The Return of WVU

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Hide the women, the children and the couches.  West Virginia is coming to town again in 2022.

Darryl Tapp really spanked WVU back in 2005.

As reported earlier, the Hokies and WVU signed a home-and-home agreement that sends Virginia Tech to Morgantown in 2021, and brings the Mountaineers to Blacksburg in 2022.  Based on our poll, reactions seem to be mixed.

You know how this series ended.  Jim Weaver let this rivalry wither up and die after the abuse that Tech fans took in Morgantown back in 2003.  It was an ugly game for the Hokies, but probably even uglier for those Tech fans in attendance.  After a full Wednesday of tailgating, WVU fans let loose on the Tech faithful that evening.  They were pretty upset about the Hokies taking a bigger payday to join the ACC, which of course West Virginia repeated nearly a decade later when they jumped to the Big 12.

If you weren’t there, you’ve heard the horror stories.  I was at the Pitt game that year, and Panther fans were extremely crude.  I even saw one drunken Pitt student walk down to the front row and relieve himself on the Virginia Tech flag, which our cheerleaders had placed on the ground in front of the student section.  I had beer bottles thrown at my car that morning as a cop just stood there and laughed.  If Pitt was that bad, I can’t even imagine what WVU was like.  After hearing the complaints of the fan base, Jim Weaver decided not to renew the contract with the Mountaineers.  I don’t blame him one bit. The Hokies played out their contractual obligation to WVU in 2004 and 2005 (winning both), and haven’t played the Mountaineers since.

The West Virginia series is something that everybody has an opinion about.  Just looking at our poll, out of the first 446 voters, only 24 people voted “undecided/don’t care”, while 433 people voted either yes or no.  Folks feel pretty strongly about playing the Mountaineers, one way or the other.

At first, I was in favor of not playing them again.  I had my first run in with WVU fans in Blacksburg in 2002, my sophomore year at Tech, and I thought it was pretty bad.  In 2004, it was even worse, because they were angry about the Hokies being in the ACC.  After that 2004 game, I was one of the first Tech fans on the field, and we immediately ran down to the WVU section and began chanting “ACC!” right in their faces.  I’ve never seen so many middle fingers pointed at me in my entire life.  Man … that trip in 2003 must have been really rough.

I didn’t like their fans, and I figured the Big East was a dying conference that the Mountaineers would be stuck in forever.  I didn’t see any reason to play them anymore.  I’ve slowly changed my tune over the years, and I now support Weaver’s decision to play them again.

Darryl Tapp with the Black Diamond Trophy

Remember how much you hated West Virginia after that 2003 game?  And remember how good you felt when the Hokies beat them in 2004?  Remember how jubilant you were when the Hokies spanked them in that final game of the series in 2005?  Remember how great it was to see how depressed their fans looked in that game?

How many times have you felt that way since?  The comeback win over Nebraska in 2009 was great, as was the dramatic drive to beat Miami in 2011.  There have been multiple ACC Championships, and even an Orange Bowl win.  But still, I haven’t had many feelings that equaled the high I felt when the Hokies went up to Morgantown in 2005 and smacked around a WVU team that went on to finish 11-1.

Why is that?  It’s simple.  I hate WVU.  Hatred is a bad thing in general, but it makes sports fun.  Ever since the Hokies joined the ACC, hatred isn’t an emotion that’s been felt very often.  I don’t like UVA, but I respect them, and their fans have never done anything to make me hate them.  They remain the team I want to beat the most each year, but that doesn’t mean I hate them.

I’ve slowly developed a decent level of hatred for UNC because of Butch Davis, John Blake, and the academic scandal at a school that has always considered itself to be superior.  However, it’s not the same.  It’s not WVU hatred.  We all hate Miami too, but Miami is way down there in Florida, and they don’t have any real fans that we have to deal with.  West Virginia is different.  They are right across the border, and they even have a decent number of fans in the Blacksburg area.  This one is personal.

Let’s face it, we haven’t been all that excited about Tech football recently.  The offense hasn’t been fun to watch, the losses started to pile up last season, and in general the product has gotten a bit stale.  You probably aren’t even all that excited about the Alabama game right now, because you know the Hokies don’t have a great chance to win.

