Hokies Quietly Filling Out Future Football Schedules

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A reader emailed us Monday to let us know that hokiesports.com had updated
their future football schedules page with new information for the 2013-2015
seasons. That sent us on a mission to check out the changes, and it turns out
that perusing the future schedules page reveals new opponents, dates added to
some future games, and a marked decrease in instances of future opponents being
labeled as "TBD."

Link: TechSideline.com’s
Future Football Schedules Page
(updated)

Here are the highlights of the updates:

  • The schedule is now filled out through 2015. Four TBDs from 2013-2015 have
    been filled with opponents.
  • For 2013, the Hokies have penciled in Western Carolina as a home game, in
    addition to previously known OOC opponents Pittsburgh, Marshall, and @ECU.
  • For 2014, William & Mary has been added to the home schedule, joining
    previously known OOC opponents ECU, Kansas State, and @Ohio State.
  • Two TBD slots have been filled in for 2015. The Hokies now list Furman and
    Akron as home opponents, joining Ohio State and @ECU to fill up the OOC
    slate.

If you’re paying attention, then you tallied that four OOC opponents have
been added to the schedules for 2013-2015, and of those four opponents, three of
them are FCS (formerly 1-AA) opponents. This is in keeping with a trend in 1-A
football of scheduling home dates with 1-AA schools.

The only new OOC opponent that is not a 1-AA school is Akron, a Mid-American
Conference (MAC) school. MAC teams have shown a willingness to play one-off
games on the road, without asking for a return trip, and that’s what has
happened here. The 2015 home game with the Zips is not balanced out by a return
road game on the hokiesports.com schedules page, which lists games through the
2019 season.

Also worth noting is that dates have been affixed to all OOC games through
the 2017 season, most importantly the Ohio State games in 2014 and 2015.

TSL has updated its future schedules page with the new information from
hokiesports.com, but there are important caveats associated with the updates.
First of all, future schedules are subject to change. The most likely agent of
change is made-for-TV neutral site games like this year’s CFA Kickoff game
between VT and Alabama, which was announced just last December and required
changes to the 2009 schedule less than a year before the season. So at any time,
television (read that as "ESPN") could step in and request a change.

Secondly, it is not known how many of the games listed on the future
schedules page are backed up by signed contracts. Some games are just verbal
agreements which never materialize, but even if a game has a signed contract,
both teams can still back out of the contract at some future date.

Third, due to Virginia Tech’s policy of not granting interviews and press
access to TechSideline.com, we are unable to interview athletic department
personnel to inquire about the details behind the changes to the future
schedules page on hokiesports.com. Given the conservative nature of the VT
athletic department with regards to the release of information, you can assume
that the future schedules page isn’t updated unless the games have a very high
probability of occurring.

If the future schedules hold as currently written, the Hokies will play seven
home games in four of the six seasons from 2010-2015. 2011 and 2012 are
currently listed as having just six home games, but 2013-2015 all show seven
home games, with TBDs for 2016 and beyond which can be filled out to continue to
provide seven home games each season. Balancing the athletic department budget
is an ongoing challenge, and a steady diet of seven home games a year helps meet
the all-important goal of staying in the black and continuing to grow the
athletic department programs and competitiveness.

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