Virginia Tech Football announced today that the Hokies and East Carolina have "mutually agreed to cancel" the remaining football games between the two.
The Hokies had previously cancelled their future trips to ECU between 2019 and 2025 before today's announcement. This news now leaves the Hokies with openings in 2020, 2022, and 2024. However, the Hokies do have a home-and-home series with Marshall in 2023 and 2024 that should help fill the gap.
The 2020 opening seem likely to be filled with Group of 5 or FCS opponent given the lack of time with this even if VT has know this. Additionally, this game leaving a late September opening would make an addition that isn't a lower Group of 5 or FCS difficult. The 2022 opening does provide some greater flexibility though a pair of road trips to ODU and Liberty make adding a sixth home game a priority.
This series had started to rub some fans the wrong way but it is a shame that it ended this way for the many reasons that caused it. ECU had become one of the more interesting road trips while also giving VT a chance to play in a tougher environment as they prepared for ACC play. While an extension of the series wasn't happening due to ODU and/or Liberty becoming the convenient Group of 5 opponent, it's disappointing that the two programs were unable to come to some sort of closure outside of this.
Meanwhile, Andy Bitter of The Athletic revealed that part of filling holes in 2024 and 2025 may come against a team from the SEC with another SEC team being looked at later in the 2020s.
A mid-level SEC opponent is in the works to replace the Wisconsin series in 2024-25. A higher-level SEC opponent should be added later in the decade. #Hokies finalizing some things.— Andy Bitter (@AndyBitterVT) September 23, 2019
South Carolina could be a possibility in 2024 and 2025 as the Hokies have a Power 5 home game in 2024 and a road one in 2025 while South Carolina have the opposite setup currently, making those two a pair that could work well together. Hokie fans have been also hoping for a South Carolina home-and-home for years with plenty of mutual respect between the two programs.
Vanderbilt also fits the non-conference scheduling mold that would make them a realistic candidate with a trip to Nashville likely to appeal to many Hokies. SEC West rivals Mississippi State and Ole Miss also could fit the mid-level mold with the Bulldogs' schedule fitting with VT's better.