The news cycle is never-ending, and even more so as decisions continue to come out on a seemingly hourly basis. The college football season is under two months away from its potential return. Two announcements today alone have adjusted how the fall will look - with plenty more expected in the coming weeks.
Earlier in the day on Thursday, the ACC announced that all sports would be delayed until September 1st. That in of itself doesn’t impact the ACC football schedule which wasn’t set to start until September 2nd. However, other fall sports like men’s and women’s soccer would not start on time.
Then later in the day news broke that the Big Ten conference was adjusting all the schedules for fall sports to only play in-conference opponents. The move would allow the conference to have better control over Covid testing and safety protocols across it’s own schools and limit the amount of travel.
The biggest impact of those moves is that Penn State’s expected visit to Lane Stadium on September 12th is no longer a reality. That is disappointing from a fan standpoint, as the match-up was easily the most anticipated game of the year for the Hokies. The schools would likely reschedule the game for a future year once both school’s non-conference schedules aligned.
Tech still has two other out-of-state non-conference games on the schedule, Middle Tennessee and North Alabama. If the trend continues and the Hokies need to adjust their schedule to fill dates - and the big caveat of if college football happens at all - there are several in-state schools to pick from. Old Dominion, JMU and VMI all seem like possibilities once you work around the conferences, TV contracts and any NCAA waivers needed.
These won’t be the last adjustments to NCAA fall sport. But it’s a big one, as the Hokies lose their marquee game of the year.