MORGANTOWN — It’s turning out the only thing tougher than playing the 2020 football season through this COVID-19 pandemic is scheduling it for West Virginia University.
The latest roadblock was thrown in the Mountaineers’ path by the ACC, which announced its plans for its 2020 football schedule and what they did greatly affects the Mountaineers schedule.
The ACC has decided to go to a 10 and 1 plan. The conference will play 10 conference games and one non-conference.
Now WVU originally had scheduled Florida State for Sept. 5 in Atlanta in the Kickoff Classic but that seemed to go down the drain when the ACC said they would play no non-conference.
The people who run the Atlanta game, however, decided that they could possibly arrange a matchup as part of the three-game festival they use to christen the football season there with a game between WVU and Virginia.
It never really was signed, sealed or delivered, but it dangled there as a possibility as things throughout the world of college football settled in.
But the ACC announcement Wednesday seems to put the kibosh on that as there is asterisk on the one non-conference game the ACC will play.
The conference has deemed that the game will be against an opponent of choice for the ACC school and that game must be played either at home or within the state of the conference school, cutting down their travel costs and risk of exposure to corona virus.
That would rule out the Atlanta game, unless WVU could find a way to work out something with the people in Atlanta to play Georgia Tech.
There, of course, is the possibility, perhaps, of finding a way to make up the game they had two years ago at North Carolina State to the hurricane by scheduling a game in Raleigh … or working out a game against N.C. State, Duke or North Carolina in Charlotte … but that certainly is a long shot considering the date and logistics.
What’s more, WVU can’t line up a game with an SEC team because the SEC has decided to play an all-conference schedule.
So, most likely, if the Big 12 doesn’t decide to just go to an all-conference schedule — which would be just nine games and is highly unlikely — WVU will fill the void now that they don’t have that ACC game or the originally scheduled Maryland game that was wiped out when the Big Ten went to a conference-only schedule, too, with a game against a MAC team.
The most likely opponent would be Akron.
With the Big 12 Media Day scheduled for early next week, expect the conference to have its scheduling plans worked out by then.
Follow Bob Hertzel on Twitter @bhertzel