Virginia-Virginia Tech rivalry

The Virginia-Virginia Tech rivalry is a college rivalry, mostly in sports, that exists between the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech. Both athletics programs are members of the Atlantic Coast Conference. In sports that use divisions such as college baseball and college football, both teams compete in the Coastal Division of the ACC. In the 2005-06 and 2006-07 school years, the program-wide rivalry was called the Commonwealth Challenge. [cite web|url=http://www.hokiesports.com/commonwealthchallenge/|title=Commonwealth Challenge|publisher=hokiesports.com] UVA won both years of the Challenge and it was discontinued out of sensitivity following the Virginia Tech massacre. [cite web|url=http://www.roanoke.com/sports/college/wb/151581|title=Bragging rights taken off the table|last=Doughty|first=Doug|date=2008-02-21|publisher=The Roanoke Times]

Intensity

Some from outside the state are surprised to learn that the rivalry is a bitter one. Former Ohio State quarterback and football analyst Kirk Herbstreit said in 2004 that he "never realized how much those people hate each other." He went on to say "when I was down in Blacksburg, I said some nice things about Al Groh and it was like I had turned my back on them." [cite news | title = Tech-UVa relationship eye-opening for Herbstreit | pages = | language = English | publisher = "Roanoke Times" | date = 2004-11-19 | url = http://www.roanoke.com/sports/notebookplus/wb/14125 | accessdate = 2007-10-11 ]

Virginia Tech joins ACC

The Atlantic Coast Conference initially planned to add Boston College, Miami, and Syracuse to the conference lineup. Talks with Syracuse stalled as Jim Boeheim vocalized his opposition to the move, and Duke, UNC, and Virginia consistently voted against adding the Orange. When it became obvious that Syracuse lacked the necessary seven votes, U.Va. President John T. Casteen III took the opportunity to suggest the ACC consider Virginia Tech on June 18, 2003 [ [http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-267397.html ACC Will Reconsider Hokies for Expansion; Adding Virginia Tech Would Make It a 13-Team League | Article from The Washington Post | HighBeam Research ] ] . Duke and UNC voted against the Hokies, but with Casteen's support Virginia Tech was invited to the conference with 7 out of 9 votes. Miami and Virginia Tech joined the ACC in 2004, with Boston College joining in 2005.

The primary significance of this development to the rivalry was that the athletic teams from the two schools would now be mandated to play every year. For instance, the men's college soccer teams did not face each other in any of the four seasons between 2000 and 2003. They have since met every year after Virginia Tech became a conference member in 2004. Additionally, in some sports where there was already an agreement to play each other on an annual basis, the teams might now play more than once. For instance, the men's college basketball teams had played each other annually since the 1934-35 season but not faced each other twice in the same season since 1983-84. Starting with the 2004-05 season, the teams have played at least twice each year, and in 2005-06 the teams met for a "third" time in the ACC Tournament.

All-time and ACC series results

"Series led and games won by Virginia are shaded ██. Series led and games won by Virginia Tech shaded ██."

† Virginia Tech does not field a varsity men's lacrosse team.
^ Hokiesports.com has results for men's soccer back to only 1975, but Virginiasports.com has a record of results going back to 1960. [cite web|url=http://www.virginiasports.com/pdf5/88829.pdf|title=#4 VIRGINIA vs. #16 VIRGINIA TECH|format=PDF]

Commonwealth Challenge

Now in the same conference, the two schools agreed to face off in a Commonwealth Challenge across all sports in 2005. The Challenge continued through 2007, with the Cavaliers winning both years of the competition. It was discontinued "in the short term" after the Virginia Tech massacre, although a score was tallied on February 21, 2008 by the "Roanoke Times" using the scoring system of the previous two years. UVA would have been leading the 2007–2008 competition as of that date, 7 to 6. [cite news | title = Bragging rights taken off the table | pages = | language = English | publisher ="Roanoke Times" | date = 2008-01-21 | url = http://www.roanoke.com/sports/college/wb/151581 | accessdate = 2008-05-12 ]

"Years won by Virginia are shaded ██."

Post-April 16, A New Complexion?

Many fans on both sides of the rivalry have reported a lessening of hostilities between the two universities while maintaining the same intensity of the rivalry in the wake of the Virginia Tech Massacre. According to "The Washington Post" "students in both camps are more apt to think of themselves as simply Virginians." UVa students were amongst the first university students to lend support to the comrades at Virginia Tech in the wake of the shootings. Likewise, the connections between the two university's populations are often very close. Prior to the 2007 football contest in Charlottesville both college's bands participated in a joint performance. However, the intensity of the rivalry was still as spirited as ever, with both sides cheering passionately for their own team as a berth to the ACC Championship game was on the line. [cite news | title = After Tragedy, Hokies and Cavs Take Field as Virginians All | pages = | language = English | publisher ="Washington Post" | date = 2007-11-23 | url = http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/23/AR2007112301215.html?nav=hcmodule | accessdate = 2007-12-02 ]

U-Va.'s student newspaper reported that students in Charlottesville were even sporting Hokie sweatshirts on occasion in observance of the tragedy. The University's Z Society went so far as unveiling a 65' x 120' Virginia Pride flag featuring both UVA and VT logos on it during the annual football game, and it was noted that the two fan bases had never been so close as they were after the shootings.

ee also

*Commonwealth Cup, the annual college football rivalry between the two schools
*South's Oldest Rivalry, the long-standing rivalry between Virginia and North Carolina
*Black Diamond Trophy, the discontinued rivalry trophy between Virginia Tech and West Virginia

References


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