The headlines and snarky comments will write themselves, so we’ll just give you the news.
President Trump, speaking today at Liberty University’s commencement, announced that UVA and Liberty will face off on the gridiron in 2018. It will be the first in a three game series between the schools. The Wahoos will host the Flames in 2018 and 2019 and will make the return trip to Lynchburg in 2027.
You can watch the announcement here:
Setting aside the background of politics and religion for a moment, the series makes some sense. Liberty is moving up to FBS in 2018. Lynchburg and Charlottesville are only 60ish miles apart on Route 29. Virginia, in the midst of a massive rebuilding project, could use a few lighter FBS games on its schedule (especially in 2019, when Notre Dame and Florida State return).
Liberty has been a solid FCS program for some time. The Flames won at least a share of their conference championship 7 times from 2007 to 2014. And, lest we forget, Virginia lost to FCS opponents in 2009 and 2016.
The addition of Liberty to the 2018 schedule means that Virginia will push the start of its instate series with Old Dominion back to 2019. UVA’s out of conference slates for ‘18 and ‘19 are now set:
- Sept. 1 vs. Richmond,
- Sept. 8 at Indiana
- Sept. 15 vs. Ohio University
- Nov. 10 vs. Liberty
- Sept. 7 vs. William & Mary
- Sept. 21 vs. Old Dominion
- Sept. 28 at Notre Dame
- Nov. 23 vs. Liberty
You can read more about the series in this press release from the Virginia Athletics website.