New ACC Football Model: Virginia Tech Opponents Set Through 2026

On Tuesday, the ACC announced its new 3-5-5 scheduling format for football, which will be in place from 2023 through 2026. Virginia Tech has three annual opponents: Pitt, Virginia and Wake Forest.

At the league’s spring meetings in May, commissioner Jim Phillips discussed the model with the conference’s athletic directors. As of June 28, it’s now official: the ACC is doing away with divisions, meaning every school will play twice over a four-year period. Here’s the full breakdown of primary opponents for each school:

The model is ideal. In the past, Virginia Tech had Boston College as a cross-division rival. Outside of that, it saw the other Atlantic Division teams once every seven years. VT played at Clemson and at Florida State just twice since joining the conference in 2004. Louisville entered the league in 2014, but Tech has only seen the Cardinals once: in Cardinal Stadium in 2020 (COVID season).

The Hokies won’t have the Eagles as a cross-division rival anymore, but they also won’t see Coastal Division teams like Miami, North Carolina, Duke and Georgia Tech every year. In fact, none of those schools are on Tech’s 2023 schedule. 

Instead, Virginia Tech plays NC State, Pitt, Syracuse and Wake Forest at home. Boston College, Florida State, Louisville and Virginia are on the road. It’ll be the first time that the Hokies haven’t seen Miami since 1991, when they were in the Big East together. It will also mark the first time VT hasn’t played UNC and Duke since 2003, and the second for GT (2020, COVID year).

While Virginia Tech will get the three latter schools in 2024, it won’t see the Hurricanes until 2025 – a two-year gap – before playing them again in 2026. It’s strange to see that rivalry, one that was extremely captivating at its peak in the late 1990s and early 2000s, not renewed by the ACC. The same can be said for ending the Wake Forest-NC State relationship.

However, the model sets up the Hokies and Demon Deacons as annual opponents, and outside of The Triangle institutions, it’s the closest two ACC schools are to one another (120 miles). Throw in a very North Carolina-centric alumni base, and trips to Winston-Salem might be very convenient for the Tech faithful.

Future Schedules

The conference announced the 2024, 2025 and 2026 schedules as well. With that, here’s a look at who Virginia Tech will play in the ACC over that three-year span:

2024:
Home – Clemson, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Virginia
Away – Duke, North Carolina, Pitt, Wake Forest

2025:
Home – Boston College, Florida State, Pitt, Wake Forest
Away – Miami, NC State, Syracuse, Virginia

2026:
Home – Duke, Miami, North Carolina, Virginia
Away – Clemson, Georgia Tech, Pitt, Wake Forest

The non-conference schedules for the upcoming four seasons have been set already, too. As a reminder (click here for Tech Sideline’s future schedules page):

2023: Old Dominion (Sept. 2), Purdue (Sept. 9), at Rutgers (Sept. 16), at Marshall (Sept. 23)
2024: vs. Vanderbilt (Aug. 31 in Nashville), Marshall (Sept. 7), at Old Dominion (Sept. 14), Rutgers (Sept. 21)
2025: vs. South Carolina (Aug. 31/Sept. 1 in Atlanta), Vanderbilt (Sept. 6), Old Dominion (Sept. 13), James Madison (Sept. 20)
2026: VMI (Sept. 5), Old Dominion (Sept. 12), at Maryland (Sept. 19), BYU (Sept. 26)

38 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Of the former Big East teams, at least we were only stuck with one.
    BC – Miami, Pitt, and Syracuse
    Miami – BC and Louisville
    Pitt – BC, Syracuse, and VT
    Syracuse – BC and Pitt
    VT – Pitt
    Guess no one in the old ACC wanted WF. They are close to us so good fit for our fans.
    Pittsburgh is always a tough game for us, but maybe will can counter with a new offense and defense. It could have been a lot worse.

  2. BC was always a stupid target for the ACC and could not believe the league thought that would garner a Boston market. Boston, like NY, is a pro sports market, and BC isn’t a huge interest there. I was always pissed that they were a consideration over VT. But, I digress… Getting them off our yearly schedule (thought for sure we’d be stuck with them) is the ONLY good thing with this arrangement for VT. No matter how bad Pitt is, it’s always a struggle to beat them. Plus, it’s a far drive to see an away game. Wake – couldn’t think of a less attractive opponent in the ACC. Is there a team in the league that we have less of a rivalry with? Even if we beat them when they’re having a good year, we’ll get no respect nationally. Call me crazy (like a lot of peeps do), but I’d rather play UNC and/or UM every year rather than UVA. UVA is a game with us that has much less national appeal. Plus, I really would not miss playing those pretty boys. And, yes I’m not sad that UM got hosed and think they’d like to have VT too.

