Virginia–Virginia Tech rivalry Article

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Virginia Tech meets Virginia for the Hokies' first visit to John Paul Jones Arena on March 1, 2007.

The Virginia–Virginia Tech rivalry is an American college rivalry that exists between the Virginia Cavaliers sports teams of the University of Virginia and the Virginia Tech Hokies sports teams of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, commonly known as Virginia Tech. The Cavaliers and Hokies have a program-wide rivalry called the Commonwealth Clash, which is tied 2–2 as of 2018. While Virginia leads the rivalry series in the majority of non-revenue sports, Virginia Tech has won a record 15 straight Commonwealth Cups in football as of 2018 and won their first Commonwealth Clash in 2017.

Both universities are members of the Atlantic Coast Conference. In sports that have divisional play, such as college baseball and college football, both compete in the Coastal division of the conference. Virginia and Virginia Tech had actually been conference rivals in the past prior to the latter joining the ACC. The two schools were in the South Atlantic Intercollegiate Athletic Association together from 1907–22, then in the Southern Conference from 1922–37.

The Cavaliers were Independent from 1937 to 1953. The Hokies remained in the Southern Conference until 1965, and were Independent from 1965 to 1978. Virginia Tech then had stints in the Metro Conference, Atlantic 10 Conference, and Big East Conference before joining the Cavaliers in the ACC. Despite different or no conference affiliations from 1937 to 2004, Virginia and Virginia Tech always maintained athletic ties and were annual rivals in a great many sports.

All-time and ACC series results

Sport All-time series record [1] ACC series record Last result Next meeting
Baseball UVA leads 101–86 UVA leads 29–11 UVA won 6–5 on April 8, 2018 May 16–18, 2019 @ VT
Men's Basketball UVA leads 92–56 UVA leads 19–11 UVA won 81-59 on Jan. 15, 2019 Feb 18, 2019 @ VT
Women's Basketball UVA leads 50–10 UVA leads 25–4 UVA won 62–58 on Jan. 11, 2019 Feb 28, 2019 @ VT
Football ( Commonwealth Cup) VT leads 58–37–5 VT leads 15–0 VT won 34–31 on Nov. 23, 2018 Nov. 2019 @ UVA
Women's Lacrosse UVA leads 22–2 UVA leads 12–2 VT won 16–12 on April 21, 2018 Apr. 20, 2019 @ UVA
Men's Soccer UVA leads 31–2–5 UVA leads 8–2–5 UVA & VT tied 1-1 on Sept 7, 2018 Fall 2019
Women's Soccer UVA leads 15–4–1 UVA leads 10–3 VT won 1–0 on September 27, 2018 Fall 2019
Softball VT leads 40–22 VT leads 27–12 VT won 3-2 on April 14, 2018 Apr. 12–14, 2018 @ VT
Men's Swimming/Diving UVA leads 28–4 UVA leads 10–4 UVA won 159–140 on Jan. 12, 2019 Feb. 21–23, 2019
(ACC Championship/Commonwealth Clash)
Women's Swimming/Diving UVA leads 30–1 UVA leads 14–0 UVA won 171–115 on Jan. 12, 2019 Feb. 27–Mar. 2, 2019
(ACC Championship/Commonwealth Clash)
Men's Tennis UVA leads 55–9 UVA leads 13–1 VT won 4–3 on April 22, 2018 Apr. 14, 2019 @ UVA
Women's Tennis UVA leads 38–5 UVA leads 14–0 UVA won 6-1 on April 7, 2018 Feb. 24, 2019 @ UVA
Volleyball VT leads 37–35 VT leads 17–12 UVA won 3–2 on November 9, 2018 Fall 2019
Wrestling VT leads 42–27 VT leads 11–3 VT won 22-18 on Feb. 11, 2018 Feb 16, 2019 @ VT
TOTALS UVA leads 582–356–11 UVA leads 180–108–5

Series led and games won by Virginia are shaded ██. Series led and games won by Virginia Tech shaded ██. Head-to-head games/matches only

Conference, Sponsorship, Relative Popularity and Success

UVA has been a member of the ACC since 1953, while Virginia Tech was invited in 2004. Both athletics programs are also sponsored by Nike. [2] The Cavaliers are signed with Nike through 2025, at $3.5 million per year. [2] The Hokies are also signed with Nike through 2022, at $1.98 million per year. [2] Virginia had the third (after FSU and Louisville) highest ACC total athletics revenue, with $91 million in 2014–2015. [3] Virginia Tech was sixth, drawing $80 million. [3]

Moreover, UVA polled as the slightly more popular college sports program in their home state as of 2015 — with Virginia residents choosing the Cavaliers over the Hokies by a margin of 34% to 28% — despite UVA having fewer students and a smaller alumni base. [4] The first and only Fan Vote of the Commonwealth Clash, also in 2015, bore this out as there were slightly more Cavalier fans than Hokie fans in the final tally which allowed UVA to take the point.

