Virginia Tech Bowl Projections: From Miami To New York

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Virginia Tech
Where will Virginia Tech be at the end of the regular season? (Ivan Morozov)

Over the last couple of weeks, Virginia Tech fans have gone from asking “will we make a bowl game?” to “will we win out and get the Orange Bowl bid?” In college football, things can change quickly.

Barring an upset, Clemson is likely to be in the College Football Playoffs yet again this season, which leaves a spot in the Orange Bowl for the ACC’s next highest-ranked team. And yes, right now there is a possibility that that team could be Virginia Tech. In fact, it likely would be the Hokies if they manage to win out.

In fact, some people in the national media are starting to realize that it’s possible for Tech to end up in Miami. This afternoon I did a Google search on “bowl projections” and came up with the following list of Virginia Tech bowl destinations…

Kyle Bonagura (ESPN): Music City Bowl vs. Mississippi State
Mark Schlabach (EPSN): Orange Bowl vs. Georgia
College Football News: Orange Bowl vs. Florida
CBS Sports: Belk Bowl vs. SMU
Athlon Sports: Belk Bowl vs. Kentucky
Sporting News: New Era Pinstripe Bowl vs. Illinois

While New York City in late December doesn’t sound ideal for standing outdoors for 3.5 hours, I don’t think Tech fans would complain about those other destinations. Playing Florida or Georgia in the Orange Bowl may not be ideal from a results standpoint, but it sounds quite nice in terms of destination.

Assuming Clemson makes the playoffs, there are three real candidates to take the ACC’s spot in the Orange Bowl right now: Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. None of the teams are currently ranked in the AP Poll or Coaches Poll, but all three are receiving votes.

AP: Wake Forest 38 points, UVA 12, Virginia Tech 4
Coaches: Wake Forest 45, Virginia Tech 17, UVA 12

On paper, Virginia holds the advantage. With three weeks remaining in the season, here is how each team’s schedule breaks down, starting with UVA…

Week 1: Bye
Week 2: vs. Liberty
Week 3: vs. Virginia Tech

And now the Hokies…

Week 1: at Georgia Tech
Week 2: vs. Pitt
Week 3: at UVA

And finally Wake Forest…

Week 1: at Clemson
Week 2: vs. Duke
Week 3: at Syracuse

The way I see it, Wake will lose to Clemson this weekend, but then beat Duke and Syracuse to finish their season at 9-3. Virginia will beat Liberty, and their game against the Hokies will determine whether or not they are 9-3 or 8-4 at the end of the season. If they are 8-4, I don’t see how they’d get an Orange Bowl bid over either the Hokies or the Demon Deacons.

Virginia Tech’s road is more difficult, of course. They have two road games, including a season-ending game against an in-state rival that will have basically had three weeks to prepare and get healthy. Of course, that’s also plenty of time for the Hoos to overthink it. As far as Pitt goes, their offense has been anemic, but their defense will be the best the Hokies face all season.

There’s also the possibility that the Hokies win out and face Clemson in the ACC Championship, only to have a loss in that game drop them below a 9-3 Wake Forest team that did not play for the conference championship. That’s possible, but that would be a good problem to have, wouldn’t it?

Of course, there’s also the possibility that Virginia Tech loses all three of its regular season games and doesn’t qualify for a bowl game at all. That’s what kind of season this is. We could go from thinking the bowl streak is over, to talking about the Orange Bowl, back to talking about the bowl streak being over. That’s not likely, though. Georgia Tech, Pitt and UVA all have enough weaknesses that the Hokies are bound to win at least one more. But there are no gimmes.

What do you see as Virginia Tech’s final record at the end of the regular season? Vote below in the poll.

What will Virginia Tech's record be at the end of the regular season?

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52 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Didn’t Orange Bowl have a Notre Dame option if they preferred that above an ACC team? I may be behind the times on this.

    1. Notre Dame can not take the ACC’s place in the Orange Bowl. Notre Dame could still play in the Orange Bowl, as the 2nd spot is based on the CFP rankings. Some very early projections, before ND lost to Michigan, had ND playing the 2nd place ACC team.

  2. Over frothy beverages, Section 7 crew felt VT should have a ton of mustard for GT 0-3 under Fuente and quite frankly the offense needs to turn up the wick.

    Vs Pitt, we owe them big time for last year, we in Section 7 have a long memory and believe the VT players and coaches haven’t forgot last yr. Payback is hell.

    Vs Wahoo, got to believe the mental strain of being off for basically 3 weeks will mentally fatigue them into a loss before the even play them,,,

    Dust settles see ya in the Queen’s city!!!

  3. “Of course, there’s also the possibility that Virginia Tech loses all three of its regular season games and doesn’t qualify for a bowl game at all. That’s what kind of season this is”.

    That is a bonafide guarantee we make a playoff game. I agree with you Chris, who knows. But I think saying it OUTLOUD is good luck 🙂

  4. Pittsburgh is always a tough game. I believe we will beat GT and UVA, but Pitt worries me a bit. Like the way the team is responding though. Go Hokies!

      1. They crushed us w/a better offense than they have now and vs. the worst defense of the Foster era that featured a plethora of underclassmen who Bud will remind them of. This defense is starting to look like a Tech defense.

