‘Bout time I get to do this article. We’ve done plenty of Top whatevers, but this one just seems right to do now. Over the next few weeks we will be weaving in our Top Twelve UVa Bowl appearances of all time. Why 12? Because the Hoos will be ringing in 2012 in Atlanta. But seriously, we’ve only played 17 bowl games and have a 7-10 record. Five of those games were pretty awful and I’m not bringing it up, okay?!? I’m sorry ‘bout that. So without further ado, lets start the countdown.
12. 2008 Gator Bowl vs. Texas Tech, L 31-28
As you would expect, the beginning of the countdown has some really heartbreaking losses, and this game is one of them. The 2007 Hoos were named the Cardiac Cavs, and for good reason. After getting stomped by Wyoming in Laramie to begin the season, the Hoos won 9 of 10, 6 of which were by 5 or less, and one blow out of Miami 48-0 in the last game played at the Orange Bowl. Virginia was rewarded with a trip to the Gator Bowl to play high flying Texas Tech. But with all that hype, the Hoos lead 21-7 at half and 21-14 going into the 4th. Peter Lalich (ugh) threw a pass to Mikel Simpson to go up 28-14 in what looked like an insurmountable lead with 5:32 to go. Well…..not so much. TD drive. UVa fumble. TD pass. 3 and out. FG. And, walla, 31-28. Not our finest moments. From that game, it seemed that Groh never really got it going again in C’Ville.
11. 1991 Sugar Bowl vs. Tennessee, L 23-22
In 1990, the Hoos climbed their way up to number one in the nation for the first time, only to have them dashed by Bobby Ross and Georgia Tech in November. Luckily even though the Hoos lost 2 of the last 3, they were invited to the Sugar Bowl to play Tennessee. The Hoos saw their 16-0 lead at half evaporate in the 4th quarter and went down by one after a Tony Thompson TD with 31 seconds to go. Hoos finished 8-4 and out of the rankings.
10. 1998 Peach Bowl vs. Georgia, L 35-33
In 1998, was more of the same. Virginia, 9-2, had a great year (shoot, we even beat Tech), and ended up playing 8-3 Georgia in the Peach Bowl. After jumping to a 21-7 lead at halftime, Quincy Carter and the Bulldogs started chipping away at the lead and the Hoos quickly found themselves down 35-27. And after Aaron Brooks scored on a 30 yard TD, they missed the 2-pt conversion to tie it up.
9. 1994 Independence Bowl vs. TCU, W 20-10
Why so low in the countdown? Well the Hoos had a very good season, finishing the year 8-3, but lost those 3 games in conference, which kept them out of the good bowl games. To be honest, the Hoos got hosed by the Bowl and ended up getting shipped out to Shreveport, LA to play a 7-5 TCU team. And it was cold, and raining, and muddy. Bad bowl + bad conditions = less than motivated Hoos. But the game was owned by UVa as Charles Way and Kevin Brooks just rolled over the TCU front 7 and went up 17-3 with 9:08 to go. Cap that off with the Cavs D holding TCU to only 195 yards without Ronde Barber meant that it was a bittersweet ending to a terrific year.