The Cavaliers won the Capital One Cup for fielding the top overall men's athletics program in the entire nation in 2015 and the Wahoos also lead all 15 ACC programs in all-time NCAA titles for men's sports with 18 (North Carolina leads in women's titles, with Virginia and Duke tied for second place). Virginia Tech, although it has had successes against Virginia in several individual sports (most sustained in football) and like Virginia has won titles in individual track and field events, [5] is still awaiting its first NCAA title in any sport.

Commonwealth Challenge & Clash

Now in the same conference, the two schools agreed to face off in a Commonwealth Challenge [6] across all sports in 2005. The Challenge continued through 2007, with the Cavaliers winning both years of the competition. Future sponsorship was not sought out of respect for the Virginia Tech massacre. Virginia athletic director Craig Littlepage stated at the time that "now is not the time to be talking about bragging rights." [7]

Commonwealth Clash
VT & UVA tied, 2–2
Commonwealth Clash Virginia VT rivalry.jpg
Virginia (2) Virginia Tech (2)

In August 2014, the two schools announced a renewed rivalry competition and new scoring system between the two schools, named the Commonwealth Clash. This new competition is sponsored by Virginia 529 College Savings Plan. [8] VT and UVA are now tied in the new series 2–2.

Each meeting in a sport is worth a single point in the Clash. In basketball and volleyball, where the two schools meet twice per season, each individual game is worth one-half point. In baseball and softball, the point is awarded to the winner of the series, with a split of a two- or four-game series earning one-half point each. A tied game in soccer also awards one-half point each. In sports where teams participate in meets or tournaments instead of head-to-head – cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field, and men's and women's golf – the school that finishes higher in the ACC championship earns the point. Swimming and diving also falls under this category, even though the two schools schedule annual meets against each other; this meeting does not count toward the Clash. [9]

If there is a tie in points on the field, the first tiebreaker is the greater number of ACC championships in common sports, followed by the greater number of honor roll athletes in common sports. This happened for the first time in 2016–17; Virginia Tech won the Clash by capturing four ACC championships to Virginia's one. [9]

Yearly records

Yearly Result
Overall Clash series
UVA 15–7
UVA led 1–0
UVA 14–7
UVA led 2–0
VT wins first tiebreaker 4–1
UVA led 2–1
VT 12.5–8.5
VT & UVA tied 2–2
VT 4–3
Sport 2014–15 [10] 2015–16 2016–17 2017-18 2018-19
Men's Soccer UVA 1 point UVA 1 point UVA / VT 0.5 UVA 1 point UVA / VT 0.5
Women's Soccer UVA 1 point Did Not Play UVA 1 point Did Not Play VT 1 point
Men's Cross Country UVA 1 point UVA 1 point UVA 1 point VT 1 point UVA 1 point
Women's Cross Country UVA 1 point UVA 1 point VT 1 point VT 1 point VT 1 point
Volleyball UVA / VT 0.5 UVA / VT 0.5 VT 1 point VT 1 point UVA / VT 0.5
Football VT 1 point VT 1 point VT 1 point VT 1 point VT 1 point
Men's Basketball UVA 1 point UVA / VT 0.5 UVA / VT 0.5 UVA / VT 0.5 UVA 0.5 point
Women's Basketball UVA 1 point VT 1 point UVA 1 point UVA 1 point UVA 0.5 point
Wrestling VT 1 point VT 1 point VT 1 point VT 1 point
Men's Swimming/Diving VT 1 point VT 1 point VT 1 point UVA 1 point
Women's Swimming/Diving UVA 1 point UVA 1 point UVA 1 point UVA 1 point
Men's Indoor Track and Field VT 1 point UVA 1 point VT 1 point VT 1 point
Women's Indoor Track and Field VT 1 point UVA 1 point VT 1 point VT 1 point
Men's Tennis UVA 1 point UVA 1 point UVA 1 point VT 1 point
Women's Tennis UVA 1 point UVA 1 point UVA 1 point UVA 1 point
Men's Golf UVA 1 point UVA 1 point UVA 1 point UVA 1 point
Women's Golf Did Not Play UVA 1 point UVA 1 point UVA 1 point
Women's Lacrosse UVA 1 point UVA 1 point UVA 1 point VT 1 point
Baseball VT 1 point UVA 1 point UVA 1 point UVA 1 point
Softball UVA / VT 0.5 VT 1 point VT 1 point VT 1 point
Men's Outdoor Track and Field UVA 1 point VT 1 point VT 1 point VT 1 point
Women's Outdoor Track and Field UVA 1 point UVA 1 point VT 1 point VT 1 point
Fan vote UVA 1 point No Vote Held No Vote Held No Vote Held


Some from outside the state find the rivalry to be an especially bitter one. Former Ohio State quarterback and football analyst Kirk Herbstreit said in 2004 that he "never realized how much those people hate each other." He went on to say "when I was down in Blacksburg, I said some nice things about Al Groh and it was like I had turned my back on them." [11]

In 2011, students from Virginia Tech dress up the Thomas Jefferson statue located on the Lawn on UVa's campus after Virginia Tech's football team defeated UVa 38-0. [12]


Virginia Tech joins ACC

In 2003, the Atlantic Coast Conference initially planned to add Boston College, Miami, and Syracuse to the conference lineup. Talks with Syracuse stalled as Jim Boeheim vocalized his opposition to the move, and Duke, UNC, and Virginia consistently voted against adding the Orange. When it became obvious that Syracuse lacked the necessary seven votes, Virginia Tech emerged as a compromise candidate put forward to win over the decisive seventh vote from the University of Virginia that ACC officials needed to gain approval for their expansion plans.

