Virginia’s 2013 football game at Penn State is off and unlikely to be rescheduled after news broke Friday that the Nittany Lions will play Central Florida in 2013 and ’14.
As the Orlando Sentinel first reported, the 2013 Penn State-UCF contest is Sept. 14. That’s the same date the Cavaliers were scheduled to visit the Nittany Lions, a return date from Penn State’s loss at Virginia in 2012.
Nittany Lions coach Bill O’Brien is a former UCF assistant.
Virginia officials declined comment Friday, but ACC sources have been indicating that the Cavaliers’ non-conference schedule for next season was incomplete. That lends credence to the Penn State cancellation.
Virginia’s other non-league opponents for 2013 are Brigham Young, VMI and Ball State, all at home. If the Cavaliers book another home date, which sources indicate is probable, they will have eight home games and only four on the road.
The question is, who can Virginia find at this late hour? A Football Championship Subdivision opponent is untenable because VMI already is on the schedule, and only one FCS win counts toward bowl eligibility. Moreover, most Bowl Subdivision teams have their 2013 schedules set.
But the Penn State development has been percolating for weeks, if not months, giving the Cavaliers’ schedule-maker, executive associate athletic director Jon Oliver, time to make contingency plans.
Oliver has crafted ambitious future schedules that include games against Stanford and UCLA, so don’t be surprised if he again aims for a splash. Expect an announcement next week.
A glance at Virginia's future schedules shows no non-conference opponents for 2016, so the replacement for Penn State could well appear again in three years.
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