Miami self-imposes, Tech headed to ACC title game

It took a second-half resurgence, the fallout of a booster gone wild and Virginia Tech’s worst season since 1992, but Georgia Tech is going to the ACC championship game.

A day after most expected the decision to be made public, Miami announced Monday morning that it will self-impose a postseason bowl ban in anticipation of NCAA sanctions in the wake of an investigation into allegations that Hurricanes booster Nevin Shapiro provided players with thousands of impermissible benefits with the knowledge of coaches. The ACC does not allow bowl-ineligible teams to compete for the ACC championship. As a result, Tech will play Florida State for its third ACC title Dec. 1 in Charlotte. Kickoff will either be 7:45 or 8 p.m., depending on the broadcast outlet, either ABC or ESPN.

The Yellow Jackets’ 42-24 win over Duke Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium turned out to be the clincher. Tech’s 5-3 league record cannot be matched by any bowl-eligible team in the Coastal Division.

It is a stunning turn of events. Oct. 6, Tech fell to 2-4 overall and 1-3 in the ACC with its third consecutive loss, to Clemson by a 47-31 score.  It was the third consecutive game in which the Jackets had allowed 40-plus points, a first in the team’s history. The dismissal of defensive coordinator Al Groh followed two days later.

With division losses at that point already to the Hokies and Hurricanes, Tech’s shot at Charlotte was still mathematically alive, but that seemed about it. For Tech to reach the ACC title game would likely require Virginia Tech to lose four conference games, something the Hokies hadn’t done since joining the ACC in 2004. It would seem to have also required the Hurricanes, whose possible bowl ban had yet to surface, to do likewise.

The Hokies lost to North Carolina to drop to 1-1 that day, and then after beating Duke Oct. 13, lost three consecutive games to drop to 2-4 in the league to give the Yellow Jackets a second chance. Virginia Tech has not had a three-game since 2002. Tech has since remained perfect in the league, defeating Boston College, Maryland, North Carolina and Duke with a loss to BYU mixed in.

It is coach Paul Johnson’s second appearance in the ACC title game in his five years at Tech. Were the Jackets to defeat Florida State – Tech will almost certainly be a heavy underdog to the 10-1 Seminoles – Johnson would become the only coach in school history to win two ACC titles. (The first, in 2009, was vacated by the NCAA as a result of impermissible benefits violations.)

The news sets up an interesting week in the state of Georgia. For the first time, both Georgia and Tech will be playing in their respective conference championship games in the same season. While the game carries heavy meaning, both teams will be playing for more in a week’s time. The Bulldogs may be playing for a spot in the national championship game. Tech will have a spot in the Orange Bowl on the line, a remarkable prize for a season that started so auspiciously.

Johnson may have to make a decision on A-back Orwin Smith, who suffered an ankle injury in the second half of Saturday’s game. After the game, Johnson said he didn’t know if Smith would be available for the Georgia game.

The Tech ticket office will likely make information available soon. Tickets are also available at the ACC’s championship game site here.

485 comments Add your comment

Bobby

November 19th, 2012
8:30 am

GO JACKETS!

TO HELL WITH GEORGIA!

GT-UT

November 19th, 2012
8:31 am

First? 3 times this week!! That’s got to be a record!

Noel

November 19th, 2012
8:31 am

First Deal with it.

rduck

November 19th, 2012
8:31 am

Stay focused on the Dwags first!!!

Buddy Landel

November 19th, 2012
8:32 am

How sweet would it be for THIS team to represent the state of Georgia in a BCS game?

Buddy Landel

November 19th, 2012
8:32 am

Ummm. You weren’t the first, Noel. Pun intended.

Noel

November 19th, 2012
8:32 am

Oh, well. So much for being frisky on a Monday morning. Go Jackets!

GO JACKETS

November 19th, 2012
8:33 am

VAD LEE VAD LEE VAD LEE VAD LEE VAD LEE VAD LEE VAD LEER VAD LEE VAD LEE VAD LEE

GT-UT

November 19th, 2012
8:33 am

Almost…2 firsts and a second.
Go Jackets! Beat FSU, UGA, and the bowl game!!
Redemption!!

Red Black

November 19th, 2012
8:33 am

lol pj will talk this up like this team earned this in the years to come. of course the beatdown by fsu will be epic.
enjoy finishing the season 6-8

GTVegas

November 19th, 2012
8:33 am

Wow, what a turn.

Now, focus on UGA, worry abount FSU next week.

B Smash

November 19th, 2012
8:34 am

Wooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!

Retired Old Atlantan

November 19th, 2012
8:34 am

Prolong the agony. Get stomped by Georgia’s hobnail boot. Then get speared by the Seminoles.

Red Black

November 19th, 2012
8:34 am

does this mean that gt will get a better bowl since they will play in the game? maybe against sc of fla in the chikfila bowl. lol a sure loss

Soduk

November 19th, 2012
8:35 am

So if Tech bets FSU, will they go to a BCS bowl? I am sure that will make the major networks thrilled (I jest of course).

buzz2000

November 19th, 2012
8:35 am

We will never beat Georiga or Florida St, so who cares? Sun bowl here we come!

Soduk

November 19th, 2012
8:36 am

So if Tech beats FSU, will they go to a BCS bowl? I am sure that will make the major networks thrilled (I jest of course).

[...] or whatever they call themselves these days. Tech could join the B1G as well. Wait, What? – UPDATE: Tech to play in ACC Championship. [...]

Techmate

November 19th, 2012
8:37 am

Important for the Jackets to focus on one game at a time. Both UGA and FSU are strong teams. The Jackets need to play as error free as possible. Go Jackets!

