UVA, VT Want Thanksgiving Saturday Matchup In Future
The ACC's 14 football programs each November submit up to three scheduling preferences for the following season, and Virginia AD Carla Williams and Virginia Tech AD Whit Babcock have "petitioned the ACC to schedule" the '20 Commonwealth Cup game for Thanksgiving Saturday, with plans to petition again in '21 and "perhaps beyond," according to David Teel of the Norfolk VIRGINIAN-PILOT. Objections have "intensified" to VT-UVA's kickoff time this Friday at 12:00pm ET because it "minimizes the time for folks to arrive in Charlottesville during the nation's most chaotic travel holiday." So, as soon as the starting time was announced, Williams "called Babcock, and the two quickly agreed to coordinate" their '20 schedule requests to the ACC to avoid future issues. ACC Senior Associate Commissioner/Football Operations Michael Strickland said that the conference "generally can accommodate 65-75%" of requests. UVA and VT have "met Thanksgiving weekend every season" since '05. Their first "Black Friday encounter" was in '14, followed by '17-19. This season's game is "winner-take-all" for the ACC Coastal, and with those stakes emerging, ESPN "selected the game for the early window on ABC" on Friday. Strickland said, "While I understand they're disappointed by (the early start), at the same time it's a major compliment that ESPN is paying to Virginia, Virginia Tech, that rivalry and that game ... because it does fantastic from a television perspective" (Norfolk VIRGINIAN-PILOT, 11/26).