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Preseason Poll: Who will the Mystery SEC Team be

It's Notre Dame and BC Marty, Something has 
to be done about Notre Dame and BC!

I always assumed that time machines were nothing but flights of fancy, like unicorns, the tooth fairy, or a classy act by Lane Kiffin. But after the developments of today I really suspect that Warde Manuel has a DeLorean tucked away in his garage.

Several months ago Boston and Notre Dame renewed their 'Holy War' series extending it out to 2011, 2012, and beyond. The only problem was that Boston College's dance card was full, and UB was on it. When they were confronted with this reality Boston College did what any good Catholic Boy would do, ditched it's date in favor of the beauty queen. The Eagles promised to 'call us' in 2015 but UB was left with a gaping hole in its heart, and it's schedule.

Enter Doc Brown Manuel who apparently had been to the year 2013 and saw all of this go down. How else does one explain the fact that when UB lost one of it's marquee match-ups for 2011 he pulled in a game against one of the more storied programs in NCAA history *and* UB is getting paid for it (Tennessee has paid teams like WKU seven hundred thousand for home games). Vol fans are less than enthused about the investment.

Fate has done a pretty good job kicking Vol's fans around this year. So it's kind of understandable that they are a bit touchy. They are also burdened by that SEC elitism which makes them look down their noses on mid major programs. So you can imagine the reaction today when it came out that they (Tennessee) are dropping their home and home against North Carolina and, in addition to shelling out in order to get out of the 1:1 they will also be paying out to Buffalo to fill the hole in their schedule.

Some of the comments from Vol fans.
  • Big fan of our AD but not this move. Have always been proud of our out of conference schedule. I will certainly not be at the Buffalo game.
  • I'm typically not a whiner, but this just plain sucks. The worst thing about this whole deal is that it gives us another black eye.
  • The buyout should come out of Hammys pocket, this is a moron move i think we are going to regret, hammy needs to go
  • I wont be paying pay per view to see Montana and Buffalo either. Why do people continue to defend Hamilton? It reminds me of the same ones defending Kiffin last year. Probably the same ones calling for Fulmer's head.
If they are true to their word, and not just blowhards there will be tickets available. Since they put 97K butts in the seats for Ohio I suspect their tears will be very dry by the time the Bulls head down to Rocky Top. Last seasons MAC East Champs gave Tennessee all they could handle pulling to within one score (31-23) with ten minutes left so the assumption that UB will be any kind of punching bag for the Vols is pretty premature.

Word also came out that Manuel is working on another payday game to replace Boston College in 2012, this time we lose a home game but with two open spots on the out of conference slate that year Manual could very well pull in another home game to make it six for the season. According to Rodney McKissic of the Buffalo news the game will be against an SEC team.

Time to speculate on UB's 2012 southern Belle. SEC out of conference schedules for that year are:

2012 Team OOC #1 OOC #2 OOC #3 OOC #4 H A MAC
Alabama WKU @Tulane - - 1 1 0
Arkansas @ Texas AM La Monroe - - 1 1 0
Auburn * - - - - 0 0 0
Florida BGSU Jacksonvill St. - - 2 0 1
Georgia @ Louisville Georgia Tech - - 1 1 0
Kentucky WKU @ Louisville - - 1 1 0
LSU N. Texas Idaho Washington - 3 0 0
Mississippi @ Troy La Tech S. Alabama - 2 1 0
Ole' Miss Cent Ark @ UAB Texas Tulane 3 1 0
South Carolina ECU Woffard @ Clemson - 2 1 0
Tennessee NC State Troy - - 2 0 0
Vanderbilt @ NWestern Clemson @ W Forest - 1 2 0

A few of teams jump out:
  • Auburn screams opportunity, so far as I can find they have yet to set any of the OOC games for 2012 and UB has played them in the past.
  • Vanderbilt is a beatable team but I suspect their payout would be somewhat less than some of the other SEC teams offer. 
  • Tennessee still has two openings, this is one of those games that would be great if UB is competitive in 2011. If the Bulls get throttled by the Vols next year going back in 2012 only makes us look like total sell outs.

So where is UB going in 2012?