This evening the SEC announced its format for future football schedules. SEC teams will continue to play 8 conference games, 6 against division opponents, 2 against non-division opponents, and one of the latter two will be a permanent annual opponent. More importantly, the league mandated each school to schedule an ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, or Pac-12 opponent on an annual basis. The SEC referred to it as a "strength-of-schedule component".
It's Sunday night, Game of Thrones is on in 5 minutes, and for some reason I'm writing about another conference's scheduling. Why?
Earlier today, CBSSports.com Jeremy Fowler published an interesting article, "ACC watching SEC's 8- vs. 9-game scheduling decision closely".
The ACC is closely watching how the SEC handles its scheduling format and will take that into consideration when it meets as a league May 13 in Amelia Island, Fla., sources said.
If the SEC stays at eight, that clears the lane for the ACC to remain in its current setup and strengthen what a high-ranking source calls a "mutual interest in scheduling each other" in the future.
One concept, according to the source, would keep the ACC to stay at eight under the stipulation that each team play at least one power conference team each year, hopefully more. The ACC and SEC already play several traditional rivalries such as Florida-Florida State, Georgia-Georgia Tech, Louisville-Kentucky and Clemson-South Carolina.
Perhaps, we'll see the ACC follow the SEC's lead when the league discusses the issue next month. ACC coaches, although not unanimously, are in favor of an 8-game conference schedule.
Now it should be a little more obvious what this has to do with Virginia Tech. If Fowler's source is correct, we may have some early insight as to what the future ACC schedule looks like. Additionally, there exist SEC schools that might consider adding Tech to their schedule.
A home-and-home between the Hokies and Volunteers is long overdue. For all the football reasons the Battle at Bristol makes sense, so do trips to Knoxville and Blacksburg, respectively.
Also, remember back to August of last year when the Wisconsin series got pushed back. David Teel will be our tour guide down memory lane.
Weaver said ESPN has helped Tech secure a home-and-home series with a marquee program to replace Wisconsin in 2016 and 17. He declined to identify the opponent and said an announcement is pending.
That never happened, and Tennessee filled the open spot on Tech's schedule in 2016. However, at the time I was told from multiple folks I trust the opponent Weaver alluded to was Texas A&M. No such announcement was ever made, but Tech still has other open dates in 2017 and '18. Perhaps there's still some interest between the two schools after a successful series in 2002-03. And that last thought is me theorizing, not dropping any credible insight.
I have to stress that non-conference schedules aren't set in stone. I know nothing for certain, but there are some clues to guess which way the wind might blow.