Tallahassee, FL -
The Chick-fil-A Bowl today (12-2) announced it will guarantee a selection to the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Game runner-up and invite either Florida State or Virginia Tech to represent the ACC in its 43rd annual game Dec. 31 in Atlanta.
The ACC’s representative will face a ranked opponent from the Southeastern Conference on New Year’s Eve in the Georgia Dome in a game that will be nationally televised in an unopposed time slot at 7:30 p.m. EST.
The Chick-fil-A Bowl will announce its SEC selection Dec. 5.
“Either team gives us a nationally ranked program and a great draw for TV,” said Gary Stokan, Chick-fil-A Bowl president and CEO. “Whether we end up with the ‘Noles or the Hokies, we’re going to be hosting a top-25-ranked ACC team and a division winner with a great coach and an excellent fan base.”
The winner of Saturday’s ACC Championship game showdown between the Seminoles and Hokies is guaranteed a spot in the Jan. 3 Discover Orange Bowl. It would be FSU’s ninth Orange Bowl appearance.
Florida State has a modest but noteworthy history in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. The Seminoles, who played in the inaugural Atlanta bowl game, is 1-1 in the Chick-fil-A Bowl with its last appearance coming in 1983 against North Carolina (28-3 win). Virginia Tech has appeared in the Bowl four times and is 2-2 including a 37-14 win over Tennessee last year.
The Seminoles would come into the game at 9-4 (6-2) and winners of three of their last four games. Florida State has already delivered its first nine-win season since 2003 and notched marquee wins against Miami, Maryland and Florida.
The Hokies would come in 10-3 (8-0) and winners of 10 of their last 11. Virginia Tech is the only team in the nation to have won 10 or more games in each of the last seven seasons and the first ACC team to go undefeated in conference play since 2000.
“We’re looking at two great options and feel like we’re a winner either way,” Stokan said. “And they’re both playing their best football of the year right now. We pride ourselves on selecting the team that earns its way into our game, and from where we sit, both of these teams have already proven they belong here.”
The Chick-fil-A Bowl is expected to announce its 14th consecutive sellout as soon as it names its SEC selection on Sunday. The Bowl will also eclipse the $100 million mark in cumulative team payout this year with a total $6.7 million being disbursed to the teams this year.