Virginia Tech agreed Tuesday to a three-game football series with Old Dominion.
Athletic Director Jim Weaver said Old Dominion will come to Lane Stadium in 2016 and 2019 and the Hokies would play in Norfolk in 2018 as part of a two-for-one arrangement. It will be Virginia Tech’s first game in the Tidewater area since a game against Temple in Norfolk on Oct. 18, 1986 (the Owls won, 29-13, but later forfeited the victory for using an inelgible player).
“Obviously it’s a hotbed of high school football and we — meaning myself, Coach Beamer and [director of football operations] John Ballein — felt like it made good sense to go down there,” said Weaver. “It gives us the chance to play in the area. Players can go home to the area and their families can see them play. We just thought it made sense if we could do it two-for-one.”
Virginia Tech has long mined the Tidewater region in recruiting, and part of Coach Frank Beamer’s 20-year bowl streak is tied to his success bringing prospects from the area affectionately known as the “757” across the state to Blacksburg. Notable alumni include all-time greats like Bruce Smith, Michael Vick, Bryan Randall and Tyrod Taylor, among many others.
Old Dominion announced last May that its football program would transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision program as part of joining Conference USA in all other sports next year. The Monarchs will play as a Football Championship Subdivision independent in 2013, when they’re slated to face Maryland and North Carolina.
Old Dominion isn’t eligible to compete for the C-USA championship until 2015, when the Monarchs become a full-fledged member of the FBS. Old Dominion is currently competing in the FCS playoffs.
Virginia Tech, however, will be Old Dominion’s first-ever home game against an ACC foe. The 2018 game will be played at Foreman Field, which currently has a capacity of 20,086. But Old Dominion officials have previously indicated that the school will look to expand the stadium in conjunction with its move to the FBS.
In other Virginia Tech scheduling news, Weaver indicated he is still in negotiations about a potential home-and-home series with a Big Ten opponent in the future. The Hokies already have home-and-home series with Ohio State (2014-15) and Wisconsin (2016-17) scheduled.
The uncertainty of conference expansion, such as when Notre Dame will join the ACC as a partial member and how many conference games other leagues will play going forward, has made future football scheduling more difficult, Weaver said.“That’s changed a lot for us,” he added. “But we have a good handle on it.”