Who might Virginia, Mendenhall want for their non-conference game?
We can almost certainly rule out defending ACC Coastal champ Virginia’s scheduled opener in Atlanta with Georgia, if only because of the ACC’s criteria for that 11th game – that it has to be played in the home state of the member school.
Which preserves, you have to assume, UGA-Georgia Tech, Florida-FSU, Clemson-South Carolina.
But as far as UVA is concerned, it’s either a home game, or a game on the road in the Commonwealth.
There is one of those on the schedule, or rather, there was – Virginia had been slated for a game at Old Dominion in October.
It’s hard to imagine that one sticking, considering the times – and Virginia’s ACC schedule, which is loaded, and not in a good way, with road games at Clemson, Florida State, Miami and Virginia Tech, and a home game with preseason Coastal favorite North Carolina highlighting the dates.
It’s not hard to imagine flipping the ODU game to Charlottesville, or bypassing that one entirely and going with Liberty, an FBS independent that you have to imagine is going to be willing to do just about anything to get games for 2020.
JMU, effectively an FCS independent for 2020, with the CAA canceling its conference slate, is also on the lookout for as many games as it can find.
There is one other FCS school that was to be the opponent for the home opener, VMI, which had been set to come to Scott Stadium on Sept. 12.
That was back when VMI was looked at as a comedown game following Labor Day Night in Atlanta against Georgia.
We know that Bronco Mendenhall philosophically wants to play in-state FCS schools, and looking at his new schedule, wins are going to be at a premium.
Don’t be surprised if it ends up being VMI that is the non-conference opponent, is what I’m saying.
VMI fits as a tune-up, if Virginia can swing the schedule to play its non-conference game as its opener, and the date was already on the schedule.
It’s either VMI, or it’s ODU or Liberty in Charlottesville. No way the ‘Hoos keep that road date in Norfolk.
Story by Chris Graham