Regionalized rivalries are what make college football great a lot of the time. Watching not only players who may have some history battling one another all the way back to their high school days having at each other at the college level, but fan bases from around the same region is a fun sight to watch. Some of the greatest contests in the history of the game have taken place against schools from the same geographic location.
For 33 consecutive seasons from 1973-2005, the West Virginia Mountaineers and Virginia Tech Hokies took part in this college football pastime. However, following the 34-17 Virginia Tech victory in ’05, the rivalry would sadly come to a halt with us not knowing when we may see the two meet again.
Now, we know.
The game, which introduced the Black Diamond Trophy back in 1997, will make its return with a home-and-home series, beginning in 2021 with the Hokies making a trip to Morgantown. West Virginia leads the overall series 28-22-1. For most of these, both schools were in the same conference in the Big East.
Still, the fact that Virginia Tech is now in the ACC and West Virginia is in the Big 12 shouldn’t diminish the emotion that will ooze from both fan bases when these two line up across from one another for the first time in 16 years.
West Virginia AD Oliver Luck called this game great for college football and I have to agree with his sentiment. These are two rabidly loyal fan bases who just add to the grandeur of the matchup. It also makes a ton of sense for two national powers that are located that closely to one another to have the chance to produce some epic battles.
While Big East football may be considered dead after this past July 1, that still doesn’t mean we can’t have games like this to reminisce about how good the conference once was.
Jack is the ACC College Football Writer for Rant Sports. Follow Jack on Twitter@JackJ14RS