Content Warning!! This blog post is more about geography than football. I’m a map freak, a geography geek. Tennessee football going to Oklahoma for the first time was all the impetus I needed to delve into tracing the Vols’ football imprint on a U.S. map. Oklahoma, it turns out, is the 24th state in which the Vols have played a game. Aside from Dallas, in northern Texas, it’s also the first time the Vols have appeared anywhere on the Great Plains.
The first out-of-state road trip was way back in 1893, to North Carolina. In a span of five days, UT played Wake Forest, Trinity (Duke) and UNC.
Without further adieu, here’s a list of states — and The District of Columbia — where Tennessee football has visited.
Massachusetts: Four visits to Boston College, none colder than Halloween 1987.
New Hampshire: Dartmouth, in 1921. Surprised about that one.
New York: Syracuse, Army, Fordham, NYU (1931 in Yankee Stadium).
Maryland: The Vols are unscored upon in Maryland, thanks to a 16-0 win in College Park in 1957.
D.C.: George Washington, 1933. (This was the second-biggest surprise behind Dartmouth.)
Virginia: Not since 1929 in Roanoke.
North Carolina: Regular trips to Duke and Chapel Hill in the first half of the 20th Century. None since 1961.
South Carolina: Four pre-Neyland visits to Clemson. These days, every even-numbered season since 1992 means Columbia.
Georgia: Atlanta used to be a regular port of call. Athens still is. There was a 1912 appearance in Macon.
Alabama: Obviously. Anyone miss Legion Field? I didn’t think so.
Florida: The Vols have had better luck in 17 bowl games than in The Swamp.
Mississippi: Starkville, Oxford and, in days of yore, Jackson.
Kentucky: Lot of cold November Saturdays in Lexington. The ’91 season opened with a sultry Thursday-night win at Louisville.
Arkansas: The Vols are 3-0 in Little Rock, but only 2-3 in Fayetteville.
Louisiana: Seven Sugar Bowls and LSU.
Texas: Ten bowl games, but only two regular-season visits — Houston in 1953 and Rice in 1968. Our grandchildren might live to see a trip to College Station.
California: Strictly the LA area until a 2007 visit to Berkeley, where there were naked men in trees outside the stadium. For my money, the Rose Bowl in Pasadena is the best setting for a game.
Hawaii: On Dec. 6, 1975, a season-ending 28-6 victory for a 7-5 record in the days when there was no Advocare V100 Texas Bowl.
Arizona: Back-to-back Fiesta Bowls, one of them more memorable than the other.
Indiana: Four trips to South Bend. That’s it.
Missouri: It took Mizzou joining the SEC to break the ice in 2013.
Oregon: Another 2013 breakthrough.
Oklahoma: Sept. 13, 2014.
I was surprised to find UT had never played in Ohio, Pennsylvania or West Virginia. We could have added Wyoming and New Mexico to the list but UT bought out of return trips. Wyoming’s “home game” was played at LP Field in Nashville. New Mexico’s never was.
That is all. Geography class dismissed.