Vince Hall and Carlton Powell taunt the WVU crowd in the closing moments of the 2005 game.

However, what if Virginia Tech was opening the 2013 season with West Virginia in Blacksburg rather than Alabama in Atlanta?  That would get me more excited about Tech football than I’ve been in quite awhile.  And I’m generally pretty excited about Tech football, especially when they are playing Michigan in the Sugar Bowl, Boise State in DC, or Clemson and Florida State anywhere.

Whether you support the renewal of the series or not, I’m guessing you are going to be pretty excited when you’re walking through the gates of Lane Stadium on September 22, 2022.  If the Hokies win, you’re going to be feeling pretty good, too.  If the Hokies lose, you’re going to be feeling pretty bad.  That’s the nature of rivalries in college sports.

Rivalries bring college sports to life.  Without rivalries, sports just aren’t as fun.  Despite what we all think about their team and their fans, I don’t think Tech football has been quite as fun without West Virginia on the schedule.  I don’t think there would be nearly as much complaining about the home schedule if WVU came to town every other year.

From what I can tell from looking at our poll, only about 50% of you agree with this article.  That’s fine, because strong opinions show that you are emotionally invested.  Because you’re emotionally invested, it’s going to make beating them a lot more fun.

As far as I’m concerned, Weaver and Luck can push these games up to next season.  I think the Hokies need an exciting non-conference rivalry each year, and East Carolina just doesn’t fill that void.  Bring on the Eers.

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35 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. It’s obvious to me that the VT fans who are in favor of this game have never been to Morgantown!!! My husband and I attended both the 2003 and 2005 games (as well as many others before then) and after every game we swore that we would NEVER go there again!!! The worst treatment by fans we have ever experienced anywhere but could not go to support the Hokies whenever we could. My suggestion would be for no night games. At the 2005 game (which was played on Saturday afternoon) things were much better.

  2. I was at that game in Morgan hole when Michael Vick lead us to that improbable victory. Doesn’t that rate as one of the best games ever? at least the top 10. And I listened to the WV broadcast while there. There is nothing better, I mean nothing better, (well almost), than being in an enemy stadium, in a close game, in which they lose. the belly ache on the radio and the faces of the fans, priceless!!!!! They can throw all the beer cans they want, it is priceless!!!!!!!!

  3. Never been to Morganhole. Will watch it on TV..loved the 1999 Michael Vick..Shane Graham game

  4. I couldn’t agree more about ECU. Ax that game and bring on the eer’s. 8 years is ridiculous.

  5. I always went to the Tech-wvu games. Looking forward to a short renewal of the passion.
    This is what football is all about…..not siting there with your hands crossed… on your lap!

  6. Well, the WVU folks I know are extremely excited about playing VT again. They are part of the 20% of normal Eer fans. They apologize for the remaining wayward 80% hooligans but acknowledge that a LOT of Eer fans revel in behaving very badly.

    I despise the cousins but I have to admit that beating their team would be sweet. WVU runs a wide open offense that will challenge Bud or whoever is running the defense 8 years from now. A lot can change in a decade but I ‘ m sure Eer bad behavior will never subside.

  7. I can’t believe how many of our fans are so adamantly against playing WVU. Yeah their fans are punks and scumbags. So what. You don’t have to go to Morgantown if you don’t feel safe and there’s nothing wrong with that. Everyone’s complaint is their fanbase, safety, etc and I get that. But wouldn’t you rather stay at home when we play at Morgantown and watch a heated rivalry and another butt-whooping that we are gonna put on them, instead of a game at Marshall or going to a home game at noon against western Michigan or some other scrub team. Instead of sounding all wimpy about being scared of their fans let’s man up and look forward to laying a smackdown on them and watch their wannabe thug fans cry. Can’t wait to play WVU again, let’s stop sounding like UVA fans.

  8. I always thought our our rivalries as:

    I hate to lose to UVA.
    I love to beating Miami.
    I just hate WVU.

