The Knoxville News-Sentinel is reporting that the Vols will face the Virginia Tech Hokies in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. Dave Hooker says the official announcement could come later today, which would be somewhat surprising; the Chick-Fil-A moving on VT locks out the loser of the ACC Championship Game, and it'll be interesting to see if the Gator Bowl and others with ACC tie-ins follow suit.
The Vols and Hokies last met 15 years ago in the Gator Bowl following the 1994 season, a 45-23 Tennessee win in Peyton Manning's freshman year. The two schools are only 230 miles apart and talked several years ago about playing a "Bristol Bowl" at the motor speedway, but nothing ever materialized.
I live outside Blacksburg. Believe me when I tell you that Virginia Tech wants to beat the Vols very, very badly.
The Outback Bowl may be a more prestigious destination, but #11 Virginia Tech is a much more prestigious opponent than Wisconsin or Northwestern. New Year's Eve in Atlanta, in our personal house of horrors, the Georgia Dome? This is a very, very big opportunity for this team to get what would be its biggest win of the season, and make a statement with the nation watching. Be excited.