Virginia Tech has agreed to delay its home-and-home football series against Wisconsin until 2019 and ’20, and has replaced the Badgers in 2016 and ’17 with another major conference opponent, Hokies athletic director Jim Weaver confirmed Thursday.
The shift gives Tech two non-conference opponents from the Big Ten in 2020: Wisconsin at home and Michigan on the road. That’s ambition comparable to 2009, when the Hokies opened against Alabama in Atlanta and played at Nebraska.
The move accommodates Wisconsin, which has agreed to open the 2014 and ’16 seasons against LSU at NFL venues — Houston’s Reliant Stadium and Green Bay’s Lambeau Field, respectively. The New Orleans Times-Picayune broke the LSU-Wisconsin news Thursday morning, with the Wisconsin State Journal then reporting the delay in the Badgers-Hokies series.
Weaver spoke first Thursday to the Washington Post’s Mark Giannotto. He then confirmed the changes to the Daily Press.
Weaver said ESPN has helped Tech secure a home-and-home series with a marquee program to replace Wisconsin in 2016 and ’17. He declined to identify the opponent and said an announcement is pending.
As Thursday’s news reminds, schedules are fluid, but presently the Hokies’ four annual non-ACC games are booked for five of the next seven seasons.
Complicating matters is Notre Dame playing five ACC teams annually starting in 2014. That rotation also is fluid, though Tech is currently scheduled to play the Fighting Irish on the road in 2016.
If that date remains, Notre Dame would be due to visit Blacksburg in 2019 or ’20, years in which Tech already is full.
The Hokies’ future non-conference opponents — for now:
2014: William and Mary, East Carolina and Western Michigan home; Ohio State away.
2015: Furman and Ohio State home; ECU away.
2016: Liberty and ECU home; Notre Dame away and the mystery opponent Weaver declined to reveal.
2017: Delaware and Old Dominion home; ECU away and the mystery team.
2018: William and Mary and ECU home; ODU away.
2019: Charlotte and ODU home; ECU and Wisconsin away.
2020: Liberty, ECU and Wisconsin home; Michigan away.
2021: Michigan and Richmond home; West Virginia away.
2022: West Virginia home.
In addition to the impending 2016 and ’17 announcement, expect news soon on another major home-and-home during the 2020s.
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