What began with losses to Boise State and FCS' James Madison has ended with an ACC Championship and now a trip to the Orange Bowl. Virginia Tech has won 11 straight after dropping their first two games of the season, culminating with a 44-33 win over Florida State Saturday in the 2010 Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Game.
The win gives the Hokies the ACC's auto-bid into the Orange Bowl, where they'll play either Stanford from the Pac-10 or Connecticut which, despite an 8-4 record and strong consideration as the worst BCS team ever, is the 2010 Big East champions following their win over South Florida on Saturday.
Stanford finished 11-1 this year, with the lone loss coming at Oregon. The Cardinal are expected to earn a BCS at-large berth, awarded to teams ranked in the top-14 that have at least nine wins; Stanford was No. 4 in last week's BCS rankings.
UConn, meanwhile, went just 8-4, including losses to Temple and Rutgers. But the Big East title gives them an automatic BCS bowl appearance. Assuming the Sugar Bowl picks Ohio State, then the Orange Bowl would have first choice between UConn and Stanford. And for what it's worth, SB Nation's BCS prognosticator Ben Prather projects a UConn-Virginia Tech Orange Bowl:
I am running with the Orange Bowl's old Big East tie-in and geographical proximity swaying the Orange Bowl selectors to favor Connecticut over Stanford. I have heard rumors that I could be dead wrong here, like I was about Nebraska beating Oklahoma.
While UConn is obviously the weaker team, asking their fanbase to travel to Miami -- and more importantly buy up tickets -- seems more reasonable than expecting Stanford to travel well. Three-thousand miles is much shorter than 1430.