Posts Tagged ‘University of Tennessee’

It seems that the rivalry between the University of Connecticut and the University of Tennessee, established through tough competition in women’s basketball play, is extending to football – the two football clubs have agreed to play each other in 2015-2016.

I don’t think too many people would disagree with the fact that Pat Summit’s Tennessee program and Geno Auriemma’s UConn program have drawn both incredible talent and great media coverage for the sport (and women’s sports in general).

But I thought it was really interesting ESPN actually went out on a limb and reported on it, saying that the football teams “don’t have quite the same pedigree.” I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read that!

Apparently, the USA’s women’s basketball powerhouses are actually being given some credit in their ability to draw attention, even in the “big dog” world of college football. This is the first time I’ve ever seen it happen.

Here’s what ESPN had to say:

Connecticut and Tennessee’s rivalry is moving from the basketball court to the football field.

Connecticut announced Thursday that Tennessee will visit Rentschler Field in East Hartford in 2015, and the Huskies will travel to Neyland Stadium in Knoxville the following year.

The two women’s basketball powers had met annually, until Tennessee canceled the series a year ago. The schools’ football teams don’t have quite the same pedigree.

Tennessee won the 1998 national championship in football and has 13 Southeastern Conference titles to its credit. UConn is beginning its sixth season in the Bowl Championship subdivision and is coming off a 9-4 season and its first Big East co-championship.

Needless to say, I’m going to watch this game, and see if the commentators happen to say anything about how the women’s basketball programs have built a rivalry that has extended beyond their sport and gender. My guess is it will be mentioned, briefly.

If only they’d announce women’s sports schedules that far in advance on ESPN….


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