Sam Sharpe-US PRESSWIRE
With the 2013 football schedule released today, Hokies fans have plenty of reasons to be angry. Here are my thoughts on the schedule on how it affects Virginia Tech.
Let me start off by saying that, as a fan, I am fed up with how the ACC constantly appears to sabotage Virginia Tech. When Virginia Tech was admitted into the ACC, nobody thought they would be dominating the league in football, claiming four titles when the expectations were for FSU and Miami to be annually battling in for ACC supremacy.
If there ever were a time for the grassroots movement, such as #VT4SEC, to gain more traction, the ACC has provided the gasoline to fuel the movement even further.
Here are some sample tweets from fans' reaction to the schedule:
the ath dept has been run in the black & mostly kept its nose clean, but every decision seems bent on killing any enjoyment for fans.— furrer4heisman (@furrer4heisman) February 25, 2013
In addition, the ACC elected to keep Virginia Tech off a home Thursday night game in Blacksburg, which has been a staple of Virginia Tech football in the new millennium, and has also been an ESPN TV ratings bonzana. (UPDATE: VIRGINIA TECH ATHLETIC DIRECTOR JIM WEAVER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS DECISION, NOT THE ACC)
Here's a tweet from former Virginia Tech's quarterback, Sean Glennon:
No Thursday night games on VT's schedule is an injustice to Blacksburg and to all of CFB.No better environment in the country #hokies— Sean Glennon (@SeanGlennon7) February 25, 2013
Those fans tweets are understandable. The fans of Virginia Tech football are frustrated with the ACC's catering to certain North Carolina schools that shall remain nameless and it doesn't help that John Swofford, The Commissioner of the ACC, is a former athletic director of University of North Carolina, fueling speculation that there is a Tobacco Road bias.
Furthermore, the admission of Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and Louisville were not for football, but for basketball, further cementing the national perception that the ACC is always going to be known as a basketball power conference. The so-called inclusion of Notre Dame won't even shake that perception because Notre Dame will remain an independent in football.
The powers that be who created the ACC schedule have forced Virginia Tech to travel on the road to take on Boston College and Miami, the same destinations as last season! As chicagomaroon noted, Duke is also making a return trip to Blacksburg where Virginia Tech managed to win the game after spotting Duke a 20-0 lead in the 1st quarter.
I am sorry, but the ACC have outdone themselves in the category of ridiculousness. The only marquee match up of note on the 2013 schedule is the season opener against Alabama, and that's it. No game against Florida State or Clemson, both who have become the #1 and #2 teams in the ACC, and are far more of an attractive match up. Miami is not quite elite yet, and pending the NCAA's decision on the Notice of Allegations, Miami could again be imposed with post-season ban. That would leave Georgia Tech, UNC, and Virginia Tech to battle for the #1 spot in the Coastal Division.
The ACC has clearly not learned from the debacle of the ACC Championship Game, which has become a national laughingstock. If they have not learned from the joke practice of selling tickets for as low as $3, God help all the fans in the ACC footprint.
Perhaps it is high time for Virginia Tech to start making waves by contacting the SEC for serious consideration as a future member. Virginia Tech has always been on the SEC's radar. Florida State and Clemson have long been rumored to be flirting with the idea of admission into the Big XVII. The B1G is believed to have eyes on Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia Tech. Where does that leave the ACC? Whatever happens with the lawsuit filed by Maryland, the future of the ACC has never looked so bleak.