With the news last week that Virginia Tech and West Virginia will be renewing their rivalry a couple years earlier than previously anticipated, and last year's announcement about a series with Penn Sate in 2023 and 2024, Oliver Luck has successfully added two of WVU's historic rivals to upcoming schedules. In addition to VT and Penn State, rumors have been around for months about a nonconference neutral site matchup in Charlotte, North Carolina against Tennessee and former WVU assistant Butch Jones. Luck has also frequently mentioned trying to add Pitt back to the schedule (although no progress seems to have been made on that front). With all the scheduling news it got us thinking about who else WVU should try to add as future non-conference games and below are five additional non-conference games we would like to see WVU be involved in (Pitt is omitted as it is pretty obvious they would be the first choice for most WVU fans).
5. Virginia Cavaliers - The Cavaliers and Mountaineers last played in 2002 in the Continental Tire Bowl when UVA handed WVU a convincing loss and took some pot shots at the good folks of West Virginia during a half time skit. Luck has mentioned this matchup as a game he would like to get scheduled and the matchup would make sense in terms of geography and playing a competitive, but not a powerhouse, Power 5 school.
4. Ohio State Buckeyes - Another border state matchup, this game would give WVU fans an easy non-conference match up to travel to. The game would be a marquee matchup on WVU's schedule, and with all due respect to Texas and Oklahoma, a regional blue blood football school would likely trump traditional Midwest powers in terms of fan excitement. Plus, I'm still dreaming of how bad WVU would have beat the Buckeyes in the 2008 BCS National Championship game had the universe not conspired against WVU.
3. South Carolina Gamecocks - WVU's second largest alumni base is in Charlotte, North Carolina so a matchup against the nearby Gamecocks would probably be a big draw for WVU fans when the game was in Columbia and would no doubt be a big draw when the game was in Morgantown. WVU has a lot of cultural similarities with SEC schools and for that reason I have always enjoyed WVU-SEC matchups. They just feel right.
2. Louisville Cardinals - The Mountaineers have owned this series (10-3), but the teams have played some compelling matchups against one another including the 2005 triple overtime thriller. Things really heat up between the two rivals off the field when Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell tried to snake WVU's Big 12 invite. I for one thoroughly dislike the Cardinals and with the rehiring of Bobby Petrino and the existing bad blood this could be a great rivalry game for the two schools.
1. Florida State Seminoles - The schools recently had a home and home scheduled, but WVU pulled out of their agreement as part of their transition into the Big 12. 800 miles apart would still make this game at least as travelable as other conference games for WVU. Although the distance makes this game appear as an outlier the relationship of various coaches and players from each school make this game appealing (Bobby Bowden, Jimbo Fisher, Rick Trickett, and Clint Trickett all have traded time between Florida and West Virginia). Not to mention the fact that WVU makes a living off of Florida recruits and this would give the Mountaineers an opportunity to make an appearance in a key state they rely on for recruits.
There are five from us, who else would you like to see WVU play?