But if Tech should stumble between now and then, or the Terps lose to one of their upcoming opponents – namely the third ranked Tigers - that game will be another relatively uninteresting one.
The Hokies’ matchup against Miami on Nov. 9 will likely decide the Coastal Division, so that game could warrant a late start, but that’ll be played in Florida rather than Blacksburg.
It may be rough on fans, but it’s the cold reality of big time college football.
As it stands now, the networks are giving the conference more than $240 million per year for broadcasting rights, so it’s not like these start times come with no benefit.
If Hokie fans actually want to see some sort of concrete change in this status quo, they should lobby for the team to make the step up to a more respected conference. However, that hardly seems likely any time soon, so noon kickoffs are here to stay.
There are a few glimmers of hope for Tech, however.
Besides the two Thursday night games Weaver requested for next season, the team will likely earn prime treatment for its road game with Ohio State.
With the news that Tech will travel to the Bristol Motor Speedway for a game against Tennessee in 2016, it’s clear that national respect for the program is building.
That contest could attract a record crowd for a college football game, thanks to the arena’s capacity of 160,000 seats, which will only serve to further improve Tech’s national standing.
National perception is what it all comes down to. If people aren’t interested in the Hokies and the ACC as a whole, then desirable kickoff times won’t follow.
Things could be looking up for the conference; if Clemson or Florida State can make a serious bid for a spot in the national title game, then that would go a long way toward getting the ACC noticed.
But if the conference remains a joke, then there just isn’t any incentive for the networks to give its members prime placement.
There will be afternoon and even night games in Blacksburg again at some point, but it will take some serious improvement on the part of the Hokies and the whole ACC to make that a reality.