Virginia Tech suffered a disappointing 35-28 loss to NC State on Saturday to fall to 5-6 on the season. Despite that, the Hokies still can get to a bowl game with a victory over Virginia this Saturday in the Commonwealth Cup.
So if the Hokies are able to beat UVA, what bowl game might they be headed to? Here are some of the latest projections along with the projected opponent.
- CBS Sports: Military Bowl vs Memphis
- ESPN's Kyle Bonagura: First Responder Bowl vs Army
- ESPN's Mark Schlabach: Duke's Mayo Bowl vs Kentucky
- 247 Sports: Military Bowl vs Memphis
- Athlon Sports: Military Bowl vs Navy
- Sporting News: Pinstripe Bowl vs Wisconsin
- Action Network: Sun Bowl vs USC
- FOX Sports: Sun Bowl vs Oregon State
As you can see, there's still a lot up in the air as to where Virginia Tech will play if they earn bowl eligibility. There are a few reasons why there is some uncertainty here.
If Tech beats UVA this Saturday, they'll be 6-6 overall but 5-3 in ACC play which makes it hard to kind of rank where they should be playing compared to their ACC peers who may have better overall records yet worse conference records. The ACC also doesn't have a formal tiering process for bowls anymore and while there are bowls that clearly get greater preference than others, there's a lot more flexibility that the conference has allowed.
With that said, the Military Bowl makes a lot of sense at this point as a mid-tier ACC bowl that would be a good fit for the Hokies. The Military would likely be thrilled to land the Hokies given the proximity to Annapolis along with the loads of Hokie fans who live throughout the DMV who could attend this game.
When Navy hasn't been part of the Military Bowl, the two largest crowds for this game in Annapolis were when Virginia Tech was playing in 2014 and 2018 (both times against Cincinnati coincidentally). The only other larger crowd came in 2010 between Maryland and East Carolina with that Military Bowl being at RFK Stadium. Getting Tech would guarantee a strong crowd for bowl organizers compared to other ACC possibilities like Boston College, Miami, or Georgia Tech.
However, some of these higher profile ACC bowl games should not be ruled out either. Bowl organizers know that Virginia Tech has one of the best fanbases available to sell tickets for and if they finished 5-3 in ACC play, the argument for VT to be in a higher profile bowl would be reasonable.
That's why you see bowls like the Sun Bowl and Duke's Mayo Bowl listed. The Duke's Mayo be a surprise to see but with UNC and NC State having played in the last two editions of it, that leaves an informal opening for someone else to fill that spot though you'd think Clemson will be a top target for them. VT does have a good history with the Charlotte Sports Foundation who runs this bowl and also just hosted VT WBB as part of the Ally Tipoff earlier this month.
Of course, none of this matters if they lose to UVA and fall to 5-7 as their APR likely isn't high enough for them to claim one of the last bowl spots in that scenario.