BRISTOL, Tenn. Tennessee and Virginia Tech will finally play a football game at Bristol Motor Speedway in what is being billed as the "Battle of Bristol."
Track officials and officials from both universities formally announced the plans Monday during a news conference. The game, scheduled for Sept. 10, 2016, will be a national showcase for both programs that could set an NCAA single-game attendance record at the 52-year-old racetrack.
Virginia Tech athletic director Jim Weaver said he started talking to his Tennessee counterparts about the idea nearly 17 years ago.
"I remember talking to (former Tennessee athletic director) Doug Dickey about the possibility of a game, and then (former Tennessee AD) Mike Hamilton."
After all that talking, the rumors and speculation, it's finally going to happen.
Weaver said the game is "a reality that's as big as anything that's happened in the world of football."
Bristol's speedway can hold around 160,000 fans. The speedway sits nearly halfway between the campuses of the two schools. The NCAA-recognized attendance record for college football of 115,109 was set last month at Michigan Stadium for the Michigan-Notre Dame game.
San Jose State Quarterback David Fales was named the Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Week.
Fales threw for 431 yards and three touchdowns in a 34-27 win over Colorado State in Fort Collins, Colo., on Saturday.
Missouri Fourteenth-ranked Missouri got the Southeastern Conference's attention by upsetting Georgia on the road. The Tigers will try to retain momentum without their most indispensable player.
Quarterback James Franklin will miss three to five weeks with a sprained right shoulder.
Florida Running back Matt Jones is out for the season after having surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.
Arkansas Defensive tackle Robert Thomas will miss the remainder of the season after breaking his left leg in a loss to South Carolina.
Bahamas Bowl College football is Bahamas-bound.
A new bowl game will be played in Nassau, starting in 2014. The Bahamas Bowl will be part of a series of bowls shared by the Mid-American Conference, American Athletic Conference, Sun Belt, Mountain West and Conference USA.
The game will be played at Thomas A. Robinson Stadium, likely before Christmas, and the deal with the conferences runs for six years.
The Oakland Tribune contributed to this report.