The Michigan Wolverines and the Virginia Tech Hokies agreed to a home-and-home series on the gridiron back in 2013 that was to take place in 2020 and 2021. Well, it’s not happening now. Late last week, it was announced that Michigan had paid the Hokies a cool $375K to back out of the series with Virginia Tech.
The biggest question is why?
Well, conspiracy theorists will say that Michigan is afraid of Virginia Tech. After all, the Wolverines replaced the Hokies on their schedule with Arkansas State. Not Arkansas. Arkansas State.
A closer look at UM’s schedule and you can see Washington already on the docket in both 2020 and 2021. The Huskies a have a strong program under fifth-year coach Chris Petersen and even made the College Football Playoff back in 2016. So, with the Huskies and the Hokies both on the schedule, Michigan would have, arguably, the nation’s toughest non-conference slate in each of those two years. Of course, Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan State will also be on Michigan’s schedule in each of those years.
That’s pretty daunting, right?
Sure, it’s daunting and to some degree, it would make sense as to why the Wolverines would want to substitute a tough opponent for a cupcake. Two losses would all but ensure the Wolverines wouldn’t receive a trip to the College Football Playoff. Still, it’s a bad look.
Virginia Tech fans were certainly looking forward to a rematch of the 2012 Sugar Bowl, which Michigan won in controversial fashion, 23-20, in overtime. Controversial, of course, because of Danny Coale’s catch (it was ruled incomplete) that was initially ruled a touchdown but was overturned, leading to a missed field goal by then-Virginia Tech kicker Justin Myer.
Judge for yourself.
Hokie fans will never forget that one. Perhaps the Hokies and Wolverines can find some time in the future to make this series work. But for now, it’s good fodder for Virginia Tech fans.