Virginia Tech begins a new era under coach Brent Pry, looking to return to the prominence it enjoyed under school standard bearer Frank Beamer.
Pry comes from the defensive side of the ball as coordinator at
Penn State, getting his first crack at a head coaching job.
He'll have his work cut out for him in a strong Atlantic Coast Conference that boasts top-20 programs such as
Clemson, Pittsburgh, Miami and North Carolina.
The good news for Pry: Dabo Swinney's Tigers are not on the schedule.
DraftKings has the Hokies at +125 to win more than 6.5 regular-season games. The under comes in at -145.
Can Clemson bounce back after a down year? How will the four programs with new coaches do? FrontPageBets breaks down the ACC contenders.
Getting Virginia Tech rolling starts with anointing a new quarterback.
Marshall transfer Grant Wells and South Carolina portal addition Jason Brown are vying for the job. Wells, the favorite, is a prolific passer who has been bitten at times by bad decisions. The receiver corps has thinned but Temple transfer Jadan Blue could provide punch along with returner Kaleb Smith. At running back, Malachi Thomas will carry the load behind a rebuilding offensive line.
Defensively, the Hokies look to improve across the board. D-line addition Pheldarius Payne enters from
Nebraska, teaming with holdover Ty Juan Garbutt. The linebacker corps features Dax Hollifield and Alan Tisdale, the top two tacklers. The secondary is pretty stable behind mainstays Amari Chatman and Nasir Peoples.
The three Group of 5 games on the slate are must wins. Losses at Pittsburgh and against Miami back to back seem pretty certain and may take a physical toll.
FrontPageBets looks at the Hokies' schedule with predictions and some key games that will determine if they can exceed 6.5 victories.
Read more about Virginia Tech at the
Richmond Times-Dispatch. Key games to determining O/U: Boston College, West Virginia. Vs. Boston College, Sept. 10
This is no gimme in Blacksburg against the Eagles.
With talented quarterback
Phil Jurkovec back under center for BC, the Hokies will be tested in the air. Putting pressure on the passer will be paramount.
Wells will have to use his arm and his head to bring this game home.
Vs. West Virginia, Sept. 22
This Thursday night game presents a short week for both of the former Big East rivals.
The pressure will be on Mountaineers coach Neal Brown coming off another rivalry game against Pittsburgh in the Backyard Brawl a week prior.
Should Virginia Tech not get it done in the opener in Norfolk against
Old Dominion, Pry could be staring at a disappointing start with four brutal games to follow. Virginia Tech’s 2022 regular-season schedule breakdown
Sept. 2 at Old Dominion: W
Sept. 10 vs. Boston College: W
Sept. 22 vs. West Virginia: L
Oct. 1 at North Carolina: L
Nov. 5 vs.
Georgia Tech: W
With a talented nucleus returning at quarterback and wide receiver, can UVA get to 7 wins this season? FrontPageBets takes a look at the Cavaliers' 2022 regular-season schedule.
Gambling problem? There is help. Call 1-800-522-4700 or visit the National Council on Problem Gambling for help.
Conference realignment, NIL and scheduling format among storylines to watch during 2022 Big Ten Media Days
USC and UCLA join the mix
A year after Texas and Oklahoma stunned college athletics and shook up conference alignment once again after they announced they will soon leave the Big 12 and join the Southeastern Conference, USC and UCLA followed a similar path by announcing they’ll depart from the Pac-12 for the Big Ten in 2024 to create a superconference that spans coast to coast.
The decision sent shockwaves throughout the sports world and will likely cause yet another domino effect for years to come. It also made people question the current NCAA model of athletics.
The Big Ten might not be done, however. Warren will likely address the possibility of more schools joining the conference and the reason for adding two West Coast programs despite the majority of the Big Ten schools residing in the Midwest and Northeast.
College Football Players Association
Led by Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford, Big Ten players reportedly have had discussions with Warren about the changing landscape of college sports and how it impacts student-athletes. No Maryland players were part of those discussions, according to a team spokesperson.
Clifford released a statement Friday, saying, “In the last 90 days, the [College Football Players Association] presented interesting ideas to me and my teammates with the goal of joining their college football players association. However, at this time, I along with many players are committed to working at the campus and conference level to address complexities of collegiate athletics for student-athletes.”
The CFPA was founded in 2021 to make sure college football players are organized to have a collective voice in the decision-making within their sport. However, executive director Jason Stahl said the CFPA doesn’t classify itself as a union.
According to ESPN, Stahl spoke with Warren about having a representative on each campus who advocates for players during medical situations or other disputes, post-football health protections and players receiving a percentage of the media rights revenue.
Name, image and likeness — again
NIL was a major talking point during SEC media day last week. Alabama coach Nick Saban said he is for players creating value for themselves but thinks there should be guidelines to protect the competitive balance.
“The advent of collectives has created a way for third parties to make contributions to marketing organizations, who can create opportunities for players, which I think is a good thing,” he said. “When it’s used in recruiting and players start making choices based on promises made in name, image and likeness, I don’t think that’s a good thing. I think there needs to be transparency on how all that’s done. I think there needs to be some protection for players when it comes to people who represent them.”
Expect Big Ten coaches to answer questions regarding their school’s approach to NIL and how it has impacted college sports more than a year after the U.S. Supreme Court sided with college athletes in a decision that struck at the NCAA’s definition of amateurism.
Schedule format changes
According to the Athletic, Big Ten administrators have discussed dropping from nine conference games to eight beginning in 2023. They have also discussed the possibility of ending divisional play and instead schools would play three opponents annually and cycle through the other teams every other year or two.
In June, the Atlantic Coast Conference announced a new football schedule model starting in 2023. Under the new model, each team will play three primary opponents annually and face the other league teams twice during the four-year cycle, once at home and once on the road. It will also eliminate the Atlantic and Coastal divisions and all 14 schools will compete in one division.
Gerry Ahern is senior content editor for FrontPageBets. A 35-year veteran sports editor and digital media executive, he has led coverage of the biggest events in sports, from Super Bowls, to Final Fours, to Olympics, to the Masters.