories.
Beaver Stadium Work
Penn State is replacing the natural-grass turf at Beaver Stadium after divots kept popping up on the field during the first three games.
Workers began removing the old turf Monday and the new sod is expected to be in place later this week, spokesman Jeff Nelson said. Penn State plays its first road game Saturday against Northwestern.
Chunks of turf popped up on the field during Penn State's season opener against South Florida three weeks ago. Since then, workers have had to run out on the field during time-outs to replace the divots.
"It's amazing, all the years we've been here and we've never had that problem," coach Joe Paterno said after last week's win against Central Michigan.
The Nittany Lions host Minnesota on Oct. 1 and Ohio State the following week.
ESPN's Joe Schad and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press
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