Fresh off the news that Old Dominion would tack a game on to its series against N.C. State (in Raleigh this year and in 2016, in Norfolk in 2015), the Monarchs are looking to schedule another opponent.
ODU AD Wood Selig is aiming toward a game with Navy sometime in the future, reports Harry Minium at the Virginian-Pilot. There's just one problem: there isn't any room on the Midshipmen's schedule.
"(Navy AD) Chet (Gladchuk) said he would love to play us, that it would be a great thing for Navy to play in Norfolk," Selig said. "But now that they’re in a conference, it’s simply not possible."
Navy has four non-conference games per year. Gladchuk told Selig that Navy will always play three longtime rivals – Notre Dame, Army and Air Force.
For now, it looks like a Mids-ODU football game is out of the question. But, as Minium (whose father and next door neighbor both served in the Navy) hit on, it would be great for the Hampton Roads area. The region benefits from its proximity to the ocean and its numerous ports; its status as the home of the largest naval base in the world would equal a major draw for active and retired servicemen and servicewomen.
Probably more realistic is a game against East Carolina. The Pirates and Monarchs were destined to be mates in Conference USA, but ECU's decision to head to The American spoiled what could have been a natural rivalry (Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium is about a two-and-a-half hour drive from Norfolk). Minium reports that Selig's working on that as well:
Selig said the odds of scheduling ECU appear good. He said ECU athletic director Jeff Compher indicated in an email on Wednesday a willingness to play ODU. They exchanged mutual open dates by email on Thursday.
"He said that he would be receptive at looking at potential open dates. I’m cautiously optimistic," Selig said. ECU officials lobbied ODU intensely to join Conference USA two years ago, saying the two schools, located just 2½ hours apart, would become conference arch rivals...
"They’ve left Conference USA, but it still makes economic and geographic sense for Old Dominion and East Carolina to play football," Selig said.
The Monarchs are booked for 2015, but the two teams have openings at the same time in 2016, so it's likely they could open the season against other on September 3 of that year, or September 24 just before each team kicks off the conference schedule. We'll have to see what shakes out, but the prospects are very likely that September 3 or September 24, 2016 are two potential dates to watch.