What we have here is a failure to communicate. Apparently, the end of an extended home sellout streak this season wasn't enough to send the message that some of the opponents we've been scheduling, aren't worth the long drive for many of the season ticket holders to make. Because now we've gone and made another head-scratching scheduling decision.
The latest out of Jamerson after Monday's big news saw Jim Weaver announce his resignation at the end of 2013, is that according to Andy Bitter, we have inexplicably secured another four years of scintillating action with the ODU Monarchs.
We now have seven games against ODU scheduled through 2025. The series begins in 2017 in a 2-for-1 swap, and then goes on hiatus for two years before resuming in 2022, when we alternate home and away for the next four seasons.
ODU has hastily readied their program for the FBS after being accepted as a full member into the Conference USA for the beginning of the 2014 season. Originally, they weren't to be accepted until 2015 as a full member with championship privileges. But due to the conference shakeups, Conference USA needed them to assimilate rapidly in order for the conference to field the requisite 12 member schools necessary to hold a Conference Championship game.
It's not so much the opponent, I just think that we are the school with the upper hand. By this I mean that we could hold ODU off until 2020, and they'd still keep the dates open for 2022 to 2025. They'd bend over backwards to make it work, they desperately need the high profile opponent, and they want the showcase for all the local talent that's sure to have their eyes on the game. We too can benefit from the exposure in recruiting in the 757, but it's my opinion that the value added would be negligible.
For years, Tech was in the position of offering to play upper tier teams. I'd say until about 2002 we made entreaties to numerous high profile, big conference institutions to try to secure a marquee out of conference game and were summarily turned down. Or we were insulted by 2-for-1 offers. It didn't benefit those schools to play us, it was a no-win situation in their eyes. We were dangerous, and we were hungry. I'm not in any way comparing our program to the ODU program by way of talent. I'm simply saying that there is little benefit to the Hokies to schedule these games so far in advance.
We aren't buying home games from a lesser opponent as we do with the FCS schools with a fat payout to them for showing up and taking their lumps. We're simply replacing ECU with ODU. I suppose the silver lining is in the reduced travel budget. I have no idea why the AD is making such a move when they obviously have bigger issues to work on with an interim AD set to take over, and the department in transition. It seems like extremely odd timing. And i don't know why we feel so insecure in our own status to need to schedule these dates so far out. When we are talking to Ohio St, you make exceptions, but as I stated its all about the perception of who is more in demand.
The Bitter article linked states that the games can be bought out by either party at any time for $500,000. Here's me hoping the new AD comes in and cuts a check for $2 Million dollars and wipes that slate clean. I for one am for flexibility.
Maybe it's just Mr Weaver doing some cronies a favor on his way out, in as much as Nixon made pardons before his impeachment.
Eager to hear your thoughts below! Was it necessary to ink this deal now?