Virginia Tech is loading up its future schedule and announced three new home-and-home series with Southeastern Conference opponents on Thursday. The Hokies will play Alabama, Ole Miss and a third SEC team with plans still being finalized.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that it is going to be a while before we actually see these games. Of these three series, the first game won't be played until 2024. Virginia Tech will play the yet to be named third SEC team in 2024 and host in 2025, host Alabama in 2034 and travel to Tuscaloosa in 2035 and host Ole Miss in 2032 and travel to Oxford in 2037.
In addition, Virginia Tech also announced the finalization of dates for a home-and-home series with Wisconsin. The Badgers will come to Blacksburg in 2031 and host Virginia Tech in 2032.
If you are thinking to yourself that it seems pretty ridiculous to schedule a football series 18 years from now, you would be right. That is the way things are done in today’s game, however, with teams loading up schedules far in advance so as not to be left frantically searching for an opponent. The Hokies found themselves in that very position this year with the cancellation of the Eastern Carolina series. With most FBS schedules already set, Virginia Tech had to add a second FCS opponent to their 2019 schedule.
What are the odds we actually see these matchups?
The threat of conference realignment always looms over the sport and if there is massive reshuffling, there could be a situation in which these series get axed. There is also the possibility of conferences that currently play eight conference games, like the ACC and SEC, adding a ninth game in which case some teams will want out of these games to avoid over-loading their schedule. Planning out a series so far in advance comes with a risk of uncertainty.
But, if these games are played, it will be good for the game. Unfortunately, Nick Saban is unlikely to be leading the Crimson Tide onto the field at Lane Stadium in 2034 and we don't ultimately know how good Virginia Tech, Ole Miss, Wisconsin or Alabama may be in the 2030s, but chances are these games will be more interesting to watch than adding two FCS teams to the schedule. No one wants that.
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