We’re live from a real bowl game (BCS notwithstanding)

Wonder if this guy can play left tackle and has any eligibility left?

Wonder if this guy can play left tackle and has any eligibility left?

I moved here 20 years ago, so I missed the worst chamber of commerce disasters involving weather and the Peach Bowl and Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. (Missed the 1988 season game when North Carolina State and Iowa combined for 14 turnovers and it rained so hard and for so long that former AJC staff writer Gary Pomerantz mused that the crowd of 44,635 (or not) “gasped like blowfish.”

Most assumed things would get better when the Peach Bowl was moved indoors to the climate-controlled Georgia Dome in 1992. But to this extent?

The Peach Bowl gave way to the Chick-fil-A Bowl, and its current incarnation might be the greatest remainder of what the college bowl season used to be about: Good teams. Intriguing match-ups. Happy and content fans who viewed college football’s post-season as a reward, not an aggravating and illogical exercise in futility (read: BCS).

It helps that the Chick-fil-A Bowl has tie-ins with the SEC and ACC. It helps that the game has a roof to protect it from miserable weather days like today. It helps that fan bases from  around the South love to come to Atlanta.

But none of that guarantees great match-ups.

Though the final scores haven’t always backed up the expectation of competitive games — as Georgia Tech would prefer to forget — the game has had great curb appeal. Just look at the last seven years: Clemson-Tennessee, Florida-Miami, LSU-Miami, Georgia-Virginia Tech, Auburn-Clemson, LSU-Georgia Tech and tonight: Virginia Tech-Tennessee.

I’ve seen the economic impact reports and claims that this game brings $33 million into the area. Honestly, I don’t hang out with economists and I have no idea what those numbers mean. But seeing “Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee” provides enough clarity.

Virginia Tech (9-3) is ranked 11th in the BCS standings. The Hokies would be a lot higher if they could figure out how to win a game in Atlanta. They lost their season opener to Alabama in the Georgia Dome, won their next five, then lost at Georgia Tech.

Tennessee (7-5) is looking for its first bowl win under Lane Kiffin. This game is a bonus for him, win or lose, since he spent most of the buildup to this season as a punchline and the NCAA is investigation potential recruiting violations.

I can probably figure out who Georgia fans are pulling for.

Anyway, I’ll be here live blogging during game, so let me know what you think.

Oy. They’re playing Rocky Top. I’m outta here.

596 comments Add your comment

"Chef" Tim Dix

December 31st, 2009
6:54 pm

"Chef" Tim Dix

December 31st, 2009
6:55 pm

Petrino remains a ___. (fill in the blank)

"Chef" Tim Dix

December 31st, 2009
6:56 pm

"Chef" Tim Dix

December 31st, 2009
6:56 pm

Petrino, yada, yada, yada.

"Chef" Tim Dix

December 31st, 2009
6:59 pm

Only team I pull against Petrino coaches.

Tom

December 31st, 2009
7:00 pm

I dunno, Jeff. Dawg fans probably resent Foster for not taking that DC offer.

You know, the one he didn’t get?

*wink*wink*

dogdownsouth

December 31st, 2009
7:01 pm

I’m sorry as much as i hate tennessee i have to root for the Sec to win the majority of there Bowl Games to Once more establish the Sec as the Dominate conference in the Nation!! oh and by the Way anyone wanna bet how bad Florida is gonna rip Cincinnatti a new Ass since all the Drama about Urban? and Tebow’s last game t0oo!! i am predicting florida 45 cinccinattii 17

"Chef" Tim Dix

December 31st, 2009
7:01 pm

Share a popcorn, Jeff?

dogdownsouth

December 31st, 2009
7:03 pm

hopoe tenneessee plays with the same intensity it did against georgia and embarrasses fosters d

Bud Foster

December 31st, 2009
7:04 pm

Why would I leave Va. Tech to come to a gymnastics school

dogdownsouth

December 31st, 2009
7:04 pm

Buckhead Bulldog

December 31st, 2009
7:05 pm

Yikes! Go Vols…..Rocky Top, baby!

J. Chavis

December 31st, 2009
7:05 pm

My thoughts exactly Bud…Hey, Thanks for getting me a raise Mark..

"Chef" Tim Dix

December 31st, 2009
7:06 pm

Bud Foster: real reason, why would you leave untaxed liquor you hillbilly?

Jeff Schultz

December 31st, 2009
7:08 pm

Chef Tim — I know win-place-show. I don’t know what it’s called when you’re 1-5.

Jeff Schultz

December 31st, 2009
7:09 pm

Tom — Never thought of it that way. Wink, wink.

Jeff Schultz

December 31st, 2009
7:10 pm

Dogdownsouth — Wow, one of those pull-for-the-conference team guys. Does that work when Florida plays too? I’m guessing no.

"Chef" Tim Dix

December 31st, 2009
7:10 pm

You’re-The Chef!

dawgonit

December 31st, 2009
7:10 pm

Anybody notice that there were more fans at the Independence bowl than the ACC championship?

Jeff Schultz

December 31st, 2009
7:10 pm

Bud, Bud, Bud. Why do I think you’re actually from a different Tech than the one in Blacksburg?

Reid Adair

December 31st, 2009
7:11 pm

Wow, Jeff. Tennessee vs. Virginia Tech on New Year’s Eve, huh? I guess it could have been worse.

