Tennessee's dazzling array of non-conference football opponents for the next decade just got a little more interesting.
The Vols and Ohio State Buckeyes have agreed to a two-year series starting 10 years from now. Tennessee is hosting the opener Sept. 1, 2018, at Neyland Stadium, with the return match set for Sept. 7, 2019, at Ohio Stadium.
"We're looking forward to a series with another one of college football's storied programs," UT athletics director Mike Hamilton said. "I know our fans will enjoy going to the Horseshoe as much as their fans will enjoy coming to Neyland Stadium."
Thursday's announcement only enhances Tennessee's reputation for national football scheduling and completes a decade-long string of opponents that are a who's-who of college gridiron royalty.
A two-game set against UCLA -- this year in Pasadena, Calif., and next season in Knoxville -- completes the current decade. Then the Vols host Oregon in 2010, travel to North Carolina in 2011, host the Tar Heels in 2012, travel to Oregon in 2013, visit Oklahoma in 2014, host the Sooners in 2015, travel to Nebraska in 2016, host the Cornhuskers in 2017 and now play at home against Ohio State in 2018 before traveling to Columbus in 2019.
The latest addition also means that, including recent outings against Miami (Fla.) and Rutgers of the Big East Conference, Tennessee will have played regular season games against teams from all six Bowl Championship Series leagues by the close of the next decade.
The Vols and Buckeyes have met only once previously in football, a 20-14 Tennessee win in the 1996 Florida Citrus Bowl when both teams entered the game tied for fourth nationally in the Associated Press poll.
UT never has hosted a Big Ten Conference opponent and the only previous meeting against a league foe in the regular season was a 23-22 win over Iowa at the 1987 Kickoff Classic in East Rutherford, N.J. The Vols defeated Penn State in Knoxville in the 1971 and 1972 seasons, but the Nittany Lions did not become a Big Ten member school until 1993.
Tennessee ended the 2007 season with a 21-17 win over Big Ten representative Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl.