Virginia Tech Will Not Play Penn State in 2020

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Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech will not host Penn State this year. (Ivan Morozov)

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.

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.

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32 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. ND is in the ACC for all sports EXCEPT football because they don’t think they need a conference for football because they are SPECIAL and don’t need to share which a conference offers. The conference should tell ND to pound sand but of course its all about the money which BYW they don’t share.

  2. The ACC had probably already reached out to ND in anticipation of the alternatives. And this was one of them. It’s all about $$$’s and ND is at the top of that list in college football. This is all about scratching backs. Econ 101. 🙂

  3. Why would ND join a conference in football? It makes zero sense for them. Why would the ACC play hard ball with them also? They are a national brand that brings eyes (and a ton of dough) to a conference that lacks the same firepower as the many others.

  4. Who wants to see football with Lane being about half full or even possibly less than half full of fans. The whole atmosphere changes and for me that is a turn off. When I look at the whole “sports situation” in today’s world I am for the first time in my life being “turned off” with the situation. Time to find something else to occupy my time and enjoyment in life.

  5. Just curious, since Penn State cancelled the game with us, does the contract call for any monitary pay reimbursement

    1. Penn State didn’t cancel, the BIG 10 did. ACC will do the same. This game will be resheduled, whether all teams shift their 2020 schedules to 2021 or it’s just fit into another year.

  6. Unfortunately I think this is the loud clap that is going to get the avalanche started. It is unfortunate that things are trending negatively like they are in the grand terms of COVID-19 in the USA, and it is too close to the start of the season to try to force an ancillary “need” like organized sports. I can’t imagine that all of the athletes are at the tip-top shape they would have been in under normal situations. They are going to have degraded levels of performance experience due to the restrictions. They probably aren’t going to have the in-person teammate comradery they would have being with each other several hours out of every day. I am curious if their nutrition has been on par with what it would have been like had they had access to the student-athlete dining programs.

    Then there is the whole unanswered question of what the game day experience is going to be like for the fans. We all know what makes Lane a special place is 60+K fans all screaming their heads off….well that isn’t going to happen this fall. When each conference only plays each other, or plays a reduced schedule, what is going to happen at the end of the year? Elbow touches amongst all the P5 conferences saying “Good job. Your team played great. We’re not worried about champions this year”? No. It’s going to be a never-settled argument of “Well, Ohio State beat all the Big Ten teams, so they OBVIOUSLY would have won the championship.” “No, Alabama crushed all the SEC teams, so they would have won the championship.” Blah blah blah.

    I hate to be Negative Nancy, but I feel like sports needs to get real with the situation on hand. Yes, we all need distractions, entertainment, and in many cases a paycheck to get through this pandemic. However, forcing a square peg through a round hole is only going to damage the peg or the hole. I think the schools need to start working on how to keep their athletes safe (foremost), educated, in shape, and well trained for this upcoming academic year, without the competitive engagements until it is clear that we’re staving off the virus as a nation. At the same time, the conferences, schools, and sports networks need to get creative on how to use digital media platforms to monetize on-demand viewings of previous games/seasons (e.g. $1.99 to buy rights to watch VT beat OSU in 2014). They also should be looking at getting the student-athletes involved in e-sports as a form of entertainment. How great would it be, assuming a real football game could not be played, to have VT’s best video game players face off against PSU’s best video game players in last year’s edition of NCAA Football? I think there are a lot of possibilities out there for how to save the year as far as financials go (at least in terms of not causing complete ruin), but having any sort of half-baked season/stadium experience is only going to contribute to the problem of unneeded spreading of the virus that is just going to keep exacerbating the dilemma that we’re all currently in!

  7. Say goodbye to the 2020 football season. My heart goes out to the communities like Blacksburg who have grown accustomed to the millions of football weekend revenue.

    This thing my change the narrative on many levels.

  8. Not sure why the ACC will bend over backward to help Notre Dame. I’d tell them tough luck…

    1. Not a business major Teaysvalley? The money the ACC would get for NATIONALLY televised ND games beats any other alternative I can think of…

      1. Exactly. Hold your nose and pull in the cash. Unless the great ACC commissioner lets them keep most of it.

  9. So someone much smarter than me is going to have to explain how a PA school going to Michigan or Maryland is safer than going to Virginia. Is COVID only contagious when it identifies non-conference opponents? Couldn’t they just wear masks for non-conference games?

    1. It’s not really about relative safety of opponents. It’s about allowing the flexibility to completely rebuild schedules in a quick and coordinated fashion while still producing a conference champion.

    2. its all probabilities – canceling an out of conference game reduces the risk…period…
      does not mean the risk to va is greater than risk to michigan…but total is reduced by not going to va.

      1. Actually just canceling any game reduces the risk whether Liberty or Miami (although Miami may be higher because of the wave going through Florida right now).

    3. If you play a round robin with a subset of the 12, 14, or 16 teams in your conference, you’re limiting game the overall exposure of your team. It’s got nothing to do with Pa, Mich, or Va. Instead, it has to do with the total number of different teams you’re exposed to by your direct, and second level, contacts (assuming the virus takes up to two weeks to show symptoms). If every team plays four or five out of conference games, then the sixth degrees of Kevin Bacon theory will essentially expose the 100+ NCAA teams to each other. If you limit things to conference partners, you’re only exposing you’re team to the 16 teams in your conference.

    4. M-O-N-E-Y. Plan and simple.

      If they truly cared about player and fan safety they wouldn’t play the games. Playing local teams (within driving/day trip range) would be better. Playing in empty or severely empty stadiums better.

      Playing only conference games doesn’t do anything for safety. It just limits the number of games and keeps 100% of the money in-conference (vs splitting revenue with another team). Playing in 25% Beaver Stadium (25k people) is not safer than 25% Lane (15k people).

  10. I’m afraid you’re going to have to keep “Virginia Tech will not play…….” handy in your cut and paste.

  11. Totally understandable. I was really looking forward to this game. Took Weaver forever to get it set up. Now all down the strain.

    1. ND will never give up the gravy train they have now…their own national TV network, “ND rule” in the College Football Playoff system, no commitments with conferences, etc, etc, etc. They live high on the tit while the rest of the college football world (including VT) fights for scraps. Why would they give that up?

      1. Maybe I’m still wanting revenge from our Big East days… what if the ACC left them high and dry in 2020?

        1. Not sure any other conference would want them. ND wouldn’t want to join the SEC because they would be exposed as the poser with weekly butt whippings and in the Big10 they would likely lose to OSU/Mich/Penn State every year.

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