Hokies upset in Orange Bowl, ACC concludes Disappointing Bowl Season

With Thursday night’s 24-21 loss by Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl in Miami, the ACC finished a disappointing bowl season with a 2-6 record. Of the eight conference teams that made the post season, only Boston College and Wake Forest brought home victories.

Let’s take a quick look back and recap the ACC’s bowl results for the 2007 season.

Boston College vs. Michigan State, Champ Sports Bowl. One of the few bright spots for the league this post season. Coming into the game, many questioned if BC’s heart would be in the contest after losing the ACC Championship and missing out on a BCS bowl bid. Well, the Eagles and Matt Ryan showed some heart and claimed a 24-21 victory.

Maryland vs. Oregon State, Emerald Bowl. This has always been one of the tougher assignments for a bowl bound ACC team – go to the west coast and face a Pac-10 opponent. While the game was close, in the end, Maryland could not pull it out as the Beavers topped the Terps 21-14.

Wake Forest vs. UConn, Meineke Bowl.
Wake Forest continues to build a strong program in Winston-Salem under head coach Jim Grobe. The Deacs, who played in Miami last year, had to settle for a trip down I-85 this time around but made the most of it. The Deacs defeated a very solid UConn team that earned a share of the Big East title this season.

Florida State vs. Kentucky, Music City Bowl.
The game was overshadowed by the academic scandal and subsequent suspensions of a large portion of the Seminoles team. While the scandal has some asking if it is time for Bobby Bowden to retire, the elder coach was able to rally his remaining FSU players around him and the Noles played a much closer game than most would have thought, losing 35-28.

Georgia Tech vs. Fresno State, Humanitarian Bowl. The Jackets, playing under an interim head coach, traveled out to the blue turf in Boise to face an always tough Bulldog team. In the end, the Jackets couldn’t outscore Fresno State, falling 40-28.

Virginia vs. Texas Tech, Gator Bowl. The big question in this game – what happened?? Virginia seemed to have this game well in hand in the fourth quarter, leading by two touchdowns then BANG – faster than Bob Knight can toss a chair, the Red Raiders are kicking the game winning field goal. Dramatic second half comebacks are nothing new for Texas Tech. Remember what they did to Minnesota last year in their bowl game?

Clemson vs. Auburn, Chic-Fil-A Bowl.
In one of the better bowl games of the season, Clemson losses a heart breaker to Auburn in overtime, 23-20. Has Coach Bowden’s seat just gotten a little hotter??

Virginia Tech vs. Kansas, Orange Bowl.
Virginia Tech was supposed to have its way with the Jayhawks in this one but Mark Mangino and company had other ideas. Three Va. Tech interceptions helped Kansas win by 3.

So that does it for another ACC football season, just as ACC basketball is set to get into full swing next week. For those who just can’t wait for next football season to start, spring practice is just around the corner.