A few years back, Tennessee was, well, Tennessee football. Perennial SEC contenders. Frequent national title contenders. Always ranked somewhere in the polls. Superior athletes. Legendary coach.
Accordingly, the Volunteers went out and tried to schedule high-quality opponents in their non-conference schedule, hammering out agreements many years prior to the competitions. One such deal was made with North Carolina — a home-and-home series that would begin in 2011 in Chapel Hill and close the next year in Knoxville.