News With Commentary by TSL Staff
Sunday, December 3, 2000
BCS Bowls Snub Tech; Hokies Gator-Bound
During an ABC bowl pairings special on Sunday at 3:30, invitations were extended for the four Bowl Championship Series (BCS) bowls, and the following lineups have been set:
The announcement confirms what most Hokie fans and media pundits had begun to suspect in the last few days, namely that Virginia Tech, ranked #5 in the BCS rankings, would not be invited as one of two BCS at-large teams.
The pairings follow a week that saw Oklahoma win the Big 12 Championship game, which helped the Hokies, but which also saw the PAC-10 threaten to pull out from the BCS agreement if an at-large bid was not granted to Oregon State.
Prior to the PAC-10's threat, many people felt that Miami would be matched up with Notre Dame in the Fiesta, and that the Hokies would get a Sugar Bowl invitation to face the SEC champion. But as last week wore on, the tide quickly shifted, and the word was that Oregon State would get an at-large bid, shutting out the Hokies and TV ratings-grabber Michael Vick.
The snub drops the Hokies down to the Toyota Gator Bowl, where they will meet Clemson, ranked #15 in the BCS rankings. The game should be a great one, and it will feature quarterbacks Michael Vick and Woodrow Dantzler of Clemson going up against each other in an exciting offensive duel.
The Gator Bowl invitation will be Tech's eighth straight bowl, and the third time in the last seven years that they have gone to the Gator Bowl. The previous two trips have been nightmares for the Hokies, as they lost 45-23 to Tennessee in 1994 and 42-3 to North Carolina in 1997.
Hokie fans hope that the latest trip to the Gator Bowl will turn out much better than the last two, and it's a great bowl for Tech to be going to. Virginia Tech's take from the bowl will be $1.8 million.
But it's not the Fiesta Bowl or the Sugar Bowl, and that upsets many Hokie fans, who cast an angry eye at not just Oregon State and the PAC-10, but also at media darling Notre Dame, a BCS shoo-in, despite being ranked just #11 in the BCS rankings.
TechSideline.com will add Gator Bowl and Clemson links to the TSL Links page on Monday.