It sounds like the two-for-one scheduling deal that Virginia Tech and Old Dominion agreed to might expand to something more regular in the future.
Virginian-Pilot Monarchs beat writer Harry Minium has the scoop today that Virginia Tech associate AD for football operations John Ballein said the Hokies are up for more than just the deal that has Tech playing ODU at home in 2017 and ’19 and in Norfolk in ’18.
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From the story:
Ballein said … he will propose a home-and-home series with games in Norfolk in 2022 and in Blacksburg in 2023. Assuming the ACC doesn’t increase the number of conference games to nine, Ballein said Tech also wants to return to Norfolk again in 2024 and for ODU to play in Blacksburg in 2025.
He said Tech athletic director Jim Weaver and football coach Frank Beamer have approved his proposal.
In all, the two schools could play seven times over nine years. Ballein said he has yet to communicate his proposal to ODU.
This is obviously a big deal for ODU, which is trying to be taken more seriously in scheduling, not agreeing to two-for-one deals anymore now that it’s going to be a full FBS member.
The recruiting value of playing in Norfolk is obvious for Virginia Tech. But a lot of it is contingent on the Monarchs building a new stadium that’s bigger:
Ballein said the clincher was when Selig told him about ODU’s plans for a new 30,000-seat on-campus stadium to be located near the Elizabeth River.
Tech’s previous contract with ODU allows for the teams to play at the 20,118-seat Foreman Field in 2018 if the new stadium is not ready. However, Ballein said he will draw up a contract that stipulates if the new stadium isn’t open, any games in Norfolk beyond 2018 would be canceled.
“With a new stadium, this makes a lot of sense,” he said. “More of our fans will be able to attend. Without a new stadium, I’m not sure that it makes sense.”
Virginia Tech currently has a series that alternates home sites with East Carolina through 2020. I’d imagine if the ODU series becomes regular, that series with the Pirates wouldn’t be extended in its current form past the 2020 season, not with the Monarchs being that mid-level FBS team the Hokies have looked for on their schedule recently.
Switching gears, columnist Aaron McFarling and I recorded another podcast this week. We talked about the Duke loss, the upcoming BC game and if there’s any merit to the calls for Mark Leal over Logan Thomas. Aaron, the dreamer, says there is. I, the realist, says there’s not. Hopefully it makes for riveting discussion.
Have a listen below: