Nov 30, 2011

ACC Championship Game is the Champs Sports Bowl Game of the Week

This season, pick who you think will win the Champs Sports Bowl Game of the Week and WIN! Answer the question on the Capital One Bowl Facebook page before Saturday’s game. If you pick correctly, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win two tickets to the Capital One Bowl on January 2, 2012!

Virginia Tech leads series, 50-37-5 (Last meeting: Nov. 27, 2010: Virginia Tech 37, Virginia 7)

The two strongest teams in the ACC meet for a second time this season at the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte.  The rematch between #20 Clemson (9-3, 6-2 ACC) and #5 Virginia Tech (11-1, 7-1 ACC) has higher stakes as the conference’s automatic BCS bid to the Discover Orange Bowl.

The Tigers locked up the Atlantic Division a few weeks ago but have staggered into Charlotte after losing three of their last four. Once considered a national title contender, Clemson turned in its lowest point totals of the season in road losses to Georgia Tech (17 points), NC  State (13 points) and rival South Carolina (13 points). Sophomore quarterback Tajh Boyd struggled during that stretch, throwing four touchdowns and seven interceptions in his last four games (after a 24:3 ratio in his first eight). Despite the late slump, Boyd leads the top passing attack in the conference and should benefit from the return of breakout freshman Sammy Watkins. If the Tigers want to win their first ACC championship since 1991, they’ll need a total team effort akin to the one they turned in against the Hokies on Oct. 1.

The ACC Championship Game is old hat for Virginia Tech, who will represent the Coastal Division for the fifth time in seven years. The Hokies have won three ACC titles since the conference moved to 12 teams in 2005, more than the entire Atlantic Division combined (two). This season, VT had to replace ACC Player of the Year (and current NFL Baltimore Ravens backup) Tyrod Taylor, but has found leadership behind the steady hand of sophomore Logan Thomas. Though his stats aren’t as flashy as his counterpart at Clemson, Thomas’ efficient play has kept defenses honest and opened holes for junior running back David Wilson. Wilson is the best rusher in the conference by far, leading in both carries (21.3 per game) and yards (132.9 per game). Wilson carried 20 times for 123 yards against Clemson in the regular season, but was held out of the end zone along with the rest of his teammates. The Hokies have scored 30 points or more five times in their last seven games and turned in their first shutout of the year last weekend against rival Virginia. 

Extra Point:

*Virginia Tech is the only team in the country to have won at least 10 games in each of the past eight seasons. 


Michel Champagne Michel Champagne currently serves as Chairman of Florida Citrus Sports, where his duties include leading Team Selection Committee. He is the Vice President of Operations and General Manager, Orlando Region for Bright House Networks.
Pick: Virginia Tech
Season Record: 15-7
Greg Warmoth Greg Warmoth spent 11 years as the weekend sports anchor for WFTV Channel 9 in Orlando before switching to the news desk in 1997. He currently anchors Eyewitness News Daybreak, Eyewitness News This Morning on TV-27 and Eyewitness News at Noon.
Pick: Virginia Tech
Season Record: 14-8
Marc Daniels Marc Daniels hosts The Beat Of Sports on ESPN 1080 AM in Orlando every weekday morning from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. Daniels has over 20 years of experience on the air and is most well known as “the Voice of the UCF Knights” for all football, men’s basketball and baseball games on the UCF ISP Sports Network.
Pick: Virginia Tech
Season Record: 15-7
Jerry Greene Jerry Greene spent 33 years as a sportswriter at Florida Today, the Pensacola News Journal and the Orlando Sentinel before retiring in 2009. He now co-hosts The Beat of Sports with Daniels and contributes to’s Page 2 section.
Pick: Virginia Tech
Season Record: 7-15

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