TCFATL

November 19th, 2012
8:37 am

This only shows what an utter joke the ACC is …

With all the talk about Alabama being able to beat an NFL team, no doubt many a high school team could beat an ACC team …

Georgia Tech should decline this “bowl invite” if it had any semblance of class …

Flowery Branch Yellow Jacket

November 19th, 2012
8:37 am

Who’d a thunk it?

The Truth

November 19th, 2012
8:38 am

We can be SEC and ACC champs in the same year. Go Jackets and THWG.

GT07

November 19th, 2012
8:38 am

Wow. I predicted going to the ACC Championship early this year, but not this way. GO Tech!

Truth

November 19th, 2012
8:38 am

Beating UGA is much more important than winning the ACC or Orange bowl

lance manion

November 19th, 2012
8:39 am

Congratulations Coah Johnson and Jackets. I’ll order my tickets today.Nice turnaround guys!

lance manion

November 19th, 2012
8:41 am

Congratulations Coach Johnson and Jackets. I’ll order my tickets today. Nice turnaround guys!

Coach Paul Johnson

November 19th, 2012
8:42 am

I’m throwing a big ole fish fry to celebrate

Dawg4Life

November 19th, 2012
8:43 am

Tech is a sad program and the ACC is even worse. Tech should decline their invitation as well. They don’t deserve it with that pathetic record. Sorry, but you lose to UGA and FSU. Enjoy your defacto championship.

michael

November 19th, 2012
8:43 am

well, i’ll take that gift miami just gave us but we better win saturday buzz-damnit cause i can’t take the heat down here on the island if we don’t. heck a friend of mine does a radio talk show and is an FSU big time fine-gross. go tech. play vad lee !! uga win will give my republican friends some reprieve.

lance manion

November 19th, 2012
8:43 am

Look at the haters comng out of their holes….. Love it. Go Jackets!

GTVegas

November 19th, 2012
8:43 am

Red Black – Ask yourself why you felt the need to make the above comments. Then, grow up. Nobody really cares oo much what you think, at least not here.

As for CPJ, I think he will be clear in his message that the only way to shut the mouths of folks like you is to play their best on December 1 and prove to everyone that they deserve it.

I don’t think anyone can say that they earned it outright, but they did earn the right to be Miami’s replacement. Miami bowing out was the right decision for UM and GT is the benefactor of that decision. No sense in argueing any more aout that.

GT will play FSU and I personally believe that is a more interesting game since FSU has already played Miami.

I also think most GT fans are realistic enough to know that GT’s defense needs to be their best, maybe better, to have a chance in the next two games. I don’t think there will be any realistic Alumni that will tell you that GT should not be a double digit underdog in either of the next two games.

Andy

November 19th, 2012
8:43 am

Congrats Techies on making it to the big game!

GO NOLES!

Steve

November 19th, 2012
8:43 am

Talk about backing in! Ha. Hilarious! Tech will be 6-7 going to their terrible bowl game.

Freddie Blassie

November 19th, 2012
8:44 am

Beno is my hero.

Beat Georgie and call it a great season. Conference championship game…who cares? Toilet Bowl…who cares?
THWGeorgie

Gt Lover

November 19th, 2012
8:44 am

I told ya’ll!
Ya’ll laughed at me!
I told ya!
Paul Johnson is right for JAWJA TECK!

Robert

November 19th, 2012
8:44 am

LOL at the ACC and Tech. Joke of a conference and joke of a program.

Math is Hard!

November 19th, 2012
8:45 am

Now Ole Teck just has to beat Georgie and Flawed State!

Ramblin David

November 19th, 2012
8:45 am

I love the Jackets, but I think this is a travesty. We no more belong in the championship than a pearl belongs in the shell of a scallop. Georgia (piss on ‘em) will win handily, as will FSU, and I don’t even want to think about another bowl loss. I think it’s time we paid off CPJ and went and got James Franklin from Vanderbilt. Let’s start playing big boy football again.

CT_Jacket

November 19th, 2012
8:46 am

I don’t care how we got there or if anyone thinks we deserve to be there or not, take this opportunity and run with it one game at a time. If you don’t like it, TCFATL, you can go pound rocks.

IronJacket

November 19th, 2012
8:47 am

Beat georgie. Everything else is toppings.

Andy

November 19th, 2012
8:47 am

I would LMFAO if you guys beat UGA because they were dreaming about a national title.

don

November 19th, 2012
8:47 am

Holy buckets………….

THE ATLER

November 19th, 2012
8:47 am

@Dawg4Life
Enjoy your beatdown by Bama in the SECCG. By the way ugag is thew most over rated school in ncaa history. Who did you really beat this year???? Exactly!!!! NOBODY!!!! You continue to dodge the big boys in the SEC west Bama, LSU, Texas A&M……

GT-06

November 19th, 2012
8:48 am

We all know that we don’t deserve this but I’ll take it. All that matters to me is beating UGA, which is a longshot. Somehow win that game for us Jackets! I’m praying that defense finally plays well. Go Tech!

Gt Lover

November 19th, 2012
8:48 am

After the BYU game, ya’ll wanted to fire Coach!
I told ya’ll we’d win out.
Ya’ll are worse than JAWJA fans!
UNBELIEVERS!!!

Fenton

November 19th, 2012
8:49 am

Sweet! Go Jackets! Let’s beat the Dawgs this week…

Caleb King

November 19th, 2012
8:49 am

Jawja is so full it! They think they are greastest team in the world! Just thugs!!

Actually...

November 19th, 2012
8:50 am

…does anyone really care, I mean really care?

ramblingbuzz

November 19th, 2012
8:50 am

Who woulda thunk it. Those saying GT should decline to play are obviously UGA trolls. I can’t see the Dwags turning down an SEC title game invite with a similar record.

10per

November 19th, 2012
8:50 am

Should I feel bad about all the “backing into the SEC Championship” jokes I made about UGA last year?