VT vs. ODU: Good or Bad?

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On Monday, Virginia Tech and Old Dominion agreed in principle to a two-for-one series for the years 2016, 2018 and 2019.  After glancing through the message boards, and looking at our poll, it seems that most Tech fans are okay with the series, though some are certainly not in favor of it.

Remember, when you think about this series, you can’t think about it in terms of what ODU is now.  You have to think of it in terms of what they’ll be at the time.  Right now, they are a very successful 1-AA program that was ranked as high as #3 in the country this year.  In 2016, when the teams first meet, they’ll be in their third year of competing in Conference USA, and they’ll have a Conference USA level of talent.

Old Dominion has been playing football for just four seasons.  Here’s how they’ve fared in those four years under head coach Bobby Wilder:

2009: 9-2
2010: 8-3
2011: 10-3 (Lost in the second round of the playoffs)
2012: 11-2 (Lost in the quarterfinals of the playoffs)

That’s about as good a start as you can hope for.  They also have the potential to be a very good Conference USA program, if you think about it.  Assuming they get their stadium expanded to 35-40,000, do they have more potential at the CUSA level than 2012 Champion Tulsa?  Yep.

Actually, I’ve always been concerned that at some point ODU could find themselves in a BCS level conference.  If the city of Norfolk ever decided to build them a 60,000 seat stadium, and they got themselves into a major league, they would sell that stadium out every week because they are in a huge population center, and all of those 757 recruits would be flocking to stay home and play for the Monarchs.  I don’t think that will happen, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility.

This article isn’t about ODU’s potential, though.  It’s about why Virginia Tech decided to play the series, and whether or not it’s a good idea.  There are a few different things to consider.

Jim Weaver’s Scheduling Philosophy is Not Much Different than Many Other Schools

Jim Weaver has never been against signing 2-for-1 deals with 1-A schools from non-BCS conferences.  In fact, that’s one of the first things he did after coming to Tech.  He signed his old school – Western Michigan – to a 2-for-1 deal for 2001, 2002 and 2004.

(Note: that might be the most lopsided “series” in the history of Tech football.  The Hokies won 31-0 at home in 2001, 30-0