The Big Ten announced on Thursday that it will not play non-conference games for the fall semester, which cancels Virginia Tech’s much-anticipated September 12 home game with Penn State. The Hokies are scheduled to travel to Penn State in 2025, though obviously it’s too early to know the future of the series.
The Big Ten’s announcement drops Virginia Tech from 12 games to 11 for the 2020 season, with a September 5 home game against Liberty, a September 19 road trip to Middle Tennessee State, and September 26 matchup with North Alabama in Lane Stadium. However, the announcement was just the first domino to drop.
The other Power 5 conferences are expected to follow suit, and that includes the ACC, according to national college football writer Brett McMurphy.
ACC football also expected to play conference-only games, sources told @Stadium. Last month, ACC commish John Swofford told @Stadium if Power 5 schools played conference-only schedules that ACC would assist Notre Dame with as many games as it needed
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) July 9, 2020
We don’t know whether the ACC would stand pat with eight conference games or add more conference games, but as of now Notre Dame is already scheduled to play six ACC teams, so it’s feasible that more conference games could be added with the Fighting Irish also in the mix to play more ACC programs.
In a poll earlier this week, 45% of Power 5 conference athletic directors believed that the 2020 college football season would be played with conference-only schedules, with the start of the season slightly delayed. 11% believed there would be a conference-only schedule starting in the spring, while 11% said there would be no 2020 season at all, either in the fall or the spring. Click here for the complete results of the poll.
The other Power 5 conferences were not surprised by the Big Ten’s announcement, but per McMurphy they were expecting the announcement to come next week. With the Big Ten announcing early, we could possibly see other conferences around the country follow suit. Stay tuned.