The Idaho Statesman reported Sunday plans are being made to make the Hokies' game against Boise State at FedEx Field their season-opener and play the game on Labor Day. According to the Statesman, ESPN prefers to have the game played Labor Day night and WAC commissioner Karl Benson expects the change to be made.
Boise State doesn't want the game moved unless it can have a bye the following week, meaning its game against Toledo will have to be rescheduled. For the Hokies, it would mean moving their scheduled opener against Central Michigan or finding a team to replace the Chips later in the schedule.
While playing the Boise State game on Labor Day is appealing for exposure purposes, I think it severely damages Virginia Tech's long-term goals for the season. Boise State returns 21 starters from a very young team that went 13-0 14-0 in 2009. The Hokies, however, will have key holes to fill on the offensive and defensive lines this offseason. Throwing inexperienced players on both fronts against a team like Boise in Week 1 is a recipe for disaster.
Kevan Lee of One Bronco Nation Under God has the list of positives and negatives from Boise State's side and agrees that the game should be played Oct. 2 and not Labor Day.
Keeping the game later in the season benefits both teams. It gives Tech a chance to learn who it can trust on the offensive and defensive line and gives Boise a chance to avoid what Lee calls the "Oregon Factor," meaning a win over Virginia Tech would have a greater impact in the polls for the Broncos the later the game is played.
As for the Hokies, they've played neutral-site games to open the season three times since joining the ACC. Those haven't exactly ended well. If Jim Weaver has veto power in this deal, I sincerely hope he uses it and keeps the game in October.