Virginia Tech athletic director Whit Babcock sat down with the Montrose Press to talk about the intricacies of scheduling football games at the major college level and he ended up sharing some really valuable insight on how everything from recruiting, to quality of opponent, to the wants of the fan base are taken into consideration.
“Sometimes you don’t have dates that match up. Sometimes the head coach doesn’t like the matchup. Sometimes you need home games and you can only get away games. Sometimes you get leveraged, having openings real late in pricing and everything," Babcock shared.
“So strategically, you want to put something together that has strength of schedule, that’s attractive to your fans, with some anchor games to sell season tickets.”
Babcock also shared that athletic departments often get roped into paying large guarantees to get teams scheduled due to not scheduling far enough in advance, then the school seeking the guarantee has all the leverage because everyone else already has an opponent locked in.
Perhaps most interestingly, Babcock shared two things that you'll never hear come out of an athletic director's mouth:
“Two things you’ll never hear an athletic director say: I need more road games and we have all the money that we need."
Prior to coming to VT about four years ago, Babcock led the Cincinnati athletic department, where he led the efforts to lure Tommy Tuberville from Texas Tech to the Bearcats. Earlier this year, Babcock agreed in principle to a contract extension with the school back in, so loyal Hokie shouldn't be expecting to hear those two phrases anytime soon.
Head here to read the full piece that includes additional info on coming to an agreement on neutral site games, and lots more on scheduling.