Virginia Tech Will Be Going to the 'Dawgs

By Adam Kilgore
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, December 4, 2006

Virginia Tech accepted a bid yesterday to play in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, where it will face Southeastern Conference member Georgia on Dec. 30. Virginia Tech Athletic Director Jim Weaver and Coach Frank Beamer accepted the invitation, which caps a regular season that ended with a six-game winning streak, a remarkable turnaround for a team once mired in two straight losses and a spate of bad behavior.

After champion Wake Forest claimed the Atlantic Coast Conference's automatic spot in the Bowl Championship Series, the Chick-fil-A selected the next available conference team and picked the No. 14 Hokies (10-2, 6-2 ACC) over Georgia Tech (9-4, 7-1), which finished first in the Atlantic Division and beat Virginia Tech 37-28 in September.

"For the Chick-fil-A Bowl to have the second pick and think enough of Virginia Tech to use that pick for us, it makes us very proud," Beamer said in a statement. "This football team has played well down the stretch, and hopefully we can give a great performance in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta."

The Hokies virtually clinched the Chick-fil-A spot when the Yellow Jackets lost to Georgia in its final regular season game. The Chick-fil-A bowl did not want to rematch the teams and chose the hot Bulldogs (8-4), the best SEC team available when it selected, over Georgia Tech, a team coming off two straight defeats including its loss in the ACC championship game to Wake Forest.

The Hokies will receive $3.25 million from the Chick-fil-A bowl, the most an ACC team can earn outside the BCS and the second-highest payout a non-BCS team can receive, next to the Capital One Bowl. Georgia will receive $2.4 million, as the Chick-fil-A gives more money to ACC teams than SEC teams.

After beating Virginia 17-0 in their final regular season game, several Hokies proclaimed themselves, standings aside, the best team in the ACC, a defensible position. Virginia Tech is currently No. 15 in the BCS standings and defeated Wake Forest 27-6 three weeks ago.

"We really feel like we're getting the best overall team in the ACC and a team that played its way into our game with six straight wins," Chick-fil-A Bowl President Gary Stokan said. "Right now, there are only two teams in the country who have put together three consecutive 10-win seasons. One is USC, who will be playing in the Rose Bowl, and the other is coming to the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Yeah, I'd say we're pretty excited."

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