Blog Entry

Report: Virginia Tech, Alabama to open '13 season

Posted on: June 29, 2011 5:34 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2011 11:34 am
Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The annual Chick-Fil-A College Kickoff has its pairing for 2013, the Hampton Roads Daily Press has reported. 

According to columnist David Teel, Virginia Tech athletic director Jim Weaver has confirmed an agreement that pits his Hokies against the Alabama Crimson Tide in a rematch of the 2009 Kickoff game between the two sides, won 34-24 by the eventual national champion Tide.

Though the game's organizers have yet to make the announcement official, Weaver told the Virginian-Pilot last week that he didn't foresee any "sticking points."

While the Tide's participation has been expected for some time, the Hokies had previously been scheduled to play East Carolina in the two teams' 2013 opener. But with Weaver confirming that the Hokies and Pirates have reached an agreement to move their scheduled home-and-home to 2016 and 2017 instead of 2012 and 2013, Tech was free to return to Atlanta for the Alabama rematch.

The meeting promises to continue the Chick-Fil-A game's recent run of salty season-opening matchups, which include not only the Tide's 2008 thumping of Clemson that began Tommy Bowden's downward spiral into unemployment and last year's LSU-North Carolina thriller but this year's Georgia-Boise State showdown and next year's Auburn-Clemson and Tennessee-N.C. State doubleheader.

The only problem? We have to wait until 2013 to see it.

Since: Oct 9, 2011
Posted on: October 9, 2011 9:03 pm
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Since: Nov 5, 2009
Posted on: July 6, 2011 10:41 am

Report: Virginia Tech, Alabama to open '13 season

I cant wait i went to this game at the Georgia Dome back in 2009 and it was an amazing nerve racking game. I will have to purchase tickets again, i hope both teams come ready to play. And i surely hope our season goes the same way it did as the '09 season did when we played VT in our season opener! National Champs but its way too early to tell.

Since: Sep 15, 2010
Posted on: July 2, 2011 12:09 am

Report: Virginia Tech, Alabama to open '13 season

Your comparisons don't really hold water as to why those games keep Notre Dame from stepping up.
It holds up water just fine because BCS is BCS.  SEC has cellar dwellers (i.e. Kentucky, Vandy, Ole Miss, Miss St) just like any other conference.  Yes, the SEC is the best football conference top to bottom and located in the hotbed of recruiting, but I am not sure it is head and shoulders above the other conferences like in the past.  It is a shame the Big Ten and SEC don't have a Big Ten-SEC football challenge that spans 2 seasons to allow for both teams to play home games while matching up 1-1's through 12-12's (based on conference standing).  SEC homes would played in August/early September and the Big Ten home games would be played late October/November.  If the SEC is truly the king conference then it should have no problem handling smash-mouth football in bad weather or sub-arctic temperature.

In reality is that any different than playing Army or Navy?
There is a big difference because you are ignoring the importance of a school being a rival.  Anytime you play your rival, which Notre Dame has 7 rivals (BC, Michigan, Michigan St, Purdue, Navy, USC, and Stanford) that they play pretty much every year, then you have to throw out the records and any perceptions associated with the "name."  Army, Air Force, and Pitt used to be rivals to Notre Dame, but I wouldn't consider them to be rivals anymore since they don't play each other enough.  Also, Notre Dame and the Big East came to agreement where Notre Dame would schedule so many games against Big East schools (hence USF on this year's schedule).  I believe the agreement also requires that the Big East schools get so many home games, either home-home series or 2-for-1/3-for-1 deals.  I don't know how many Big East schools Notre Dame is required to play each season, so that could mean 1-3 games, which would leave 2-4 open slots to fill with cupcakes, money games/1-time games (i.e. Utah or Nevada), or another home-home series.      