  3. The 0-0 tie with Wake at the end of regulation was the absolute worst game I can remember but finding ways to loss at Pitt on Heinz Field no matter how bad their team has looked all year possibly has even more down moments of late.

  4. This is not ideal but I’m glad to see BC gone. With our mediocre football performance in the past couple years, VT is not in a great bargaining position. VT will fill up WF, Pitt, and UVA stadiums so that is a plus for everyone. Not that many Hokies made the trip to Miami.

  5. How were the primary opponents selected ?

    Adding a 9th annual conference game would have elevated the ACC’s SOS for every team and provided a better game for the fans. Was there any discussion of this?

  6. It’s only through 26 so things could change. It’s nice to play every one every two years

  7. I like the new format, but they should have really considered our history with Miami. I hate Pitt…especially playing them there, but definitely better than getting stuck with Syracuse. Would have loved to seen UVA, UNC, MIA…..but can’t always get what you want.

  8. Weak Forest an ideal opponent? Yes, if ur going back to the future 1975.

    WAKE is a no win opponent. We beat them or fall into the also rans immediately. The suits at HQ played this well to assure a consistently crappy schedule for VT.

    Take away or only glam nationwide fan base and give us weak forest…then book the one team that slaps snot out of us more than any other.

    Somebody sniffing the glueto justify this as being “ideal”.

    1. Im pissed…for us. The ACC has a poor national perception.

      Our games still get reasonable ratings due to the quality of the rivalry. And the managers shat all over both of us.

  9. When I look at the 3 rivals I feel like 13 teams got 3 opponents that are good for them and we got a manure sandwich. I knew UNC was off the table, that was obvious but killing the Miami game is awful. This is better than the divisions but wake and Pitt just make me mad.

    1. No. Will still have their 5 games a year which will further enhance our schedule

    2. Notre Dame was not, is not and will not be (for the foreseeable future anyway) in the ACC for football…

      1. weren’t they eligible and in playoffs representing acc for the c19 season(s)? i suspected that “exception” to continue; but was pleased when it wasn’t in 2021 season.

    3. so gold-domers aren’t eligible for acc conference playoffs since they only play 5 acc members per year.

      if so, i don’t see that being acceptable for the domers for long, at all.
      this + their lust for money, power and glory might force them to “cut bait and fish,” or take their shamrocks and go play elsewhere.

  10. At first I did not like it – but it makes a TON of sense to play UVA, Pitt, and WF from a travel standpoint and Pitt could be a tough rivalry – very nice travel locations for fans regionally. Playing Miami every other year or 2 years may help re-spark the rivalry.

  11. Wake over Miami ?

    What the heck ? Come on ….. it should be

    Miami, UNC and UVA

    1. UNC is locked in to it’s three. No was were we getting them. I wanted UVa, Miami and GT. We got just one of them. Total hose job from a clueless conference.

  12. What would be worse than being chained to Boston College? Pitt. Well done, ACC.

    1. Pitt games are a lot easier to get to for more VT alumni than Syracuse or Louisville.

  13. Even with the new pod system the ACC still did not split UNC and Duke into home and away each cycle. This year VT goes to the Triangle three times – that is crazy. What is wrong with these people, don’t they have a computer in Greensboro?

  14. Hate to be that guy but Louisville actually allowed fans in 2020. They were limited capacity. A friend of mine and I went. Looking forward to going back and seeing what it has to offer with a full crowd and not stadium noise being pumped in.

    1. So did WF in 2020 – in limited capacity. Kept my streak of at least one in person game a season intact.

  15. I like it. Not perfect but much better than in the recent past. Getting rid of the neanderthals in Boston is a good sign IMO. Two “almost like a home game” each year is a big plus.

    Go Hokies!!

      1. Yeah, but WV don’t you know that now, with Cristobel taking over, the U is REALLY back, so everyone should fear playing them forever! 😉

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