Paterno was confident that he could beat UVa and took chances playing the Hoos. Paterno also looked up to UVa as where he wanted Penn State to be academically one day. I'm not knocking your Hoos, I'm just saying what he told me. Paterno also felt the same way about Temple, Navy, and Rutgers. He believed in playing MAC and weaker northeastern teams teams at 100,000+ seat Beaver Stadium. He knew the fans were loyal and would come to watch any team, so why not play weak teams that they could beat?
The Notre Dame article was interesting. It's funny how Notre Dame is excited to be playing in the ACC because of all the private schools like BC, Duke, Wake, Miami, and Syracuse. ACC fans from public institutions feel differently about most of the private schools when it comes to football. That's why there were so many Tech fans in favor of joining the SEC if the opportunity ever presented itself.