TSL Roundtable: Best non-conference opponent

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Q: Which non-conference opponent would you like to see VT schedule, and why?

Tafkam Hokie: It depends a bit on whether we are talking a simple home-and-home series that ends after the 2nd game is played, or if we are talking about an extended series of 4+ games.

For a simple home-and-home, I would think that geography matters a bit less and just about any option would be on the table.  In this case, I honestly would look at it from the perspective of which places would I like to see a college football game.  As much as I don’t personally like the Notre Dame football program, that is still the most hallowed ground in the sport.  I figure the life of a college football fan just isn’t complete without a trip to South Bend.  But, I’ll take that option off the table since Notre Dame has an agreement with the ACC and we’ll be playing a game there sooner or later anyway.

As I scan the rest of the country for places, stadiums, and programs I’d like to see, I keep landing in Eugene, Oregon.  I would really like to see a home-and-home with the Oregon Ducks.  Most independent observers I’ve seen will say that the two fan bases in the country that are the most passionate without being colossal (i.e. fill 100K seat stadiums) are Oregon and Virginia Tech.  I’d really like to see a game in Eugene once to see that for myself.

But if we are talking about an extended series against a name opponent, my first choice by a wide margin is Texas A&M.  The fans there are great, and the two schools have a ton in common.  I just think an extended series between Virginia Tech and Texas A&M would be good for the sport of college football.  If the long distance and relative inaccessibility of College Station is a concern, then my choice for a more regional non-conference rival would be South Carolina.  That would be a healthy rekindling of an old Metro/Southern Independent rivalry.

Baltimore Hokie: I also enjoyed the home-home with Texas A&M.  College Station was a great trip, and we beat them twice!  And though I’d love to re-engage with them there are a couple I want to play first.

My primary target is Penn State.  Like Texas A&M, they are a major land grant.  And I can still remember them cherry-picking VA for talent.  We should play them regularly.

My secondary target