A few notes about Georgia Tech’s berth in the Sun Bowl.
1. Chick-fil-A Bowl president Gary Stokan said that, after Virginia Tech was picked for the Sugar Bowl, making the Hokies unavailable, the choices were Tech, Florida State, Virginia and Wake Forest, all of which were 5-3 in the ACC. Virginia owns wins over the Jackets and Seminoles and has a better overall record than Wake Forest. That decided it, Stokan told reporters Sunday night.
So, it would appear, a win over Virginia would have likely put Tech in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Venturing into the “Tech beats Virginia” alternate universe, though, is kind of speculative. Maybe a win over the Cavaliers would have meant Tech would have lost to Clemson. It opens up a whole world of possibilities. Maybe if Tech had beaten Virginia, I would have won the lottery two weeks ago and I’d be making my first mortgage payment on my beachside mansion on Maui. I’d still be blogging, of course.
2. Virginia Tech getting the at-large big into the BCS is good news for Tech. It’s the first time the BCS has taken an ACC team an at-large bid and gives the ACC two chances to do some work on the league’s 2-11 record in BCS bowls. Clemson plays West Virginia and the Hokies play Michigan.
A second BCS bowl means some extra cash for ACC schools. The payout formula is a little involved, so it’s hard to say exactly what it will mean. But the ACC will get $22 million for the Clemson’s Orange Bowl appearance and $6 million for Virginia Tech’s participation in the Sugar Bowl, according to the ACC. After expenses and unsold tickets, the remainder is split 12 ways. If Virginia Tech’s expenses run about $500,000, that would mean an extra $460,000 for Tech. An interesting read about bowl expenses.
ESPN begins its contract with the BCS this year. As such, the Virginia Tech over Kansas State and Boise State decision makes a little more sense in light of ESPN’s many, many dollars involved. It would not surprise me if the network’s poobahs said something like, “You know, if Virginia Tech were in the Sugar Bowl, it wouldn’t bother us.”
3. Tech’s trip to the Sun Bowl will be its first game in Texas since losing at Baylor in 1992. Kind of an odd home-and-home. The Houston Chronicle called the Bears’ 31-27 win “an important intersectional victory for the Southwest Conference.” (For whatever reason, Google seems to be able to track down old Chronicle articles well. Kudos for the paper’s SEO guy.)
This isn’t relevant, but I have a friend named Taylor who went to Baylor. She, however, is not a sailor and doesn’t live in a trailer nor was she a fan of the Hartford Whalers.
4. The game will be on CBS, giving Tech national network coverage for its 2 p.m. EST start, always good for recruiting (particularly if you are winning). But it’ll be overlapped by the Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl (Texas A&M-Northwestern) at noon and then the Liberty Bowl (Cincinnati-Vanderbilt) and the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (Illinois-UCLA) at 3:30 p.m.
That last one should be fun, a game between two teams whose coaches have been fired (Ron Zook and Rick Neuheisel).
5. Utah has a 12-4 record in bowls, including nine of the Utes’ last 10. The one loss was to Boise State last year in the Las Vegas Bowl. Coach Kyle Whittingham is 5-1 in bowls, his first victory coming over Tech in the Emerald Bowl in 2005.
6. In the “which team has something to play for?” category, put this on Utah’s ledger: Utah has a 19-member senior class that has the second-most wins in school history at 40-11. Those players can tie the school record for wins set by the 2010 class, which went 41-9.
Tech can finish in the top 25 with a win and stop its six-game bowl losing streak.
7. In the all-important matter of Utah’s familiarity with the spread-option offense, the Utes have plenty. Utah played Air Force, which runs an offense similar to Tech’s, annually in the Mountain West Conference before moving to the Pac-12 this year. Whittingham is 5-1 against Air Force.
8. Not Tech related, but the finalists for the Eddie Robinson Award (national coach of the year from the Football Writers Association of America are LSU’s Les Miles, Michigan’s Brady Hoke, Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy, Clemson’s Dabo Swinney and Kansas State’s Bill Snyder.
Who gets your vote?
Thanks for reading. I’ll have Monday practice material up either late Monday or Tuesday morning.
Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog