-- Bypassed today by the Tangerine Bowl, Virginia will receive the ACC's bid to the Continental Tire Bowl unless the bowl's selection committee can get Virginia Tech to fill the Big East's slot.
Ken Haines, the executive director of the Continental Tire Bowl, said his committee plans to decide Monday afternoon between Virginia (8-5, 6-2 ACC) and Georgia Tech (7-5, 4-4).
The Cavaliers are clear favorites for the ACC bid, Haines said, but the situation is complicated by the possibility that No. 18 Virginia Tech could become available.
If the selection committee felt there was a good chance of landing the Hokies -- and Haines said that does not appear likely -- it would select the Yellow Jackets in order to avoid a rematch of Saturday's game between Virginia and Virginia Tech. The Cavaliers then could end up in the Dec. 30 Seattle Bowl.
"If we could have Virginia Tech, probably that would be our preference," Haines said, "but I'm not that concerned about having Virginia. . . . I think [the Cavaliers] would travel well, and obviously they finished very well [tied for second] in the conference."
The bowl slots of Big East teams such as No. 15 West Virginia, No. 25 Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech remain unsettled because No. 11 Notre Dame, if it does not receive a BCS bid, could end up in the Gator Bowl, replacing a Big East representative.
Haines said Virginia Coach Al Groh and Virginia Tech Coach Frank Beamer would not want to play again in a bowl game.
"No, I don't think so," said Groh, whose team lost 21-9 to the Hokies on Saturday. "One of the things that we're looking forward to is the variety and the interest of playing somebody that's unknown to us."
The Cavaliers are stuck waiting because the Tangerine Bowl selected Clemson (7-5, 4-4), which lost to Virginia and finished fifth in the ACC standings. Last week the Gator Bowl picked No. 17 North Carolina State (10-3, 5-3) and Saturday the Peach Bowl picked No. 21 Maryland (10-3, 6-2).
Groh, a vocal critic of the bowl system in recent weeks, said he likes the idea of playing in the Continental Tire Bowl, which will be held Dec. 28 at Charlotte's Ericsson Stadium.
"Ever since the commissioner announced the formulation of this game . . . I kind of thought that this would be an attractive bowl to hopefully shoot for and get into," Groh said.
"Given where we were starting the season in July [with a young team], I kind of thought if we could get down there, we'd draw a quality opponent and it'd be a good game."