Virginia Governor Mark Warner earlier had suggested the NCAA intervene and mediate the expansion process, and when that failed added pressure to UVA President John Casteen to refrain from casting an affirmative vote for the conference's plan to expand without Virginia Tech. [13] Warner feared that such a move would hurt Virginia Tech by leaving it in a diminished Big East. [14] UVA President John T. Casteen III then offered a plan to have the ACC expand but consider Virginia Tech in lieu of Syracuse on June 18, 2003. [15] Duke and UNC voted against the Hokies, but with Casteen's support Virginia Tech was invited to the conference with 7 out of 9 votes. Miami and Virginia Tech joined the ACC in 2004, with Boston College joining in 2005.

The primary significance of this development to the rivalry was that the athletic teams from the two schools would now be mandated to play every year. For instance, the men's college soccer teams did not face each other in any of the four seasons between 2000 and 2003. They have since met every year after Virginia Tech became a conference member in 2004. Additionally, in some sports where there was already an agreement to play each other on an annual basis, the teams might now play more than once. For instance, the men's college basketball teams had played each other annually since the 1934–35 season but not faced each other twice in the same season since 1983–84. Starting with the 2004–05 season, the teams have played at least twice each year, and in 2005–06 the teams met for a third time in the ACC Tournament.

Impact of the Virginia Tech massacre

In addition to ending the original Commonwealth Challenge, the Virginia Tech massacre had the effect of lessening of hostilities between the two universities during the aftermath. According to The Washington Post "students in both camps are more apt to think of themselves as simply Virginians." UVa students were amongst the first university students to lend support to the comrades at Virginia Tech in the wake of the shootings. Likewise, the connections between the two university's populations are often very close. Prior to the 2007 football contest in Charlottesville both college's bands participated in a joint performance. [16]

...there was the sense among Tech students that fans of U-Va. – an institution founded by none other than Thomas Jefferson – looked down their noses at the mountain-ensconced Hokies of Blacksburg. Hokies were "hicks"; Cavaliers were "snobs." But after the shootings in April, something changed. U-Va. students and faculty members wrote condolence letters, held a candlelight vigil and even painted the campus's fabled Beta Bridge with a pro-Hokies phrase.

— Jonathan Mummolo, The Washington Post [17]

UVa.'s student newspaper reported that students in Charlottesville were even sporting Hokie sweatshirts on occasion in observance of the tragedy. The University's Z Society went so far as unveiling a 65' x 120' Virginia Pride flag featuring both UVA and VT logos on it during the annual football game, and it was noted that the two fan bases had never been so close as they were after the shootings.

Since the tragedy, it hasn't been so odd to see a Wahoo wearing a Virginia Tech sweatshirt. Since April, transfer students haven't felt so awkward saying they used to attend school in Blacksburg. Truly, Hokies and Wahoos have never been so together.

— Eric Kolenich, The Cavalier Daily [18]

See also


  1. ^ Sources: and
  2. ^ a b c UVA signs lucrative Nike deal, accessed August 13, 2015
  3. ^ a b Parsing Virginia Tech's athletic department revenue figures, accessed April 18, 2016
  4. ^ Public Policy Poll on Va. topics, released July 21, 2015; accessed July 25, 2015
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-07-28. Retrieved 2011-12-04.
  7. ^ Doughty, Doug (2008-02-21). "Bragging rights taken off the table". The Roanoke Times.
  8. ^ "Commonwealth Clash Adds to Historic Rivalry Between UVa and Virginia Tech". The University of Virginia Official Athletic Site. 25 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  9. ^ a b "Commonwealth Clash Point System". Commonwealth Clash.
  10. ^ "2014–2015 Schedule/Results". The Commonwealth Clash. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  11. ^ "Tech-UVa relationship eye-opening for Herbstreit". Roanoke Times. 2004-11-19. Retrieved 2007-10-11.
  12. ^ "Virginia Tech Pranksters Play Dress-Up With Mr. Jefferson". Retrieved 2018-12-06.
  13. ^ Obstacles Piling Up in ACC Expansion Path, accessed March 6, 2016
  14. ^ "ACC to invite Virginia Tech". The Washington Times. June 19, 2003. Retrieved 2014-08-21.
  15. ^ ACC Will Reconsider Hokies for Expansion; Adding Virginia Tech Would Make It a 13-Team League | Article from The Washington Post | HighBeam Research
  16. ^ Mummolo, Jonathan (2007-11-23). "After Tragedy, Hokies and Cavs Take Field as Virginians All". Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-12-02.
  17. ^ Mummolo, Jonathan (2007-11-24). "Why are rivalries so intense?". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-05-11.
  18. ^ "Tragedy vs. rivalry". The Cavalier Daily. 2007-11-19. Retrieved 2008-05-11.