BUFFALO, NY (WKBW/UB) - The University at Buffalo football program has played one Southeastern Conference opponent in its 96-year history. That number is about to triple in the next two years.
The Bulls announced today that they will play a pair of SEC opponents in the next two years, traveling to two of the most storied stadiums in college football. Buffalo will play at Neyland Stadium at the University of Tennessee on October 1, 2011 and will open the 2012 season at Sanford Stadium, taking on the Bulldogs of the University of Georgia on September 1, 2012.
The games will be one-time encounters between the programs. Buffalo's only other game against an SEC team came in 2006 when UB played at then No. 2-ranked Auburn.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to play against two traditional SEC powers in a pair of great venues,” said Warde Manuel, UB's Director of Athletics. “I know that our coaches and student-athletes get very motivated to test themselves against programs like these from one of the premier conferences in the country.”
Playing the two SEC foes should challenge Buffalo's all-time largest crowds to have seen a Bulls game. Neyland Stadium at Tennessee has a capacity of 102,459, while Sanford Stadium at Georgia has a capacity of 92,746. The largest five crowds to have witnessed a UB game are: at Penn State, 107,506 (9/15/07), at Auburn, 84,921 (9/23/06), at Wisconsin, 80,850 (9/18/06), at Missouri, 65,666 (9/20/08) and at Iowa, 54,471 (9/6/03).
The games came about because the Bulls original contract with Boston College – which will now occur in 2015 and 2016 – was pushed back to accomodate the Eagles scheduling a series with Notre Dame. Buffalo's current non-conference slate for the 2011-12 seasons now looks like this:
Sept. 3 – at Pittsburgh
Sept. 10 – STONY BROOK
Sept. 24 – CONNECTICUT
Oct. 1 – at Tennessee
Sept. 1 – at Georgia
Sept. 8 – MORGAN STATE
Sept. 29 – at Connecticut
Oct. 6 – PITTSBURGH