When Notre Dame football becomes more relevant again maybe they will choose to step out of their comfort zone.
When Notre Dame was relevant, they played pretty much the same schedule they do now so I am not sure what point you are trying to make.  I could be wrong, but I think it would take a lot (excluding a schedule conflict) for Notre Dame to give up playing 1 of the 7 core rivals in any given year.  Today's reality is no BCS school is going to play all 12 games against only BCS schools, so the only way you'll probably see Notre Dame play a SEC school is in a bowl game.  Plus, Notre Dame will want a home-home series and I am not sure how many SEC schools will want to make a return trip to South Bend.

(Purely a guess)

Yes:  LSU, Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee
Maybe:  Kentucky, Vandy, Ole Miss, and Miss St
No:  Florida, South Carolina, Auburn, and Arkansas

Since: Sep 29, 2008
Posted on: July 1, 2011 10:36 pm

Report: Virginia Tech, Alabama to open '13 season

Your comparisons don't really hold water as to why those games keep Notre Dame from stepping up.  People all over the country from outside the Southeast don't really get what it is to play in the SEC.  Just an example, which game for the Irish will be the toughest?  Stanford maybe.  Okay we play LSU, which would you rather play against?  2nd Mich St maybe USC let's take them together.  Alabama has Arkansas and Florida.  The point is this, call those games their conference schedule.  Because of the Notre Dame Broadcasting Company they have no conference affiliations and call their own shots.  They don't play a schedule that would rival an SEC schedule period. 

Granted many SEC teams play smaller schools for a large portion of their non-conference schedule, so I expect the "well you play SW Mississippi Technical College (that is a real big one)".  In reality is that any different than playing Army or Navy?  In the SEC you can't very well go out and schedule a Virginia Tech, Oklahoma, and Oregon in the same year and add it to playing in the SEC (LSU, Florida, Auburn, Arkansas, Mississippi St, etc.).  When bowl season came around half of your football roster would be on the shelf with injuries.

So Irish go play all your military academy's and your semi Big 10 schedule with a few Pac 12's thrown in for good measure.  The schedule is respectable, but don't give me the I can't blame them crap because their schedule is so tough.  Fact is the Irish are made up of players that play a BIG 10 style of football, their name carries alot of weight albeit not what it use to.  When Notre Dame football becomes more relevant again maybe they will choose to step out of their comfort zone.  Until then it will be the BIG10, Military academy's, and PAC12 games.  Wouldn't it be great to see a ND v Florida, ND v LSU, ND v Alabama, ND v Arkansas, ND v Georgia, etc.  It would bring some added zest to the season.  Like I am really looking forward to Oregon and LSU getting it on.  I just love these intersectional games.

To you fans of the Hokies, we will look forward to seeing you guys in the Dome again next year.  You guys had a great group of fans!

Since: Sep 15, 2010
Posted on: June 30, 2011 4:58 pm

Report: Virginia Tech, Alabama to open '13 season

As much as I don't like Notre Dame, I don't think you can knock them for not stepping up.  Every year they play anywhere from 6-9 BCS schools (Michigan, Michigan St, Purdue, USC, Stanford, BC, etc), so I am not sure why you are are calling them out.  This year they play 10 BCS schools with Air Force and Navy (rival) being the only 2 non-BCS schools. 

Even though I give Alabama credit for playing quality teams, I do find it interesting that Alabama doesn't want to do a home-home series with VT.  Alabama can't say it is because VT plays in a small stadium, because it went to Duke (a smaller stadium) either last year or the year before to complete a home-home series.  (As a joke) I guess Saban still has bad memories of Lane Stadium.


Since: Jan 26, 2008
Posted on: June 30, 2011 3:41 pm

Report: Virginia Tech, Alabama to open '13 season

When Nick Saban first came to Alabama he came with the attitude to be the best you gotta play the best. He brought the bring it on attitude calling out Norte Dame and all the best college football teams to play against. However other teams have a different attitude. Most teams are scared to play a big game at the beginning of the season for fear it will ruin their season. We've noticed how some teams get a huge momentum rush from winning a big game at the beginning of the season and the team that loses goes on to having a meltdown. I wish more teams would schedule Alabama for the opening game. Penn State stepped up... Virginia Tech... Clemson... Florida St... Michigan... it's time for other teams to step it up. Calling out Miami... Notre Dame.. Oklahoma... In order to be the best you gotta play against the best. Alabama is ready! Bring on the best!

