This isn’t an “everyone gets a trophy” article. There was a winner (Virginia Tech) and a loser (West Virginia) Sunday evening in Landover.
VT fans left happy; WVU fans left upset. The trophy went to Blacksburg while only buses went back to Morgantown.
But no matter what side you cheered for, we all won last night – college football won last night.
The one-year return of the battle for the Black Diamond Trophy was a great reminder for players, coaches and fans alike about what college football was built on and should be continued to be built around.
Geographical rivalries have been broken up due to conference realignment (read money), TV dollars (read money) and other external factors (again, read money). Yet last night was a great showing of why college football needs to do a better job of keeping these rivalries in tact.
Over 67,000 fans flocked to FedEx Field, meaning the game would’ve been a sellout had it been played in Lane Stadium or at Mountaineer Field. With both teams ranked as they have traditionally been for much of the time since the last time they met in 2005, it was a nationally televised affair with countless more fans tuned in to watch the thrilling ending.
It was a no-brainer. And you have to tip your cap to the athletic directors and everyone involved for bringing the rivalry back, even if it was for just a day.
Luckily for WVU fans, this sentiment has been heard.
No matter what the college football landscape looks like in 2021, West Virginia will play Virginia Tech again, this time in Morgantown. Then the following year, the Hokies and the Pittsburgh Panthers are on the schedule. After that Penn State and Pittsburgh are both scheduled for 2023 and 2024.
WVU gets it; let’s hope the rest of college football gets it too.