Sorry for the absence. I’ve been covering the NCAA women’s College Cup (soccer final four) up at Kennesaw State this week, which has swallowed up a lot of time and didn’t provide much in the way of Georgia Tech-related blog material, except for that I learned that Tech is the only ACC school without a women’s soccer team. (I knew the school didn’t have one, mind you, but didn’t know that it was the only one in the ACC.)
(If you’re wondering, I don’t see that changing. A lot of women’s soccer teams were added for the sake of Title IX and Tech, for better or worse, doesn’t have to worry about Title IX as much as other schools because of the male-female ratio. Further, room is scarce, as is money in the budget. If Tech were to ever add another sport, my guess it’d be something smaller, like women’s golf or sand volleyball.)
Anyway, I spoke with two bowl directors this week, Steve Hogan at the Champs Sports Bowl and Bernie Olivas at the Sun Bowl, who is fast becoming one of my favorite bowl directors because he’s about as forthcoming as any I’ve spoken to.
Anyway, not much has changed on the Sun Bowl’s end – they’re interested and hope that Tech is available when their pick comes up. However, I called Hogan expecting him to say that Tech was no longer an option or to downplay its chances after the Georgia loss, but he didn’t.
He may have been playing coy, but he refuted the notion that Florida State is a done deal or even the leading candidate. I asked him what would make Tech an attractive option and he said Tech was 8-4, had a win over Clemson, has a rivalry with Notre Dame (a potential opponent), has a history in Orlando, having played in the Champs Sports Bowl twice and the Florida Citrus Bowl in the 1990 season. Not exactly compelling reasons, but he said the matter will be put to vote Sunday. So, at least publicly, Tech is still a candidate for the Champs Sports Bowl.
Olivas did acknowledge the possibility that Clemson could fall to the Sun Bowl if the Tigers got drilled. (The Sun Bowl is contractually obligated to take the ACC title-game loser if it’s still available.) On that topic, if Clemson lost so badly as to make a Chick-fil-A Bowl appearance untenable, the choice becomes Florida State and Virginia, I think. FSU was there last year, but the game has taken teams in consecutive years in the past. Virginia’s case could be made by having beaten both the Seminoles and Jackets.
“I still think Florida State is still heading to the Champs, and in that case, I still think Georgia Tech might be headed our way,” Olivas said. “It’d be them or Virginia, but we’re leaning towards Georgia Tech.”
As for the Sun Bowl opponent out of the Pac-12, Olivas said it’ll come down to one of three teams – Utah, Washington or Cal. The Holiday and Alamo Bowls will likely take two of them and the Sun Bowl will get the third.
The announcement will be made Sunday evening, and it’ll up online soon after.
As for bowl practices, they’re tentatively scheduled to start Monday with five next week. There should be media availability Monday, so I’ll have something up either Monday evening or Tuesday morning.