Athletics

Future Seasons Shaping Up

October 11, 2017
Athletics

Future Seasons Shaping Up

October 11, 2017

Virginia Tech, Duke, ODU, and UVa added to the lineup

Football is a sport that involves meticulous planning behind the scenes, from coordinating rosters to developing playbooks. Game scheduling — sometimes 10 or even 15 years in advance — is one of the most challenging tasks, but it’s one that staff gladly take up as they work to provide fans with season after season of exciting matchups.

Click to enlarge schedule

With Flames Football set to officially join the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) in 2019, Liberty is close to completing its schedule for the first five seasons. Below are recent announcements of FBS action that fans can look forward to seeing on the gridiron.

vs. Virginia Tech

Liberty is planning six future matchups against ACC opponent Virginia Tech, including two games at Williams Stadium.

When the Flames play in Blacksburg, Va., on Sept. 5, 2020, it will mark Liberty’s first contest with Virginia Tech as an FBS program. Liberty will make return trips to Lane Stadium in 2027 (Nov. 20), 2028 (Sept. 2), and 2029 (Sept. 1).

“We are very excited about the series with Virginia Tech and especially about hosting the Hokies at Williams Stadium in both 2022 (Nov. 19) and 2030 (Sept. 7),” said Liberty Director of Athletics Ian McCaw. “Whit Babcock is providing outstanding leadership of their athletics program, and Coach Justin Fuente is one of the rising coaching stars in the nation.”

Liberty opened the 2016 season at Virginia Tech, falling to the Hokies 36-13 in the first-ever matchup between the two programs.

vs. Duke

Liberty recently announced a three-game football series with Duke, starting with a game in Durham, N.C., in 2025 (Nov. 22). The Blue Devils will become the fifth ACC opponent to visit Williams Stadium when they travel to Lynchburg for a game on Sept. 26, 2026. Liberty will travel to Durham once again in 2027 (Sept. 4).

“The series with Duke affords us regional games against a university of the highest academic quality with a football program that is establishing itself among the best in the ACC,” McCaw said.

vs. Old Dominion

The Flames will host their first FBS home game against Old Dominion University on Sept. 1, 2018, the first of four FBS teams to visit Williams Stadium in 2018 (FBS reclassification criteria requires home games against FBS opponents). The Monarchs will make the trip to Lynchburg again in 2021 (Sept. 18). The Flames will travel to Norfolk in 2022 (Sept. 24).

“The series with Old Dominion provides us additional attractive matchups against a high-quality opponent in the Commonwealth of Virginia,” McCaw said. “The job that Wood Selig and Coach Bobby Wilder have done in building the Monarchs’ program is remarkable.”

Liberty and Old Dominion gave fans at Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium a thrilling contest on Oct. 5, 2013, during the first-ever meeting between the two teams. The Monarchs needed a 27-yard touchdown pass during the final minute of the game to secure a 21-17 victory over the Flames.

vs. UVa

The Flames are preparing for at least six matchups with the University of Virginia Cavaliers, including two future home games. The Cavaliers will travel to Williams Stadium for the first time on Sept. 11, 2027, and return in 2029 (Sept. 15). The Flames will head to Scott Stadium for the first time next season on Nov. 10 and again on Nov. 23, 2019; Nov, 7, 2020; and Sept. 14, 2030.


Private Schools in the FBS

Out of the 128 colleges and universities currently competing in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), only 17 are private schools. Next season, Liberty will become the 18th private school on
the list and the only private FBS school in Virginia.

Baylor University
Boston College
Brigham Young University
Duke University
University of Miami
Northwestern University
University of Notre Dame
Rice University
University of Southern California
Southern Methodist University
Stanford University
Syracuse University
Texas Christian University
Tulane University
University of Tulsa
Vanderbilt University
Wake Forest University


17 teams to stay in Big South Conference

Liberty University and the Big South Conference (BSC) Council of Chief Executive Officers have agreed to transition the Flames’ Athletics program from full member to associate member status, beginning with the 2019-20 academic year. The move was necessitated by Liberty’s reclassification to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) as an independent effective in 2018.

The Flames will keep 17 of their NCAA Division I athletics teams in the Big South — all but football, field hockey (which plays in the Big East Conference), and women’s swimming & diving (which competes in the CCSA).

Those 17 programs will continue to be eligible for team and individual BSC championships as well as a chance to represent the Big South as the league’s automatic qualifier in NCAA championships.

“We are grateful to extend our membership in the Big South Conference and continue to partner with the other nine universities and their athletics programs,” Liberty Director of Athletics Ian McCaw said.

Since joining the Big South  on July 1, 1991, Liberty Athletics has claimed 146 Big South titles and captured the Big South Sasser Cup 13 times, the Women’s All-Sports Award eight times, and the Men’s All-Sports Award seven times.

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