Virginia Tech has added more Big Ten spice to its future football menu, this time with Penn State, the alma mater of Hokies athletic director Jim Weaver.
A former Nittany Lions football player and assistant coach, Weaver announced the series Wednesday in concert with Penn State AD Dave Joyner. Tech is scheduled to host Penn State on Sept. 17, 2022 and travel to State College, Pa., for a return game Sept. 16, 2023.
The contract gives the 2022 Hokies one of the most attractive home schedules in program history: non-conference games versus Penn State and West Virginia, plus ACC dates against Miami, Virginia, Georgia Tech and Boston College.
The Hokies have never played a Big Ten team during the regular season -- their lone encounters were versus Indiana in the 1993 Independence Bowl and Michigan in the Sugar Bowl two seasons ago. But in 2014, Tech embarks on four home-and-home contracts with the Big Ten.
The others are Ohio State in 2014 and ’15, Wisconsin in 2019 and ’20, and Michigan in 2020 and ’21.
Weaver has also agreed to a 2021 and ’22 series with the Big 12’s West Virginia. So in 2020 (Michigan and Wisconsin), 2021 (Michigan and West Virginia) and 2022 (Penn State and West Virginia), the Hokies are contracted to play two of their four non-league games against major conference opponents.
With Notre Dame rotating among ACC teams’ schedules about once every three years starting in 2014, Tech, barring adjustments, likely would have three marquee non-conference games in either 2020, ’21 or ’22.
Adjustments aren’t unusual, though, as last week’s delay of the Wisconsin series from 2016-17 to 2019-20 shows. Weaver said then that he, with ESPN’s help, is close to securing a name opponent to replace Wisconsin in 2016 or ’17, or both. He declined to identify the team.
Weaver graduated from Penn State in 1967 and earned his master's there a year later. He played center and linebacker, and as an offensive line assistant coached Joyner.
The Hokies’ ambitious schedules arrive as the College Football Playoff sets to debut in 2014. The committee charged with selecting the four playoff teams will consider strength of schedule.
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