Big Ten decision costs VT the Penn State game, Jordan Stout homecoming


Photo courtesy of PSU – Jordan Stout is a former Virginia Tech kicker who has found a new home at Penn State.

By Marty Gordon

Former Virginia Tech kicker Jordan Stout, who is now at Penn State, had Sept. 12, 2020, circled on his calendar as the date of his return to Blacksburg. That was when the Hokies were scheduled to play the Nittany Lions. That homecoming won’t happen, however, after the Big Ten decided to play only conference games in 2020.

Stout was three times all-state as a standout kicker at Honaker High School in Cedar Bluff, Va. He came to Virginia Tech in 2018 with hopes of being the team’s regular kicker. As a walk-on and a kickoff specialist, he appeared in all 13 games, registering touchbacks on 60 of his 71 kicks. He never received a scholarship, though, so he transferred to Penn State, where he was given one.

Last year at Penn State, he boomed a 50-yard field goal against Wisconsin, a 57-yard field goal against Pittaburgh and a 52-yarder against Syracuse. He had 66 touchbacks on 83 kickoffs.

It remains to be seen whether other Power 5 conferences will follow the Big Ten’s lead. The Atlantic Coast Conference is waiting and watching with a statement that it will not make a decision until late July. The SEC had made no comment on its future plans.  The Big 12 has not made an announcement about its plans and appears to be taking the same wait-and-see approach as the ACC and the SEC. If other conferences follow the Big Ten’s move, however, the ACC may well do so, too.

The ACC could move to a 10-game all-conference schedule for all fall sports. The idea would lend itself to ESPN and the ACC Network still having great games to watch.

Football seems to be the headliner in all of this discussion. The 2020 Virginia Tech football schedule currently looks like this:

       Sept. 5, Liberty

       Sept. 12, Penn State, CANCELLED

       Sept. 19, at Middle Tennessee

       Sept. 26, North Alabama

       Oct. 3, Georgia Tech

       Oct. 10, at North Carolina

       Oct. 17, OPEN

       Oct. 22, Boston College

       Oct. 31, at Louisville

       Nov. 6, at Pittsburgh

       Nov. 14, Miami

       Nov. 21, at Duke

       Nov. 28, Virginia       

Two schools that sit in limbo in this whole situation are Notre Dame and Liberty since both are independents. So far, the Irish have lost four games from their schedule, which currently looks like this:

       September 5: Navy, CANCELLED

       September 12: Arkansas (Notre Dame, IN)

       September 19: Western Michigan (Notre Dame, IN)

       September 26: Wake Forest (Charlotte, NC)

       October 3: Wisconsin (Green Bay, WI)– CANCELLED

       October 10: Stanford Cardinal (Notre Dame, IN)– CANCELLED

       October 17: Pittsburgh Panthers (Pittsburgh, PA)

       October 24: Bye

       October 31: Duke Blue Devils (Notre Dame, IN)

       November 7: Clemson Tigers (Notre Dame, IN)

       November 14: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (Atlanta, GA)

       November 21: Louisville Cardinals (Notre Dame, IN)

       November 28: USC Trojans (Los Angeles, CA)– CANCELLED

The argument has been made to force Notre Dame to become a full-fledged ACC member in football, and this year might be the time to discuss the idea seriously. For once, the Irish would benefit from being an ACC football member. They do have six ACC-games still on the schedule, and the conference will probably continue those slated for this year.

For Liberty, things could be a little tougher. The Flames 2020 schedule is as follows:

       Sept. 5, at Virginia Tech

       Sept. 12, N.C. A&T

       Sept. 19, at Western Kentucky

       Sept. 26, Florida International

       Oct. 3, at Bowling Green

       Oct. 10, UL Monroe

       Oct. 17, at Syracuse

       Oct. 24, Southern Miss

       Oct. 31, at UConn

       Nov. 7, OPEN

       Nov. 14, Western Carolina

       Nov. 21, at N.C. State

       Nov. 28, UMass

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