Procrastinator

December 31st, 2009
7:13 pm

dogdownsouth . Let me introduce you to a new word. Try “their” instead of “there”.

MalibuGT

December 31st, 2009
7:14 pm

yes dawgonit, thanks goodness for A&M fans. It sure wasn’t because of the bulldog nation

Not Disappointed

December 31st, 2009
7:17 pm

Jeff, I mention last nite and I will state it again, “Thanks for a Great year on the blog.” I never blogged anything until this year. Some of ajc’s sports blogs have been funnier than others. In addition, I’m a die hard Jacket, but some of the dawg’s blogs were to die for. If you have time in the near future, I hope you share your final numbers on the blogs for ajc.

Thanks again, and I’m off for some more Rum Nog! “Happy New Year to all College Football Fans!”

Ramblin Wreck for life! Go Hokies!

Jeff Schultz

December 31st, 2009
7:18 pm

Not Disappointed — Thanks for comments.

SuperB

December 31st, 2009
7:18 pm

Having Tennessee play in the Chic-Fil-A Bowl is good for the university’s recruiting! High school students who can’t get into Georgia can check out their future team and school!

Lane the helicopter recruiter

December 31st, 2009
7:19 pm

How does a 7-5 team get in the Chick bowl?Goooooooooooo VT

lanier

December 31st, 2009
7:20 pm

I went to many Falcon games at Atl Fulco Stadium (damn i hated that name) and the weather was okay except for 1978 platoff vs Phil.
I also went to 3 Peach Bowls (god i loved that name) and the weather was unbearable all 3 times

Jeff im telling you the Dome saved this game. It would have been gone by now

Procrastinator

December 31st, 2009
7:23 pm

SuperB, Care to guess which school holds the record for the number of time a recruit had to take the SAT before passing?

"Chef" Tim Dix

December 31st, 2009
7:24 pm

lanier:Totally agree but have to admit it’s got the right sponsor now.

dawgonit

December 31st, 2009
7:24 pm

Lane, How does a 7-5 team play in the Chik bowl? They play in the SEC.

The real question is how does the second best record in a conference get in the Chik Bowl? Oh yeah, they are in the ACC.

Hillbilly Deluxe

December 31st, 2009
7:25 pm

My memory is a little foggy but wasn’t there a big snow a day or so before one of the early Peach Bowls?

Hillbilly Deluxe

December 31st, 2009
7:27 pm

I’m so old, I remember when Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium was just Atlanta Stadium. Believe it or not, they built it for something like $18 million, if I remember right.

Doyle Hargraves

December 31st, 2009
7:28 pm

I’ll tell you what I think. I was down there at the parade this afternoon and there is nothing scarier than some of those Vol fans, especially when you get up close. They were like wild inbred animals running amok in the streets after the circus train derailed. I thought midgets and antique furniture were bad, but I think it’s time to add a third.

I would ask you what it smells like at the dome, but I know already. LLYFF

willie martinez

December 31st, 2009
7:28 pm

Jeff, I feel like a president that’s been elected twice. Clinton and Bush are the only ones that cannot run for president.

it appears that I’m the only person in America not being considered for the UGA DC job.

willie martinez

December 31st, 2009
7:30 pm

and ironically, i’m the most qualified for the job.

Durban

December 31st, 2009
7:32 pm

Sec is about to be 1-2! Enoy the beatdown suckas!

Silk

December 31st, 2009
7:34 pm

Watch this game jawja. You will see bud foster’s team in action. Just ashame you couldn’t lure him to that oh so top program in athens! lol. he knew better. OVERRATED AND IRRELEVANT!!

VT 24
UT 13

Fosters ale

December 31st, 2009
7:37 pm

G’day mates. Watch me man in action ta nite. He’s a special breed ya know. Talking about that Bud guy. It’s quite funny me man has beer names for both names. But he’s Australian ya know. So watch’em mates. He will knock those rocky tops on their hineys before the dingo’s eatcha babies! Well gu night. Go Hokies and go FOSTERs!

willie martinez

December 31st, 2009
7:38 pm

life just isnt fair

Jeff Schultz

December 31st, 2009
7:40 pm

Reid — well, I’d rather be on my couch, but that wasn’t an option.

Jeff Schultz

December 31st, 2009
7:40 pm

Lane — Easy. The 7-5 team brings fans.

Jeff Schultz

December 31st, 2009
7:41 pm

Lanier — Agreed. Especially when you look outside today.

willie martinez

December 31st, 2009
7:42 pm

whats the matter Jeff? you dogged it all last week.

Jeff Schultz

December 31st, 2009
7:42 pm

Tennessee defense looks pretty good early.

willie martinez

December 31st, 2009
7:43 pm

is this game on tv?

"Chef" Tim Dix

December 31st, 2009
7:44 pm

willie martinez: Life may not be fair, but death is uncompromising.

Jeff Schultz

December 31st, 2009
7:45 pm

Willie — you get a job yet?

Fosters ale

December 31st, 2009
7:46 pm

Don’t be knockin me defense there sports writer man. You want a defense, check me out mate.

"Chef" Tim Dix

December 31st, 2009
7:47 pm

Lane appears to be sporting a slightly darker hue of hair.