Well all’s well that end’s well. The Hoos regular season is now over, but at least there will be a bowl game in our future. And while most of them are still eligible for the Hoos to go to, there is only 1 that stands out from them all now.
The Hoos finish up 8-4, 5-3 in the ACC. There are 8 bowl eligible teams from the ACC since Miami decided not to join the fray. The two Virginia absolutely can not go to is the Orange Bowl and the Military Bowl. The Orange Bowl is easy to explain, as we are not in the ACC Championship game. As for the Military Bowl, it comes down to ACC records. Virginia is 5-3 and UNC is 3-5 and since the Hoos are more than 1 loss better than the Heels, they must go to a “lower” bowl, and the Military Bowl has the last selection. So, this week not only will we look at the odds, but we will also tell you who we think the matchup will be.
#8: Military Bowl Presented By Northrop Grumman
AKA: Military Bowl (it’s new-ish)
Location: RFK Stadium, Washington, DC
Date: December 28th, 4:30pm
Tie-In/Possible Opponent: Navy/At-Large
Matchup: North Carolina vs. Air Force. The Tarheels have the worse ACC record of the qualified teams, and by 2 losses so they have to go here. Navy did not get in so Air Force would love to step up and take the trip out east.
#7 Advocare V100 Independence Bowl
AKA: Independence Bowl
Location: Independence Stadium, Shreveport, LA
Date: December 26th, 4pm
Tie-In/Possible Opponent: MWC
Odds: 100,000:1. There is little to no chance this is happening, with UNC and Wake looking like the favorites for the last two bowls. The Hoos could go here, but it would make no sense now.
Matchup: Wake Forest vs. Wyoming. After the loss to Vandy last week, Wake’s late season struggles continue, which makes it hard to see how they could get picked ahead of UVa. It is still a 50/50 toss up between Wyoming and Sand Diego State with one game left for each. But Wyoming’s game is easier and if the Aztecs lose to Fresno State, they will be headed to the New Mexico Bowl.
#6 Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl
AKA: Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl, Music City Bowl
Location: LP Financial (Titan) Stadium, Nashville, TN
Date: December 30th, 5:40pm
Tie-In/Possible Opponent: SEC
Odds: 3:2 (favorite). Two reasons this is where the Hoos will be going. First, with the outing UVa had last week, it all but pushed us out of the Sun Bowl consideration. Secondly, with the massive comeback and win by NC State, it gives the Belk Bowl an in-state qualified team to pick from that can hold their salt. I still think we have a shot at the Belk, but we would be just as happy here. And for you all who think Wake can jump here, this would be reason #3…
Matchup: Virginia vs. Vanderbilt. GPAs lower than 3.8 need not apply. This would be a dream matchup for Nashville. First, you get the city university to play in your bowl. Secondly, you get a team who can easily send fans one state over. It’s only a 9.5 hour drive from C’Ville (yes, I already calculated the milage). Wake wouldn’t get picked if Vandy goes cause they just played. Mississippi State could go here, but why would the MCB not pick a qualified Vandy, especially with Tennessee and Kentucky not qualified.
#5 Belk Bowl
AKA: Continental Tire Bowl, Mineke Car Care Bowl
Location: Bank of America Stadium (CAR Panthers), Charlotte, NC
Date: December 27th, 8pm
Tie-In/Possible Opponent: Big East
Odds: 10:1. I’ll keep the odds the same this week, only because if the Hoos get selected for another bowl, this is the one I see them going to. If you look at the body of work by both Virginia and NC State, the Hoos have had a better overall year against better opponents. Now the Pack did beat the Hoos and the two have vastly different last games so we will say that would be enough to keep the Hoos from here.
Matchup: NC State vs. Louisville. Just like Vandy, NC State will keep Cincinnati from this bowl as they have played this year. And since it looks like WVU might win the Big East…somehow, I mean someone has to…Louisville is the next up.
#4 Hyundai Sun Bowl
AKA: Sun Bowl
Location: Sun Bowl Stadium, El Paso, TX
Date: December 31st, noon
Tie-In/Possible Opponent: PAC 12
Odds: 10,000:1. Remember the rumors last week about FSU and the Champs Sports Bowl? Well the new one on the block is GT to the Sun Bowl. And it is very logical. They didn’t look bad against Georgia (a lot better than the Hoos) and they are the only other team that has the overall record that would warrant the #4 bowl.
Matchup: Georgia Tech vs. Utah. We have already said our peace about the Jackets. Utah should fall to this bowl now, since UCLA is going to the PAC 12 championship and Cal is likely headed to the Holiday Bowl.
#3 Champs Sports Bowl
AKA: Florida Citrus Bowl, Blockbuster, CarQuest, MicronPC, Tangerine Bowl
Location: Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium, Orlando, FL
Date: December 29, 5:30pm
Tie-In/Possible Opponent: ND/Big East, Notre Dame
Odds: 1,000,000:1. Unless UVa has perfected an Amnesia potion, nothing has changed.
Matchup: Florida State vs. Notre Dame. $$$. That’s what both teams bring. Nuff said.
#2 Chick-fil-A Bowl
AKA: Peach Bowl
Location: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA
Date: December 31st, 7:30pm
Tie-In/Possible Opponent: SEC
Odds: 1,000,000:1. Still mathematically possible if VT beats Clemson, but the loser of the ACCCG will go here and either team would draw a crowd. Nothing to suggest the recent trend will buck for any other teams.
Matchup: Clemson vs. Auburn. I don’t like rematches, especially in bowl games, but Clemson doesn’t look like they have the strength now to beat Tech again. But since it looks like the SEC will get at least 2 teams in the BCS, the Peach Bowl will have to decide between the ‘also rans’. Auburn is the most likely, with Florida an outside shot, but they should be selected to the Gator Bowl, which make a lot of sense.
#1 Discover Orange Bowl
AKA: FedEx Orange Bowl, Orange Bowl
Location: Sun Life Stadium, Miami, FL
Date: January 4, 2012, 8:00pm
Tie-In/Possible Opponent: BCS At-Large
Matchup: Virginia Tech vs. West Virginia. Another year, another horrible representation in the Orange Bowl. Even if Tech is the #5 BCS ranked team, they will not get an opponent that should test them or give them respect for what they have done.