  9. My wife and I were there in 2003 with friends from OSU. Elderly women in the premium WVU alumni section were throwing garbage and swearing to make sailors blush. We were threatened with physical violence, pushed and shoved, all while the WV State Police watched and laughed. As we left the game mid-4th Quarter (something I have never done at any other game, ever), I told my group that:
    1. I would never, ever, spend another nickel in that God-forsaken hole of a state; and,
    2. If the state of WV was on fire, I wouldn’t so much as stand on the VA state line and piss on them.
    I have never been back to WV and I will avoid it in every way possible for the remainder of my life. I won’t go to Morgantown for any reason. Ever.

  10. Hide the women, children and others!!! Man !! HIDE THE ANIMALS!!! I wonder if they have replaced the old sofas yet! MAYBE THEY WILL HAVE A SUMMER SOFA SALE IN 2021!!!Drive up I- 79 now and you see matresses that have been out there for at least 10 years!!

    I am so excited about the away game …it is the only chance to see so many black holes in one place! SMILE!!!

  11. I never liked the ECU series either but there’s nothing we can do about that series or the WVU one now. We used to play Kansas State a long time ago. That would be a good series since we have similar paths in our football history.

  12. WVA alums and long standing season ticket holders are great to party with. Sadly, it’s the still burners coming out of the mountains .all liguered up, that gives them a bad rap. I am all for re-newing the rivalry.

    Just think, Louisville, Notre Dame, and now WVA coming Lane. Exciting times for sure.

    1. “Just think, Louisville, Notre Dame, and now WVA coming Lane. Exciting times for sure.”

      Not anytime soon unfortunately

  13. Looking forward to being 50 and having WVU “fans” throwing bags of garbage at me. And people bag on Philly fans?

  14. WIth all due respect, I hate UVA about as much as WVU. I guess the difference is I expect to beat UVA. Beating WVU will be sweet. Can shut my brother in law up if nothing else.

  15. The rivalry would be great, with really good games, but is it fair or even acceptable to expose VT fans to the abuse, harassment, threats, and vulgarity, they receive? When is the welfare of Tech fans more important? Doubt I ever go back there, but you would be crazy to ever expose your wife, girlfriend, or children to that environment. Guess we have the option of not going, but that should not be the decision we have to make. But I guess the important thing is that it is a moneymaker.

  16. I was also at the 2003 game. Some memories… none fond…

    My fiancee getting a female WVU fist into her chest and some rather not so fun comments about her heritage.
    Getting hit with batteries, bottles of all sort, had two cups poured on my group, I can’t even mention the expletives we heard, but none were creative and most resembled watching a wierd backwards version of Duck Dynasty on acid and with less style.
    We were escorted out in the 3rd QTR by the security staff (we were on the front row) when they noticed a large gathering of people in the rows behind us getting extremely angry.
    The houses were burning before we even made it to the car.

  17. In favor of home and away agreements here and there, but not on schedule every year like we used to do with UVA when we were in Big East.

  18. Great article. If you think about the biggest moments in Lane over the last 10 or so years, you have to have Fuller’s Return for a TD off of a FG block in 2004 against WVU as one of the biggest. One of the loudest I’ve ever heard Lane Stadium.

    I was at the WVU game in 2003. The fans were hostile and rumors were swirling about a VT fan from our section being beaten up in the bathroom of the stadium but it only made us cheer that much harder for VT. WVU games bring out the most pride from VT fan base.

    Anything we should read in to the fact that Beamer and Luck were the ones that announced it and not Weaver? Is Frank trying his hand at contract negotiation or was it just that Weaver couldn’t make it?

    1. I think Frank and Luck are at the Greenbrier this week, so it made sense to just do it there.

        1. Then they will have plenty of time to join me in NOT attending the game in that God-forsaken HOLE!

          I can’t understand how people could have actually gone to Morganhole and NOT experienced the debauchery and vile excuse for human behavior that most of us did, but no matter. Not me…NEVER!!!

  19. 2021 –> 8 more years of WVU getting the Big 12 to try and train them as fans.
    2021 –> Pretty sure Beamer signed off on this, because he won’t be there.
    2021 –> And we know that Weaver won’t give a rat’s ass by then, either.

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