  5. Remember that, assuming Clemson wins the ACC and goes to the Playoffs, that the Orange Bowl berth is decided by the next highest ranked ACC team in the College Football Playoff rankings. In fact, their rules state that if they don’t have a 2nd ACC team in their final 25, they will keep ranking teams until they get to an ACC team. This is the same for the highest ranked Group of 5 team…if there wasn’t one ranked in the top 25, they would keep ranking so a Group of 5 team is selected for a NY 6 bowl.

    With that in mind, if VT went 9-3 as well as Wake, but then got blown out by Clemson, I think the Committee would keep VT ranked above Wake considering the head-to-head victory. Also, even though Coach Beamer isn’t in the room when they discuss VT, I have no doubt that the rest of the committee would give VT a “Beamer Boost” in the rankings to help the school out.

    1. IIRC WF screwed us out of a NCAA bid once during Greenberg‘s tenure by not supporting us like they should’ve in the selection committee so I’d be fine getting an Orange bowl bid over WF. Although the Music city bowl would be fun, too.

  6. How is this possible? William & Mary beat Rhode Island (Yes, the same one) this past weekend 55 to 19 and had 462 yards rushing . . Whatever happened with Coach FU after Dook has been remarkable. The fan busses will be coming through Chattanooga probably on the way to Atlanta Wish I would be on one of them like so many time in the past Go HOKIES!

    1. I didn’t. But I will take the bet against the 1060 who voted against a 9-3 season. I don’t think that is very likely. 6-6 seems just as unlikely. I hope we get to 9-3 but 8-4 is more likely.

    1. JHH, your post is 100% correct.. Get to #7 and the bowls will “take care of themselves” as CFB would say. GO HOKIES!!! Beat GT, which IMO is a trap-game.

  7. Let’s get qualified for a bowl first and then talk about projections/destinations. VT has a couple of difficult games coming up with GT and Pitt. Both games are winnable, but both teams historically give VT fits. If it comes down to a must win at uva to qualify for a bowl, our bowl streak will certainly be in jeopardy. I just don’t believe that we will beat uva in hooville this year. A win against GT or Pitt would certainly take some pressure off going into the uva game. Go Hokies – Beat GT and Pitt!!

  8. You know, it could be that we’re not as bad as we thought we were; 9-3; beat Clemson in ACC Championship (10-3); Beat some SEC power in a bowl (11-3); End season ranked #9 or so.

    1. You are correct actually! BC is the blemish, game 1 that haunts us. We won that game except on scoreboard. We are 3 ints and 1 pt from being 8-1 and the conversation would be totally different. Our young team is talented and now they have 9 under their belt, experience. I really think we win out. The team seems hungry and knows these last 3 Coastal games are for all the marbles. Most importantly, it’s Bud’s last ride and these kids are sending him out in style!

    1. They’ll be slow and soft with a sleep hangover. The battle hardened Fighting Gobblers (really need to bring this back) will pound the Zima out of them mercilessly. Knob Creek bottles will uncork as we celebrate the 15th anniversary of this intrastate domination, and UVA will resign to the realization that their next reasonable chance to beat us will not come until sometime in the very distant future. We’ve tried for about 5 years to hand them the Commonwealth Cup, and that door is closing fast.

      1. Is ZIMA still a thing?? lol. I also think that it is just possible the Hoos will loose focus with what is essentially a 3 week lull until the 29th. I am sure they will get pumped up for the game, but I wonder if they can be focused for the entire 3 weeks leading up to the game. College football is a funny thing that way, after all these are a bunch of 18-22 year olds we are talking about.

  9. What happens if we win out and beat an undefeated Clemson in the ACCCG? Clemson doesn’t make the playoffs, and they likely go to the Orange Bowl, right? This is what I would like to see happen. Then Clemson beats UGA or UF in the Orange Bowl, and VT beats an SEC or Big10 team in another bowl. That may honestly be the best case scenario for the ACC. The conference desperately needs another team to step up and quickly. It could be VT showing that we are in fact trending upwards.

    1. “Since 2007, the Orange Bowl has hosted the ACC champion—unless they are involved in the national championship playoff” so if we beat Clemson in the ACCCG we’d be in the Orange Bowl and Clemson would likely get the Camping World, dropping ND to ACC 3-6 bowl selection.

  10. Sorry if you covered this, but IF (big IF) we play Clemson in ACC Championship, and bigger IF, we beat them, they would get Orange & we would likely get next biggest remaining bowl

    1. Fairly sure that ACC champion is the Orange participant if not in the playoff. Orange gets a choice only if the champion goes to the semifinals.

    1. If GT can give Hooverville State trouble, Liberty could be a real bugaboo for HSU. I think Liberty is over .500

      1. Liberty got beat by Rutgers and got shut out 24-0 by a terrible Syracuse team. They pretty much have no chance to beat UVA.

        1. Didn’t they just come within 7 points of BYU on the road? That’s pretty bold to say they have no chance against the Hoos. Here’s hoping you wind up taking back those words!

        2. Liberty is much better since Rutgers and Syracuse. QB has 23 TDs and 3 picks. They have an NFL WR. They will score points on UVa. I’m nearly certain of that. Question will be if D can stop Perkins et al. Hugh Freeze is a good coach and his team has improved a lot.

  11. The way I am feeling now is that it is too soon to be considering bowl destinations and match ups. What we need to do is just concentrate on winning the next one. While I think we are much more likely (with the way we are currently playing) to win out than to go 0-3, this team is still too young to think about anything other than winning the next one. #BeatGT #GoHokies

    1. That’s for coaches and players to figure out. we on message boards get to muse, dream, pontificate etc. Otherwise, these message things will be pretty boring.

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