CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- It's the Mountain State versus the Atlantic Coast Conference this Saturday.
West Virginia and Maryland take the 50th "Border Battle" up the beltway to the Baltimore Ravens' home duds, M&T Bank Stadium. This is the fourth of eight uninterrupted years of play between the college football neighbors, who have a contract that runs through the 2017 season.
The Mountaineers and Terrapins will certainly play again after that, but when? WVU Athletic Director Oliver Luck and Maryland Athletic Director Kevin Anderson will surely sit down this weekend and discuss the possibility of continuing the series, perhaps in 2021 or 2022.
"We want games against sort of the old gang," Luck said Tuesday afternoon, "but scheduling is a bilateral task."
Meanwhile, Marshall travels to Blacksburg, Va., for the final game of a 2-for-1 series with Terps leaguemate Virginia Tech. It is one of the Herd's two remaining series not scheduled by fifth-year MU Athletic Director Mike Hamrick, who has fancied home-and-home deals since he took over in 2009.
The "Battle for the Bell" games against Ohio University scheduled for next season and 2015 represent the last of the work of Bob Marcum, Hamrick's predecessor.
You'll likely see more of Hamrick's scheduling philosophy as future slates take shape, including a yet-to-be-announced series with East Carolina. The Pirates leave Conference USA after this season, but the hunch here is the Herd's longtime football counterpart will appear on future schedules.
It is doubtful Marshall fans will see another series like the one ending this Saturday. Virginia Tech sandwiched home games - 2009 in Blacksburg and this season - around the Hokies' 2011 visit to Huntington.
Hamrick, however, has brokered deals for home-and-home series with Louisville, Purdue, Navy and former Mid-American Conference buddies Miami, Akron and Kent State.
A single-game trip to a power conference school isn't out of the question, Hamrick said.
"The only way I would go on the road and be bought is if we had seven home games," he said. "I'm not saying I'll do that, but that's something in 2016 looks like we could have ... we're looking for a road game. We could either start a series or we could go play somebody big."