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Rutgers Football: scheduling Virginia Tech a sign of better things

Remember the Big East football schedules? I try not to, either.

Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports

The way the Big East put together its football schedule, you never knew what the schedule was - the conference schedule - until literally earlier in that year.  It was almost as if the folks in the league office weren't quite sure who would be around in the fall (and after a while they didn't).  Opponents, dates, and times all seemed to be "TBA".

And now we have the Big Ten.  The stability, the sanity, and the surety of the Big Ten.

As our Kev Recio reported yesterday, Rutgers and Virginia Tech have announced a home-and-home series for 2023 and 2024.  Okay, everybody, you have nine years to plan the road trip to Blacksburg.  But the truth is, you also already know where and when and who Rutgers will be playing in conference through 2019.  The next five years are in place.  Where's the uncertainty and insecurity of the Big East?  Gone!  Gone I say!

This is also good news for fans who have in the past complained about paying "D1" prices for tickets while watching a product that was far from that quality.  The Big Ten teams now coming in to Highpoint Solutions Stadium ended some of those cries and the non-conference teams now being scheduled should close the door on further complaints.

As of today, Rutgers'  schedules are complete through 2017 (see table at bottom).  And in each of those years, Rutgers has seven home games.  The 2018 and 2019 schedules are Big Ten complete, just waiting for the non-conference schedule to be finalized.  Already a game at Kansas and home to Miami (FL) are both on board in 2018 with a visit to the Hurricanes already set for 2019.  After 2019, the Big Ten schedule is still open to movement.  Rutgers, though, does have non-conference contests already on the books through 2024.  It does, though, need to fill a number of dates.

2020 9 B1G + 1 more 2021 9 B1G + 2 more 2023 9 B1G + 1 more 2024 9 B1G + 2 more
9/5 @ UCLA 9/11 UCLA TBD @Temple 9/21 @ Virginia Tech
9/19 Temple 9/16 Virginia Tech

Schedules can and do change.  The move getting Rutgers and Virginia Tech on the field in the regular season for the first time since 2003 was part of a number of schedule changes on the part of the Hokies' athletic administration.  This scheduling thing can get tricky.

Back in 2013, Big Ten athletic directors agreed to stop scheduling FCS opponents, something that was thought to be possible for 2015 or 2016.  Rutgers still has FCS teams (Norfolk State, Howard, Morgan State) on the schedule through 2017.  Beginning in 2016, Big Ten teams each play nine conference games.  BTN's Tom Dienhart suggests scheduling ten B1G games, forgoing the "mandate" for B1G schools to schedule "marquee" Power 5 opponents.  It would still allow for seven home games (money, money, money) with five conference and two non-con games.

What are your thoughts about Virginia Tech back on the schedule, and how about the rest of the non-con down the road?  See you in the comments section.

2015 2016 2017
9-5 Norfolk State 9-3 @ Washington 9-2 Washington
9-12 Washington State
9/10 Howard 9/9 Morgan State
9/19 @ Penn State 9/17 New Mexico 9/16 Eastern Michigan
9-26 Kansas 9/24 Bye 9/23 @ Nebraska
10/3 Bye 10/1 @ Ohio State 9/30 Ohio State
10/10 Michigan State 10/8 Michigan 10/7 Bye
10/17 @ Indiana 10/15 Illinois 10/14 @ Illinois
10/24 Ohio State 10/22 @ Minnesota 10/21 Purdue
10/31 @ Wisconsin 10/29 Iowa 10/28 @ Michigan
11/7 @ Michigan 11/5 Indiana 11/4 Maryland
11/14 Nebraska 11/12 @ Michigan State    
11/11 @ Penn State
11-21 @ Army @Bronx, NY 11/19 Penn State 11/18 @ Indiana
11-28 Maryland 11/26 @ Maryland 11/25 Michigan State