WVU, Virginia Tech could play in 2017

West Virginia announced last summer that it would be renewing its rivalry with Virginia Tech starting in 2021 - marking the end of what would be a 16-year period in which the two schools did not play one another in football.

But it looks like the two teams could face each other a little sooner, as West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck told Blue & Gold News Wednesday afternoon that the two schools have been working on reaching an agreement to play at FedEx Field in Washington, D.C. in 2017.

"That's something we're talking about," Luck said. "Nothing has been finalized, but don't be surprised if there is an announcement at some point."

Both teams have a history of playing at the home of the Washington Redskins, as Virginia Tech and the Mountaineers have combined to play at the venue four times. The Hokies are 0-3 at FedEx Field with losses to USC, Boise State and Cincinnati while WVU won its lone game against James Madison in 2012.

"We got a lot of feedback from our fans, and they really liked it," Luck said. "Our kids like playing in pro stadiums and D.C. is an important area for our university."

Other scheduling notes

Luck mentioned the possibilities of adding more opponents from the Power 5 conferences, and said that the likes of Pittsburgh and Virginia have been brought up as possibilities but no real progress has been made in terms of getting them on the schedule in the future quite yet.

"It depends on what is available for us in the future and what others are doing," Luck said. "I sense a willingness from other Power 5 schools to talk to us about a home-and-home series. Everyone wants to upgrade it, but again the scheduling is up to the schools so there are always going to be some who won't want to as much."

When trying to find those regional opponents to go on the schedule, there are always a few things Luck said they have to try to navigate around. In addition to the willingness of the schools to play the series, there obviously has to be room on the schedule for the games at a time that would work for both sides.

With games on the schedule already for the 2021-24 seasons, Luck wants to make sure to not plan a lot of games too far ahead due to the ever-changing landscape of college football.

"People want to schedule these games while still maintaining some of their flexibility," Luck said.

"I think we will (play Pitt sometime in the future). They have Penn State for four years soon, I think, and they don't really want to do both Penn State and West Virginia at the same time. There's nothing complicated about it, it's just about finding the dates and being willing to do it."

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