Photo courtesy of Virginia athletics

What can you say? It’s “COVID football!”

The Virginia Tech Hokies and Virginia Cavaliers both got some discouraging news Saturday morning. After an outbreak of COVID-19 within the Virginia Tech program, both in-state rivals found out their season opener set for Sept. 19 would not be played.

The Hokies reportedly have over 50 members of their team in self-isolation. The number of actual positive tests is currently unknown. After contact tracing was conducted, it was revealed that around half of the Hokies’ football team has had some sort of exposure to COVID-19. According to ACC rules, those must remain in quarantine for at least 14 days. 

Because of the postponement, the Hokies and Cavaliers will now have to find a common date to make up the 2020 Commonwealth Clash. With that, we look at some potential dates for the two rivals to make up their annual contest. This could ultimately allow Virginia to hold on to the Commonwealth Cup just a bit longer.

Dec. 12

This is probably the most realistic and simple option for both schools and the ACC. With the ACC Championship likely to be held Dec. 19 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, that would leave an open date for both schools on Dec. 12.

Virginia Tech is currently scheduled to finish off its season against the ACC favorite and 5-time reigning champion Clemson Tigers on Dec. 5, and the Cavaliers scheduled to finish off against Boston College. This would allow both Virginia and Virginia Tech their traditional final game of the regular season.

Time will tell, but definitely look for the Hokies and Cavaliers to match up on Dec. 12 with the Commonwealth Cup on the line. 

Nov. 7

Although it would take some maneuvering, this option would make sense as well if the shoe fit. The first domino to fall for this to happen, has already fallen. On Saturday afternoon, the ACC officially moved the Virginia-Duke game from Nov. 14, to Sept. 26.

As David Teel of the Richmond-Times-Dispatch noted, this leaves Nov. 14 open for the ACC to move the Cavaliers’ Nov. 7 contest against Louisville to that date.

This would then leave Nov. 7 open for the Virginia Tech game if the Hokies are able to move their lone non-conference game against Liberty to their only bye week on Nov. 28. The downfall to this however, is the Hokies’ would have to play for 11 straight weeks. That leaves some to speculate Virginia Tech could cancel the games against the Flames as a whole. 

We shall see.

But with the limited amount of choices, this is certainly not a bad option for both schools and the ACC.

Nov. 28

If you want to take our previous option even further, this is the one for you. It is possibly the most difficult option to pull off. Making a few moves would allow the Hokies and Cavaliers to play on their traditional Thanksgiving weekend. 

Keep in mind, this is all contingent on if the ACC is willing to move the Virginia-Florida State game to this upcoming Saturday.

That, in all likelihood, will not be the case. But let’s say the ACC does.

This would then open up Nov. 28 for the Cavaliers, which the Hokies also currently have a bye. Just as easy as that right? If the ACC can somehow move the match-up between the Seminoles and Cavaliers to this Saturday, this would leave the typical Thanksgiving weekend open for the Commonwealth Clash. 

Logistically, the ACC would not have to move as many games as the Nov. 7 option. However, it is a much more difficult option. As moving a Power 5 college football game with less than a week’s notice, seems extremely unlikely to happen.