For the last couple of weeks, there has been plenty of speculation about where Frank Beamer’s final game would be as long as the Virginia Tech Hokies took care of business and got to six wins which they did. Most of the speculation surrounded the Hokies going to the Belk Bowl, which had Hokie fans mouthwatering.
The Belk Bowl was the ideal destination with it being the closest possible bowl game to Blacksburg, and most were pointing towards Virginia Tech heading there.
However, things changed quite quickly on Selection Sunday, and since the Hokies couldn’t leap over an 8-win team but a 7-win team could, N.C. State went to the Belk Bowl with Pittsburgh falling out of the Tier One despite winning 8 games. This led to fans rooting for a return trip to the Military Bowl, but that unfortunately did not happen.
Instead, Hokie fans are frustrated about Virginia Tech’s bowl destination.
The Hokies are headed to the Camping World Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana on the day after Christmas. The Hokies will face another 6-6 team in the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes who new Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente and Memphis beat 66-42 earlier this season.
Legendary head coach Frank Beamer will be returning to the site of his first bowl game with the Hokies, but the fact that this game is nowhere near Blacksburg is a major disappointment. Hokie fans were hoping for a bowl game a few days after Christmas to a destination nowhere near as far away as Shreveport.
Hokie fans are even more frustrated that the ACC didn’t help the Hokies out a little to get them to the Belk Bowl as they did when Florida State went to the Gator Bowl with a 6-6 record in Bobby Bowden’s last season. However, the ACC followed their own policies, and that proved costly for the Hokies in this case with a trip to the Independence Bowl instead of the Belk Bowl.
The matchup is definitely favorable for the Hokies with the teams Tulsa beat having a 17-56 combined record with 7 of those wins coming from New Mexico. Tulsa is also ranked 125th in total defense and 119th in scoring defense on a team that has been carried by enough offense and a weak-enough schedule to get to a bowl game.
The good news for Hokie fans is that the game seems very winnable in Frank Beamer’s final game, but it is a major disappointment that this game is nowhere near Blacksburg. However, there is only so much you can expect in terms of a bowl game when you go 6-6.