With rumors of ongoing talks between the ACC and SEC to host an opening weekend “challenge” between the two conferences, it’s time we take a look at who the Virginia Cavaliers might play.
The SEC, like the ACC, features 14 teams spanning from Florida to Missouri and all the way to Texas, so the two conferences make an obvious regional rivalry to try and limit travel thanks to the ongoing pandemic (save Texas A&M going to BC or Syracuse).
Also, since Notre Dame are buttholes that want to keep their cake and eat it on NBC every weekend, they get left out. They can use the weekend to play the Navy Midshipmen (which we support)
The Obvious Rivalries
These games should be already set, so those teams are already eliminated:
Clemson Tigers vs. South Carolina Gamecocks. Dabo Jesus goes for his 30th straight win over UofSC and he hopes he does not have to pay his players, otherwise he’ll be forced to quit.
Florida State Seminoles vs. Florida Gators. FSU-Texas A&M would have been great, but the powers that be would force FSU on the Gators instead of Miami.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Georgia Bulldogs. Instituting this challenge means UVA is going to miss UGA in the opening weekend game on the “neutral field” in Atlanta. Darn.
Louisville Cardinals vs. Kentucky Wildcats. The Governor’s Cup has only been played 32 times, but hasn’t missed a season since 1994.
The Already Planned Games
Some ACC and SEC teams were already planning on playing this year, so we’ll go ahead and let them keep those scheduled.
N.C. State Wolfpack vs. Mississippi St. Bulldogs. Announced back in 2014 (Kids playing now were in middle school. So dumb), the two schools have a home and home for the 2020 and 2021 season.
North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Auburn Tigers. The Tar Heels and Tigers were set to play a Week 2 game in Atlanta, so they might as well keep playing.
The Storyline Games
Some teams have a little history with a few of their SEC counterparts. Let’s let them play it out on the field.
Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Tennessee Volunteers. The two programs have matched up nine times in their history including a game just 4 years ago in 2016 at Bristol Motor Speedway. The two fanbases seem perfect for each other as well.
Duke Blue Devils vs. Ole Miss Rebels. The Cutcliffe Cup. Though they’ve never met on the field, the two obviously share a common head coach. David Cutcliffe coached in Oxford from 1998 to 2004 which included bringing in Eli Manning and winning the SEC West division in 2003.
Miami-Florida Hurricanes vs. Alabama Crimson Tide. The two programs have met a surprisingly seventeen times over time including the last two times in New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl (1993 and 1990). Though they haven’t met since, pitting two storied programs against one another with good amount of NFL talent on the field could yield a great game.
The Because We’re a UVA Blog Game
Virginia Cavaliers vs. Vanderbilt Commodores. This could fall under a Storyline Game given the two school’s recent history in Omaha. Virginia fans have been clamoring for a football series with Vandy because we all want an excuse to go to Nashville. Someone has to play Vanderbilt and since we’re making the schedule, it’s obviously going to be the Hoos.
Literally no idea what to do with the remaining four schools from each conference.
Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. Missouri Tigers. Eli Drinkwitz will be in his first season at Mizzou after coming from Appalachian State. App State is somewhat close to Winston-Salem. They both wear black and gold/yellow.
Boston College Eagles vs. Arkansas Razorbacks. Both teams will feature first year head coaches. They both have redish in their color schemes.
Syracuse Orange vs. LSU Tigers. A Dino Babers team has year in and year out given Clemson all they can seemingly handle. They might be able to do the same for a reloading LSU team coming off a national championship.
Edit: Thanks to @AndyKinsella on Twitter, we learned Coach O also coached the Defensive Line at Cuse from 95-97! Move this game to the Storyline Game column!
Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Texas A&M Aggies. They’ve played three times including a home and home in 02 and 03. About the best I can do for a reason.
Nobody knows how the 2020 season is going to be scheduled or played out, if it does at all, but an opening weekend slate of games between the ACC and SEC could give us a wonderful break from reality.