As spring practices approach, it’s that time of year where we can start looking forward to next year’s football season. Today the ACC released every team’s 2013 schedule, which of course includes Virginia Tech’s. Here is a quick rundown of what you’ll see next season.
8/31 vs. Bama (Neutral site)
9/14 at ECU
9/26 at GT (Thursday)
10/ 12 PITT
11/2 at BC
11/9 at Miami
11/30 at UVA
Now what you may immediately be thinking is, “Where’s Tech’s home Thursday night game?” Well I’m sad to tell you that Virginia Tech won’t be playing a home Thursday night game this year.
I’ll let that sink in…
Historically, Virginia Tech can be given credit for making Thursday night football games popular. The euphoric atmospheres that Thursday night games at Lane Stadium have produced are some of the best memories that Virginia Tech fans have. It’s certainly the reason why more teams around the country have played Thursday night games.
Personally I’m sad to see that Thursday night game go this year mainly because it’s one hell of a party if you’re in attendance. However, from a football standpoint it’s not that big of a loss. There isn’t a marquee opponent on this schedule worth getting jazzed up about (save Alabama), and in the last six years the Hokies have only won half of their home Thursday night games. This may not be as big of a loss as some people would initially think.
That being said, this schedule is devoid of big-name opponents. This is especially true for season ticket holders who will get to enjoy the likes of Western Carolina, Marshall, UNC, Pittsburgh, Duke, and Maryland this year. That’s a piss-poor slate of opponents, and if I were a season ticket holder I would seriously reconsider the value of that package because I can almost assure you’re getting a bad return on your investment.
From a timing standpoint this schedule has its rough patches for the Hokies. Virginia Tech football has historically not started the season well against top-5 opponents and the Hokies are having no favors done opening against the two-time defending national champions, Alabama. After that Virginia Tech has a tricky quick turnaround playing Marshall and then having to travel to play on the road at Georgia Tech on a Thursday night a mere five days later. Things ease up for the middle of the season until the Hokies have to travel back-to-back weeks first to Boston College and then to Miami. In two weeks the Hokies will travel to the northernmost ACC school and the southernmost ACC school. That’s a lot of frequent flyer miles right there.
However, Virginia Tech does get extra time to prepare for a crucial game against North Carolina. Moreover, the Hokies get an extra week to prepare for Duke and in-state rival UVA. You know the Hokies will never complain about more time to prepare for the Commonwealth Cup (not that they will necessarily need that extra time against a historically weak opponent).
All in all I think this is a very manageable schedule for Virginia Tech to traverse. I can foresee a couple of potential pitfalls, but it’s nothing too intense or treacherous. This is certainly a schedule that sets Virginia Tech up to reach 10 wins again assuming things are corrected from last season. For fans though, this is going to be a snoozer of a schedule and it will probably be neither the prettiest, nor the most exciting football you’ve ever watched.
Perhaps a schedule like this is exactly what the doctor ordered coming off the Hokies’ worst season in 20 years. I certainly predict good things from this team this year, however we won’t really know until the first ball is kicked off in the Georgia Dome in late August.