Virginia Tech gets another chance at Florida State in a bowl game, but the stakes won't be as high as they were in the Sugar Bowl two years ago.
The Hokies and Seminoles agreed on Monday to play in the Gator Bowl on Jan. 1, a far cry from the '99 Sugar Bowl when Florida State won the national title with a 46-29 win over Virginia Tech.
Florida State, 6-4 and unranked entering Saturday's game against Georgia Tech, played in the last three national title games. No. 14 Virginia Tech is 8-2 entering Saturday's game against No. 1 Miami.
The game will be played at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla.
Other teams accepting bowl bids on Monday included No. 17 Michigan and No. 23 Ohio State, the second and third-place finishers in the Big Ten Conference.
The Wolverines (8-3) are headed to the Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1 in Orlando against a Southeastern Conference opponent. The Buckeyes (7-4) will play in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1 in Tampa, Fla., also against an SEC opponent.
Also, the Big East Conference bowl lineup appears set now that the Hokies are in the Gator.
Syracuse (9-3) will play in the insight.com Bowl in Phoenix on Dec. 29 against a Big 12 team; Boston College (7-4) is in the Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tenn., on Dec. 28 against an SEC team; and Pittsburgh (5-5) can gain a spot in the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando, on Dec. 20 against an ACC team, with a win on Saturday against Alabama-Birmingham.
No. 1 Miami (10-0), Big East champions, has clinched a spot in a Bowl Championship Series game -- the Rose Bowl with a win on Saturday against Virginia Tech.
The Seminoles are headed to their 20th straight bowl, and could do so with a mediocre 6-5 record. This is the first season since 1986 that Florida State has lost more than two games and failed to finish the AP media poll's top five.
"It makes you appreciate how the other 98 percent lives," Florida State athletic director Dave Hart Jr. said. "I don't believe anyone in college football ever again will have a run like that. It was an unbelievable run. Only UCLA's basketball run under John Wooden is comparable."
The Hokies are 1-2 in the Gator Bowl. They lost to Tennessee 45-23 in 1994 and North Carolina 42-3 in 1997. Last year, they defeated Clemson 41-20.
"We are ecstatic to be going to our seventh New Year's bowl in nine years," Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said.
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