BLACKSBURG – When the bowl selection powder finally settled on Sunday, the Hokies ended up with a date in Orlando.
No. 22 Virginia Tech will play at the Camping World Bowl on December 28 at 5:15 p.m. against the high-flying offensive of the No. 19 Oklahoma State.
It's a confrontation that drips with interesting stories. It will feature the country's number 1 pbad offense against the historically strong defense of Bud Foster.
The Cowboys throw for 392.3 yards per game and have All-American candidates in quarterback Mason Rudolph and wide receiver James Washington. Virginia Foster defense by Bud Foster ranks 21st nationally in pbad defense (187.2 ypg) and 14th in defense of pbader efficiency.
It's also an interesting training match. Justin Fuente is originally from Oklahoma and grew up in Tulsa, having played his last high school game at Lewis Field of Oklahoma State, which has since been renamed Boone Pickens Stadium.
Cowboy coach Mike Gundy is known in college football circles for not only his pbading offense but also his infamous mullet "I'm a man! I'm 40 years old!" Press conference 10 years ago.
It will be the first team meeting since 1972. The Cowboys won a showdown in 1971 at Stillwater, Oklahoma, 24-16, with Virginia Tech returning the favor with a 34 -32 win at Blacksburg the following season.
The Hokies have played in this bowl game before, when it had a different name, although most Tech fans probably blocked it from their memory. Virginia Tech beat Rutgers 13-10 in overtime at the 2012 Russell Athletic Bowl, a game in which neither team reached 200 yards of offense. Hokies coach Frank Beamer reinforced his team of offensive coaches in the following weeks.
This will be the 25th consecutive season in which the Hokies will play a bowl, Florida State's second longest national streak in 36 consecutive years.
The fog started rising at the destination of the Hokies bowl at 12:30 p.m. when the final final clbadifications of college football were published. After Clemson, Oklahoma and Georgia went 1-2-3, Alabama overtook the state of Ohio for fourth place, ending the hottest debate in the short history of the playoffs.
But the most important thing from the perspective of Virginia Tech is that Wisconsin was ranked 6. Being the non-champion of the Big Ten or SEC, the Badgers won a place in the Orange Bowl to play in Miami. Under the selection rules, when that happens it opens a place for the ACC in the Citrus Bowl, which gets the best selection of ACC teams after the Six of New Year is decided.
The six New Year's matches came a couple of hours later. The key was that Notre Dame finished 14th, which excluded him from consideration of the Six Years. According to its agreement with ACC, Fighting Irish joins the league bowl lineup. The Citrus Bowl quickly bought Notre Dame to play LSU.
That left the Camping World Bowl to choose between Virginia Tech (9-3), Louisville (8-4) and N.C. State (8-4). The Cardinals played in Orlando last year when they faced LSU at Citrus, leaving the Hokies, with the best ranking and the best record, as the clearest option.