The Virginia Tech Hokies continue to build out their non-conference schedule, so hopefully fans are ready to get their travel plans in order for the mid-2030s.
The school announced on Wednesday that it has secured a home-and-home series with South Carolina for the 2034 and '35 seasons. The Hokies will travel to Columbia first before hosting the Gamecocks at Lane Stadium the following season.
Virginia Tech and South Carolina were both members of the Southern Conference from 1922 to '52, and they've faced each other several times since. They last played in 1991, when the Gamecocks won a fourth consecutive matchup in five years. South Carolina leads the all-time series, 11-7-2.
This non-conference series continues a recent trend of SEC opponents for Virginia Tech, who already has three other series on their schedule over the next two decades — assuming things hold. The Hokies previously scheduled Vanderbilt in 2024 and '25, Ole Miss in 2032 and '37, and Alabama the same seasons they play the Gamecocks.
Rather than schedule cupcake games to preserve their consecutive bowl streak — the longest active one in the NCAA at 27 years — Virginia Tech continues to challenge itself with Power 5 matchups. The Hokies will play Penn State in 2020 and '25; West Virginia in 2021 and '22; Wisconsin in 2031 and '32; Notre Dame in 2027, '28, '33, and '36; and Arizona in 2029 and '30.
Playing such tough opponents could be a good way to gain credibility, especially in a relatively weak (for now) conference. Virginia Tech has yet to join the national championship conversation, so an extra matchup with a Power 5 conference peer isn't likely to sink their season, as it has done for Oregon.
Virginia Tech's opponents are set through 2024, and they only have three open dates for non-conference opponents through 2030. But you can expect more tough opponents in the Hokies future, as athletic director Whit Babcock said that he feels "very confident about the strength of our scheduling going forward."
(Top photo courtesy of Virginia Tech Athletics)