With the College Football Playoff now imminent, many teams in the major conferences are revisiting the way they schedule non-conference games. With strength of schedule taking on added importance, teams are beefing up their schedules with more marquee matchups and cutting out some of the cupcake tune-up games in order to give themselves an edge when the selection committee looks at their body of work. Frank Beamer and the Virginia Tech Hokies have adopted that strategy and will be reaching into the Big Ten for their non-conference tilts.
It will start in 2014 when the Hokies begin a home-and-home series with the Ohio State Buckeyes. Tech will travel to Columbus first before Urban Meyer brings the Buckeyes to Blacksburg in 2015. That will be followed by another home-and-home series with the Wisconsin Badgers starting in 2016. It will continue the trend that the Hokies are starting in 2013 of playing in a marquee non-conference game, like the season-opener against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the fall.
But it’s not a short-term play for Virginia Tech, evidenced by their latest scheduling announcement. The Hokies have finalized another home-and-home series with a Big Ten power, this time the Michigan Wolverines starting in 2020. Virginia Tech is proving their commitment to playing people to demonstrate the worth of their football team on the field, as it should be.
The scheduling agreement from the Big Ten is a rarer occurrence than you would think. The Hokies have played just two games against the Big Ten, going 1-1, including their most recent game against Michigan in the 2012 Sugar Bowl, won by the Wolverines 23-20 in overtime. This will also mark the first time that Tech has played a Big Ten team outside of a bowl game.