Luck told the Bluefield Daily Telegraph recently that he wouldn’t mind having Virginia Tech back on the schedule.
“I would love to get Pitt back on the schedule, I would love to get (Virginia) Tech back on the schedule, I would to get UVa back on the schedule, another school that we used to play a lot, and even Penn State,” Luck said. “Is that possible? Well, it takes two to tango, but I think the good news is we will see some stronger non-conference schedules as we go forward.”
The Hokies and Mountaineers met 51 times between 1912 and 2005, playing as conference foes from 1991-2003 as members of the Big East. They even established the Black Diamond Trophy to go to the winner starting in 1997, a nod to the Appalachian area’s coal history.
They last played was in 2005, a 34-17 win by then-No. 3 Virginia Tech in Morgantown. The Hokies won six of the final eight matchups, although the Mountaineers led the series 28-22-1.
Let me be clear, I’ve never gotten any indication from Virginia Tech athletic director Jim Weaver that West Virginia is a possibility. I’ve heard him make references about talking to Big Ten teams, many of which have been scheduled (Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan). But I’m not sure if a matchup with West Virginia, with which there remains plenty of bad blood between the fan bases, is a high priority.
But given the Mountaineers’ national standing, it would help the Hokies’ strength of schedule if they ever opted for a matchup. And with schedule strength being a factor in choosing teams for the new college football playoff, it’s possible Tech would try to beef up its non-conference slate with more than one BCS-level game in a given season.
The biggest problem, if there’s interest, might be timing. Tech’ non-conference slots in future are filling up. Same for West Virginia, which only has three non-conference games to fill because it plays a nine-game league schedule in the Big 12.
Looking at WVU’s future schedules, it doesn’t have any openings until 2017 at the earliest. The only seasons Tech currently lacks a BCS-level non-conference opponent through 2021 is in 2018 and ’19, although given the three-year ACC cycle with Notre Dame, the Fighting Irish will be coming to Blacksburg one of those years, rounding out the non-conference slate.
Luck has said previously that Weaver isn’t looking for a home-and-home agreement (last paragraph). Perhaps a one-time neutral site deal could work for Tech in either 2018 or ’19, whichever season Notre Dame isn’t on the schedule? Weaver has moved away from neutral-site matchups recently, though.
Again, let me be clear on this: that’s all speculation. This is just thinking out loud. But I’m curious: would the fan base be interested in seeing West Virginia back on the football schedule at some point down the line? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.