Throw the predictions out. No one saw this coming.
Well, no one but Virginia.
Virginia will be playing Auburn in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl on December 31st, at 7:30pm in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. And for those of you surprised by this move, take a number.
You know how we have been talking these past weeks about the behind the scenes work that schools and bowls do. This is a perfect example of this. If you haven’t finished your Holiday card list, at the Clemson Tigers to that. By Clemson winning the ACC, it allowed Virginia Tech to negotiate with the Sugar Bowl, and thus, have two teams in BCS bowls.
This threw the ACC Selection in a complete loop. FSU played in the CFA Bowl last year, and already was set at a big matchup against Notre Dame in the Champs Sports Bowl. Georgia Tech and the Sun Bowl had the same relationship, and, a hometown team in a bowl was not looked on favorably as most GT fans wouldn’t fill up hotels. And the topper– UVa beat FSU and GT both this year. Hence, here we are.
Matchup wise, it will be a bit of a challenge, but not an impossible one. Auburn is ranked 25th, and is 7-5 on the season, 4-4 in the SEC. They have wins over Utah State, Mississippi State, FAU, South Carolina, Florida, Ole Miss, and Samford. Their losses are a who’s-who of football this year: Clemson, Arkansas, LSU, Georgia, and Alabama, all by at least two touchdowns. They are very balanced and, statistically, similar to UVa, but the experience in the SEC will give the Tigers a slight advantage. But we’ll break it down a little later.
For now, book your hotels and flight and get ready for HOOS New Year in Atlanta.