No. 10 Miami
Boise or Nashville?: Virginia's embarrassing 52-14 loss to No. 5 Virginia Tech last week all but eliminated the Cavaliers from playing in one of the ACC's top-tier bowl games -- the Gator, Peach and Champs Sports bowls. But an upset victory over Miami might keep Virginia from having to travel across the country for a postseason bowl game for the second season in a row. The Cavaliers' administration is lobbying to play in the Dec. 30 Music City Bowl in Nashville, and playing well against the Hurricanes might increase Virginia's chances of playing there against a Big Ten opponent. Other postseason possibilities for the Cavaliers are the Dec. 29 Emerald Bowl against Utah in San Francisco or a return trip to the Dec. 28 MPC Computers Bowl in Boise, Idaho, probably against Boise State. "Every school is selling their wares, and that's part of the process," Cavaliers Coach Al Groh said. "As we've certainly learned on other occasions, it's not just about merit."
Brother vs. Brother: They're not as recognizable as Mary Kate and Ashley, but brothers Christian and Greg Olsen will play against each other for the second time in today's game. Both players started their college careers at Notre Dame, but transferred after spring practice in 2003. Chris Olsen has been the Cavaliers' backup quarterback the past two seasons, completing 6 of 10 passes for 64 yards with one interception in two games this year. The junior participated in ceremonies honoring the Cavaliers' seniors before last week's game, but said he hopes to return to Virginia next year and might be in line to replace senior quarterback Marques Hagans in 2006. Greg Olsen, a sophomore, is one of the best tight ends in the country; he has caught 28 passes for 396 yards and four touchdowns this season.
Banged-Up Hurricanes: Miami is still reeling from last week's 14-10 loss to Georgia Tech, which will knock the Hurricanes out of the inaugural ACC championship game in Jacksonville, Fla., if Virginia Tech beats North Carolina tonight in Blacksburg, Va. The Hurricanes have a handful of players who were injured in that game, including defensive end Thomas Carroll (concussion), linebacker Willie Williams (hamstring) and cornerback Kelly Jennings (shoulder), who are all questionable to play. Kick returner Devin Hester, who missed the Georgia Tech game because of a strained hamstring, also is questionable.
-- Mark Schlabach