Since: Mar 9, 2008
Posted on: June 30, 2011 3:23 pm
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Since: Sep 15, 2010
Posted on: June 30, 2011 12:33 pm

Report: Virginia Tech, Alabama to open '13 season

I was at the VT-LSU game when LSU came to Lane Stadium in 2002.  The stadium was pretty loud for a day game, but nothing compared to what it is like at night.

I understand why VT agrees to plays these neutral site games and why schools don't want to come to Lane Stadium to play.  VT is still a new-kid-on-the-block when it comes to football.  Also, stadium expansion was done after different periods of time and under different safety codes (hence why the East and West sides aren't the same heighth).  Lane Stadium will probably never have a true bowl design because once the different sides are connected, everything would have to meet the current safety codes.  I think the AD said at one time during an interview how much it would cost to bring everything up to the current codes and I don't see VT willing to invest that kind of money when it won't get the return on its investment.  The only place left to expand is to add to the north endzone to match the South Endzone Section, which could bring the capacity up to somewhere between 75-80k.  However, VT is still paying off the South Endzone, so I don't see VT considering anymore expansion for at least 10-15 years. 

Honestly, I would have loved to seen a home-home series with Boise St.  However, Jim Weaver (current AD for VT) has publicly state his "travel policy" for the football team, which pretty much prevents VT from traveling west of the Mississippi River for non-conference games.  The series with Nebraska was a rare exception and it could help explain why VT was eager to agree to cancel its home-home series with Kansas St.  I understand he is trying to reduce overhead cost.  However, if you factor in how much season ticket holders have to "donote" for the right to buy season tickets (at least $1,000 if you want any shot at a decent seat) and the cost of a season ticket,  $800 per ticket ($1,000-$2,000 extra if you want to sit in a special area), I can understand why season ticket sells were down this year.  It is a tough sell when this is your non-conference schedule;  Pick-a-direction (insert your favorite state here) University, an FCS school, and your favorite C-USA/MAC/Sun Belt school.  Then with the way the ACC did its divisions and conference scheduling format, you have the potential for home conference games against Duke, Wake Forest, Boston College, and UVWho, which could make for a horrible home schedule from a quality opponent standpoint.  I realize a SEC school would have no problem selling out its season tickets within 1 hour (joke), but what the SEC has that the ACC lacks is a long standing tradition in football.

It is good to see that VT has home-home series with Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Pitt (only because of the agreement between ACC and the Big East during the most recent ACC expansion), but it wouldn't surprise me to hear that a series was cancelled just like VT-Syracuse and VT-Kansas St series.  

Now, I am not suggesting that VT should play a brutal schedule every year (even though it would be fun to watch), but to have a better quality schedule.  If I was the AD then this is how I would do it:

* Play home-home series with 1 or 2 BCS schools every year, but never 2 BCS schools in back to back years. (1-2 games)
* Play home-home series with 1 or 2 high quality C-USA/MWC/WAC school (i.e. So. Miss, Fresno St, etc). (2-1 games)
* Play 2-for-1 series with 1 MAC/Sun Belt school or 1 FCS opponent every 4-5 years. (1 game)

Since: Mar 3, 2009
Posted on: June 30, 2011 12:15 pm

Report: Virginia Tech, Alabama to open '13 season

My wife and I have been to 2 of these Kick-off Classic games, and man they are exciting.!!!  Great arena and a good local flavor in Atlanta.

Can't wait ti then.....Cool

Roll Tide....!!!!!!!


Since: Sep 25, 2008
Posted on: June 30, 2011 11:52 am

Report: Virginia Tech, Alabama to open '13 season

@Bama101 - I'm pretty sure it was a sacrastic remark poking at the guy that said SEC teams were afraid to go to Lane Stadium... RTR

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