MORGANTOWN - West Virginia plays Maryland for the first time since 2007 on Saturday when the Terps visit Mountaineer Field. It's a series that apparently is destined to continue.
The schools announced Monday that the series, which ran consecutively from 1980 through 2007 before the Terps asked for the two-year break, has been extended through 2017. The current contract is through 2013 at alternating sites and the new deal begins in 2014, but with a twist.
The 2014 game will be in College Park, which will be the second straight game there. But then the 2015 and 2016 games will both be in Morgantown.
The reason apparently is because WVU, which tries to schedule one home and one road game against a non-conference BCS opponent each year, already has a home game against Michigan State in 2014 (as well as a game in East Lansing the following season). This arrangement balances that out through at least 2015.
For anyone who is wondering, the contract with Maryland has little or no effect on negotiations for a new contract with Marshall, a series that runs out after 2012.
WVU's five-game non-conference scheduling philosophy is two games against BCS opponents (one home, one away), two against non-BCS opponents (home and away or, in the years when there are only three Big East home games, both home) and a home game against an FCS opponent.
Marshall fits into the non-BCS category.
Everyone assumed that the kickoff for West Virginia's game a week from Saturday at LSU would be at night, but it is even later than expected. The game was announced Monday as a 9 p.m. (Eastern) start that will be televised by ESPN2.