Virginia Tech to Play Rutgers in Russell Athletic Bowl

Update (8:30 PM): It's official.

Update (7:45 PM): It's all but official.

Also, an interesting tidbit: Rutgers is on a five-game bowl win streak.


Here's a report published on Friday by Keith Sargeant of Scarlett Scuttlebutt.

Though it won't be announced until the BCS bowl pairings become official Sunday evening, Rutgers will play in the Russell Athletic Bowl on Dec. 28 in Orlando, Fla., where it is expected to face Virginia Tech, according to multiple sources familiar with the Big East's bowl pecking order.

Russell Athletic Bowl officials had been considering Cincinnati — which will join Louisville, Rutgers and Syracuse for a share of the Big East crown with a win Saturday at UConn — but they prefer Rutgers over a rematch between the Bearcats and Virginia Tech from earlier this season.

Sargeant's report was probably premature, if Georgia Tech beat Florida State last night, the Bees would have won the ACC's automatic Orange Bowl bid, and that would have knocked the ACC's bowl picture out of whack. However, they didn't. Today, CBS and SB Nation are both projecting Tech to play Rutgers in Orlando.

As Teel noted, NC State is still in the mix, and has best record (7-5) among Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech. However, the each bowl's goals are to sell tickets, bring fans to their host city, and put up a good TV number, not matchup the two best teams.

Given its winning record, the Wolfpack appeared the leading candidate for Orlando under that scenario, until the school fired coach Tom O'Brien on Sunday. But the combination of that bad karma and the Hokies' more recognizable brand figures to alter the equation.

Also, N.C. State has appeared in the Orlando bowl four times in the last 12 years. Virginia Tech has never played in the contest, which kicks off at 5:30 p.m., and is televised by ESPN.

While nothing is official yet, the Hokies heading to Orlando seems like a logical conclusion to me.

The Hokies and Scarlet Knights have a one-sided history going back to when the teams were both Big East members. They played each season from 1992–2003, Rutgers won the first meeting, Tech won the next 11.

The times have changed though. Rutgers' defense would be a real test for Tech's up-and-down offense. They're ranked 11th and 4th nationally in rush and scoring D, respectively. Jawan Jamison is a workhorse tailback (he broke a school record with 41 rushes against USF), and he had a ferocious start to the season. He eclipsed 100 yards rushing in Rutgers first five games. However, ankle injuries have caused him to struggle down the stretch. The Scarlet Knights have a tall trio of receivers, all are 6-3 and above. Leading receiver Brandon Coleman is 6-6, he's caught 39 balls, for 663 yards, and 10 scores.

If Tech loses, it would be the program's first losing season since 1992 (2-8-1), and the Hokies would have gone 0-3 against the Big East. Two more lousy statistics to cap off an already trying season. A victory would mean a three game winning streak to end the season, and Tech heading into the offseason on the right foot.

What do you guys think of the potential matchup? Are you planning on traveling to the game, why or why not?

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Comments

Russell Bowl

I am negotiating with the wife to pack up the kids and head to Orlando. 3 Days at Disney and one evening for the game. Love the match up with Rutgers, should be a good game.

SCHokie

I was still holding out hope for a Sun Bowl invite, since it's the only one I could travel to. How are we so disappointing this year but still too good for the #4 bowl invite?

#goacc

We're in the ACC. That's how.

Thank UNC and Miami

They're ineligible, so everyone else got bumped up two spots.

how would everybody feel about a matchup with rutgers

unfortunately i would see that as a close loss.

"We're your family right?!? You love your family right?!?"-Dadi Nicolas
"That kid you're talking to right there, I think he played his nuts off! And you can quote me on that shit!" -Bud Foster

VT recruited Brandon Coleman...

...fairly heavy. Sure would be nice to have a 6'6" WR.

My guess is 20-17 type of game, could go either way.

Rutgers

I was at the Rutgers-Louisville game Thursday. We may be weak, but Rutgers is worse.

They are very similar to us. Great defense, terrible offense. But our special teams are much better. Their punter is terrible. Aside from two big plays, their offense was inept the entire night in front of a sellout crowd.

We should be able to beat them.

#Whitness

People go to Rutgers games?

"I never surprise myself"

Orlando

I'll probably go - Orlando is a fun trip every couple of years. I do hope some cheaper flights open up - I'd love to fly down the 28th to take off as little work as possible, but cheapest im seeing at the moment is like $230ish a person. I'm out in Williamsburg, but could fly out of Richmond, Newport News or Norfolk. Even Roanoke is the $ is good. Any ideas?

Allegiant has good rates from Tri Cities, but the only flight has already filled up. The organizers asking ticket prices from $80+-$50 is a bit absurd.

Viva El Guapo

Organizers? $50-$80 for game tickets? Seems like I saw them for like $30 on the bowl site.

Spirt's hub is MCO so if you are willing to deal with our answer to RyanAir I would look there. Flying into FLL and driving to orlando is also an option depending on price. FLL has a ton of flights since Port Canaveral is next door.

This is winn-a-bowl

that is all. LOL football this year.

Honestly...

...I don't give a flying fig about Orlando. I am far more interested in the Hokies' basketball.

Sorry to be a such a debbie downer, but the football season was over the second the scoreboard hit 00:00 on the clock. What postseason? That is just garbage from ESPN and all the television networks that are going to broadcast the game. It's just one bowl game. If there was a playoff and Virginia Tech was in it, then I'll be interested, but this match up with Rutgers just have 'meh' written all over it.

Sorry, but this is one less Hokies' fan that's going to watch.

I support Logan Thomas and make no apologies for it.

You stop watching

When we have a down year?

Logan 3:16

In other bowl news

NIU is apparently taking the Hokies' place as the BCS selection whipping boy, having the temerity to get in based on the rules. ESPN roundly trashing them. I know the ACC needs to stop sucking in bowls, but sure would be great to see them beat FSU.

It's On

Uniforms

So what bad uniform combination/terrible helmet creation do we decide to wear to finish off this season?

These people are losing their minds!

White jerseys, orange pants, and the cartoon Hokie helmets with an orange base!!!!!!1111!!!1!!!1!

Achievement unlocked: All of the Fullers

Real tweet from Russell Athletic bowl

you got to hand it to them...

... they know how to use the twitter machine properly

#ALLMAROONEVERYTHING

"I never surprise myself"

We better win this by 50, so I can sleep this off season, or lose convincingly, so Beamer knows O'cain, Newsome, and Sherman all have to go and Stinespring needs to be moved back to the tight end and offensive line position.

I love Virginia Tech, regardless of the outcome of every game.

Did we even score 50 points total this season?

Flights

Has anybody found any affordable flights out of DC or Charlottesville? I suppose Richmond would be an option too, haven't checked there yet. Everything is so expensive right now, and I doubt its gonna get cheaper as we get closer to the game.

twitter.com/weavez22

Check Staunton

No joke. My buddy's parents live outside of Orlando, and he flies SHD->MCO direct when the fares are low.

I will do that. I was not aware Staunton had a commercial airport. Thanks!

twitter.com/weavez22